B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Helpful Hints, Tips and Tricks

by Vic Carrao
STS Guiding ServiceHave you noticed every time you walk into a tackle store, your wallet becomes a little lighter than you anticipated? You go in thinking you just need a couple of lures and line, by the time you hit the cash register you're down $30 or more.

There are so many lures that catch fish, it's hard to resist adding one more to the tackle box, and fishing line is not cheap either. In my business, if you don't learn how to shop wisely, you'll soon find yourself working just to keep the tackle box full. There are some things you can do that will save some money in the tackle shop.
Lures and Hooks
Most species of fish will bite a lure or spinner. Many of my fondest memories come from casting a lure for Coho, Chinook or Steelhead. Most of the lures on the market today come complete in a package with swivel, split ring and hook. The hook is usually made from a hardened metal or alloy which is great until you get snagged on a branch or log. Snagging up on the river bottom usually means the loss of that $5 lure. For years now I have been changing the hooks on my lures straight out of the package to a softer hook that will straighten on a snag.

Most of you are probably thinking that if the hook will straighten on a snag then it would also straighten on a fish, not true. When a lure gets snagged on a branch or log, the point of the hook is penetrated into the structure; this puts the stress on the point of the hook. When you pull hard, the hook either straightens (if it's soft) or breaks the line (if it's hard). When the hook is penetrated into a fish's mouth, the stress on the hook is not on the point but on the bend of the hook. I have never had a hook straighten when fighting a fish that was hooked cleanly in the mouth.
Changing Hooks
I change the hook on my lures to an Eagle Claw or Gamakatsu Si-wash hook. A Si-wash hook is a hook with an extra long shank and an open eye. The open eye allows you to attach the hook onto a split ring or swivel quickly with very little effort. All you need is a pair of pliers to close the eye once placed on the swivel or split ring. When you purchase your next lure, pick up a pack of Si-wash hooks, make sure you match the size of the hook on the lure to your Si-wash hooks.

Leader and Lines

There are many brands of line available on the market today; my favorites are Berkley Trilene for spinning reels and Maxima Ultra Green for levelwinds. The Berkley Trilene offers a larger variety of lines for specific methods and species that is more suitable for the majority of the fishing fraternity.

There are many factors that must be taken into account when putting line onto a reel; Berkley has covered them all from Berkley Sensithin for lighter applications through to Berkley Big Game for your larger game fish. Maxima make a great product for your standard levelwind applications with Ultra Green being the most popular. Both these brands are readily available at most tackle stores in your area.

Saving $$$ on Line

There are 4 basic spool sizes available, leader spools - 27 yds ($4-$5), mini packs - 110 yds ($9-$10), one shot - 220 yds ($17-$22) and bulk line purchased by the yard, 4-8 lb ($4 per hundred yds) 10-15 lb ($5 per hundred yds) 17-20 lb ($6 per hundred yds). The bulk prices above are available at most retail tackle shops.

If you take a close look at the differences between purchasing leader spools and bulk line you'll soon realize the large savings if you purchase your line by the yard. Lets take the leader spool at 27 yds for $4-$5, which works out to approximately $12-$15 for a hundred yds. Bulk line for 100 yds is between $4-$6, that is over a 50% savings on just one purchase.

When you purchase the larger one-shot spools for re-spooling your reels you pay between $17 and $22 for 220 yds, most reels only hold 120 to 175 yds of line. You don't want to use the same diameter for leader as mainline so that extra 45 - 100 yds becomes waste. If you take your reels into the tackle store for re-spooling, you only pay for the line that goes on the reel. That now means on 120 to 175 yds your only paying $6 - $10, saving again over 50%.

How to Buy Bulk Line

Save all your small, medium and large spools, take your large spools down to the nearest tackle store and have them spool the diameter of lines that you most often use for mainline, 15-20 lb. test is what I use. When you reel is in need of new line, just re-spool your reel with your bulk line.

For leaders have them spool the medium size one-shot spools with leader line, usually 8, 10 & 12 lb. test. When your small leader spools that you carry in your vest become empty just re-spool them at home with your bulk leader. You'll save a lot of wasted money that can be applied to that new rod or reel that you've been eyeing up.

Next issue we will be looking at some new products and more tackle tips.
Tight Lines and see you on the water

Vic Carrao
STS Guiding Service
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