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  • 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
    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?
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard

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        • #5
          Loosen that thing called a drag. It is there for a reason.

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          • #6
            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.

            If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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            • #7
              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.
              Alaska Wide Open Charters
              www.alaskawideopen.com
              907-965-0130

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              • #8
                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.
                "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                Merle Haggard

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                • #9
                  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.
                  Alaska Wide Open Charters
                  www.alaskawideopen.com
                  907-965-0130

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.
                            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                            Merle Haggard

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment

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