Fishfider rig and distance

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I make clipped fish finder rigs when I need a fish finder for a mullet or crab presentation,  and when the specie behaves best with some slack in the rig body.


Fish that can benefit from a little slack line on the uptake might take baits  on other rigs designs too, but usually they will show a preference that you will notice. Baits sometimes can force the issue as well. Tough issues are incoming tides, swift currents, bad bait alignment, and even though leader twist can be dealt with on the sand, out there and twisted, could be a problem with a stout charactor.


If all you need or want is a little further out, shortening leader always helps. “Cannonball Rig” is best one, and works great for redfish because they can feed right on bottom no issues. Not sure about stripers. Maybe three inches, as mentioned, would make for a nice place to start. See how much extra distance you get, then try one inch, then five. Dial in the one that gives the best overall result. Lose some distance, if it means you catch more fish. Dial it in.


Consider the best things to be done to get distance are important as well. Aerodynamic sinker. Thin line. Skillful caster with proper rod and reel. If you can fix one of them then that is to your good.


The Pulley Rig was mentioned. Easy to form up, simple to clip up, pretty good hold to remain clipped up during cast. Simple cheap components. Limits are the leader must be of a sufficient diameter and strength to bear up holding back the sinker, no whispy thin stuff. Action of rig and the bait presentation also differ from FF. Many folks catch lots of fish with theirs, me not so much. Try them at least, as they might work perfect for you. Strange rig. Post cast the bait rides in slip stream of sinker, ( great for soft baits ) hides behind it during splashdown, follows sinker down to sea floor. Fish pulls on hook, rig slides backwards to a fish finder, but the movement isn’t that much different, just is different. Line to rod feels different as well. If you get lots of strikes, but it is missing way too many fish, toss it in trash and forget about the design like I did.


My clipped FF is easy enough if you are willing to buy some components. I like Gemini Splashdown Solo clips, and I actually make a clip on rig body. 


Make section of strong leader about 12-48” long, tie swivel on end, sinker slide and beads, then another swivel. Make the thin whispy leader about 1” longer than first leader, snelled hook on one end, tie other end to swivel on first leader. Now you have a FF that is in two sections, looking like normal almost. Strong leader has the slide, beads, and is one inch shorter. 


Take a Gemini Solo clip and attach to the swivel at the top of the rig. You must maintain it’s normal alignment, sliding disk oriented towards the bottom, sinker end. Then attach top of Solo clip to shock leader. Add sinker to slide, and grab hook and engage the clip same as it normally works. If done correctly the thin leader will be a little bit too long. That’s good, The clip will keep it retained just fine. Now upon settling in on sea floor, you are fishing a FF with a limited length for the bait to travel. That travel could be up to 10 feet if you make it that way, might be 24” if that is what you figured, but the slide cannot pass by the Solo clip and the beads, which would now be at the top, so less movement than if it could slide all the way to the rod. I say big deal. Any benefit is probably going to be gained early on, not ten feet away. Besides it is not true what they say about the fish doesn’t feel pressure. Of course he does. He feels the rod as he pulls the line through the slide, rod tips bounce about.  He notices that pointy thing poking at his lips. Bait tastes like ****, etc.


I use this for game fish that hit fast, not nibblers or mouthers. Live mullet, dead mullet, strip o mullet, chink o mullet, crab baits. It makes for a fantastic shark and tarpon rig, too. Both of those fish do well with a FF. Issue is I am limited to a rig body length I can actually throw. To get more rig body length I add a small wire in a hook shape to the top of the rig., Solo back down at bottom. The leader is much shorter, usually wire for dead baits. A foot is plenty long. Grab leader go up and over the wire at the top, back down to Solo clip. Lock up hook. This leaves three strands, so a twelve foot leader is ready to cast at four feet. This offers a long length of strong durable leader material to resist abrasions and cutting from wrapped up fish and gill plates. Works great. I like 200 lb test for these leaders and 90lb steel leaders. 


Also, as per that video up above, don’t be timid to try that technique. It scared me the first time I saw it, but those baits put out a scent trail like no body’s business. Key for your distance is the bait isn’t flailing about. Streamlined, tucked in tight= extra distance. Bait thread is your friend when it comes to baits at distance. Keeps you from fishing with empty hooks. LOL I use it all the time. If you reel in and the hook is barren, and there have been no strikes each time, the splashdown is likely stripping the hook.


I would recommend a Clipped Down Paternoster though, unless like I said you needed the FF for some reason. Paternosters cast the best and catch a lot of fish. Easily my favorite technique. Let us know how you make out, lots of knowledge around here.











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