Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #2
By Capt. Jim Hirt
This article continues answering a recent question asked by a reader of my articles. It will cover the basics in what you need for fishing tackle and proper boat set up. We have already covered in article #1 the boat, electronics, downriggers and rod holders. Let's now go into tackle.
Tackle includes the rods, reels and all the support equipment to offer a wide variety of presentations for all fishing conditions. All anglers have a limitation of the amount of tackle they can purchase and keep on the boat. The right mix to cover all situations is key to success. In the state of Wisconsin we are allowed three rods per person and would max out to that number whenever possible. All planer board or leadcore presentations will catch fish every trip out and this is worth considering. This method of fishing calls for long lines behind the boat, which is very effective but cannot be run in heavy boat traffic. I will cover that in the next article. A downrigger and Slide Diver set up will offer many options in all fishing conditions and may be a better choice.
Purchase four 8-foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need no matter which directions you go. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $35 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $50 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test has the capacity for a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. For the budget minded, spool up with 20 lb Berkley Trilene XT ($7) monofilament. A slightly more expensive but worth it option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Seaguar Invizx ($20) will put more fish in the cooler. Types of presentations are endless and the average fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where the fish are located. You must be able to fish at all depths. Many anglers are now fishing with super braid it is very expensive but worth the money. If your budget allows, rather than mono, set up all four rods with 50 pound Power Pro super braid. Going this direction will allow the most flexibility and adaptability going forward through the season.
Support equipment includes the tools necessary to offer spoons, bait or lures at all potential depths. Most boats run diving planers like Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Deep Sixes and similar divers. This is a very simple tool that is not used to its full potential by most fishermen. Start with a clear mono or fluorocarbon 25-pound line one and a half times the length of the rod you are using. On one end tie a size 75 pound cross lock snap to attach the lure. Tie the other end to a snubber. They come in many colors. I prefer a clear product made by Opti-Dodger. The snubber will absorb the shock of the strike and set the hook. The snubber is then attached to the diver. On the release side of the diver tie your line from the rod. You can use a variety of different lines. The standard set up is 20 to 30 pound mono. Some other options are 30-pound Microfilament, Uni-filament and stranded wire. The benefits of these options are the smaller diameter of these products allow the diver to reach greater depths. An 8 foot medium heavy action rod with a line counter reel completes this rig. They are often called poor man's downriggers. When asked by beginning trollers on what to buy I always recommend two diver rigs. They will take lures to a prescribed depth and repeat it over and over again. More on support equipment in the next article. Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.