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What Dredge to get?

Old 09-19-2019, 12:21 PM
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Default What Dredge to get?

After reading the article in a recent Saltwater Sportsman on dredges I am considering adding one to my tuna spread. I am leaning towards the Tournament Cable Bucket dredge with stickbaits, What color would be the most versatile for tuna in the NC/Va area?
Old 09-19-2019, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike3765 View Post
After reading the article in a recent Saltwater Sportsman on dredges I am considering adding one to my tuna spread. I am leaning towards the Tournament Cable Bucket dredge with stickbaits, What color would be the most versatile for tuna in the NC/Va area?

If this is the route you decide to go I have a number of the TC stick baits in both blue and yellow and will sell them at at much better price. PM me if interested.

Last edited by Shin-Dig; 09-20-2019 at 01:13 PM.
Old 09-20-2019, 09:20 AM
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If you are thinking about getting one of our dredges today is the final day of our dredge sale.
Old 09-21-2019, 04:22 PM
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cant go wrong with a squid dredge, every tournament boat has atleast one hanging from the rigger...
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck Richardson View Post
If you are thinking about getting one of our dredges today is the final day of our dredge sale.
Rats, missed the sale.
Old 09-23-2019, 08:35 AM
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For the non-salt water fisherman in the group...

What's a dredge and how does it work?

Thanks.
Old 09-23-2019, 09:10 AM
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I bought some expensive dredges from Tournament Tackle including the Bucket Dredge. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! They simply do not hold up to the rigors of offshore tournament fishing. Anything collapsible will eventually break, as in the nut will not hold the arms in place. The collapsible dredges are great for storage initially until they fail and then you throw them away. Get the sturdiest Fixed Dredge (not collapsible) which are much less expensive and hold up the best.
Old 09-23-2019, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Kendall View Post
I bought some expensive dredges from Tournament Tackle including the Bucket Dredge. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! They simply do not hold up to the rigors of offshore tournament fishing. Anything collapsible will eventually break, as in the nut will not hold the arms in place. The collapsible dredges are great for storage initially until they fail and then you throw them away. Get the sturdiest Fixed Dredge (not collapsible) which are much less expensive and hold up the best.
I've got a bucket dredge from tournament cable and it has held up just fine. Did you get in contact with them regarding your issue?
Old 09-23-2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wamc0206 View Post
I've got a bucket dredge from tournament cable and it has held up just fine. Did you get in contact with them regarding your issue?
All my collapsible dredges from Tournament Cable (3 or 4) have failed. They work fine for the first couple trips, but eventually they all failed especially pulling for marlin at 8+Knots.
Old 09-23-2019, 11:22 AM
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I have that one and like it pretty well...I run a strip teaser on the other side as well and I think it works better.....I may add a flap or squid to the the stick bait one...

I have had NO issues with tournament cable ...high quality stuff so that is interesting.

r
Old 09-23-2019, 12:42 PM
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All of the collapsible arms will fail , doesn't matter who makes them . If you are still using them crimp cable to both pieces so you might get some of it back when it fails .

I would say squid for tuna , although we have had some big tuna interested in the mudflaps hanging from the riggers while fighting fish .
Old 09-23-2019, 01:18 PM
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Blue water candy has a nice squid dredge, I think TheTackleRoom.com stocks them.
Old 09-23-2019, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Flybull View Post
For the non-salt water fisherman in the group...

What's a dredge and how does it work?

Thanks.
giant underwater umbrella rig basically. Big weight gets it down deep, raises pelagic fish.
Old 09-23-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kendall View Post
I bought some expensive dredges from Tournament Tackle including the Bucket Dredge. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! They simply do not hold up to the rigors of offshore tournament fishing. Anything collapsible will eventually break, as in the nut will not hold the arms in place. The collapsible dredges are great for storage initially until they fail and then you throw them away. Get the sturdiest Fixed Dredge (not collapsible) which are much less expensive and hold up the best.
What a bunch of crap. I don't often object to someone else's opinion or experience with a product expressed on this forum, but a negative post like this could have substantial impact on an honest, hard working small business owner like this one, and deserves a rebuttal. In my opinion, and from my experience,Tournament Cable's products are the best around. We've been using Chuck's dredges for 14 years and have yet to have a breakdown or failure. Started with his bucket dredge on my old CC. Still have it, and it is as new. Purchased his collapsible two tier E-Z6 Dredges after 4 years of using the bucket dredge, (and his dredge booms). Used the EZ-6 dredges and booms on the CC for the next 4 years (rigged with natural mullets or bally and chin weights, so they are dragging plenty of weight), until we bought the Express. Made a visit to Tournament Cable for recommendations on running full "A frame" dredge set up off the outriggers. In fact Chuck has talked us out of buying products over the years that we went into the shop to buy, but would not really suit our boat size or type of fishing. For the Express, Chuck added a tier to our existing 4 year old EZ-6's, and checked out all the arms for wear and tear. Unlike other stationary dredges, you can repair a damaged arm on the EZ-6 dredges. No upsell or advice to buy something new, just honest sound advice based on years of experience and field testing. We eventually did lose one of our original EZ-6 dredges when a Blue Marlin went wild and decided to wrap itself and swim away with it, but we still have one of our original's (now 14 years old) that we used all last summer rigged with naturals, (and we troll from 5-8 knots regularly). Unlike some of our famous brand non collapsible triple tier plastic squid dredges that have arms that begin to get tired and worn out after continued use, (often due to being stored in a fish box for the runs in and out or stepped on or flattened when stored on a deck or a cabin), the Tournament Cable EZ-6 collapsible dredges look as new, and are easily stored away during the trips (either fully rigged in the bait freezer), or in the Plano box provided.

Look, I have no affiliation with Tournament Cable. I'm just a very satisfied and loyal customer of a small business American made manufacturer ( 2 person shop) of some of the best quality, innovative offshore products on the market. A small shop that will stand behind all their products, and go above and beyond for the customer. Until today, I've never heard a negative opinion of the company or the products. Take a close look at the product. I'd put their quality up against any competitive products I've seen on the market today, and have many hours under my belt pulling them offshore for years. Walk any of the docks here in NJ, and talk to the pros or charter Captains and mates, and you will get a similar opinion.
Old 09-23-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cobraarvey View Post
What a bunch of crap. I don't often object to someone else's opinion or experience with a product expressed on this forum, but a negative post like this could have substantial impact on an honest, hard working small business owner like this one, and deserves a rebuttal. In my opinion, and from my experience,Tournament Cable's products are the best around. We've been using Chuck's dredges for 14 years and have yet to have a breakdown or failure. Started with his bucket dredge on my old CC. Still have it, and it is as new. Purchased his collapsible two tier E-Z6 Dredges after 4 years of using the bucket dredge, (and his dredge booms). Used the EZ-6 dredges and booms on the CC for the next 4 years (rigged with natural mullets or bally and chin weights, so they are dragging plenty of weight), until we bought the Express. Made a visit to Tournament Cable for recommendations on running full "A frame" dredge set up off the outriggers. In fact Chuck has talked us out of buying products over the years that we went into the shop to buy, but would not really suit our boat size or type of fishing. For the Express, Chuck added a tier to our existing 4 year old EZ-6's, and checked out all the arms for wear and tear. Unlike other stationary dredges, you can repair a damaged arm on the EZ-6 dredges. No upsell or advice to buy something new, just honest sound advice based on years of experience and field testing. We eventually did lose one of our original EZ-6 dredges when a Blue Marlin went wild and decided to wrap itself and swim away with it, but we still have one of our original's (now 14 years old) that we used all last summer rigged with naturals, (and we troll from 5-8 knots regularly). Unlike some of our famous brand non collapsible triple tier plastic squid dredges that have arms that begin to get tired and worn out after continued use, (often due to being stored in a fish box for the runs in and out or stepped on or flattened when stored on a deck or a cabin), the Tournament Cable EZ-6 collapsible dredges look as new, and are easily stored away during the trips (either fully rigged in the bait freezer), or in the Plano box provided.

Look, I have no affiliation with Tournament Cable. I'm just a very satisfied and loyal customer of a small business American made manufacturer ( 2 person shop) of some of the best quality, innovative offshore products on the market. A small shop that will stand behind all their products, and go above and beyond for the customer. Until today, I've never heard a negative opinion of the company or the products. Take a close look at the product. I'd put their quality up against any competitive products I've seen on the market today, and have many hours under my belt pulling them offshore for years. Walk any of the docks here in NJ, and talk to the pros or charter Captains and mates, and you will get a similar opinion.

I also have no affiliation with Tournament Cable or any competitors, but my experience is my experience and this is the HULLTRUTH. I am simply sharing my experience with Bucket dredges and EZ 6 Collapsible dredges which failed me during Tournament Marlin fishing. I warn anyone to be aware of my experience in which I wasted a few hundred dollars. I would love to have had an experience where everything worked perfectly, but that is simply not what happened. These collapsible dredges simply do not hold up to tournament Marlin fishing on our boat. We used Mullets with 1 oz weighted mini jetheads on several and the arms would not stay out, the nut simply would not keep the dredge arms out and some broke off with the imbalance, and they simply would not perform imbalanced. Sorry but that is the Hulltruth.
Old 09-23-2019, 08:39 PM
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A lot to think about here. Basically what I am getting is that for my Tuna Spread I should be looking at a Squid Dredge instead of a Stickbait version. Since two of my most productive lures have been a Green Machine behind a bird on the WWB and a Blue/White Islander over a hoo on the long rigger I am torn between Blue and Green for the squid color. Can anyone help me off the fence here?

Now about where to pull it and what weight to use.... I am thinking about using my Downrigger and pulling the dredge back just in front of my flatlines, about 30 or 40 yards back. If that sounds about right what weight should I use in front of it? I am seeing 6, 8, and 10 pound Fish Weights and 24 to 64 Oz Trolling weights. My most productive trolling speed has been 5 to 7 knots in my 25 foot Carolina Classic.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:47 PM
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We use a 6lb fish weight with the dredge we are using in this video:

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Old 09-24-2019, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kendall View Post
I bought some expensive dredges from Tournament Tackle including the Bucket Dredge. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! They simply do not hold up to the rigors of offshore tournament fishing. Anything collapsible will eventually break, as in the nut will not hold the arms in place. The collapsible dredges aret great for storage initially until they fail and then you throw them away. Get the sturdiest Fixed Dredge (not collapsible) which are much less expensive and hold up the best.

I have had similar experiences with TC collapsable dredges as I have two of them. Their kiss of death is when there are weeds present and we must remove them immediately or risk damage to the dredge. The TC arms also break off on clear days at a significantly higher rate than our fixed arm dredges.

The arms break at such a high rate I must keep spare arms rigged and ready. Also, replacing a TC broken arm is not as easy or quick as advertised since tools are needed to pry what is left of the broken arm out of the collar on a rocking boat. I have asked TC multiple times to sell me the collar so I could have the replacement arm already installed into the caller so no tools other than the shaft nut wrench would be needed while fishing, but was told they only order the collars and shaft as full sets.

We rarely have problems with our fixed arm dredges losing an arm and with the cost of replacing an arm and its bait approaches $20, we will not be purchasing anymore after our current supply of replacement arms is exhausted.
Old 09-24-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Shin-Dig View Post
I have had similar experiences with TC collapsable dredges as I have two of them. Their kiss of death is when there are weeds present and we must remove them immediately or risk damage to the dredge. The TC arms also break off on clear days at a significantly higher rate than our fixed arm dredges.

The arms break at such a high rate I must keep spare arms rigged and ready. Also, replacing a TC broken arm is not as easy or quick as advertised since tools are needed to pry what is left of the broken arm out of the collar on a rocking boat. I have asked TC multiple times to sell me the collar so I could have the replacement arm already installed into the caller so no tools other than the shaft nut wrench would be needed while fishing, but was told they only order the collars and shaft as full sets.

We rarely have problems with our fixed arm dredges losing an arm and with the cost of replacing an arm and its bait approaches $20, we will not be purchasing anymore after our current supply of replacement arms is exhausted.

Cobraarvey, sounds like three people on this thread have had failures with collapsible dredges! This is the great benefit of the Hulltruth forum in that everyone can share their honest experience and can warn folks about wasting money on collapsible dredges.
Old 09-24-2019, 06:58 AM
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I've never had a collapsible dredge break, but have had plenty of fixed arm dredges break. All dredge arms will break it's part of the deal with running a dredge. If you're not willing to lose a dredge don't run them. I have lost plenty from a variety of issues. They pull hard and throw on top of it a 4 to 6 pound wait and you are going to have failures, period.

I will also say that if you are new to running dredges keep it simple! For a first timer I would run something that is a single tier without long droppers. A single tier stick bait dredge could be a nice way to go. Get a bigger bait like the mullet, they give off quite a bit of flash. A lot of people like the strip dredges, I am not a fan. I personally run a squid dredge on one side that is 5 squid long. On the other a run a double with bally shaped flaps in the middle and real bally on the outside with Mylar skirts. If you go with squid go with pink or red. If you have ever seen squid being balled up by fish they are bright red. We were out one time and I saw this giant patch of red and went over to it, it was a bunch of squid being balled up by a couple of whites.

Last edited by WavRidr359; 09-24-2019 at 07:29 AM.
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