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What are the advantages / disadvantages of a sliding weight vs a fixed weight when drift fishing? I was reading the slinky vs pencil lead discussions and don't recall seeing any explanation of the above. :shrug:

StinkyH (green fisherman)
 

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here's my short answer:
with a sliding rig you 'should' be able to feel the take better than with a fixed rig but the setup is more complicated to rig requiring either special tools (pliers with a punch) or more gear (additional swivel). after three years i can still barely tell a fish from a rock and most of the fish i've caught were suicidal and hooked themselves. however, i'm getting better at it and i use a fixed rig.
 

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What amp said.
And I too tried the slider but have switched back to tied. Feels better on the bottom. tic-tic tic-tic, nibble, SLAM. Fish-on! :cheers:
 

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I have used both and my preference is sliding for slower water when using bait. When a fish picks it up they have a chance to chew a little bit before they feel the resistance of the weight. If you're fishing where nates are a concern this would be a bad thing because they will often get a chance to swallow your bait.

I like a fixed weight when fishing faster moving water with or without bait. The weight can actually help you catch fish in this instance because the downstream movement will pull the hook into the corner of the fishes mouth and you can then complete the hookset. Just my opinion.
 

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With a sliding set-up you can feel the bite better and with fixed you can feel the bottom better. I use both at certain times. Try them both and use what you like.
 

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Fast water fixed slow water slider. Watch where line enters water. Line stops set the hook your eye brain reaction is faster than feel.
 

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I fish a slider almost always. You can feel the fish take it MUCH better. just slide a snap swivel on before you tie on your barrel swivel. doesn't take any more time.
Also, you won't lose a fish because the weight got caught in the net again (big plus).
Another plus is that the fish doesn't have to move your weight for you to feel the fish. Since the fish is less likely to feel the weight they tend to hold onto the bait longer.
That said, I still use a fixed rig if I'm fishing small pocket water, as there is no chance for the weight to slide up the mainline a bit on the cast.
 
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StinkyH,

Heed Hogbacks advice from his post above. I have lived in Oregon since 1992 and fish every opportunity I get. I used to be intimidated when I went drift fishing but listening to this guy and gaining the confidence were the keys that unlocked this door for me. Now I can't get enough of it in the winter time.

Randy is a hell of a fisherman and he taught me in one season what it takes many people to learn in many years of Steelhead fishing. Another tip is light line. I never us anything greater than 8# test. I listened and learned to what he had to say and now consider myself a fairly proficient drift fisherman.
 

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Kudos to hogback! I never figured it out and gave up. Tried both and got sick of how much lead I was polluting the river with. Wish ifish was around in 1994...

Freak
 

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I run 100% fixed pencil lead crimped on. It is what you are comfortable with and what you can feel the bite with. The problem I run into with a slider is you sometimes get too much excess line out when backfeeding a drift.

JB
 

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I've used both methods myself and in my opinion fixed weight with pencil lead. I can feel the bite better and the lead sinks much faster then slinky's. I don't notice more snags with pecil lead compared to slinky's either. I do agree about leaving lots of lead in the water, but that's apart of drift fishing. Once you learn a drift it's easy to figure out where the snags are and stay away. Of course that's where all the fish are lying.
 

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I found that when fishing with real lite piece of pencil lead, like less then 1/2 inch piece, I will use a fixed set up. But when fishing with anything over 1/2inch, its on a sliding set up.
 

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One more thing, if you are hanging up and losing a lot of gear try using less lead. If you start with slinkies it makes the learning curve faster i.e. its easier to throw slinkies than lead because the water has more surface area to push on the slinky so you can actually toss a heavier weight and still get a good drift. If you start hitting bottom hard when you first hit the water reel in and wiggle a piece of lead out of the slinky, keep doing this until you pass through the drift just brushing the bottom a few times. I know this sounds contrary to conventional wisdom but it works. Terry is right about light line. The smaller the diameter the line the less water pressure on it and less belly. With the rods we are fortunate to have today you can fish 6-8 lb. and have more hook ups and it is suprising how hard it is to break with the right rod. We landed a few 25-30 lb. nooks last year on the Wilson. If you are fishing a deep pool and need to get down fast then lead is the best bet. Hope this helps, good fishing!
 

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Another thing about fishing less lead is it is much easier to feel the bite, whichever type of hookup you use. I tend to fish much lighter lead than most of the people I fish with and I catch more than my share of the fish. It's what I always recommend to the rookies I take fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Originally posted by Hogback:
If you start hitting bottom hard when you first hit the water reel in and wiggle a piece of lead out of the slinky, keep doing this until you pass through the drift just brushing the bottom a few times.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Just to clarify - that's when you're using a surgical tube slinky?

StinkyH

P.S. - Appreciate everyone taking the time to post to help a newbie out. :grin:
 

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I think the sliding weight works better for the last part of a drift when your bait is on the swing. I get a lot of bites then and I believe the sliding weight gives me a more natural drift/swing and you can feel the fish better. My $0.02.
 

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StinkyH
If you take a conventional parachute cord slinky and hold it at both ends and wiggle and push it together the weave of the parachute cord will kinda open and you can force one of the lead shot out. Once you have one out just pull the slinky from both ends and the weave will close back up. That way you lighten the weight just a little at a time but still keep the same overall size which will allow the water to push your weight. You want the current pushing your weight not the belly in your line. Sorry to post so late I had to work. Hope this helps.
Randy
 

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I prefer a fixed weight. I agree that with lead you can use less and have greater feel for the bite. Last year I made up a bunch of slinkies and I really got to like them. I didn't feel bottom as well but felt the fish a lot more. I use .300 size lead. I can use a shorter slinkie to get the job done in those shallow riffles. :wink:
 
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