If you run a thick spring trophy striper spread you are no doubt used to tangles and twists slowing you down. Avoid the multiple-line pitfalls, by:
- Buy and use leader spools for each and every tandem rig. They are incredibly cheap (just a buck or two each) and keep all those leaders neat and ready for action.
- Keep planer board lines wrapped on a larger spool; anglers who wrap the line around the board itself are wasting a ton of time un-wrapping it, when it’s time for deployment.
- Hang tandems on the rim of a five-gallon bucket, to transport large numbers at the same time. Cutting notches into the rim of the bucket will keep the lures from sliding around.
- Remove trolling rigs from the rods between trips, if you have to transport the rods to and from your boat. Yes, this is a PITA, but otherwise you’re likely to find that the hooks on one rod snag the line of another. In the long run, you’ll actually save time by disassembling them between trips. (Note: if you stow your rods aboard the boat, this isn’t too much of an issue).
- Remove the hook-baits from umbrellas, before sliding them into a binder-style bag. This way you can stow all your umbrellas in one binder without them becoming tangled.
Using these tips will help you keep your gear straight. But, what about Stowing these rigs after the spring season is over? First and foremost, always remember to put your trophy gear away in a place where it isn't exposed to sunlight. UV rays degrade monofilament, and if your rigs get beamed on by the sun that 40 pound test will be 30 pound test before you know it. Also be sure to give all the lures a freshwater rinse prior to stowing them away to minimize rust on the hooks, which by the way, should be touched-up with a file every spring. Finally, remember to re-tie knots. Knotted mono becomes weak over time, and a three season old knot is much more likely to break.
Attention offshore anglers: we haven't forgotten about you! If you need to get ready for the upcoming season be sure to read Spring Offshore Fishing Tackle Preparation, by our Coastal Correspondent John Unkart - a retired charter boat mate who spent decades of springs getting a professional boat ready for the season.