Balloons

Discussion in 'Terminal Tackle Review' started by zcat, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. zcat

    zcat New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    ohio
    Here is a recent trip that i used balloons on. Sorry no pics of fish , but i was happy with the set up. This was the first time i tried balloons for cats. I will try again.
     

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  2. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    I use balloons extensively when fishing near the face of the dams on the Arkansas River.

    I rig them up to be a slip float for the deep water above and in the settling basin below the dam. Use a standard bobber stop (I like the yarn type) set at the desired fishing depth (18-30 feet below the dam, 8-50 feet above the dam) with the balloon attached to a swivel threaded onto the line between two beads. An egg sinker is threaded on and the swivel is tied on. Finish the rig with leader and hook.

    To deploy, simply wind the line up and cast normally.

    The trick to this rig is faster deployment in a current... I fish it in the eddy current below the dam, using the current to pull the balloon upstream towards the downstream face of the dam. The eddy current is relatively shallow, so in order to take advantage of the strength of the current, the balloon rig must be run shallow. This can be accomplished by using a simple "Lifesaver" candy... the one with the hole in the middle. It's this hole that makes it work.

    Slide the balloon and beads towards the sinker as far as it will go. Pinch a loop of the mainline above the first bead and thread it through the "Lifesaver", looping the line over to form a slipknot on the candy.

    Cast the line out into the edge of the eddy current, and it will be swept along. Feed the line out until the balloon is in the desired location or until the candy dissolves, releasing the balloon to the bobber stop. The candy in fruit flavors will melt and release the balloon in about 12 minutes... mint flavors will dissolve within 9 to 10 minutes.

    I also use a balloon to suspend a bait at a particular level while drift fishing. I can successfully drift sideways with 5 rods on one side of the boat and two on the other. On the downdrift side, the end rods use balloons, drifted well back, sometimes 100' or more. The next two inboard rods are rigged for close drifting (~25') and the center rod carries another balloon drifted back farther than the the inboard rods, but not as far as the end balloons. The two rods on the updrift side are fished straight down for suspended fish just off the bottom.
     

  3. BLKCLOUD

    BLKCLOUD New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Pulaski Tn
    Is there any advantage using balloons instead a big slip float?
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    If you're trying to cast as far as possible, using a long, small-diameter balloon like clowns use to make animals will have a lot less drag than a regular round balloon. A wooden float has weight, while the balloon essentially has none, which may cause better distance between the float and the terminal tackle, resulting in fewer tangles. The balloon will generally break while fighting a big fish, eliminating drag from the float system. Carrying several wooden floats in your tacklebox takes up considerable room; balloons take hardly any room at all. You need to carry different sizes of wooden floats for use with different weight sinkers; with a balloon, you simply blow it up a little less or a little more. If you blow it up enough so that it sticks out of the water about 8", you'll have good visibility without creating excessive resistance to a bite.
     
  5. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC
    I was thinking that you could probably activate a glow stick and drop it in the ballon before inflating it and it'd be pretty visible at night. No doubt that some of the more translucient, lighter colored baloons would work better for that. Anyone tried that? How'd it work for you?

    What about filling them up with sand for, do-it-yourself sinkers of varied weights? Cut the neck off of a Cheerwine bottle to use as a funnel (just don't forget to pick up after yourself.

    Jon
     
  6. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    What JTrew said about convenience goes for me too. The really large party balloons are helpful if you depend on the wind to move the balloon, as well as add extra visibility badly needed if you fish your balloon 500 feet or more away.

    I do put lightsticks in the balloons at night. They work great! It doesn't take much light to stand out in the new moon! In addition, the lightstick makes the balloon into a bite alarm... when the fish bites, the balloon is shaken with the resulting low frequency noise carrying well in the quiet night air.