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Thread: Mooching Rig Question

  1. #1

    Default Mooching Rig Question

    I need help with my mooching rig set up and would appreciate any advice from the charter skippers out there. I've been tying up tandem #4 octopus hooks with 30 lb mono, but whenever I have guests on board who don't fish very often, we break off way too many salmon. The point of break is usually the mono between the two hooks. I tie them with standard egg loop knots so the troll hook is fixed and doesn't slide. It would seem that 30 lb mono for a 10'ish lb fish would be plenty, but nope. Do I go to 40 lb mono? Just put up with it? Other strategies? Thanks!
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

  2. #2

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    Huh....

    Everything sounds right, but I ran into the same problem this spring with heavy trolling leaders for bigger kings. In my case it was 60# leader while the line on the reels was only 50#. Broke off 4 BIG fish with only moderate drag settings on the reel. Pulling my hair out by the time we got to the 4th one.

    Finally occurred to me that the spool of 60# I was using had been beating around in the boat for a year, including lots of time in the sun. Tossed the spool, bought a new one, tied up a new batch of leaders. Haven't broken one since.

    Since then we've done a bunch of mooching with 30# leaders made with new leader stock. Biggest fish has only been 36#, but we haven't broken a leader.

    How old is your leader spool, and how has it been treated?

  3. #3
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I can't get my mooching rig situation squared away either. Switched to a p-line laser jig 6 or 9 ounce I can't recall with a bright green back and silver belly and caught just as many as my buddy mooching on the other side of the boat. Ill just stick to the jig and say screw the bait from now on, at least for silvers.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by healerf18 View Post
    ...#4 octopus hooks with 30 lb mono....
    One more thing occurs to me. I bet you mean #4/0 hooks rather than #4. Id 4/0, that's edging into "big" country for 30# leader, and makes you knot choice super critical.

    What make are your hooks? If Gamakazu, I have to wonder if they had another batch of bad hooks slip through. I ran into some about three years back with the loop of the eyes not closed quite enough, leaving a little sharp edge there. There are a whole lot of "egg loop" knots out there, and the one I happened to be using left the leader vulnerable to cuts right there in the eye. Soured me on Gami hooks for quite a while, and now I always look them over really close. Mostly I've switched to Owner.

    But it also sent me looking for another knot. I switched to what a lot of folks call "bumper knots" while some call them egg loops. Completely solved the leader cutting even with bad Gami hooks, but I've continued to use it for all fixed knots regardless of hook brand.

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    Loosen that thing called a drag. It is there for a reason.

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Are these virgin rigs, or have they caught a fish or two before breaking off? Silvers are toothy and after a fish or two on a rig don't be surprised to find them breaking off.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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  7. #7

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    It's normal to run 30# with 4/0 hooks.

    Are you licking your knots before tightening? Friction is a killer. My guess would be it's your knot. My buddy ties egg loops, and I don't know what he does, but his knots break. Mine don't. (I tie up 15 a night)

    FWIW,

    I use 4/0 and 30# for kings. 3/0 and 40# for cohos.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    It's normal to run 30# with 4/0 hooks.
    That's my experience with the Owners, but the gap at the eye of Gami's is wide enough it has to be filled with something or otherwise protected. That's why I use that "bumper knot" I linked. For the front hook on sliders I actually use a separate piece of smaller mono to tie a "snell" knot that drops one turn into the gap, then tie the slider as normal. Bothersome, but necessary with the Gami hooks I've used.

  9. #9

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    Pretty much everyone I know uses the bumper knot. Quick and easy. I've never seen any issues with the gamakatsu hooks. I'll have to look closer.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Loosen that thing called a drag. It is there for a reason.
    Haha, yes indeed. Drags are set properly, but we broke several fish at the boat due to inexperience of the rod holder. Thanks for the input!
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    It's normal to run 30# with 4/0 hooks.

    Are you licking your knots before tightening? Friction is a killer. My guess would be it's your knot. My buddy ties egg loops, and I don't know what he does, but his knots break. Mine don't. (I tie up 15 a night)

    FWIW,

    I use 4/0 and 30# for kings. 3/0 and 40# for cohos.
    Thanks! Excellent feedback everyone! Hugely helpful. I haven't personally broken off a fish this year, but I have much more experience than most of my guests. People seem to have the most trouble just as the fish is getting close to the boat. Yes, it could be the knot, and nope I haven't been licking 'em. Yes, I'm using Gamakatsu # 4/0 hooks. The spool of leader is two years old, but was kept in a cabinet in the basement. Thinking this through, I'll bet it's combination of things. I'll bet the 30 lb mono is just a bit old and brittle and that in combination with the knot, the eye of the hook, and the friction of tightening them without wetting the knot is just enough to create weak points in the leader. Successful fishing is often all about the details. I'm going to make some changes, including trying the 'bumper knot' and see how it goes. Unfortunately it looks like this weekend is a bust given the weather. Oh well!
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Are these virgin rigs, or have they caught a fish or two before breaking off? Silvers are toothy and after a fish or two on a rig don't be surprised to find them breaking off.
    I always started with virgin rigs, but it was usually the second or third fish that broke the leader. I checked the knots and mono for abrasions, etc. after each fish, but even then we had fish break off. I thought the leader should stand up to a bit more abuse, but maybe not!
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    I can't get my mooching rig situation squared away either. Switched to a p-line laser jig 6 or 9 ounce I can't recall with a bright green back and silver belly and caught just as many as my buddy mooching on the other side of the boat. Ill just stick to the jig and say screw the bait from now on, at least for silvers.
    Haha, it's amazing what works for people. I've tried every jig type I can think of for Silvers, including the P-Line, but I'm nowhere near as successful as mooching.
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Pretty much everyone I know uses the bumper knot. Quick and easy. I've never seen any issues with the gamakatsu hooks. I'll have to look closer.
    Not an issue when using the bumper, but keep an eye on the Gami's if you're making sliders.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by healerf18 View Post
    Haha, it's amazing what works for people. I've tried every jig type I can think of for Silvers, including the P-Line, but I'm nowhere near as successful as mooching.
    At first I wasn't getting hits and I thought it was the jig. Turns out I wasn't deep enough. I switched the reel out for my line counter on my halibut rig and got down to 120 ft. When I would get around 100 to 60 I would start nailing em. I caught up to the bait rig real quick and this fish I caught were bigger on average. Ill send it down next time Im out for sure.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  16. #16
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    My ol man taught me to always replace a leader after every King caught.

    A slamming King or even 15lb+ class coho will but a massive shock load on a leader. Replace the leader even if there's no visible sign of damage.

    This goes double if you're running a flasher in front of your leader. A flasher will act like a mini-water anchor creating a parachute of drag in the water as the fish yanks, peels, and escapes back. Much of the fish's panic energy is absorbed by that leader (between the mooching rig hooks and the flasher).

    Quote Originally Posted by healerf18 View Post
    I always started with virgin rigs, but it was usually the second or third fish that broke the leader. I checked the knots and mono for abrasions, etc. after each fish, but even then we had fish break off. I thought the leader should stand up to a bit more abuse, but maybe not!

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    One thing with line is just because you just bought it does not mean its new. It could have been sitting in a warehouse for a few years before it makes it to a shelf. I always buy my line from a place that sells a lot of line so it truly is new.

  18. #18

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    I read years ago that is was a good practice to soak your reel spools and leader material over night in fresh water before use. I found the line to be more supple when I did the deed. The contention was that mono is actually a liquid and that the soak job re-hydrated it and complimented the inherent shock absorbent traits. Anyone else ever try it?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    I read years ago that is was a good practice to soak your reel spools and leader material over night in fresh water before use. I found the line to be more supple when I did the deed. The contention was that mono is actually a liquid and that the soak job re-hydrated it and complimented the inherent shock absorbent traits. Anyone else ever try it?
    I haven't tried it, but it certainly sounds plausible.
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

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    One thing you may, or may not be aware of is that the knot compromises the lb test rating by 50%, that was in my mind when I mentioned the drag being properly adjusted. If you are using 25lb test on your reels and have your drag set to that, it is overly tight for the 30lb rated hook setup you are using, realistically they are 15lb at the knots and your drag needs to be set accordingly, far too many people have the drags set far too tight and lose a lot of fish and gear because of it.

    Lose drags catch fish, tight drags lose fish. I never had any problems catching cohos in the salt on 12lb test MAXIMA when mooching or spin casting, I also have caught many kings on the same rod/reel/line in fresh water from a boat, when trolling I only use 20lb test with $20.00 worth of gear hanging off of it, I have only lost 1 complete set up with that, EVER.

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