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#325134 - 12/21/05 02:00 PM Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
OceanSun Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1176
Loc: North Creek
I'll be pulling steelhead plugs (hot shots/tadpollys) for the first time from my driftboat on both the Sky and the Cowlitz over the holidays. This won't be my pimary tactic as I'll be using float/eggs/jigs as well as side-drifting. However, there were a fair amount of runs on both these rivers I observed during my scouting drifts that I think I'd like to work over with plugs as I'm drifting down to the next slot I want to work with other techniques. I don't have dedicated plugging rods as of yet so I'll be repurposing a couple other rods where the baitcasters are loaded with 30 lb power-pro. I assume that you wouldn't want to run powerpro all the way to the plugs but want some mono in there for both lo-visability and shock absorbtion. So my question is this . . .

How long of a mono leader should I use and how heavy?

Thanks in advance guys!
_________________________
. . . and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and have dominion over the fish of the sea . . .

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#325135 - 12/21/05 02:15 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
STRIKE ZONE Offline
GOOD LUCK

Registered: 08/09/00
Posts: 12107
Loc: Hobart,Wa U.S.A
3' to 5' of 12# to 15# ultra green.Good luck,
STRIKE ZONE

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#325136 - 12/21/05 03:50 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Anonymous
Unregistered


OS:

I asked this same question about a year ago...general consensus was that there was no commonly prescribed method...

I run 30 lb. Power Pro to about 8' of 15 lb. Seaguar flourocarbon for leader. Be sure to use a double Uni-knot to tie in that leader..it's about the only knot I have found that is sure to hold fast when bonding superbraid line and mono.

Others (experienced pluggers, as well) suggested running the PP right to the duo-lock. Makes some sense...as steelhead are not interested in what the plug is tied to, just that they want to kill what is irritating them. Still, I'll stick with my leaders.

Looks like I'll be on the Cow on Friday the 30th. Never done a float there, so will be posting to see if any other boats (DB's) will be out that day that we might be able to follow down one of the drifts.

Good luck in your plugging! Hell hath no fury like a pissed off steelhead hammering a well worked plug... \:D


Mike

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#325137 - 12/21/05 04:13 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Sol Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 7710
Loc: Poulsbo
Sounds like the right guys answered your question. ;\)

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#325138 - 12/21/05 04:58 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
STRIKE ZONE Offline
GOOD LUCK

Registered: 08/09/00
Posts: 12107
Loc: Hobart,Wa U.S.A
I'd run a size 7 or 10 barrell swivel between the braid and mono.Good luck,
STRIKE ZONE

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#325139 - 12/21/05 05:18 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Hardware Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 141
After DB plugging a couple long drifts on mighty Cow, those side drift & float rigs are gonna' look awful good! Just kidding----just a whole lotta' workout on the mighty C. Good luck to ya.

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#325140 - 12/21/05 06:03 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
CraigO Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 1409
Loc: Lake Stevens
I ran the Power Pro all the way to the plug last year and noticed no difference than when I previously had used a mono leader or straight mono. I think the fish is so focused on the plug, he doesn't notice the line.
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Go Dawgs!!!
Fishing MVP

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#325141 - 12/21/05 06:07 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Timber Offline
Carcass

Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 2340
Loc: Stumpy Acres
I'm with Strike Zone on this one but I go a touch longer shock leader like 6 to 8ft bead chain to a duo snap. I use 2 duo snaps on all plugs I think they tune better.
_________________________
If ya can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch!


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#325142 - 12/21/05 09:43 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Queetsqueef Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 10/13/03
Posts: 339
Figure out where the steelhead are, concentrate on being patient and persistant through a hole. Take mulitiple passes. If you don't hit a head on the first pass, row back up and try again. It's really not necessary to worry about how much mono you have below your braided line. Just work the hole hard, and keep at it. I wouldn't worry too much about a steelie being line-shy, I'd worry more about fishing a hole properly

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#325143 - 12/21/05 09:52 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
tyeeterror Offline
Spawner

Registered: 11/04/99
Posts: 612
Loc: The Humboldt Nation
I run 60lb power pro for my kwikfish. I then run about a 4-5' leader of 40lb mono. I place a swivle in between the two different lines. I leave the tag end of the mono on the swivel end about a 1/4 inch long. A lot of the debris will get hung up on the tag end, and not interfer with the plug. Every 5 minutes or so I will have the guys snap the rods to clear the debris.
_________________________
these aint my pants

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#325144 - 12/21/05 09:58 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
tyeeterror Offline
Spawner

Registered: 11/04/99
Posts: 612
Loc: The Humboldt Nation
oh yeah I forgot to tell you that you must not let your guys set the hook, on the first takedown. This is mega important. Let the fish take the plug, and start pulling some line. Then have your guys pull back, not slamming home, and begin to fight the fish. If you can get the guys upfront to do this, you will land a lot more fish. If not you will get these visious (spelling) take downs, the guy setting the hook, and the fish will be gone.
_________________________
these aint my pants

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#325145 - 12/21/05 10:51 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Stalmass Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Selah, WA
Tyeeterro, isn't that more for Salmon than Steelhead?

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#325146 - 12/21/05 11:39 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
tyeeterror Offline
Spawner

Registered: 11/04/99
Posts: 612
Loc: The Humboldt Nation
Your right, the set up described is more for salmon, but I run my steelhead plugs the same way. I drop my leader down to 15 lb test. As far as the bite, letting them take it goes for both steelhead, and salmon. In fact I would rather the guys up front put the rods in the rod holder if possible. I have also had them sit on the rod but to give the fish enough time to hook itself.
_________________________
these aint my pants

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#325147 - 12/22/05 01:47 AM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Idaho Mike Offline
Carcass

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 2191
Loc: Post Falls Idaho
The first time I ever got to fish for steelhead using plugs was years ago with a OP Guide named Rod Erickson. He made us hold the rod and set the hook as soon as the fish hit. We caught a lot of Steelhead with him.

On the Kenai I learned to let the fish beat the crap out of that Kwik fish and rod for a count of three before taking the rod out of the holder.

I would be curious to hear other's experience with the rod in our out of the rod holder when plugging for Steelhead.
_________________________
"90% of Life is just showing up and doing the work". Tred Barta Sr.

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#325148 - 12/22/05 02:02 AM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
RiverMan Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 487
Loc: oregon
I kind of go against many of the rules others will tell you. I tie 30pd PP straight to the plugs and never have any trouble. I have had more than 20 hits in one day in my boat before while rigged in this manner. As far as when to strike, I know others will say let them take line, wait a second or two etc., but it is my feeling that if the rod is bent he has the plug in his mouth so hit him before he realizes it's plastic and lets go!

RM

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#325149 - 12/22/05 11:40 AM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Beezer Offline
Spawner

Registered: 06/09/99
Posts: 855
Loc: Monroe WA
For steelhead I go with power pro straight to my duoclip then my tad or hot shot etc, no swivels or spilt rings. When he grabs me I grab him.

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#325150 - 12/22/05 03:41 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
B-RUN STEELY Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 02/08/00
Posts: 3322
Loc: IDAHO
Its apples and oranges.. It all works. However, don't agree with the "hold the rod in your hands thing" not a good idea. Put them in the holders so you can see what they are doing at all times. The two butt heads up front pay attention for awhile and after that they start waving the things all over the place. When a fish does hit it scares the crap out of them and they YANK. Steelhead hook themselves with plugs.. they don't need any help from you.. No nibbles or bumps, its flat take down time.
_________________________
Clearwater/Salmon Super Freak

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#325151 - 12/22/05 06:00 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
OceanSun Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1176
Loc: North Creek
Thanks a ton guys - all good info here. I think I'll run one direct to the plug and rig the other with a leader and hope that the fish cooperate with my takedown to landing ratio study. A novice guest fighting a fish close to the boat - that shock-absorbing leader might be a good thing.

ISO - I'll be there the next day - leave about half a dozen for me will ya? I scouted out the blue creek to mission drift weekend before last. launched real late and only fished about 45 minutes pulled out on a couple diff gravel bars. took about 1.5 hrs of drift time to get to mission. Easy drift.
_________________________
. . . and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and have dominion over the fish of the sea . . .

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#325152 - 12/27/05 11:48 AM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Dave D Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/04/01
Posts: 3640
Loc: Gold Bar
I have a fishing buddy (Skydriftin) that plugs more fish a year then all you guys together could dream of. \:\)

Actually I am not kidding!

That's how he loves to fish and he is good at it.

For Steelhead skip the leader and rig the Power Pro straight to a duoclip.
_________________________
A.K.A
Lead Thrower

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#325153 - 12/27/05 10:39 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Hoh Humm Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 519
Loc: Forks
So far I think B-RUN has said it best.

I have never used a leader on a plug.
Just a plug clip (duoloc clip)on the end of my line an a plug,the idea of having a knot in my
line makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
And between the movment of the fish an the boat
there is no need at all to yank.
Every steelhead that I have cought on plugs
have indeed slammed those plugs,no yanking.
Best line for me 15lb. maxima camelian.
_________________________
I was on the oars.


ylwwolf@msn.com

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#325154 - 12/28/05 12:13 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Neal M Offline
The Enemy

Registered: 12/13/99
Posts: 2785
Loc: Bainbridge Island and Sappho, ...
I'm with you Hoh Humm. Straight 15 lb Maxima Camelian works just fine for Steelhead. Too many knots, swivels, and different line types can ruin a good day of fishing!
Setting the hook is really only needed when the steelhead picks up the plug and runs toward the boat. Otherwise they hook themselves. By setting the hook hard you are only tearing a bigger hole in their mouth, as well as increasing the chance of breaking your line.
Neal
Neal

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#325155 - 12/28/05 08:19 PM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
Queetsqueef Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 10/13/03
Posts: 339
I don't know about your Kenai advice. Generally when a fish hits a Kwik, the rod is in the drink and by the time you get up, and are able to pry your rod out of the holder, the fish is either on or off.

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#325156 - 12/30/05 06:20 AM Re: Steelhead Plugging Novice Question
plugs Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/27/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Longview,WA
Here is a list of Guides that Spend 99% of our time pulling plugs. Mind you it's a short list with the following side drifting has now days.
Don Glazer- Barrier Dam Campground
Nolan Smith- Nolan's Guide Service
Jay Patie- Red Neck Guide Service
Cris Leen- CML Guide Service
Claude Anderson- Sport Fishing Washington
And myself Rod's Guide Service
If you ask anyone us to reach in our boat and hand you a rod you'll see everyone of us fish 20lb. Izor line tied to the clip.
Why take the chance of having 3 knots in your line insted of just 1 when the 20lb.'er comes knocking.

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