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Old 09-21-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
Tinman
 
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Default 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Today should have been a stellar day at Davis Bar. I hooked and played four salmon, but every one of them came off the hook. Two were almost at the boat, and two others were on for at least a minute.

I'm rowing solo, so the boat stops when I pick up the rod. I'm trolling a Protroll 360, 12 ounce lead on 16 inch slider dropper, small spinner. 8.5 foot rod, braided line.

After losing three, I cut off the stock treble hook, cannibalized a spoon, and affixed a big single siwash. I promptly hooked up, and again the fish came off.

I don't usually have trouble losing fish due to barbless hooks, but this felt ridiculous. Does anyone have any advice?

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Old 09-21-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
garyk
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

My friends were 1-for-4 so you're only slightly below average (LOL)

It's not the reason you're losing fish, but why use a lead line? Clip the lead to the slider....easier netting...a little less gear in the water, penduluming around and potentially pulling those barbless hooks free.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:47 PM   #3
The Pew
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Default 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

First a lot of guys like to rig break aways on those type of flashers. Good day fishing makes some break aways and I’m sure others do as well. I think there may be a video somewhere to make your own.

Basic concept is at hook up the flasher is only connected by a single point so the rod and fish connection is less inhibited.


A few questions-

1. Are you losing them after fighting them for a while or really early in the hook up?

If early maybe a tighter drag and give the oars a couple really good pulls to set the hook.

2. If mid/late fight, see the first note on the break away. What rod are you running?





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Last edited by The Pew; 09-21-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Hi Tinman, Nice to see you out there today. Unfortunately I am experiencing the exact same problem you are. Today I was running a breakaway for the flasher and it did not seem to help. Looking forward to hear what other suggestions there are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Today should have been a stellar day at Davis Bar. I hooked and played four salmon, but every one of them came off the hook. Two were almost at the boat, and two others were on for at least a minute.

I'm rowing solo, so the boat stops when I pick up the rod. I'm trolling a Protroll 360, 12 ounce lead on 16 inch slider dropper, small spinner. 8.5 foot rod, braided line.

After losing three, I cut off the stock treble hook, cannibalized a spoon, and affixed a big single siwash. I promptly hooked up, and again the fish came off.

I don't usually have trouble losing fish due to barbless hooks, but this felt ridiculous. Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

There are several challenges with your setup. The skateboard flashers with Super Baits or small spinners are very effective at getting bit, but most people I know strive to get above a 50% landing rate, and fighting the fish solo decreases your odds by a fair amount. There are 3 big issues with the setups; I'll try to explain my experience with each problem.

First, the skateboard flashers can pull the hook if the fish swims toward you at all. Most people don't reel fast enough to keep pressure on the fish if it swims at you. We combat this by keeping the motor in gear, but you obviously can't do this from your rowboat. When the fish swims toward you (even a little bit), if it gets ahead of the flasher, the flasher turns sideways and catches the current, and this actually pulls the hook out of the fish's mouth. Try to picture a fish hooked in the corner of the mouth; the only way that it should be able to get loose is to have pressure on the hook shank from the tail of the fish, which is exactly what happens if the fish gets ahead of the flasher. This is the reason for the multiple breakaway systems on the market. I like what I have heard / read about the breakaways (I think Simon makes the magnetic one that I have heard rave reviews about), but I haven't tried them yet.

The second issue is the big lead weights needed to fish these systems effectively. As someone mentioned above, you can lessen the pendulum affect of these big weights by using short droppers (or no dropper at all), but this is a double-edged sword. If you are fishing near the bottom, the dropper helps you make sure you are presenting it at the right level to get bit. With a short dropper, you will often end up screwing up the action of the flasher by letting it hit bottom. I haven't found the right solution to this.

The final issue is the hooks. The treble hooks on the little 3.5 spinners are tiny, and it is tough to get a big chinook hooked solidly on these. I am working on changing mine over to single sickle-shaped hooks (I have found the sickle shape to work better than round-bend hooks when barbs are restricted). On Super Baits, I have seen at least a half dozen different hook rigging configurations. The jury is still out on which one works the best. The keys in my mind are using good sickle hooks and making sure the "stinger" hook is in a good position to hook the fish.

Stick with it, and don't be afraid to experiment with rigging and your fighting style to find what works for you. The 360 systems are a game changer, but losing some fish is the tradeoff.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Beefcake, thanks for the excellent comments. I understand that when the fish swims toward me the flasher drag can pull the hook. I've tried agressively pulling to keep hard tension on the line, but the problem is I very quickly have a hot fish right at the boat. I wish salmon would run more and tire themselves out.

Pew, I usually lose the fish after fighting it for at least a minute. I'm running a standard Daiwa 8 1/2 foot salmon rod. And yes, I do pull hard on the oars when I get bit. In fact I sometimes keep rowing for up to 20 seconds while the fish is hooked.

Gary, I get your point about the lead swinging on a long dropper, but to Pew's point, the dropper helps me find bottom without balling up the rig. Tradeoffs!

Here are some ideas I'm toying with.

* Use a rubber snubber on the flasher
* Circle hooks (thanks Beefcake for the tip on sickle hooks)
* Threading a spinner blade and beads directly onto a mooching rig, that is building a spinner onto the leader. Then hopefully the spinner parts will slide up the leader when fighting a fish. I'd use two or three hooks.
* Bare spinner with no flasher

Keep the comments coming. It's good to know I'm not the only one having trouble.

Here are some
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Last edited by Tinman; 09-22-2017 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Only thing I can think of is longer rod, tighter drag, single Sickle Siwash 5/0. I like the suggestion of pulling on the oars real hard at the strike. 3 or 4 times isn't too much. If you're fishing the bottom, you need a dropper, I'd try 14 inches. If you're fishing up a ways, dump the dropper. Watch your depth finder so you know when the bottom goes up and down, adjust your line accordingly. Don't feel bad, I went 0 for 6 during a bad streak at B-10 but I was using herring.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

sometimes the fish just win. I lost some heart-breakers this past month.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:56 AM   #9
Peter Linssen
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

I am probably going to jinx myself, but I have had a much better hookup to land ratio using a down rigger with 360 flashers. I think this is because the larger weights needed to allow the 360 flasher to rotate properly creates a pivot point where the fish can shake off the hook. BTW, I do still use a flasher release.

I mention this just to point out that I think that the large weight is possibly contributing to the general low ratio of fish in the boat with 360 flashers and barbless hooks.

Last edited by Peter Linssen; 09-22-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Tinman,
Good seeing you out there the other day. Your organic style of fishing is inspirational. Also must be really good for the upper body no doubt!
Great thread. I too have been cursed with the solid hook up and not quite to the net heart break this season. I like your idea of a modified mooching rig. May give that a try. Go fish!
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

The biggest thing I have found to help your success rate is at the takedown, get the rod to a 45 degree angle and get the fish fighting the backbone of the rod. Do everything in your power to NOT pump the rod and down. It was a hard learning curve last year to get my success rate up with this setup, but now, I am at better than 80% hookup to in the net ratio. Another hard lesson was not to use a dropper, as I believe the weight can swing in the opposite direction of the fish due to the nature of the flasher, the angle changes on the tension of the hook, and bingo- the fish unhooks itself from your line.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Good Day Fishing (GDF) makes a short snubber that may be worth trying.

I use the big orange snubbers on the ocean and have found that they help.

The GDF snubber might be better for keeping your rigging short for solo netting.

One other thing to consider- a hangback hook setup. A hook rigged 2-3” behind the lure can be helpful. I fish with a few guys that run single hooks that hang back a ways for better hookup.

Last thought- A wise man once told me that us humans are pattern seeking animals. Fisherman are notorious for over subscribing meaning to perceived patterns that don’t actually exist.

Before you change to much and render comparison data useless consider today’s 0/4 can be tomorrow’s 4/4.



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Old 09-22-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Gary, I get your point about the lead swinging on a long dropper, but to Pew's point, the dropper helps me find bottom without balling up the rig. Tradeoffs!
Two thoughts...

1. Since we have FF'ers, we usually run a contour, say 40 FOW, and we find that we simply need between 38' to 42' on the linecounter to be in the zone. No finding bottom required.

However, with the sinker clipped into the slider and without a lead line to get spun up, I can touch bottom when necessary without balling up the rig....and I'm using only a 50# bumper in front of the flasher.


2. Perhaps you dont have a fishfinder on your rowing wherry?
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #14
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Quit...
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Find a new hobby...

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Old 09-22-2017, 05:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Love seeing you out there bud, I believe you are the good luck charm, although today was tough, we hooked 2 native cohos and let them ride free.. yesterday was great for us, landed 2 of the 4. As far as your hookup ratio, I've come to the conclusion that some days the fish hold more luck then we do.

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Old 09-22-2017, 05:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Tinman,
If you are using super baits and cut plugs I have found that 3 or 4 medium sized beads then a bead chain with a split ring and a 2/0 thin wire treble I use mustads (they are cheap) seem to hook them pretty well. That set up puts the hook back an inch or so behind the bait. As far as the spinner bites go, it seems like 40 or 50 percent catch to hook-up ratio is about as good as it gets. I use the breakaway on the Cousins NW website. The price is right and it works like a charm. Without the breakaway you might as well go with the triangle type flasher and a bigger spinner. Good luck, keep up the good work your heart must dig the cardio.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Brew, Wacko and Greenhorn, it's great to see you guys out there too.

Gary, the wherry does have a fishfinder with the transducer on a retractable arm to reduce drag. She also has a reverse-reading compass, and velcro mounts for handheld GPS.

I much appreciate all the information that's been offered.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Sharpen hooks! Should be razor sharp.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Tinman I think everyone looses fish and yes, there is always a reason. Usually, the reason is "slack in the line". Barbless hooks have always been blamed but we've been fishing with barbless for so long it really shouldn't be an excuse any more. Learning to catch fish with barbless hooks makes you a better fisherman.

Coho (aka Houdini fish), can and do escape the hardest take downs, the longest fights, etc. When you finally land one you feel accomplished that you've beat Houdini. This is why I match up my pole, reel and line I'm using to the kind/type of fishing I'm doing. Getting hooked up is one thing, getting the fish into the boat is a whole new subject.

Trolling slower in warmer water gives the lethargic ones a better chance at a harder strike and a better hook up. It also provides for the fish to swim at your boat faster. When you give him slack he comes off. I've seen lots of guys speed up once the pole buries. GOOD IDEA! Knowing how tight to set drag is important too. Just remember, too much pull or drag rips lips. That's why you've got to add in "controlled give".

Mono on my medium heavy 9' glass troll rod setup gives me all the "give" I want while my pole fights the fish. Really it's all about the pole which keeps tension on the fish while you reel up. Matching the pole to the reel and line is VERY important and cannot be overstated.

I pump my rod when I fight fish but I reel down hard as I drop the tip down making sure there is a good bend in the rod while I reel up. NEVER EVER point your rod at the fish. A side pull or angle pull assures the fish is fighting the rod. Any reason like: too much give, light drag, cannon ball weight, diver, flasher, 360 flasher, dodger, snubber... whatever you have between the mainline and the fish... can provide "give" on your line and Houdini is depending on any slack you provide to utilize that slack to unhook himself. In short; if you give the fish slack he's gonna get off. (Ok, dead horse beat there!)

Adding a snubber to mono adds more give (controlled slack) and the more give you add the more chance for the fish to go free. Braid works but remember, braid doesn't give at all, so anything you add from the mainline to the fish should provide some give IMO. That's why guides get away with using snubbers but they also use 10' rods! The ultimate tension comes from a good rod, smooth drag, and keeping the tip up (aka controlled give).

This ideology works for me and yes, I do make mistakes and loose fish but that's when my mind goes into the "beat Houdini" mode. 90% of the time I win and my nick name isn't "fish on-fish off". Oh yes, I still struggle some with the hook up part but even that is getting better. If I could just figure out how to unlock lock jawed fish?

Stick with it! You're not alone in the game of Houdini fishing! Look on the bright side, you've got the hooking up part down already.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Good stuff G Man:

One thing that helps landing silvers is trying not to drag them to the surface. Try bringing them to the boat with the rod tip buried in the water. If they start doing their usual flip flops, get that rod tip in the water. Pull from the side, not up. Keep tension on the line with the reel when you run out of room to swing the rod, which you will.

Something about reels: I find fighting fish with high speed reels a "real" chore. Thinking Tekota here. To gain line, ya gotta back off on the rod tension which results in almost slack line and lost fish or prolonged battles. I like a reel that will gain line while maintaining a lot of rod tension so the fish is always fighting something and isn't given the opportunity to stop coming toward the boat or go the other way if it chooses.
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Old 09-23-2017, 01:52 PM   #21
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Been using barbless for 25 yrs, don't loose very many! Never drop my rod tip to reel down, always keep it at 1 o'clock! Unless it's a Ho, then I try to keep him in the water.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:47 PM   #22
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

What Bigcountryracing said. Since I quit pumping the rod my catch rate went way up.


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Old 09-23-2017, 07:18 PM   #23
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

I gotta say, this community is awesome. In addition to the VERY GOOD advice you guys have posted, I've received several PMs with some really good information. And a couple of you have come alongside on the water to offer advice. To the guy in the black boat who came alonside today, many thanks for some really good info, and the comment that my rod looks too soft. Unfortunately no takedowns today!
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:51 PM   #24
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

What rod are you using? I have a few options that you are welcome to try in order to see what you like before spending money.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:38 AM   #25
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Yesterday morning we went 1-6 and went back out in the evening went 4-5 with no breakaways on the flashers and the spinners were buried. Some days the fish win and sometimes they don't
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:17 AM   #26
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Quote:
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Yesterday morning we went 1-6 and went back out in the evening went 4-5 with no breakaways on the flashers and the spinners were buried. Some days the fish win and sometimes they don't
Agreed.... adjust for all the factors where you might gain the upper hand, but in the end, it all boils down to how aggressively the fish takes your goods, how much meat the hook(s) grab, and how solid a purchase they make.

Over a sample size in the 10's of thousands of bites over a 40+ year fishing career, just over half have come to hand. No added bull. No pipe dreams. I simply can't compete with all the guys posting 75/80/90+ % land ratios. On an unrelated note, the same percentages seem to get thrown around for their proportion of kings over 20 pounds. Perhaps the laws of physics work a little different in those "special" boats.

I can live with a 50% land rate (and a <10% rate of kings over 20 pounds). If you can't, you should probably find another hobby.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:37 AM   #27
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

I know this is somewhat apples to oranges but one day several years ago I was anchored fishing wobblers with braid. I lost a whopping 12 fish in a row in a similar fashion. I decided on the 13th fish that I wouldn't set the hook, but just pick the rod up and reel. I landed the 13th fish and have lost far fewer since adopting this method. With the flashers I have kept a pretty tight pull on them to prevent the flasher from working against me and that has worked well also.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:31 PM   #28
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

They're ALL hooked good.... until they ain't.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:03 AM   #29
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

I took all the good advice, changed some things, and am now landing more fish. This morning I went 2/2. Here is what I'm doing now.

* Using a short, powerful rod. It's actually designed for tuna jigging, but the short length makes it much easier to get fish close to the boat for netting. My old rod was too much of a noodle and I realized I couldn't pull hard enough with it. The rod I'm using now is a Shimano Trevalla TVC66M, rated 30 to 80 pound line, 6.5 feet long. I can pull really hard with this rod, and prevent any slack line. I used this rod for springers with good results.

* Built a spinner directly onto a 40# fluorocarbon leader. I'm using a single 4/0 sickle hook (thanks Beefcake and Dogzilla) with a few beads, a clevis and a spinner blade. When I hook a fish, the beads and blade slide up the leader so there's no interference at all.




* When I get bit, I pull HARD on the oars, and keep rowing for 20 seconds before picking up the rod, to make sure the fish is hooked well.

* I fight the fish very hard rather than let them tire. The idea is to keep maximum pressure on so the barbless hook does not fall out. It's a bit of a cluster netting a hot fish, but the short rod helps.

* My drag was sticky, so I serviced the drag washers.

Thanks again for all the good advice. I'll check in here again with more results as I gain experience.
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Last edited by Tinman; 09-27-2017 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:31 AM   #30
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Charles,

You are using a 360 flasher with this short (6.5') rod?

How's that working with the action of the 360?

I have some older short stout Lami rods I used to use for trolling spinners fast in the harbor that I'm not using any more. Might have to test one with a 360 for giggles.

-jz
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:54 AM   #31
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Charles,

You are using a 360 flasher with this short (6.5') rod?

How's that working with the action of the 360?

I have some older short stout Lami rods I used to use for trolling spinners fast in the harbor that I'm not using any more. Might have to test one with a 360 for giggles.

-jz

Yes, 360 flasher, 22 inch bumper, 28 inch leader to spinner, 15" dropper, 12 oz. The 360 seems to work fine, but it's harder to judge the proper thump-thump-thump action with the stiffer rod.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:54 PM   #32
Fish-N-Machine
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Tinman- thanks for sharing your setup and results. Have you noticed any abrasions on the leader from running a metal clevis for the spinner blade? I always run a plastic clevis because I figured a metal one would cut into my leader.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:09 PM   #33
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

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Tinman- thanks for sharing your setup and results. Have you noticed any abrasions on the leader from running a metal clevis for the spinner blade? I always run a plastic clevis because I figured a metal one would cut into my leader.
With the 40 pound fluorocarbon, I don't notice any abrasion for the first 3 hours. I re-tie before the next trip. Plastic clevisis would be an upgrade. I'll try that.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:14 PM   #34
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

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Tinman- thanks for sharing your setup and results. Have you noticed any abrasions on the leader from running a metal clevis for the spinner blade? I always run a plastic clevis because I figured a metal one would cut into my leader.

Great American tackle used to have metal clevis the allowed the blade to be removable. I don't like the plastic ones as you WILL lose blades on fish. The regular metal ones will chafe the line over time.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:24 AM   #35
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

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I took all the good advice, changed some things, and am now landing more fish. This morning I went 2/2. Here is what I'm doing now.

* Using a short, powerful rod. It's actually designed for tuna jigging, but the short length makes it much easier to get fish close to the boat for netting. My old rod was too much of a noodle and I realized I couldn't pull hard enough with it. The rod I'm using now is a Shimano Trevalla TVC66M, rated 30 to 80 pound line, 6.5 feet long. I can pull really hard with this rod, and prevent any slack line. I used this rod for springers with good results.

* Built a spinner directly onto a 40# fluorocarbon leader. I'm using a single 4/0 sickle hook (thanks Beefcake and Dogzilla) with a few beads, a clevis and a spinner blade. When I hook a fish, the beads and blade slide up the leader so there's no interference at all.




* When I get bit, I pull HARD on the oars, and keep rowing for 20 seconds before picking up the rod, to make sure the fish is hooked well.

* I fight the fish very hard rather than let them tire. The idea is to keep maximum pressure on so the barbless hook does not fall out. It's a bit of a cluster netting a hot fish, but the short rod helps.

* My drag was sticky, so I serviced the drag washers.

Thanks again for all the good advice. I'll check in here again with more results as I gain experience.

Checking in again, these methods are working really well. I haven't lost a fish since. I've gone 4/4 total on my last three trips.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:56 AM   #36
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

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Checking in again, these methods are working really well. I haven't lost a fish since. I've gone 4/4 total on my last three trips.
nice!
how are you on the bite to hook up ratio?
last two trips I've been 3 hookups/landed to 10 bites. 2 of the ten bites were on for less than 10 secs. 5 were just plain hard driveby's with no hookup at all.
I've been using shortbus with simon's quickrelease and simon's 3.5 spinners unaltered.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:01 AM   #37
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nice!
how are you on the bite to hook up ratio?
last two trips I've been 3 hookups/landed to 10 bites. 2 of the ten bites were on for less than 10 secs. 5 were just plain hard driveby's with no hookup at all.
I've been using shortbus with simon's quickrelease and simon's 3.5 spinners unaltered.
Fishrepellor (great screen name, by the way), on my last three trips I've had 4 bites and landed them all. The "4/4" in my post is shorthand for 4 bites, 4 fish landed. That terminology is often used on Ifish. For example, 1/3 means one fish landed out of three bites.

I think the biggest factor in the improvement is the big single hook.
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Last edited by Tinman; 10-02-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:05 AM   #38
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Default Re: 0/4 Losing Too Many Fish Need Advice

Tinman:

Thanks for the update. Glad you found success. Those hooks don't look like a regular sickle hook, sort of semi-sickle. But, if they're working, don't try to fix what ain't broke. The short rod thing is interesting. What folks may not realize is that a 10' flexible rod is much shorter when loaded when measured to the apex of the bend. The stiffer the rod, the less length it loses and the easier it is to net fish.

Neutron, FnM: You mentioned the wearing of the leader with a metal clevis which is why Fluorocarbon is used. I don't know how long regular mono will last as that probably depends on brand/type but good Fluoro will last longer. I would expect Berkely Big Game to last a long time too.

Anyone with a Twist-Tec can make their own metal clevises that will not wear on the leader. It's a lot of work and changing blades is not an easy task but they really get the job done. Superior to anything you can buy. One problem with them is they may restrict the leader diameter you want to use.
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