|Date: March 10, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
Subject: Newbie Question—Rigging Swimbaits?
As a newbie fisherman teaching myself how to fish from this board, I find myself confused about a lot of stuff that's considered so basic that nobody talks about.
Which option is correct when trying to use a Big Hammer swimbait with a weighted jig head (or other big, weighted lure like a Rat-L-Trap)?
1. Tie the Big Hammer w/ Weighted Jig head directly on to one's main line?
2. Tie the Big Hammer w/ Weighted Jig head to one's main line via a (fluorocarbon, monofilament, whatever) leader and a snap or barrel swivel?
3. Tie the Big Hammer w/ Weighted Jig head to one's main line via a (fluorocarbon, monofilament, whatever) leader and a snap or barrel swivel, AND ALSO use a (1/2oz to 2oz) sliding weight & plastic bead as in a Carolina rig?
(I'm not confused about mating the swimbait to the weighted jig head, as it's very well explained on the Big Hammer "basics" page at http://www.swimbait.com/techniques/basics.htm.
As always, I most appreciative of the help that y'all so generously provide.
Posted by dompfa ben
Straight tie, for the most part... I've never had any problems just straight-tying the jig head to the end of the line. Plastics are a reaction bait for the most part, so save your fluoro-leader for live bait.
The only reason I can imagine to use a swivel in the equation is if you are fishing in very strong side current and you find that your line is twisting as the plastic rolls. A swivel might help take some of that twist out of your line, but even then, it won't prevent it...just slow it down a bit.
Incidentally, using a San Diego knot or a Surgeon's loop to tie the jighead onto your line (leaving a little loop at the end that passes through the eye) will give any lure (or live bait) better swimming action. I tip I picked up from the long-range tuna set was to tie a San Diego knot (search the Internet for instructions), but instead of cinching it all the way down to the jighead eye, leave a little bit of a loop. This loop will help the lure swim better, and when you hook up, it will cinch down and tighten the knot against the eye.
If all else fails, experiment with each of those set-ups you described...you might just stumble onto a new hot ticket
Posted by gordo grande
Another advantage of using a loop knot is that you can change lures without retying. I tie my jighead/swimbaits directly on with a surgeon's loop, which is one of the easiest knots to tie.
Posted by jph
I use...a snap swivel at the end of my line. Makes changing lures VERY simple, and the swivel keeps your line from twisting at the same time. I've used this with Kastmasters, Hair Raiser bucktails, and floating lures. However, I have yet to catch anything besides seaweed on an artificial.
Posted by blahblahblah
Palomar, and an exception to direct-tie. I often start my fishing days in the dark, and ALWAYS with a brain still fuzzy from a long workweek. The Palomar is easy even in a severely hampered brain state, or in the dark. Some SF area old-school striper fishermen use either a shock leader of heavy line or, like surfcaster, a grab leader of heavy line about two or three feet long. Often they will use a snap at the end but not a swivel. Some use a swivel (not a snap swivel) between main line and leader as well. However, these leaders are generally a hair-raiser setup and their use predates the advent of swimbaits. You can find more info on those two techniques easily with a search. Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns. Driven time and again off course...
Posted by pescare
Straight tie, for the most part...Just to pick a nit.... While taking note of the title of your post, I'll wager six chilled Anchor Steams on your trip up here this summer that it makes no difference whether you tie a swimbait head on with a loop, or with a tightened knot of some sort. We're not talking crankbaits or minnows here, remember. That head is going to cut through the water the same way and not care how it is connected to your line, while the plastic body follows and does all the work.
For my part, I use a Palomar with jigs or swimbaits because that's the knot I personally have the most confidence in. Use whatever you trust and you'll be fine. No leader though, just a knot or swivel if you choose.
Posted by pescare
You're right, Ed -- Only Partially. This popped into my head as I was waking this morning (and no, I don't often think of you while I'm in bed), and I realized I was thinking too narrowly when I responded. From my experience it stands, but I can see a very light head and a small body benefiting from a loop. I just thought of saltwater and Northern California, but down there with your usually milder seas, or back in the corner of a bay somewhere I can see using the real light stuff and tying it differently.
Posted by Kaleo
Any jig I might possibly want to put action on, I tie on with a Palomar loop, like Ben described. That pretty much means any jig, because I'm big on the old "vary your retrieve" thing. By "put action on," I mean twitch. If the jig is on a loop, it dances when you twitch it. I do this for perch grubs, papio grubs, rockfish grubs, swimbaits.
For metal (spoons, Mickey’s) I tie onto the ring using a uniknot and use a leader with a swivel at the top. The ring allows free movement, the swivel saves twists. In rocky environments, and for stripers, papio, kaku, etc, I use a heavier leader to handle abrasion.
Posted by Kaleo
D'oh! I meant Surgeon's Loop. (More...coffee...)
Posted by JamesPeach
Superglue the plastic on to the jig head. It'll last a little longer.
Posted by jkim
Straight Tie to main line. No leader, no swivel, no snap. Usually tie a uni but I'll throw in a San Diego or Trilene to break up the monotony.
Posted by unclesteve
Straight tie is cool and it works, but when you’re on a beach with pounding waves..? I would consider using a shock leader, unless you got some heavy line. It’s all preference in my book. If you're fishing a lagoon or somewhere with calm water its one thing and it's another to fish Ocean Beach in San Francisco....Fishing - It's a Lifestyle
Posted by 2d
Straight tie, but it depends on if lings are in play or not. If I think I have a pretty good change of a ling grabbing on, I'll go: main to bimini, bimini to bite leader (usually 2-3x the strength of my mainline) and bite leader to lure. This isn't so much for the bite strength, since you'll usually lip hook the fish when fishing lures. Lings have the nasty habit of being way stronger than your garden variety rocky. They’ll take you down to the rocks and rub, rub, rub their way to freedom. For open water fish like halibut and stripers as well as smaller rocky quarry like rockfish, I just go straight to the lure with a Palomar or improved clinch (whichever knot comes out of my muddled brain first).
Posted by orkspace
Thanks all for the great advice.
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