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Tips and techniques

By Staff | Oct 10, 2013

When moving a rod with a fish on it from a rod holder to the chair, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. During the heat of the moment, with a fish taking drag, the boat rocking and someone yelling something in your ear, even experienced anglers can make the mistake of placing the wrong hand on the rod’s fore grip to transfer it to the chair.

With a fish on a rod that’s on the left side of the cockpit chair, the starboard side of the boat, the correct hand to place on the fore grip would be the left hand, with the right hand grabbing the butt just behind the reel.

If the angler does it this way, when the angler removes the rod and turns toward the chair, the rod is in between the chair and angler. This allows the angler to move to the chair, stab the butt into the gimble in one smooth motion, swing his right leg over the rod and sit into the chair without ever having to let go of the rod or switch hands.

If the angler removes the rod from a holder on the left side of the cockpit with the right hand on the fore grip and the left hand on the rod butt, the body is put in between the rod and the chair. This makes for a difficult and awkward transition to the chair with medium tackle, and an almost impossible one with heavy tackle.

Naturally, when removing a rod from a holder on the right side of the cockpit, the port side of the boat, the angler should place the right hand on the rod’s fore grip and grasp the rod butt with the left. Just remember this simple technique, and your next trip to the chair should go smoothly.

Softhead lure stopper

When trolling using Mold Craft Softhead lures, not teasers, a small problem can occur when a hooked fish starts taking line rapidly. The lure sometimes slides up the leader to the crimped-loop and snap-swivel connection, jamming onto the loop or snap-swivel. While this might not be a disaster in itself, if it pops over the snap, it can open up. I have seen lures pulled completely over the snap-swivel and onto the main line, sometimes staying in the water between the boat and fish, but usually ending up at the rod tip. This is no good.

To keep this from happening, put two small stainless steel flat washers in front of the lure on the leader prior to making the crimped loop slide, with a quarter-inch washer first, and then a size No.12. The washers do not affect the performance of the lure in any way.

Once you start doing this, you will never have another lure get jammed onto or pulled over the snap-swivel. You can apply the same fix when using any soft lure or bubbler head.