“FAQ's” - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Do you take credit card orders over the telephone?
A: Yes - I use the PayPal Merchant system to process credit card orders received over the telephone. For this service PayPal will only accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover cards. Hours: Weekdays 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Weekends 12 Noon - 6:00 PM ET. I can only accept orders for domestic USA credit cards and delivery addresses. The following standard information is required to order by telephone:
- Name on Credit Card
- Credit Card Billing Address
- Ship to Address, if different from Bill To Address
- Home Telephone
- Email Address
- Credit Card Type & Number
- Card Expiration Date
- CSC: 3 digit Card Security Code number on reverse of credit card.
- Q: What pound test line should I use?
If you have two rods and reels, one for lures and the other for bait fishing; spool 20 pound test on the rod for lures and at least 30 pound test on the bait rod. If you want to use the “Hi-Tech Braided” line the minimum I recommend is 50 pound test but 65 pound test is better. Why? The diameter of 50 pound test is equivalent to only 12 pound monofilament which means it is very thin and harder to handle.(Pop Up Chart: Braid to Mono Specs ) Be aware that “Hi-Tech Braided” line can cut your finger(s) to the bone if you do not handle it carefully. Do not ever coil braided line around your hand when you are landing a fish, you will get cut!
- Q: What is the difference between a Fish Finder and Slider rig?
A: No difference. This is just a regional name difference similar to Menhaden being called “Bunker” in the NY/NJ area and “Poggie” in New England and the south. A Slider rig is exactly the same as a Fish Finder rig.
- Q: What is the best leader length of Fish Finder (Slider) rigs for surf fishing?
A: That depends on the bait you are using or if you are going to liveline a baitfish. For live eels, 18” is ideal, 24 to 30 inches for livelining Menhaden, Herring, Gizzard Shad, etc. Bait chunks or other dead baits, I recommend a leader no longer than 24 inches. From a boat the normal leader length is 30 to 36 inches.
- Q: I'm never sure what size hook I should use. Shouldn't I use small hooks in the Spring when only small fish are present?
A: The real issue is matching hook size to fish species and remember that a bigger hook is a stronger hook. The Hooks page » displays various saltwater hook types, sizes and measurements, including Big Game Hooks. The chart below is for Striped Bass, Snook, Redfish (Red Drum), Bluefish, etc. Note the separate column for Black Drum and Grouper.
Saltwater or Freshwater
Size Black Drum
Size Baitholder 5/0 Circle (Boat) 8/0 Circle (Boat) 6/0 or 7/0 Circle 8/0, 9/0, 10/0 Octopus 7/0 Circle (Fixed) 7/0 Circle (Fixed) 6/0 Octopus 8/0, 9/0, 10/0
- Q: Why can't I use live eels with your High Low or Slap Shot rigs?
A: You can but I don't recommend it. Both rigs are meant to be stationary in the water. With a High Low Rig the eel is going to twist itself around the monofilament. An eel on both the high and low hooks would be a real mess! On the SlapShot Rig the hook is on the bottom and the eel is going to try to bury itself in the sand or rocks. With the Double SlapShot Rig, you would have the worst scenario.
- Q: Should I sharpen the hooks before using the rigs?
A: No! Please do not sharpen the hooks. Gamakatsu and Owner hooks are needlepoint sharp already and hand filing will only end up changing the cutting edges or just plain making them dull. Look at this enlargement of the point and barb on a Gamakatsu Circle hook, impossible to sharpen with a hand file.
- Q: Can I use the fishing rod I use for casting lures for bait fishing?
A: Yes, No or Depends. Sorry about that, there is no straight forward answer. Probably the easiest way to answer is that bait fishing requires a rod and reel robust enough to cast both your bait and the lead sinker weight. Add those two together; let's say you have a chunk of Menhaden weighing 3 or 4 ounces and a 4 ounce lead sinker, you've already seriously overloaded the standard lure casting rod. If your lure casting rod is rated as “heavy action,” capable of throwing 6 ounces, ok that covers the “Depends” part. You can in fact fish with an overloaded rod but your casts will be very short and the odds will be in favor of the fish since you will have to cope with the weight of the fish plus the bait and lead sinker weight.
My advice is to have a lure casting rod and a rod and reel specifically for bait fishing. The bait fishing rod should only be rated heavy action, it should be like a broom handle from the butt end to within 12 inches of the tip. The tip itself can be fast action — that will add sensitivity to the rod and improve casting distance. Whether you use a conventional spool casting reel or spinning reel, please use a larger capacity reel and spool it with heavier line. In my opinion, 30 pound test monofilament is the minimum. If you use braided line go with a heavier pound test rating, 50, 65 or even 80 pound test.
- Q: Should I use a Shock Leader with your rigs?
A: Again Yes or No. If you are using 20 pound or lower test monofilament, yes you should use a Shock Leader for your safety and anyone around you. If you use 30 pound test or higher monofilament you may not need a Shock Leader unless you regularly fish with bait chunks and heavy sinkers. With braided lines most fishermen do not use a shock leader even though the manufacturers recommend it. Much more detail at Baitfishing, Let's Get Serious. »
- Q: Why is it important that bait fishing rigs comply with International Game Fish Association rules?
A: The International Game Fish Association angling rules maintain a level playing field for all fishermen. Just imagine if you caught a great fish in a local tournament and were disqualified for using an illegal rig. Or if you wanted to submit a trophy fish to the IGFA for recognition only to discover that your bait rig was either too long or too short or the distance between the hooks was incorrect. You would probably be disappointed and damn mad too!
Using a double or treble hook on a bait rig is automatic disqualification