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Buying new spreader bars or rigging your own; here are a few points to consider:
- The bar should be as small a diameter you can get away with. We use .093" 316 stainless steel. It is very light, has just the right flex and will not easily corrode.
- Make sure a quality line is used. We use 130# Momoi Blue Diamond (breaks at 244#+).
- Check and re-check the center piece on the bar. If your main line connects directly to this make sure it's a quality piece of hardware. This is defiantly not the place for cheap 2-way swivels crimped in place. This area has a high potential for failure. After a year of testing center piece hardware, RDT settled on a solid poly block, crimped into place. We use a 36" 200# leader through the length of the Ploy Block that the bar is allowed to float on. The bar goes through the width of the block, never touching the line. This method takes a lot of pressure of the center hardware. It also gives the Mate a solid piece of line to grab and guide the fish to the gaff.

- If your bar is effective, you are going to need to re-rig it more than once a year. Don't let anyone tell you that a bar will last "years". If it's working, it is getting mauled and you need to keep an eye out for potential failure points. Make sure all of the lines can be easily unclipped from the bar. We use coast lock snaps on all of our lines, 80# on the teasers and 190# on the mainline. This is a very cheap and easy way to ad flexibility that all spreader bars should have.

- If you are not rigging your own, make sure you can get replacement lines. Why buy an entire spreader bar if all you really need is the center line replaced. All RDT Bars use RDT Daisy chains for the center line. They are made to the same standards and can easily be switched out. This is easy to do on your own by using the coast lock snaps as noted above.
- Make sure your stinger can be detached and that the swivels used are quality swivels. A cheap swivel is not what you want here. We use 190# coast lock snaps on all main line connections, and 200# ball bearing swivels when required.

- Main line loops should have some kind of chaffing protection. We prefer an offshore loop knot instead of adding additional hardware that could hide potential weak points.
- Use a quality hook and keep it sharp. We use Mustad 7691 Stainless Steel 6/0, 7/0 or 8/0. Bottom line is that these are quality hooks, they stay sharp and they don't rust.

- Floats in your squids have been a proven technique. It offers so many advantages we highly recomend it. The added buoyancy allows the bars to track better on the troll at both faster and slower trolling speeds. When hooked up on other lures we do not clear these bars from the pattern, we just leave them out. The fish hooked will be fought underneath these bars and should not get tangled. This procedure saves valuable time getting on with the fight and not worrying about clearing these bars. Remember its all about maximizing every opportunity. Even at a dead stop our bars will get hit when left out as you are fighting other fish. Even if they don't, once you boat whatever you hooked you will already have these bars out in the pattern as you get back up on the troll. Just put the boat back in gear and get back on the school. There are lots of different ways to acheive the same objective, here is a picture of ours.

Last but not least! When you invest more than $40 in a system like a spreader bar, make sure it comes in a quality spreader bar bag. A 2mil PVC bag is considered a very entry level low quality bag. Your bar should AT LEAST come with one of these at no cost. RDT includes a 4mil PVC spreader bar bag with stainless steel grommets in both upper corners and a thick band of Velcro the length of the bag FREE with each and every bar.
 
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