How do you make your trotlines and set?

Discussion in 'Alternative Methods of Catching Catfish' started by slippedcork, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    I make mine with the hooks 4ft apart and with a 12in leader. I then start placing the line in a styrofoam cooler and hooking eash hook in the top of the cooler until done. When I make the set I tie the trotline to a leader and simply let out the line and each hook in sequence. I use 4/0 hooks also. I usually tie one end to a snag or bank rock and let my line out and set the tag end with at least a 50lb rock with a 20ft leader tied to the trotline. I tie another tag with a 2ltr coke bottle then when I get the line tight with my boat I dump my rock in and then adjust the depth with the coke bottle. I want to know how you guys do it!
     
  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    I make up my own using 1/0 swivels and brads 4' apart, #36 nylon twine main, and #9 or #12 for the droppers. I store the lines on spools and I've made an axle that clamps to the gunwhale that the spool spins on while setting the line out. Then I go back and put the droppers on and tweek the line.

    My situation is kinda sorta unique in that the river is around 100 yds. wide where I'm at and I'll usually run the line from bank to bank.
     

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  3. catfishjon

    catfishjon New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    texas
    I use size 120 green braided nylon for the main line and that makes the line about 180 feet long if I use one roll. I use large swivels with a knot on either side to keep them in place. I use size 36 line for the drops that are 18 inches long. The hook of choice is a Mustad 12/0 circle that is made needle sharp every time I use it. I fish with live perch 90% of the time and cut bait when I can't get perch. I tie one end to a tree trunk and play the line out to another branch for the other end. I always take extra line in case I need to add some to reach a good limb to tie on. I always fish a tight line by adding weights to adjust line tension and bait depth. This is important. I always fish in heavy brush and I never fish on bottom. The fish will come to those perch and I have less hang-ups doing it this way. I take a plastic milk carton box, install a piece of one and a half inch pvc to the top on one side and saw almost the whole length of the pvc. I place my hooks in this slot as I let them out or taking them up. Good fishing, Catfishjon
     
  4. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Wow Pat, I guess everything is bigger in Texas. Your drops are the size of my main. What size fish you catch on your trotlines? A 50 lb flathead is the largest for me.

    8/0 Gamatzu circles are the largest hooks I use.
     
  5. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    I have heard about people using clips on their drop line and clipping their bait and hook onto the main line after the set is made. Do any of you do this and what do you use for a clip?
     
  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've got a couple of different ways of rigging my trotlines. I still make some the old-fashioned way, putting swivels on the mainline between knots tied in the +/- 350# test twisted nylon mainline. I try to use swivels that are just large enough to fit loosely over the line, but when I have to use larger swivels, I use pliers to squeeze one end of the swivel down small enough that it can't slip over the knots in the mainline. My droppers are 100# test braided nylon; they're made by tying the ends of a 24" length of line together to form a 12" loop. I attach the hook by running the doubled line through the end of the hook, then bringing the hook back through. So far, both of my methods are just alike. The older method calls for attaching the dropper to the swivel by running the other end (from the hook) through the swivel, then bringing the hook end through the resulting loop. I then store the line in a jumpbox, which is also used to deploy the trotling very quickly. This is a good method for putting out several trotlines along a section of riprap. I put a loop in the end of the trotline to attach the weight with a regular clamp-on trotline clip. With the second method, I attach E-Z Clips to the free end of the droppers. To store them, I glue closed-cell foam (like pool noodles) to the inside rim of a 5-gallon plastic bucket, and stick the hooks into the foam, letting the droppers hang down inside the bucket. I'll set up the mainline, say between 2 stumps or trees, leaving the weights off, then go back and attach the droppers, baiting them as I go. The EZ Clips make it quick and easy to clip the droppers onto the swivels. Once that's done, I attach my weights. Depending on how heavy the weights are, and how deep I want my line to be, I put a +/- 10# weight about 12'-15' out from each end where the line is tied. If you try this, you'll quickly see that it's important to get just the right amount of slack in the line when you're first setting it out. Ideally, you want the line from the tree to the weight to be at about a 60 degree down angle. This holds the mainline taut; it also acts as a shock absorber, because when a big fish pulls on the line, it has to lift the weight. The further the weight is pulled, the harder it is to lift it some more. The first method is best for situations where you want to move the line frequently; the second method where you plan to have it in the water a little longer; OR, use the second method anywhere you cannot put the line out quickly. The jumpbox is designed to put the line out quickly; trying to use one to put out a line slowly just doesn't work well...it will almost certainly get tangled up.
     
  8. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    Thats exactly what I was referring to. I am going with a guy to taylorsville this spring and he says he uses the clips and I was wondering how he does it. I like my way but hey I will try anything that works better, and that remains to be seen LOL. I am going to order each of them and make up a line to see which one is easier. Thanks for the info and if you fish anywhere in central ky or the ohio river drop me a line and maybe we can set a few hooks.
     
  9. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    You went the distance on this one and I will surely make a line like this. Thank you alot! I am curious though, I let my fully ready lines out at idle speed so what is the advantage of the clips other than a prebait? I am really curious about the clips because its something new to me.
     
  10. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I do not use drop clips or brads on the main line. I have had line almost
    worn into because of these. I use a # 30 line and # 3 rosco swivels or
    a # 24 line and 5 rosco swivels. Put all your swivels on your main line
    pull off the amount of line you want to your first hook and run the spool
    around the line and back through this makes a knot pull your first swivel
    against your knot and measure the distance you want your swivel to move
    6" to a foot and make another knot. This allows the swivel to move up
    and down the line between the knots. This only works with the correct
    line and swivel combo. If the line is to small the swivel will jump the knot.
    After you get your first swivel and knots made pull off the amount of line
    you want between each drop and repeat. I go ahead and tie my drops to
    my hooks and tie a bowline knot to the end opposite from the hook. After
    I get my main line out and anchored I go back and add my drops and
    some weight in the middle if needed. To add my drops I run the loop of
    the bowline through the swivel and then run the hook through the loop
    on the back side and pull the drop tight. Bait up and go to the next one.
    Its wise to add weight enough to sink the line if nothing else because
    if you start running a line every idiot on the water has to come by and
    you want to clear their prop without having to drop your line. I am sorry
    I did not mean to write a book but some things are hard to explain.
     
  11. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    You explained it very well and thank you. All I worry about are some of the bass fishermen snaging my line and cutting it. Im still stuck as to why a clip and swivel are used. I tie a overhand knot on my main line and tie a single line with the hook to the loop. It will hold a 68lb flathead I know for sure.
     
  12. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    That's basically how I put the swivels on my mainline, but I have the swivels between two knots about 1" apart. Using the right size swivels is best, but if you have to use swivels that are large enough that they will slip over the knots, you can close the opening some with a pair of pliers; that will keep the swivels in place.
    Why put swivels on the mainline rather than just a dropper loop? The swivel lets the cat spin and swim all the way around the mainline without getting tangled up so often. I made a trotline once without using swivels, and lost so many fish to twist-offs that I pulled the line, cut off the dropper loops, and used the line for scrap.
    As far as using clips goes, sometimes it's handy, sometimes not worth the bother. That's why I have trotlines rigged both ways. In places where I can put out a line quickly, fasten on a weight with a clamp-on trotline clip, and simply drop it, the pre-rigged lines work well, especially when using a jumpbox. But there are some places where I don't want to simply drop the end of my trotline to the bottom. And positioning it between two stumps (or whatever) often requires adding line to one or both ends. Depending on how I'm rigging the line, I also may want to add weights and/or floats along the line. Personally, I prefer to do all this without the hooks being on the line...fewer hangups, on me, as well as on snags. When I'm setting out a trotline in flooded timber in moving water 15' deep, there's just no good way to do it fast. Clips also have the advantage of making the dropper and hook quickly and easily replaceable. Handy for when you've got a bent or broken hook, or when a cat has swallowed the hook. Rather than fooling with it out on the water, simply unclip the dropper and clip on a fresh one; take care of the problem dropper when you get back to shore, or have some spare time on the water. Also, to me, it's much easier to store trotlines with the droppers and hooks off the mainline. Since my jumpboxes have the hooks hanging outside the boxes, they seem to grab everything that happens by. I'm going to have to make a carry container for the jumpboxes!
     
  13. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    I use clips myself I make 5 or 6 inch loops on my main line then clip my hook lines on after puting out my main line when runing my line I just unclip my fish and put a new line and hook on when fishing brush I use a short line 3 to 6 hooks as for the clips you can buy them here on the BOC or any good sporting good store
     
  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    "........To add my drops I run the loop of the bowline through the swivel and then run the hook through the loop on the back side and pull the drop tight.........."

    Poppa, we call that knot a 'crow's foot' around here, and it's standard method for trotlining.

    Skip, if you're one of those who puts a line out in the afternoon or evening and takes it back up the next moring, probably not alot of advantage to clips for you.

    For someone like me who may have the mainline out for weeks or months and am continually changing droppers/hook sizes/baits etc., the clips are great.

    Also, the clips are good for deep hooked fish where you'd rather not cut the dropper. IMO, if you use circle hooks you shouldn't have many of those.
     
  15. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    Gotcha, I can see where the clips would be very handy on a long set. Mine are typically overnight but I am going to make a couple up and see how I like it. Thanks to all for the info and good fishing.
     
  16. catfishjon

    catfishjon New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    texas
    Larry, I have used all types and sizes of lines in the past and I always liked bigger line for several reasons. The first is the larger line is easier to hold on to in high winds and rough water. Also, if I hang up, I can usually pull loose with the boat and not break the line. I use big circle hooks and large live perch because I want to catch a hundered pound blue some day. My best fish so far has been a 72 pound yellow cat. I still catch plenty of smaller blues and channels with these big hooks and baits. This year I will change something else as I am always looking for ways to make it better. Catfishjon
     
  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    I wish there were blues here where I'm at......
     
  18. paulp155

    paulp155 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Missouri, Bourbon
    I have combined a trotline and a jug line together. I have anchors on both ends of my main line with a jug in the middle. I also use the clips mainly for the fact of my fear of getting stuck with a hook in my hand. Getting a fish unhooked and not draging my setup loose is also a plus. I use shorter drops about eight inches long. I store them on a jiffy peanut butter jar that I cut a hole in the bottom with a hole saw. I turn the jar upside down and hang my hooks on it. then grab the jar over the top of my drop lines and flip the jar over and put the clips into the inside of the jar and put the lid on. My main line is stored on a edm wire spool. and my jug is actualy a five gallon bucket that I put my hooks, main line and anchors inside of and only have on item to carry to the boat.
     

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  19. catfish10101

    catfish10101 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    State:
    Des Allemands,
    Paul P, Thanks for that idea with the jar of hooks. That might just come in handy.

    I use tarred line #72 for mainline, with large brass swivels between knots and 12 inch loop drops made of #20 tarred line. I take a 5 gallon bucket and drill holes around the rim for my hooks and feed the mainline into the bucket while placing the hooks in the holes around the rim. This can also be done with a plastic shrimp hamper. Weights are placed on 2 foot drops so that they do not drag my line down into the mud.

    I did buy some of the croslock hooks to try, but I haven't put that line out yet. My grandfather, 87 years old still running trotlines almost every day, says that the clips are a waste because they fail to often, but I am going to give it a fair shake anyway.

    BTW, The biggest catfish I know of that came from the bayou where I fish, was a 92 pound blue caught by my grandfather on a trotline.
     
  20. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Marion Co Kentucky
    You guys are giving me alot of new ideas. Keep em coming.