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Getting ready to go down to OI. What are you guys using for hook size and model while trolling now for the BFT troll?

Also, what size solid rings should I use on my williamson jigs? I want to replace those flat shaped rings with more rounded types. Thanks.
 

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I'm sure others with more experience can chime in but I think you need at least 9.0 and can go bigger to 11.0 depending on your hoo size. On the jig, I decided to ditch the solid ring all together and just use a quality ball bearing barrel swivel. With all the current in the stream and death circles by the fish, a swivel will prevent any line twist. I use a plastic chaff protector and crimp on 130 lb leader to the swivel. I also attach the assist hooks to the top ring of the barrel swivel and a split ring on the bottom. The assist hooks on the top ring keeps the split ring from chaffing the assist hook leaders. All my jigs then have all the hardware removed so you can just add any jig to the split ring as needed. I do not think the addition of a barrel swivel affected the bite, at least not when they are schooled up like they are out of OI. When they get more finicky later, might need to rethink the swivel. I've had other issues and tackle failures but not the terminal tackle so far.

Not saying that solid rings won't work, they do. I would suggest a quality solid ring like owner and go at least 300 maybe even 450.
 

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when i started i was using the 3400 series mustad 9/0 but got advice back then to spend the xtra $$$ on the 7700/7600 series hooks. welded eyes on some, stronger hooks all around. and 9/0 are diff. sizes depending on the model, 7691 is bigger than 7692 for example & considerably more exp.
 

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I'm sure others with more experience can chime in but I think you need at least 9.0 and can go bigger to 11.0 depending on your hoo size. On the jig, I decided to ditch the solid ring all together and just use a quality ball bearing barrel swivel. With all the current in the stream and death circles by the fish, a swivel will prevent any line twist. I use a plastic chaff protector and crimp on 130 lb leader to the swivel. I also attach the assist hooks to the top ring of the barrel swivel and a split ring on the bottom. The assist hooks on the top ring keeps the split ring from chaffing the assist hook leaders. All my jigs then have all the hardware removed so you can just add any jig to the split ring as needed. I do not think the addition of a barrel swivel affected the bite, at least not when they are schooled up like they are out of OI. When they get more finicky later, might need to rethink the swivel. I've had other issues and tackle failures but not the terminal tackle so far.

Not saying that solid rings won't work, they do. I would suggest a quality solid ring like owner and go at least 300 maybe even 450.
Mike- I'm no expert either but have wasted ridiculous amounts of time reading about jigging for bluefin and from what I have found, it is much more commonplace to attach the assist cord/hook to the lower swivel eye. I don't really have not heard of many hook failures when using good kevlar assist cord. Here is a pic I stole from 360tuna.
 

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From what I have used and resources that I have read, what has been stated above is good advice. I put my assist hooks on the upper ring of the ball-bearing swivel vs. the lower. I would think that both would work and the only slight advantage I see in using the upper ring is that hook cord is a little more out of the way when you are quickly trying to change out a jig on the split ring.
 

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Are any of you planning to fish out of OI or Hatteras this weekend? I'm planning, if the weather holds, to trailer my pocket cat down from MD on Friday to try a crack at the BFT on Sat-Monday. It's always nice to chase fish with other boats in the area.

Matt
 

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Mike- I'm no expert either but have wasted ridiculous amounts of time reading about jigging for bluefin and from what I have found, it is much more commonplace to attach the assist cord/hook to the lower swivel eye. I don't really have not heard of many hook failures when using good kevlar assist cord. Here is a pic I stole from 360tuna.
Ryan, I've seen that pic too on 360. I'm sure it works too but that setup is a special swivel with a solid ring already welded on. First that swivel does not appear to be a ball bearing type. Non ball bearing swivels, even if rated at high breaking strength, have a tendency to bind when under great pressure (like a 200 lb BFT) and therefore would be concerned it is not swiveling when I need it too. Second, I fail to see the need for a swivel AND a solid ring like the one picture. Just buy the owner hyper swivel that already have the larger rings.

Agree, assist hooks top or bottom ring of the swivel may not matter in the end as long as you have a quality ball bearing swivel.

But I'm like you...too much time reading about this stuff....need more field testing...let's go fishing. :))
 

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You're right! I didn't even realize that the hook was on the solid ring in the picture. I've been rigging my spinning set ups with a really big 500lb ball bearing swivel, with hooks on lower ring ( no solid ring), and my conventional jigger with no swivel, hook on solid ring and jig on attached split ring. I think like most things, there is a million ways to do it, only a few of which are really inferior. I have been using a 10-0 assist hook which seemed to work fine.

We did upsize our trolling rigs from our usual 7-0 J hooks with medium hoos, to 9-0 with horses.
 
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