I have been collecting Salt Water fishing magazines for many years now and have seen the magazines change over the course of the years. I have countless issues but I tend to keep the ones in which the content is “real”.   Below are a couple of the best “rigging” articles I have seen.  And no these do not involve ballyhoo rigging with circle hooks to catch Blue Marlin or Sailfish.  Nor do they have to do with a new way to rig a ballyhoo….

Article #1: Guide to Wind-On Leaders

Saltwater Sportsman by George Poveromo

 August 2014

These tactics have been used for years by guys that meat fish Tunas off the Kites.  In my opinion this is the best Kite Fishing Article that was written so far in the 2000’s. I have kept this one and in my show notes I will put up the link to where you can find the reference. If you are looking for the absolute best and easiest way to set up a kite fishing wind-on leader then this is article is for you.

The article details how to eliminate having to hand line fish to the boat by using a “kite fishing standard” 18ft wind-on leader. It also has step by step instructions on how to rig a sliding kite float set up.

Rigging Components Needed:

  • Egg sinker (size according to the bait and conditions).
  • A bright colored float (bright so you can see it)
  • Small plastic rigging bead
  • #64 rubberband (the rubber band acts as a stopper)

Step 1- When deploying the rig, put the reel in free spool, engage the clicker, and hold the rubber band knot as you deploy the bait.  The entire float and the weight set up should slide up the leader and stop at the knot joining the double lines.

Step 2- Attach the fishing line above the leader to the kite clip.

Step 3- Hook the bait

Step 4- Pitch it out and free-spool the bait into position.

Step 5- Deploy Kite

Tip: There are a lot of little details to work when Kite fishing.  Remember Fish have fins and love bubbles (the bubbles of the engine). The best way to get the bait deployed is power the boat a little and get the fish swimming away from the boat.

When a fish is hooked, the angler reels the fish to the boat without having to have the captain grab and wind leader by hand.  As stated in the article “The pressure against the rod tip forces the rubber-band knot to slide down the leader along with the float and sinker. Then in a smooth and uniform motion the angler winds the 18 ft. Leader onto the reel and fish comes right to the side of the boat.” You can also eliminate the bright colored float by using a bright colored #64  or #33 rubberband as a stopper.

Article #2: Trophy Blackfin Tuna Tactics Florida Keys

Salt Water Sportsman by George Proveromo

 November 2014

This set up can be used to get a live bait down deep without the using a downrigger. This is the standard set up for a lot of guides in the Florida Keys. This technique has been around for years.

Step 1- Double the main line 20lb. mono. I use a Spider Hitch to make a double line, while others use the Bimini Twist.

Step 2- Attach 40ft of 40lb. fluorocarbon leader to the 20lb mono. mainline using an Improved Bristol Knot.

Step 3- Next add 3-5 ft feet of 30lb. fluorocarbon line.

Step 4- Hooks used are 2/0 or 3/0 live bait hooks.

Step 5- Use a removable weight. When deploying the weight, the article instructs you to use a 6 inches of 20lb. mono attached to an egg sinker (The article used 10oz sinkers) for a quick removable sinker.

Step 6- Run up current to the spot you are fishing.  Power the boat forward and set the baits. Use 2 rods. Set one bait at 200-300 ft and the other at 80-100ft.

I really like this technique but through trial and error am not a fan of removable sinker described in the article.  “The 6 inch length of 20lb mono to attach the egg sinker to the snap swivel”.  I am also not a fan of using the 20lb mono as the mainline. Often I will drop down to 25lb. fluorocarbon leader if the fish are being line shy which happens more often than you think.

The article left out a very important tip. You must get your baits set at the exact depth the fish are swimming and adjust for scope in the line since you are not using heavy downrigger weights.  The article should have also mentioned how to get your baits at the depth you wish to fish.

So I quit using this technique word for word because of the darn removable swivel/weight double line attachment.  Instead I set out on mission to modify this technique.  Once I modified it, I made it so much easier for my fishing style.

Also- here is my technique for getting the baits set.

Step 1- First I use the low chirp frequency setting on my depth finder.  This allows me to watch the bait being deployed to the exact depth, in a future podcast I will share what transducer I am using.

Step 2 – Use a pull system for setting baits at different depths using lighter weights (10 or 20 oz.)  A “pull” means pulling the line off between the reel and first guide. For example 20 pulls is close to 40ft. My advice if you want to get technical is to measure the distance on your rods. I always go 5-10 pulls extra that way I can adjust for scope in the line.  Refer back to my show notes and re-listen to Episode 005: How to Catch Wahoo-Part 4.

Article #3: Quick Remove Sinker

Florida Sportsman Magazine By Trey Wheeler

 August 2018

Purchase the Balloon Fisher King clips.  These clips are simple- just thumb-press to attach and remove the weight. I purchase the clips in bulk off EBay.  50 pack for around $113. I also purchase the 80lb SPRO Brand Swivels to work with them.

Drill a hole into the clip.  Slide a zip tie though it and attach the clip to the weight.  The clip works on monofiliment or fluorocarbon leader.

Step 1- I prefer using 30lb braid line as my mainline over the 20 Mono setup as described in article #2.  I double the braid line using a Spider Hitch knot.

Step 2- Using an Improved Bristol Knot (see link below for instructions) connect 3-5ft of 40lb Fluorocarbon to the 30lb braid double line that you created in step 1. 

Step 3- Next you will need 30-40 feet of 30lb flourocarbon. Connect the 30lb. fluorocarbon line to the 40lb. flourocarbon using the 80lb Spro Swivel. I use improved clinch knots to connect the 30lb and 40lb. fluorocarbon leaders to the 80lb Spro swivel.

Step 4- I use circle hooks, sizes 2,3, or 4 inline or offset. Use whatever you prefer brand wise and you have confidence in when it comes to hooks.  Remember to size the hook to the bait.

Step 5- When deploying the rig, put the reel in free spool and engage the clicker. Power the boat forward a little to get the bait swimming behind the boat, get the leader stretched out and stop at the swivel.

Step 6- Attach the Balloon Fisher King Pressure clip with weight above the swivel. The swivel prevents the clip from sliding down on the leader and it prevents line twists. Once the clip is removed the swivel is small enough to reel through the rod guides to the reel the fish all the way to the boat.

 Power boat forward and send the bait to the bottom slowly while the boat is in forward motion.  This will help prevent line tangles.  Do not set the bait like you are in a race- take it one step at time.

After a big fish, or a couple of fish, change out the leader.  I carry several back up rods rigged accordingly. I alternate them out over the course of the day.

This truly is my “go to” set up for Mutton and Grouper fishing, but have also caught wahoo, kingfish, dolphin and big Tuna using this set up since I switched from the set up described in the Saltwater Sportsman Article. 

Hope it brings you good luck as well!  Would love to hear from you- if you have tried this or have other ideas feel free to reach out- goodkarmaryan@gmail.com.  Thank you!

How to tie the Fishing Knots described in the Podcast

Spider Hitch (Double Line Knot). I never tie directly to mono or fluorocarbon directly to the mainline. I always use a double line, why? Because that’s what I have confidence in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvAeJxkWics

Improved Bristol Knot (Connecting fluorocarbon leader to a double line of either braid or mono)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70wSxW5IMxE

Improved Clinch. Leader to the Hook Connection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBFXmR44rF4

How to wreck and reef fish in the Florida Keys.