Rigging Techniques for Successful Salmon Trolling

What’s the Buzz about this Rig?

Are you ready to catch some keeper-sized salmon in California or the Pacific Northwest? This advanced rig is designed to maximize your chances of landing a prized salmon without the hassle of snags and tangles. Set it up correctly, and you’ll be reeling in some mighty catches. Here’s how to do it:

Salmon Trolling Rig

Required Materials:

To construct this rig, gather the following items:

  • Main line: Opt for a durable 50-65 pound braid
  • Leader line: You’ll need a 4-5 foot, 40 pound monofilament line
  • Beads: These will prevent seaweed build-up and safeguard your knots
  • Trolling Bumper Rig: Get the one equipped with 200 pound test mono for stiffness and a bead chain
  • Ball bearing swivels: These are necessary for smooth movement
  • Barrel swivels: Connect your main line to the rig using these
  • Flasher: This adds an enticing visual element to attract salmon
  • Hooks: Use 2 Mustad UltraPoint Demon 3/0 Hooks for optimum results
  • Sinker: Choose a weight between 6-20 oz, depending on the depth and current

For best performance, pair your rig with the recommended rod and reel combo:

  • Rod: Select a 10-12 foot medium-heavy action rod with a 15-30 lb rating
  • Reel: Use a baitcaster reel equipped with a line counter

Tips for Effective Rig Usage

  1. Downrigger-Free Fishing: Unlike many other rigs, this setup doesn’t require a downrigger. It works effectively in waters up to approximately 30 feet deep.

  2. Adjust the Dropper Line: Attach a dropper line to the sinker, ensuring it measures between 8-12 inches, depending on conditions. Your goal is to position the rig as close to the water’s bottom as possible without causing snags or tangles.

  3. Gear for Protection: The rig incorporates features such as a bead chain, a 200 pound mono bumper, and ball bearing swivels to safeguard against tangles and potential loss of the rig due to snags. If it does get tangled in seaweed, simply strip it off, thanks to the heavy-duty components.

  4. Bait Selection: Anchovy or herring make excellent bait choices for salmon. Rig the bait carefully to eliminate any spinning motion.

  5. Adhere to Local Regulations: Ensure your hooks comply with local fishing regulations. Some states require barbless hooks. Stay informed by checking with your local fish and wildlife department for the latest rules and regulations.

  6. Optimal Trolling Speed: Adjust your trolling speed so that the sinker gently bounces along the bottom. Slower speeds result in the sinker remaining closer to the bottom of the water column. As long as the sinker is near the bottom, you have positioned your bait correctly.

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Step-by-Step Setup Guide

Let’s go through the process of constructing this effective salmon trolling rig:

  1. Start by threading a bead, followed by a barrel swivel, and another bead onto your main braided line. The barrel swivel and beads serve to protect against seaweed entanglement and safeguard the knot that will connect to the trolling bumper.

Step 1

  1. Use your preferred knot (we recommend a palomar knot) to tie the other barrel swivel to the free end of the line. Watch this video for guidance on tying a palomar knot.

Step 2

  1. Moving on to the trolling bumper, connect it to the barrel swivel on the main line using the duo lock snap closest to the 6 bead chain.

Step 3

  1. Attach the flasher to the other end of the trolling bumper using a ball bearing swivel. Take care to position the swivel in a way that prevents debris from accumulating in the bearing. If your flasher doesn’t come with ball bearing swivels, you’ll need to purchase them separately.

Step 4

  1. Construct the leader using a 40 pound mono line. Follow this video tutorial to create a sliding snell rig with 2 Mustad UltraPoint Demon 3/0 Hooks. The sliding hook enables you to accommodate bait fish of different sizes, such as anchovy or herring. It also allows you to adjust the bait’s spinning motion using the two hooks. Ensure that the leader measures 4-5 feet from the last hook to the attachment point with the flasher.

  2. Connect the leader rig to the flasher using another ball bearing swivel. You can attach the swivel directly or add a snap swivel for increased flexibility in your leader setup.

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Step 5

  1. Lastly, use the 40 pound mono line to create a dropper line. The length of the dropper should be around 8-12 inches. Tie it to the sinker using your favorite knot and attach it to the sliding barrel swivel on the main line. Your finished trolling salmon rig should resemble the image below.

Step 6

Give this setup a try and let us know how it performs for you. Rate this article and share your feedback! Don’t forget to visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill for more thrilling fishing tips and gear!

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