Page: The_Proper_Rig

The Proper Rig

by Captain Roy

       When your fishing at these depths and with multiple baits, 50-100 (or better) pounds of fish on the end of the line feels more like lifting a car and if you do manage bring it all the way up without the aid of a tag team of super-heroes you may not have the strength left to get your fish into the boat. You must have an electric fishing reel system to catch these deep water fish. There are more than several choices available for electric fishing reels on the market today and like everything in life, not all are created equal. Prices can run into the several thousands for some of the super high end ones and that is just for the reel alone. The bent but rods that these usually get mounted on can get a bit pricey also which is why I built my own line of deep drop electric fishing reel systems priced more for the average guys pocket book. They don't have the line counters, automatic stops, mini computer chipped bells and whistles that you get for the "thousands of dollars" models but they catch the big fish just like the expensive ones do.

      Once you have selected an electric reel, you need to spool the reel with narrow diameter braided line. I prefer 65# test, but most people use 100# test on their reels. The narrower diameter line allows you to drop deeper with less weight and keeps the current from pulling your bait off the bottom. I never spool my reels any more than 3/4 full of line. Filling them all the way to the top puts more torque on the reel and 3/4 full (depending on line size and the reel) is usually 750-1200 yards of line. The reels I use are 6.0's and 9.0's and that works well for me. A 300-500 lbs snap swivel tied to the bottom of that and we're ready to go.

      Next thing you need to consider is the rig that holds the bait and the weight. Through much trial and error I have determined that the best combination for my rigs is four to five, 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks, spaced approximately 8-12" apart with glow beads on top of the swivel for each leader and a blinking light on the top swivel where it attaches to the line. If the thought of catching and handling more than two fish at a time bothers you then you can rig fewer hooks to suit your need. I have had four hooked before and a fifth one that had swallowed the sinker and got them all to the top and in the cooler.  For my main leader I use a 300 lb test monofilament. I crimp a loop at the top (hard to tie a knot in 300 lb. test) and start about 10-12" down with the first crimp on swivel for the hook leaders. Be sure to slide a glow bead on above each hook swivel. Spacing them the 8-10" apart I continue to the bottom and then crimp on at least a 300 lb. snap swivel 12" below the last hook swivel. The hook leaders I use 100 lb. test monofilament also using crimps and the appropriate hook. If you have never used crimps before it's always wise to consult your local tackle shop for the appropriate crimps. On occasion we have threaded 9" glow worms over the hooks with the worm just over the top of the hook.  Large grouper and golden tile fish really like this arrangement.

      The weight needs to be about 4-8 pounds, depending on how much current you encounter. Check out the weights we sell in the Roy"s Electric Reels Tackle Shop to see the kind I use. The more current, the more weight.  If you do not have enough weight, your bait will not stay on the bottom and you will not catch fish.  If you are not catching fish your bait is not on the bottom!  These fish will eat most any kind of bait.  We usually use squid and if you can, get the cuddle fish (looks like small squid) that come off the shrimp boats its great bait since it is tougher than regular squid.

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