Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 3 - SUMMER 2016 - Page 9

by Patrick Lemire Rod & Reelin’ The Non-Slip Slip-Weight W hat is a Non-Slip SlipWeight? It’s a fixed but adjustable positioning slipweight for adding casting weight to light lure presentations or natural baits. This rigging method can be used when fishing near the surface or on bottom. While writing up my notes for the Winter issue’s piece “Tuna Candy”, I thought about the fact of seeing tuna stomachs being loaded with small fish, “glass minnows.” I soon realized that small baits were possibly needed at times to generate more strikes. Naturally, the problem was being able to cast a small, lightweight bait effectively. What I came up with was the nonslip slip-weight. The twice through the slip-weight with the mono leader or main line isn’t new, I’ve seen it used for twenty years, or so, as a sort of fixed weight Carolina rig. The added casting weight lets you use heavier casting tackle with a light lure or bait that would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to cast 75 to 100 feet. The fixed slip-weight casts better and farther than a sliding slip-weight. The sliding slip-weight moves on your line/ leader when cast, affecting the distance, as in shortening it. Rigging up is as simple as using this technique, you just pass the main line or leader through the slipweight, come back over and pass it through again forming a loop through and around the weight. Now, tie on your lure, hook or leader. Next, push and pull the mono to position the slipweight at the desired distance ahead of the lure, etc. Positioning the slipweight 8 to 18 inches ahead of the lure will reduce any hydrodynamic upset effect on the lures built in swim motion as it moves through the water. See the illustration for a clear view of it all. A pair of other considerations also comes into the picture regarding the slipweight. Do you want to hide it, or really expose it? Both are easy to do and have their place. Making a lead slip-weight much less noticeable can be accomplished by simply letting them naturally dull, or more quickly, spray them flat medium gray. Scraping a lead slip-weight with careful backstrokes of a knife blade will give an instant, almost chrome look to its surface. Lead will naturally dull on its own so each trip may require a rescrape. The “why” is that the scrapedto-shine slip-weights brilliance, ahead of a lure or bait, gives the look of the bait chasing a food item. And, it gives an obvious “occupied and vulnerable” look to your presentation that predator’s key on. The flash weight is a trick I’ve used for years. While the flash is a plus, it can also be a minus as the flash itself could be a strike generator. If the predator has teeth, the mono itself will be a problem. As is the usual, vary the slip-weight size for depth control as the current dictates. My primary use for the non-slip slipweight rigging was for tuna in open water, using the described baits. The hard to cast, lightweight lures and baits also apply to fishing around fixed leg platforms, as well as subsurface rocks and wrecks. Small, hard or soft bodied swim baits come to mind, as these structures hold many natural baits of this size that are constantly darting into and around structure trying to avoid being eaten. Then, your small but previously hard to cast presentation comes into view, suddenly you’re hooked up. Picture it in your mind, it really does happen. When casting, slow the cast by thumbing the spool to straighten the presentation out and away from you so it’s ready to fish as it hits the water. Do this slowing just before the landing or it might land slip-weight first, creating a mess that’s not appealing to a predator. This adjustable, but fixed weight rig can be used to cast a lightweight spoon, such as the proven chrome Clark spoon and its minnow like flash and flutter in size 1 through 4, They could be your ticket to a yellowfin or blackfin tuna hookup. Lightweight “bait buster” Mylar skirts ahead of a sardine has the look of the sardine chasing a group of small glass minnows. The minnows and sardine have that occupied and vulnerable look. A small, and hard to cast, bait or lure will greatly benefit when using this weight rigging method. While there are revolving spool reels with great castability, they seldom beat a good spin rig when distance is a factor. A spin rig, matched to 65 to 80 pound braid, helps to get your presentation to the edge of the bright lights when tuna fishing on a party boat, in particular, on an overnight trip. The edge of the bright light is where near surface yellowfin and blackfin tuna cruise, looking for a meal. When a small prey item is the target of the night or day, this rig will get you there. GCF JULY • AUGUST • SEPTEMBER 2 0 1 6 9