Hand-Crank Deep-Drop for Tilefish

Rig Basics For example, with the 130-pound mono she prefers for trophy goldens, there are no well-manicured, crimped connections. At the opposite end of the main leader is a 175-pound-test crane swivel attached to a 200-pound-test snap swivel on the fishing line. 130-Pound Three-Way Swivel 8.) Sinker, Girth Hitched to Loop To minimize tangle risks when dropping to depths approaching 1,000 feet, the section of mono from the crane swivel to the first 130-pound, three-way swivel is 16 to 18 inches long. The section between this upper three-way swivel and the lower three-way swivel is 21 to 24 inches. And there’s approximately 15 inches between the lower swivel and sinker. The prominent use of swivels counters the line twist from dropping and retrieving, drifting and the current; the fishing line and terminal rig must lie perfectly straight as they soak on the bottom. The strands are between 12 and 16 inches long from bottom to top, respectively, and 6/0 circle hooks get the nod. Deep Strategy On bottom, Synowiec insists on staying in contact with the mud and feeling the weight drag across it. “The rig must stay on the bottom long enough to slide across a colony of goldens and for the light and bait scent to interest them.
tilefish deep-dropping
Smart fishing yields trophy tilefish catchers.

With the increasing popularity of hand-crank deep-dropping — versus pushing a button on an electric reel — refinements are evolving, e.g., the best reels, rods and lines for specific species and depths; the most potent terminal rigs; lights; the best baits; precision boat positioning; and more. It’s basically a new world down in these dark depths.

Simple and Easy

I especially took interest in the configuration of her terminal rigs. As she explained, they’re quick-change, in that sections can be replaced within moments. She keeps duplicate components of the main leader, extension lines of various strengths, and swivels and lights in sealed, clear bags.

“They’re boat-friendly,” says Synowiec. “I can easily fabricate these rigs on the ride out, make adjustments to an existing rig, or change out any parts a fish might have damaged.

“I even have both golden and blueline tile rig components in different leader strengths, and swivel and hook sizes, should we wish to make a few drops for those on the way back in.”

One thing her rigs aren’t is fancy. Deep-drop rigs can be tricked out to the hilt with chafe guards, glow beads, sound and vibration enhancers, and precision-crimped connections. However, in Synowiec’s case, speed and simplicity rule.

Rig Basics

For example, with the 130-pound mono she prefers for trophy goldens, there are no well-manicured, crimped connections. Instead she uses Dunkin or uni-knots. As is standard with most deep-drop rigs, an end loop at the bottom permits quick sinker changes. At the opposite end of the main leader is a 175-pound-test crane swivel attached to a 200-pound-test snap swivel on the fishing line. Synowiec also affixes a deep-drop light here.

quick-change deep dropping rig
By building the terminal rig of various components, repairs are easy, saving the trouble of re-rigging should one part become damaged and need replacing.

1.) Main Line
2.) 200-Pound Snap Swivel
3.) Attach Deep-Drop Line…

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