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Slipping Timber - equipment?

1541 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  JimmiMallo
I got a new book recently entitled "Catfishing Techniques" that was put out by the North American Fishing Club. It has alot of great info in it, and a wide variety of clear, full color pictures of various subjects (rigs, equipment, bait techniques, etc.)

Anyway, one of the techniques that was discussed caught my eye - "Slipping Timber". The basic technique is very similar to drop-shotting live bait. Simply put, it's a technique for working logjams where you pull right up to the jam and drop your bait vertically (so as to avoid snags) down into the holes.

Thinking more about this technique, it seems the main considerations for pulling it off are using a very abrasion-resistant line to hold up to the wood, and using very heavy equipment to enable you to horse a big cat out of it's holding place. And, while a longer pole would be nice for it's greater reach (remember, you're dropping your bait down vertically, so, if you can't reach a hole, you can't work it), I think you'd sacrifice alot in terms of leverage.

While I'd love to be able to have a specific setup for just this task, I don't. So, whatever rig I end up with for this will also have to pull double-duty as a tightlining rod. So, it has to be able to cast a heavy line and have a decent capacity.

Having said all of that, I'm looking for equipment input in the following areas...

Line - Superbraids are out, due to their lack of abrasion resistance. A heavy (40# or greater), abrasion-resistant mono (Trilene Big Game, Trilene XT, Stren Super Tough, Ande, etc.) would seem ideal. But, what about something like braided Dacron? How does it compare with regards to abrasion resistance and casting performance? How does it compare diameter-wise to the same rating is mono?

Reel - It's got to be able to hold a heavy line, obviously. And, while it doesn't necessarily have to hold a large capacity for this Slipping Timber, remember that this rig will be pulling double duty. I was considering something like an Abu 6500C3, but I'm not really sure how it will handle casting a larger line (not to mention the line capacity shortcoming) or wether it really has the guts to horse a big cat out of heavy cover. Something like an Abu 7000 would be a better choice, but what about something like a Penn levelwind? How do these compare to Abus in terms of raw power, casting distance and drag performance?

Rod - As mentioned, while longer would be nice for reaching into the jam, I think the tradeoff is just too great. What is really needed is backbone and pure power to control a big cat. Something in the 7' - 7'6" range in a heavy action would probably be ideal. I typically try to stay away from multi-piece rods, just because the junction is one less thing to worry about failing in the heat of battle. Am I just paranoid, or is this a valid concern? What about retractable butt rods (where the two pieces don't actually separate, but, instead, slide into each other)?

Anyway, if you read this far, thanks.

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My dad use to take us out on the jams when we were growing up an I still do it from time to time.We didn't have a boat back then so the only way to get to the holes was to walk out on the jams.We use heavy action rods nothing longer than 6 ft an open face reels with at least 50lb mono.Rig with a carolina style hook leader 2 to 3 inches long with a "J" style hook.The idea is to hook set the moment you feel any kind of a load on the line,get them to the top an out as quick as possible.Your going to loose some tackle but thats part of it.We always use live bait most of the time you will get your bait back because your hook setting before they have time to swallow it.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply, Loop.

Walking out on the jams? :eek:

It sounds like I'm on the right track with regards to equipment. I'll probably end up going just a little longer than the 6' you used, just so it'll still cast decently. But, other than that, what you describe is what I had in mind.

BTW, just to be clear... what do you mean by "open face reel". I've only heard that term with regards to spinning reels. Is that what you used?

Yep that would be the type of reel (spinning).
Fifty lb line on anything else is a little hard to cast for any distance.Some of the rods might have been 6'6" or 7'.
But with a spining reel it will still cast a fair distance when your not slipping a jam,course wenever knew a term for it.Guess we were ahead of our times we called it "Jamin".
Back when we first did it with Dad we only had those level wind old style reels that when you made a cast the handle would go in reverse letting out line. LOL We also used the old braded multie colored line talk about bird nests.LOL
Rember Dad had one of those steel rods with half the shaft square that poor thing had been bent forty different ways trying to get big flats out of those jams.
I've got half a bushel basket of reels, and my 6500 is probably the last reel I'd pick for logjammin' like you were talking about. The drag system is so puny that if I'm lucky enough to hang a cat of 10# or more in the swift water below a dam or powerhouse, I have to add drag with my thumb to get it in. And that's with the drag cranked ALL the way down! Now, it's a great little reel so long as I don't ask it to doo too much; kind of like the difference between my minivan and my 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup. Something like a Penn 209 or Jigmaster 500 will cast pretty well; while a Penn 320GTI will cast very well. Of course, any of those three will be rugged and handle the size line you want to use.
I'm really sold on the Quantum Big Cat rods. For what you're talking about, I'd definitely go with the heavy action.
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

Funny that you mentioned the Penns, Jerry. After more consideration yesterday, I started thinking more seriously about them, and actually made a post in the Reel Review section asking for comparisons to something like the Ambassadeur 7000. I don't really have any first hand experience with Penn reels, but the 209M and 500L are the two with specs that looked like they'd match up to my intended use.

I'm off to see what kind of responses I got...

I've got a Penn Jigmaster 500 that I bought in 1965 to use for surf fishing on the California coast. Since then, I've used it surf fishing and bottom fishing in both oceans. And while it's not the best casting reel in the world, it does great in situations where you need to cast reasonable distances. I still use it, and currently have it loaded with 50# dacron line. According to Badkarma, who has a 209, it performs about the same for him. If you want maximum casting distance with rugged Penn dependability, go for the 320GTI.
Thanks, again, for the advice.

Speaking of Dacron... How does it stack up to mono for abrasion resistance, diameter for pound rating, and castability? I've heard that alot of catmen use braided Dacron, but don't have any firsthand experience with it, myself.

Also, it seems like the only Dacron I see if Cortland. Is that what you use?

I have some Penn international 50TW's on tuns sticks, I will just pull them out of the jams with them. Hopefully it will be strong enough lol
BASS PRO SHOPS carries dacron line in OFFSHORE ANGLER brand. I use it on my OKUMA reels for drifting. Seems fairly abrasion resistant to me, not to mention reasonably priced.
Check out the uglystick Tiger rods for backbone! Those things are tough. A 7' Heavy or Medium heavy would be just right! :cool:
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