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Thread: Halibut Leader Weight Configuration?

  1. #1
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Default Halibut Leader Weight Configuration?

    I am using a 250# spool of blue gangion line to build halibut leaders for bait fishing with 16/0 VMC circle hooks.

    After [searching "halibut leaders"] scanning 14 forum pages I didn't see anything specific on weight configuration preference.

    I have paid attention to details during outdoor shows and have identified two basic weight configurations.

    1) Some had the weight on the bottom of the set up with hook above. I expect with the hook configured above the weight it may foul up more.

    2) Slightly more [at least in the videos I saw] had the weight farther up [this is how I've been doing it] with the hook hanging below.

    Which configuration do our forum members think is best and why?
    I'd like to keep things simple ~ not looking to add additional gear.

    Thanks in Advance!

  2. #2
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    Your number 2 is the way I like.
    I use a pigtial swivel on the fishing line so I can change out leaders fast. The leader is made up with a swivel then a length of gangion with a slideing pigtail for weigth changouts then swivel 3ft to 4ft mono leader then hook. All the mono is crimped.

    There are more swivels used this way, but this way gives me the best results.

  3. #3
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    .
    I use a pigtial swivel on the fishing line so I can change out leaders fast. .
    What size and lb swivel are you using ?
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    I think they are 200lb. Just big enough to be able to spin wieghts on and off. I just grab what they have at the sport shed here in Homer.

  5. #5

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    Ive always put the weight at the bottom. (Usuelly a one lb round weight unless its heavy current, then a 2 lb.) Then I have 2 hooks above that about 18''-24'' apart. I like this setup because when Im drifting I can bounce the weight and know Im just above the bottom. Never a problem with fouling either, just keep your hook leaders short enough to not get tangled with each other.

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    Member cohlp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unplugged View Post
    Ive always put the weight at the bottom. (Usuelly a one lb round weight unless its heavy current, then a 2 lb.) Then I have 2 hooks above that about 18''-24'' apart. I like this setup because when Im drifting I can bounce the weight and know Im just above the bottom. Never a problem with fouling either, just keep your hook leaders short enough to not get tangled with each other.
    Agreed, weight on the bottom, With the hook on the bottom, you end up getting snagged a lot more, especially if you're drifting. I use the same setup as Unplugged - two hooks suspended above the weight.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I fish charters mostly, and many of them rig the weight above the hooks on a slider. The weight is held on with a corkscrew swivel, which is much stronger than a snap swivel and allows quick-changing of the weight if the current speed picks up.

    On the other hand the guys I fished with out of Kodiak last summer rig it the other way. Weight on the bottom and hooks above. He was using heavy braided dacron leader material with surgical tubing over it for abrasion protection (he used to be a commercial halibut fisherman, so he carried a lot of ideas over from that).

    I might add that some of them attach the whole rig to a corkscrew swivel; hooks, weight and all. This allows quick-changing to jigs or other setups.

    -Mike
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I fish charters mostly, and many of them rig the weight above the hooks on a slider. The weight is held on with a corkscrew swivel, which is much stronger than a snap swivel and allows quick-changing of the weight if the current speed picks up.

    On the other hand the guys I fished with out of Kodiak last summer rig it the other way. Weight on the bottom and hooks above. He was using heavy braided dacron leader material with surgical tubing over it for abrasion protection (he used to be a commercial halibut fisherman, so he carried a lot of ideas over from that).

    I might add that some of them attach the whole rig to a corkscrew swivel; hooks, weight and all. This allows quick-changing to jigs or other setups.

    -Mike
    I prefer the weight above the bait and use a setup that I first saw a few years ago where you make a small triangle of 400lb. test mono that I connect a corkscrew swivel to for the weight and then have a 2' to 3' length of mono that I connect my bait to (it's a pretty popular set up you'll see at places like the Gear Shed here in Homer). My personal opinion (why do I seem to have to say that in all of my posts) is that having the weight up front keeps your bait bouncing along the bottom behind the weight and looks more enticing to the halibut. But after this thread I might just try doing it the other way and seeing if it works any better than the other way.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I fish charters mostly, and many of them rig the weight above the hooks on a slider. The weight is held on with a corkscrew swivel, which is much stronger than a snap swivel and allows quick-changing of the weight if the current speed picks up.

    On the other hand the guys I fished with out of Kodiak last summer rig it the other way. Weight on the bottom and hooks above. He was using heavy braided dacron leader material with surgical tubing over it for abrasion protection (he used to be a commercial halibut fisherman, so he carried a lot of ideas over from that).

    I might add that some of them attach the whole rig to a corkscrew swivel; hooks, weight and all. This allows quick-changing to jigs or other setups.

    -Mike
    Hmm, Im from Kodiak so go figure. I really dont know anyone around here that fishes with the weights above the hooks, although it may be fine just never really did it that way. Ive had halibut come up 40-50 feet to hit a trolling rig so Im not a firm believer that bait has to be directly on the seabed. They will come up a couple feet to the bait no problem. I like the heavy corkscrew swivels to attach to the main line as well, and if you use a snap swivel at the bottom just for the weight, that will be the weak link. If by chance you arent paying attention on a drift and do snag bottom with the weight, the weaker swivel will part first saving the rest of the rig (usuelly).

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unplugged View Post
    Hmm, Im from Kodiak so go figure. I really dont know anyone around here that fishes with the weights above the hooks, although it may be fine just never really did it that way. Ive had halibut come up 40-50 feet to hit a trolling rig so Im not a firm believer that bait has to be directly on the seabed. They will come up a couple feet to the bait no problem. I like the heavy corkscrew swivels to attach to the main line as well, and if you use a snap swivel at the bottom just for the weight, that will be the weak link. If by chance you arent paying attention on a drift and do snag bottom with the weight, the weaker swivel will part first saving the rest of the rig (usuelly).
    I think you misunderstood me. I said that the outfit I fished with on Kodiak last summer (Happy Hooker) rigged with the weight on the bottom and the hooks above. I don't think there's really a "right way" to do it, as halibut feed from the bottom clear to the surface at times. It all works, but I do think there are some regional idiosyncrasies in the way people rig up. By the way, the sinkers were the regular bank sinker style, looped through the end loop of the leader. No swivel involved at all.

    Rigging the weight on a slider with the hooks below allows the angler to grab the sinker when the fish comes over the side, preventing the deckhand from getting bonked in the head. So maybe that's just a charter thing in Seward and Homer. I dunno.

    Hope it makes sense.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  11. #11

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    Ahh, I gottcha. Yea I think everyone does it different. No real right way, long as you are catching. Some of it might have to do with where the off the shelf halibut rigs come from (walmart vs freddies vs sportsmans etc). Ive seen some in the stores both ways, not to mention the kind that looks like a coat hanger being involved...lol. They may work good, I dont know I make my own now days. Im getting old and set in my ways I guess .

  12. #12
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    According to your responses it's about 50/50 on the weight above/below the hook(s). Thanks for taking you time to respond. I think I will try both this season and see what happens. Might take some hooks and gangion down to B & J and see if they'll school me up too. I'm interested in the sliders and how they work and the benefits. I do use corkscrew swivels [sounds like maybe a little too big though 400-450#] and really like the convenience they add.

  13. #13
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    In response to my own post ~ I did it...went to B & J that is.
    Got me a real good fix!
    Thanks to Stewart I'm now a member of the aforementioned triangle club.
    We will see how it goes but I 'm really excited and I believe that's nine-tenths the battle. Sorta like the lure's meant to attract the angler...confidence climbing ~ can we launch yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    According to your responses it's about 50/50 on the weight above/below the hook(s). Thanks for taking you time to respond. I think I will try both this season and see what happens. Might take some hooks and gangion down to B & J and see if they'll school me up too. I'm interested in the sliders and how they work and the benefits. I do use corkscrew swivels [sounds like maybe a little too big though 400-450#] and really like the convenience they add.

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