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Old 04-11-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Novice Here with Questions

I do not have much bluewater experience so I may be off base with some of my ideas so I could use some schooling.

I was wanting to get things ready for the coming season.
We intend to troll a 5 line spread. Baits most likely being Islanders, Yo Zuri bonita, Stretch, and maybe a naked ballyhoo.
I figured wire on the yozuri and Stretch and heavy mono for the rest. Again, being a novice here, am I on the right track? What size wire and what size mono if you are running 30W?
My plan is the following:
40lb mono with a bimini twist - to - 20' wind on leader with loop to loop connection - to - islander/ballyhoo
Repeat the above but use a wind on to a snap swivel with 6' of wire for yo zuri/stretch.
The more I read the more confused I get. I see folks running everything from 80lb-250lb and I don't really get why there is such a difference. I know experience will be the best teacher, I am hoping to shorten the learning curb with basic rigs that aren't overly complicated since we(crew) are so green.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #2
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Give me just a bit. I’ll write up some “shortcuts” for you.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:14 PM   #3
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Just follow what Chris V recommends and you canít go wrong. Tight Lines!
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:31 PM   #4
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OK, I got tied up last night with work and never got back to this.

I think you have some of the right ideas but I'm going to add, subtract and elaborate on some of it.

Your lure/bait choices are good and I would add a couple of rigged dusters and/or sea witches to pull small ballyhoo behind. Get a bird or two as well. they can make a big difference on slower days I love putting them in front of small daisy chains or on my center line.

On leader sizes and types, I'd go this route:
- #9 single strand wire for you stretches and Bonito-style baits. You can go with multi strand (1X7 or 7X7) if you'd like, but I like the way the plugs run on single strand and it requires zero tools or crimps to rig.
-80-100lb mono on your dusters or naked ballyhoo rigs
-200lb* mono on the Ilanders and small-mid sized lures
-300lb* mono if you decide on putting out larger lures

*These heavier leaders are to prevent cutoffs from Wahoo more than anything. Yes, Wahoo will also strike the smaller ballyhoo and dusters, but you want the lighter with those baits to increase bites from Tuna, Whites, etc.

The 30Ws can be spooled one of two ways in my opinion; either the straight 40lb like you had in mind, or with a braid backing and mono topshot. The backing option will allow you to push up a line size or two and boost capacity. If you choose that route, I'd suggest 50-65lb backing with a 50lb topshot.

I have a love/hate relationship with wind/on leaders. That's a long story, but in this scenario I think they're a good idea since they will eliminate the need for a dedicated wireman. I'd go with 130-150lb wind-ons and an appropriate, ball-bearing snap swivel. Regardless of what lure you're pulling, there needs to be a swivel there. I noticed you had the idea of just running your ilander straight onto the wind-on but I wouldn't suggest that. Put snaps on all of them for quick changes or just use ball-bearing swivels and crimp as you go. On the lighter gear, the snaps will be fine.

A couple must haves and tips I'll add in addition to rigging:
-Get a subscription to Hilton's Real-time Navigator for satellite imagery. It'll save you countless hours of trying to find the right conditions.
-A wireman's safety knife in case of emergency or major tangles.
-A decent quality harness and belts. You'll kick your own ass if you hook the fish of a lifetime and don't have comfortable equipment to fight it with.
-Good wiring gloves
-Keep the boat moving after hookups and especially while handling a fish boatside

I'm sure there's more but that's some quick thoughts.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:18 AM   #5
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Pretty sound advice from Chris! Especially the last part about keeping the boat moving when hooked up. If you stop the boat right after a hookup, you create a belly in the line and that hole in the mouth of the fish is a little larger after the strike. If you stop... bloop, out falls the hook!

AND of course if you want some quality handmade lures, I can help you with that!
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Novice Here with Questions

I'm with Chris V. So i have few supporting comments. Swivels, yes use snap so you can more quickly change rigs. I look at my snaps very closely and replac swivels often as the snaps are the weak link. Use ball bearing swivels for troling.

I love Wind Ons - they are a pain, but work and add a ton a safefy by being able to wind a fish next to the boat.

On my ballyhoo rigs, I used to sleeve my leaders in the hook's eye. That makes the rig bulky and a throat full for a ballyoon. I went back to simply passing the lines through and crimping. I would then shorten each rig used by a few each after each use to assure that I had pristine leader passing through the hook's eye.

Lastly, I don't know why but sooo many Novices (your friends) if they are at the controls and you get a bite, they slam the boat in neutral. Stay at trolling speed for as long as you can stand it!

Tight Lines......
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:27 AM   #7
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Hello Walton County Line,

I get it. In general if you ask 5 people you'll get 5 different answers, sorry this sport can be so confusing. Like most here, we learned from someone and likely do it their way. Or, modified it and made it "our" way.

The best I can explain it is, there are several things going on, several competing interests, and there are compromises between them.

1. There are things we do that make it easier for the fisherman. 2. Then, there are things we do that increase the bite. 3. Then, there are things we do to insure a successful outcome.

As an example, using hi vis line makes it easier for the fisherman to see his lines, right? Yet, clear line is harder for the fish to see. I use high vis when trolling from outriggers. Another example is we know heavier line and leader decreases the bite, but increases the likelihood of success when you get the bite. I tend to use lighter line and hope for the best when the big one bites.

Wind-on leaders are one of those things that make it easier for the fisherman. Instead of having to handle 30' of leader with an angry fish, wind-ons allow the fisherman to wind the leader onto the reel and leave only short leader making it easier to control the fish at boatside. I use wind ons and super short leaders. Same thing with snap swivels. Sooner or later they will fail you. But, it is a PITA to cut and re-crip every time you want to change a bait, so most continue to use a snap swivel not because it is better, but because it is easier.

Your spread is a great all around "can catch anything" spread. But, even it has compromises. Your swimming baits might work best at 5-7 knots, but it might take 8 knots to make your surface lures swim like you want. So, running both at the same speed inevitably makes one work better than the other, right? The islanders are such great all-purpose lures as they work at and slightly below the surface attracting bites from every species.

Along the path of what works best for the fisherman, I would recommend you use the Williamson Rubber Ballyhoo rigged with J hooks with your Islanders. In a taste test , I have found them to be just as effective as the real deal. And they last a long time (or at least until a toothy critter takes a bite out of them!)

Really, it is more about confidence than getting it perfect. What Chris is saying will work great and hopefully give you the confidence to stay on it until the success comes. Best of luck to you!!!

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