Snapper Rigs for Strong Running Water and Slack Water

Snapper -

Snapper Rigs for Strong Running Water and Slack Water

A short trace or leader will give the angler a direct feel and contact with a hooked up snapper. However, there are times when the angler is required to have a longer leader, for example when the tide is running really fast.

Over the years there was strong belief that snapper would come on the chew when the tide begun to run, but the snapper would go off the bite when the tide was running fast. So it was thought that snapper did not like to feed into a strong current. As time has proven this theory is not necessarily true. As most anglers have discovered, as the tide speeds up it causes the anglers line to vibrate, and this vibration can spook the fish, the snapper will not approach close enough to take the bait.

The best strategy to combat this issue is to lengthen your leader and sometimes by quite a few meters. The angler will notice that the fish will come back on the bite again, given that they don’t have to come too close to the vibrating line. As a rule of thumb, extending your leader about a meter for every ten kilograms of breaking strain is a good starting point. For example, if you are fishing 20 kilogram line then you would use a 2 meter leader. The rig used in this example would contain the following specifications and is usually referred to as the fixed sinker rig:

  • Sinker attached directly to the bottom of your main line
  • Swivel or rings about 80cm off the sinker attached to the main line
  • Leader tied to the swivel or ring (1-4 meters long as an average)

In extreme cases leader can be up to 10 meters long, having said that, the distance between your leader and sinker does not need to change and should be around 80cm to 1 meter long.

In summary, the best advice is to fish with a short leader, and when the tide speeds up, start to lengthen your leader and ensure that you adapt to the conditions.

Another good rig to use during fast running current is the humble running sinker. This rig will allow your sinker to sit flush on the bottom whilst your bait may float a great distance away from you main line and away from any vibration.

If you are fishing slack water, you will notice that the fish will just about stop feeding altogether, 'no run no fun'. The best strategy to combat this issue is to deploy a flasher rig. Flasher rigs have that extra element of visual appearance enticing snapper to feed, even when the water has stopped running. Many anglers have adopted this strategy to great effect.

Expert and pro snapper anglers often will have the majority of their rods set up with traditional rigs and have at least one rod in the water with a flasher rig, during a running tide. When the tides stops running they will exchange their traditional rigs and predominately fish with flasher rigs. 

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