A daisy chain is simply a string of teasers (hookless lures used as attention-getting decoys) rigged together line-astern for deployment ahead of your trolling lure.
This creates visual and sonic disturbance in the water - noise, as it's called - which to a curious predator gives the appearance of a small shoal of baitfish with a straggler (the 'chaser' - your lure) struggling to keep in touch.
It won't take a leap of imagination to guess which one's going to get hit!
Putting one together is a straightforward affair.
The usual approach is to use three or four Bulbhead Squid Soft Plastic Lures as the teasers, stopping each one at the appropriate position on the leader by either an overhand knot or by crimping on a sleeve.
A small bead ahead of the knot or crimp will protect the lure from wear.
The chaser, which unlike the decoys - and rather obviously - is rigged with a hook attached at the end of the leader. It can be the same size and pattern as the others, or maybe the next size up.
Remember to position the hook correctly within the chaser's skirt by threading on beads ahead of the hook.
Some of the teasers will occasionally break the surface picking up air and leaving an impressive smoke trail in their wake - a real wake-up call for any predators lurking nearby.
For noise of truly orchestral proportions, why not rig a bird ahead of your string of teasers?
This is what we do when making an offshore passage aboard our sailboat Alacazam, where one of our trolling lines is deployed from a Penn Senator 12/0 reel bolted directly to the pushpit.
What's a bird? It's just another teaser that's designed to splash around on the surface, pretending to be a shoal of unsuspecting baitfish.
My 'standard' rig for this is a bird attached to a string of resin-headed 'straight runner' type skirted lures with a slightly larger one as the chaser.
It gets results!
But you won't be able to use a bird with a heavy string of decoys - steel jetheads for instance - as the drag will pull the bird below the surface.
To be sure this won't happen, you could buy a complete rig, like the one shown here.
Daisy chains are constructed in one of two ways - either with the line running longitudinally through each of the teasers, or with the teasers attached to short snoods.
These are rigged with the rig line running longitudinally through the teasers.
They're likely to be either plane octopus skirts, resin-headed straight-runners or steel jetheads.
You don't have to buy them as a made-up rig.
It will be cheaper to buy the individual components and string them up yourself as described above. Whichever approach you take you'll need to replace the skirts from time to time as they soon get damaged in use.
The traditional cedar plugs are unpainted as shown here, and some anglers will tell you that they are at their most effective when left that way. But painted versions are also available - often resembling small dorado - and of course other anglers will tell you that this is the way to go.
These too are rigged longitudinally on the line.
They are much more durable that skirted lures, and are a great alternative for sailors on long offshore packages.
Tuna in particular really go for them - and so do dorado (mahe-mahe)...
Flying Fish Version
When fish are feeding on flyingfish, putting a daisy chain of this type on your trolling line should do the trick - and the strike may well be spectacular.
Odds are it will be a dorado - and they're delicious!
These teasers are rigged on short snoods which gives them the freedom to move around more that if they where threaded on the line.
Daisy Chains can also be made up with soft-plastic trolling lures. More often than not these are bulbhead squid lures as mentioned earlier, but Williamson Lures have come up with a couple of offerings based on their 'Live Series' lures.
These too are rigged on short snoods.
One of the benefits of this superior type is that the collective thrumming of six fish tails will send out vibrations that predators have learned to associate with a shoal of baitfish.
Heavy, substantial strings of soft-plastic teasers like these are intended to be rigged on their own lines, ending in a snaplink rather than a chaser with a hook in it. The idea is that you connect your leader a short distance ahead of your lure directly to the snaplink with an elastic band.
When a fish hits your lure, the elastic band breaks leaving you clear to fight it without the daisy chain being dragged around with it.
This would be a good time to get it back aboard before something else eats it.