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Squid technician
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I think I own and pull all sizes of them. I rig the small chugger on anything from 80-130lb, standard size on 200-250lb and the seniors on 300lb.
 

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Squid technician
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Another thing I'm gonna add, if you don't own any mold craft wide ranges, you need to! I've gone through quite a few seasons with many colors and sizes of them and if I had to have three, it would be a standard in pink/white and Texas chicken (green/yellow/pink) and a senior in black/orange. Single hook waaaayy back in the skirt
 

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I will echo what Chris said, they are fantastic lures. While I own and usually use more "fancy" lures, none are better than the Wide Range and Chugger. I would happily fish all day with the a full spread of the two, larger ones on the flats and smaller as you go back. 300# mono on the Sr.s and 200# on the standard sizes.

Rig them with a single Mustad 7691 (8/0 for the smaller ones and 10/0 for the larger ones) with the hook way back in skirt.

Robert
 

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You can certainly pull a bird in front of one of the smaller ones, personally I am not a big bird fan, if I am wanting some commotion I will pull a spreader bar or a super bar. I will frequently do this around the rigs or if we are seeing tuna on the surface.
 

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I prefer the wide ranges , they are the straightest running lures and have great hook ratio . They are great teasers cause of the soft heads don't spook the marlin when they swipe at it. Black over blue . I'll add wide ranges is one of the very few lures that will run straight in any conditions

I have taken the smaller wide ranges , taken the inner skirt out and rigged it with ballyhoo and caught many fish on that.
 

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Squid technician
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I am a huge bird fan. On the center line I almost always have a bird in front of whatever is back there. It helps me raise fish and aids in keeping track of the center bait. I don't like pulling birds on riggers though. Last year, we took second place wahoo in the MGCBC with a 68.1lb 'hoo we caught on a pink/white wide range behind a bird on the center. I've also caught plenty if other wahoo and billfish on similar combinations throughout the years. If you're not pulling birds, you're missing out IMO. 5 yrs ago I had a 300ish blue marlin hammer a blue, pro action bird with an islander/ballyhoo behind it. I cranked it away, hoping for him to jump on the ilander, but he kept attacking the bird. I reeled it all the way to the boat and took the bird out. He swam back and forth looking for it while I grabbed a pitch bait (only three of us on board). I dropped to it but it left shortly afterwards. It only wanted that damn bird! I still have that bird with half the paint missing from that particular fish.

I like spreader bars for tuna as well, like MS pointed out, but I'll only pull them as teasers for bills. The last thing I think I want is a rambunctious white or rat blue tangled in a spreader bar. Spreader bars and birds are totally different things to me though.
 

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OCD Reel Service/Repair
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I have had spreader bars torn up by fish many,many times. They work great if you have a hooked bait right behind them. I also use birds on the waaay back lures.

I just ordered some more of the Wide Range Moldcrafts in blue/white, purple/black and pink/white.
 

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To continue this thread: One of the great things about fishing, is there is no one "right way", we all have our different experiences on the water that build our confidences in certain lures and techniques.

90% of the time I am trolling I am targeting blue marlin and therefore my spread is biased towards blues. That is why I am not a big bird fan as i believe a bird way back down the center can actually "block" a billfish from coming in. When it comes to dolphin and wahoo and tuna, birds can be killer. Others have certainly had different experiences and most boats pull birds back down the center I just prefer a single smaller lure such as a Melton Cherry Jet or Makaira Lena or Cognac with my commotion lures/teasers run close off my transom or bridge teasers.

I will agree with Chris that it's not fun to have a billfish all ratted up in a spreader bar as I have lost a white or two to just that and it's heart breaking!

Either way use what you prefer and build your own confidence spread. I imagine we as anglers tend to over think this anyway, but that's half the fun!

Robert
 
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