I recently wrote about How To Rig Up For The Salmon River – the preferred method. Although that is the preferred method there is a much more basic method. I will try to cover this method and the pros and cons of this method vs the preferred.
If you look at the diagram you will see that everything looks very similar to the preferred method except where the weight will be placed. Lets reiterate what you will need.
Main Line. The main line is the line that comes from your reel and its monofilament. The main line test lb can be from 12-20 lbs.
Split Shot. The weight or split shot is added right before the swivel. The knot and swivel help it from slipping down. Split shot can be made from lead or tin and you can use both but lead is preferred because it goes down quicker. However due to regulations in NY you cannot purchase lead split shots. Usually you can start out with 3 #BB split shots and then depending on the water depth and if you are getting hung up you can remove weight. Using this method makes it much easier to initially rig up and the casting is easier because the weight is on the main line. When you have the weight on the tag it can be harder to leave a tag and then add a knot at the end. For some that want to do longer casts it does make it harder to cast using the tag preferred method.
Micro Swivel. I like micro swivels but which ever swivel you choose it should be low profile. I attach the swivel to the main line with a knot. Its up to you which knot you use but I prefer the following three knots: The Clinch Knot, the Improved Clinch Knot and the finally the Polamar Knot. Whichever knot you choose use please remember to wet the knot with some saliva as your are pulling the knot to firm it up. That will seat the knot securely.
Flourocarbon. Flourocarbon and Monofilament are different types of line. Monofilament is line that is used as your mainline and has a great stretching ability but it floats and is visible underwater. Flourocarbon is line has been designed to sink and to be invisible underwater. Having the line sink is really important because salmon and steelhead hug the bottom of the river. I had previously been using monofilament and was struggling to catch fish. As soon as I changed to fluorocarbon it seemed like my fishing had improved. You tie a knot using the Clinch Knot, the Improved Clinch Knot and the finally the Polamar Knot.
Hook. At the end of the fluorocarbon line you add a hook by using a knot mentioned above. I like to use a hook known as a scud hook in 2X heavy wire. The reason for this is that a scud hook design gives you more leverage and imbeds better in the fish’s mouth. I use 2X heavy wire because salmon mouths are pretty strong and salmon and steelhead can bend lighter hooks. My favorite hooks are Daiichi 1120 Scud Hooks – they are chemically sharpened and they are heavy. I like to use hooks from size 6-12 and I use these to also tie on flies.
The Pros Vs Cons. The pros of this method is that its easier to initially rig up. Additionally because everything is inline its easier to cast. The cons of this method is that it may be quicker to initially rig up you will lose all that benefit when you have to retie your rig after getting hung up. As mentioned salmon and steelhead will sit on the bottom of the river. That is why you need to get your rig as close to the bottom as possible. However, the river bottom is full of rocks where you can get hung up. The thing that will get hung up the most is your weight/split shot. If your split shot gets hung up with the basic method you will need to break the line off. That means everything below the weight will need to be retied including your weight. This is costly and also time consuming. Part of fishing is to be able to keep your line in the river as much as possible and if you are tying and retying your line you will not be efficient. The preferred method is advantageous because if you get hung up on the split shot and you can pull the split shot and it will come lose and thus you can keep most of your rig intact. All you need to do is to just add more split shot and you are back to fishing. As for the casting benefit in the basic rig – most of the fishing done on the river does not require long casts so that advantage is lost.
Here is the list of items you will need to purchase to rig up.
Here is a basic rig and what you will need.
4. Water Gremlin Removable Split Shot Super Pak, BB Also try to get some 7 and 6.
6. Atlas Mike’s Jar of Plastic Salmon Fishing Bait Eggs, Red or Flies. ( I prefer flies and in other posts I’ll cover which flies I like)