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I have a question for all you anglers out there who pursue bigger fish with fishfinder rigs: Do you think they're actually necessary?

I understand the theory behind them, but I'm a little dubious about whether or not they're necessary. Most of the time, the light drag and clicker we use in the surf puts more pull on the line than an eight ounce sinker every could, and I'm beginning to wonder if they're necessary at all. So here's the deal: for the next year, I'm going to fish without them and see if it affects my hookup ratio.

Opinions or thoughts?
 

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I don't think it matters as much with the circle hooks we fish with these days. Back in the J-hook days, it made sense to let the fish get the bait down (without the resistance of the sinker).

However - being the superstitous angler type, I ain't gonna stop using them - let us know how it works out for you. Nice drummie by the way!!
 

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Thanks Eddie. I had a good time pulling him in. About time I got a 40"+ drum.

And I like your point about circle hooks--pressure is the very thing that puts the hook in the fish's jaw.

Yea, fishermen are a superstitious lot and old habits die hard. With the dozens of rods off the end of the pier there wasn't one single spinning combo, as if it was impossible to whip a drum with anything other than a conventional reel the size of a steel drum. There were looks of horror when I hooked up on a 9-foot spinning rod with mine...

But I'm really coming to think the fishfinder/bead/swivel combo is a little silly. It kills distance with the helicopter that develops in the cast and adds one more piece of junk into the rigs we throw out. I doubt any fish that pulls like a freight train will notice a six ounce weight.
 

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You can cut down on the helicopter effect by shortening your leader between the swivel and the hook down to about four inches. Also, cut your chunks really cleanly and remove any belly flaps from your bait.

But your right - a feeding drum or striper should hardly notice a six ounce sinker tagging along......
 

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I had trouble with the "helicopter" last year.
So I did a lot of asking on ths board and the
Fla Surffishing board.

I came up with a cool version of the fish finder that incorporates a heavy snap swivel
and clip down. Now you can change leaders and
use it on shark, cobia, drum, etc. Since the
bait and lead are clipped together, it doesnt
suffer from the helicopter effect.

I posed this Q in another format on BeachBums
Shark board. All those people suggest using
some form of the pulley/Pennel rig.
What are your thoughts on the Pennel rig for
drum? Does anyone ever use those?
 

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Let's do away with all terminal gear!

Instead of a fishfinder rig, I tie my main line to a 50 lb shocker and then to a swivel. To the shocker swivel I tie a 2 ft length of fishing line to the the hook. Approximately two feet below the shocker swivel I tie a dropper loop. Since I don't have all of that fishfinder terminal gear (plastic sleeve, metal sinker holder)to contend with, I can get a good feel for what is happening to my hook and bait. Just like the fishfinder rig, this setup also allows you to change sinkers as needed.

Really comes in handy for fishing torpedo sinkers and long stips of cut bait that you want to drift in the current, such as fishing at IRI.

Only one piece of terminal gear in this rig - the shocker swivel (unless you count the hook and sinker).

This does not eliminate the helocopter effect but does increase sensitivity.

To eliminate the helocopter effect, use the long distance casting rigs by Farout. They enable you to clamp your hook and bait to the main line and increase casting distance. The hooked rig disengages from the main line upon impact when it hits the water. This rig does not cut down on terminal gear but does enable you to cast to those far out spots.
 

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I think you're going down the same path that I am, Sandcrab. I know a lot of folks will snicker, but I'm trying to think about how we could reinvent terminal tackle with casting and fish behavior in mind.

There seems to be a pattern in fishing where every few years there's a new sinker, reel, rod or other accouterment that is a must-have. We all jump on the bandwagon and follow suit. So let's all think about what's on the end of our lines and throw some suggestions in here.

Conventional wisdom has its place, but let's forget that for a moment and think outside the box.
 

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I've been reading about a Hi-Lo rig. Its basically a homemade bottom rig.But with th weight on th end an th hooks behind I would think that this could lead to increased casting distance.
 

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Here is a must-have; it is what I call the
fiz-gig (got the name from the BC comic).
It is for tying swivels onto solid wire and
heavy mono. The basic idea is to take some
#8ga galv wire; bend one end into a small "J"
(about 1.5in across). Then, 5in down the long
end, fold it over 90 degrees and cut off at about
1 to 1.5 in -- thats your handle. Drill a hole
and epoxy on a bit of hardwood so you can hold
it. BTW: it makes an excellent "third hand"
for tying dropper loops in fish finders.
And you won't find it in the stores. Should
barely fit through a 90lb crane swivel...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's really still a standard two-hook bottom rig tied with mono instead of wire. I'm thinking in terms of a single-hook rig for bigger fish (stripers, drum, etc.) that will cast well and not put the fish off.

This is more about brainstorming new stuff. I think I may give some Breakaway rigs a shot with most of the rig cut away and re-rigged with appropriate line. For instance, here's some interesting stuff that might be modified.
 

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Shoeless:
That looks like my "fishfinder"! I just dont use all
that hardware:
1) No coastlock at the bottom -- loop in the sinker
with a surgeons loop
2) No extra snap at the top -- I have a 6"
surgeons loop on the shock line: loop in the
crane swivel, tie on the fishfinder

I caught both my blues on the top hook also
by the way :) Blues are generally
suspended.
 
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The Breakaway shields really work.Put onr on a single hook rig with say a bloodworm + a strip of fresh Norfolk Spot.Using that shield will add about 15-20 yards to your casting distance IF distance is a factor.
A pretty easy rig to tie up is a single hook(Inever use hi-lows)put a loop in one end of a length of mono: decide which end will take the sinker.
Lets say the un- looped end will hold the sinker.Put on a crimp sleeve a bead,a swivel(just put the main line through one end),then a bead a crimping sleeve and then the Breakaway shield.Tie in your other loop. decide where you want to have your hook in relation to the sinker,move the swivel to that point slide the beads and crimping sleeves into position to lock in the swivel crimp but do not crush the sleeves attach hook and leader into swivel end add swivel to appropiate loop with offshore swivel knot. attach sinker.Quick,simple,strong, and not a lot of hardware.Neil
 
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