beatonem

Changing out Hardware ?

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Fishings been pretty good with my best last night, since moving to SW Florida 

 

My question is what hardware do you guys use as upgrades from stock. Rings, hooks etc.  I am fishing small rapalas x rap 8's similiar size yozuris, mirrolures, stick shads.  Mostly 3.5 to 5in baits.

 

I have a good problem, but putting in the time and effort to land a 40+in snook, red or tarpon is been tough.  I C&R everything but would love some pics for the album!. I have had these fish on but the toughness of the fish and locations I fish warrant a tighter drag.  I keep dropping or breaking fish of with hardware failure more then leader breaking.  I fish strictly at night if that matters, maybe flag or dressed hook color.  

 

I recently upgraded some to VMC 4X hooks in size 1 or 1/0 can't remember while typing this.  Want to keep the action of the lure of course.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Edited by beatonem

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I also felt the Yozuri Crystal Minnow hooks were weak and replaced them, cant recall size now but went up a size, I fished, Zara spook and skitter walker as they came, rapala silver minnow also had weak hooks

Did not fish at night, where I was fishing at  then we had many oyster bars that would cut line.

 

  Florida sportsman has a book out  ""Rigs and Tackle"" perhaps pick up a pointer, book usually at Super Wally World, Some West Marine

No pictures but still having fun is Ok

 

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This is one reason people often use jigs for large snook. Typical is a First Light jig in 3/4 to 1.5 oz. They have strong single hooks. You fish them without a trailer swimming them along the bottom or bouncing on the bottom. 

 

The are tied much like a striper jig, but a section of the hair is left much longer so it trails behind the main body. People down here generically call these Flare Hawks. We fish them from bridges, beaches, jetties and boats and they cost about $3.50.

 

The better local tackle shops will have them.

 

On the twitch baits like a mirrolure, if you change to different hooks, it will change the action and usually make it sink faster (not necessarily a bad thing). Generally Mirrolure uses good split rings and VMC hooks from the factory.

 

For big snook, you will want 40+ to 60 lb leader. This too can mess up the action of small plugs. A big snook’s abrasive lips can chafe through a 40 lb leader before you can land him. 

 

Mirrolure does make an XXXL size twitch bait that comes with big stout VMC hardware right out of the box. This will hold up fine and works with a heavier setup.

 

As Al Sears said, the big Zara Spooks can be productive some days and watching a big snook smash a big toowater is quite the thrill.

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, FatTailWagging said:

This is one reason people often use jigs for large snook. Typical is a First Light jig in 3/4 to 1.5 oz. They have strong single hooks. You fish them without a trailer swimming them along the bottom or bouncing on the bottom. 

 

The are tied much like a striper jig, but a section of the hair is left much longer so it trails behind the main body. People down here generically call these Flare Hawks. We fish them from bridges, beaches, jetties and boats and they cost about $3.50.

 

The better local tackle shops will have them.

 

On the twitch baits like a mirrolure, if you change to different hooks, it will change the action and usually make it sink faster (not necessarily a bad thing). Generally Mirrolure uses good split rings and VMC hooks from the factory.

 

For big snook, you will want 40+ to 60 lb leader. This too can mess up the action of small plugs. A big snook’s abrasive lips can chafe through a 40 lb leader before you can land him. 

 

Mirrolure does make an XXXL size twitch bait that comes with big stout VMC hardware right out of the box. This will hold up fine and works with a heavier setup.

 

As Al Sears said, the big Zara Spooks can be productive some days and watching a big snook smash a big toowater is quite the thrill.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with fatTail here on everything but that leader...getting into that lb strength range (down here in Naples) will spook a snook in a second--you're getting into some serious thick (diameter) material...

 

If raspy lips are a concern, consider 10lb titanium wire....super thin, limp, very little effect on the lure/rig...and no lips are gonna chafe thru it. Trust me on that.

Edited by Mauru

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I agree.  I am mostly fishing 20# big game mono as my leader.  I also have 30 flouro and 50# and 80# big game as well.  Here in Charlotte county the water is tea colored in the Peace river. No need for flouro .  The 20 has been holding up well as most of the problem is with the hooks and rings   i agree the heavier leaders turns the small light minnow plugs to sticks in the water.  As said drag adjustments for me are not an option as I need to break their neck on a hookset and keep em right where they are.  The water is also very shallow so 3/16 to 1/8oz jigheads are what I use most with 1/2 being the heaviest.

 

Ive been here 4 months and can say I don't miss the fishery up north.  The terrain and commraderie yes, but the fishing down here has been real good for me and with great variety.  I just don't have anyone to fish with so part of the enjoyement has been finding spots and bites on my own.  The night time has always been my right time.

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Edited by beatonem

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1 hour ago, Mauru said:

f raspy lips are a concern, consider 10lb titanium wire....super thin, limp, very little effect on the lure/rig..

Thanks for chiming in here. I have never heard of titanium leader. I will check it out.

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FTW---Definitely....it's a little pricier....but FAR different than the standard stuff....it's got a bit of stretch, you can tie knots with it--pretty neat stuff....again, a lil pricey, but a really neat addition to your gear.

Edited by Mauru

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On 11/10/2018 at 5:04 AM, Al Sears said:

I also felt the Yozuri Crystal Minnow hooks were weak and replaced them, cant recall size now but went up a size, I fished, Zara spook and skitter walker as they came, rapala silver minnow also had weak hooks

Did not fish at night, where I was fishing at  then we had many oyster bars that would cut line.

 

  Florida sportsman has a book out  ""Rigs and Tackle"" perhaps pick up a pointer, book usually at Super Wally World, Some West Marine

No pictures but still having fun is Ok

 

You might be purchasing  the freshwater version of their product line ,  yes are different hooks . 

 

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Fresh Water//  Salt Water perhaps another version out for fresh water original I had was dedicated to Salt water, I kept close eye on tackle shown on the Boats , this book had inputs from Four Charter Boat Captains, what I learned was old tackle never   goes out, 3/0 4/0, older penn spinner were shown in most photos

I moved inland and out of salt water loop for most part, see couple guides when visiting wife brother Inverness Fl

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Wire works wonders. Have caught many a snook on wire, no issues whatsoever with spooking, even in broad daylight in crystal clear water the big girls will hit. Wire gives the ability to get the fish in, no matter what it is, even smaller sharks. Saves $$ on lures, too. Think the lures even swim better with thin wire, in my opinion. Try it, ya just might like it.

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never even though about using wire, but you know the old saying "If it working why change it"... i always change out all the hardware on all my lures, then i go to a pool and see how it swim (action) and if everything is good i'll try that... I also been changing out the treble hooks for single hooks and dressing up the end hook... just to give it more flash or color....but the main thing i stay on top of is the leader....if i catch a fish i alway cut off the some of the leader and retie....I'm not a fan of light leader but thats because i combat fish for my snook... unless i'm on the beach then i downside everything....also remember the less hardware you use the better off you will be... i do a line to line knot from mainline to leader and have never use a wire leader....i know plenty of guys down your way, but most keep to then self  (snooker are a close knit group anywhere you go) keep

looking for new areas and you might end up meeting somebody with your same mindset.... i'm also a late nite fisherman... and there are times when it would be nice to have someone with you..... but i have lame friends LOL... most can't handle long hours that late at nite and most believe that you should catch a monster everytime you go out LOL..

anyway good luck and trust me when i say you are doing good.... there are guys here in Florida who have live here for years and go fishing and have never caught a snook...

you are way ahead of alot of folks.... keep at it and it will only get better

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 New kid on water Front some years back had a Fish/Ski Barge boat following a part time Guide O/B mech around, he says go anchor up close to that marker throw couple lines out with shrimp let sit on Bottom Ok, have one line in and going to get other rod in water  Damm first Pole dam near over Gunnel what the hell, Fight is on

A Sheepshead BIG SOB ,Guy had his wife in his boat, saying to What what the hell, I have lived here all my life and never caught a sheepshead , GD Al been here less than year and gets a Big Keeper,  spent 25  years Fishing Crystal River/Homosassa and I  never caught a Cobia  

So as for not catching a snook / tarpon/welcome to sooner or later club 

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On 12/13/2018 at 10:08 AM, Drako said:

never even though about using wire, but you know the old saying "If it working why change it"... i always change out all the hardware on all my lures, then i go to a pool and see how it swim (action) and if everything is good i'll try that... I also been changing out the treble hooks for single hooks and dressing up the end hook... just to give it more flash or color....but the main thing i stay on top of is the leader....if i catch a fish i alway cut off the some of the leader and retie....I'm not a fan of light leader but thats because i combat fish for my snook... unless i'm on the beach then i downside everything....also remember the less hardware you use the better off you will be... i do a line to line knot from mainline to leader and have never use a wire leader....i know plenty of guys down your way, but most keep to then self  (snooker are a close knit group anywhere you go) keep

looking for new areas and you might end up meeting somebody with your same mindset.... i'm also a late nite fisherman... and there are times when it would be nice to have someone with you..... but i have lame friends LOL... most can't handle long hours that late at nite and most believe that you should catch a monster everytime you go out LOL..

anyway good luck and trust me when i say you are doing good.... there are guys here in Florida who have live here for years and go fishing and have never caught a snook...

you are way ahead of alot of folks.... keep at it and it will only get better

Thanks for the words.  I 99% of the time fish at night.  Just love being out at these times, also helps with the family asleep.  My total solace.  Love the sounds and sights. Yes, plenty to see at night.  I have mostly caught snook, love em, love em, live em! Yes the leader is key.  I check after every fish.  It is amazing the damage their gills and mouths cause on leader.  Even 50#. I fish mostly canals and bridges, power, quality care with terminal end and gear is key.  Turning and fighting these fish is a challenge.  Lots of fish to 36" looking for them 40+ still.  Definately broke of bigguns!  If your down my way Drako pm me, live putting in the time.  Im out 2 to 3 nights a week minimum.  

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