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Windon or tuna rigging clarification

Old 04-13-2017, 09:51 AM
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Default Windon or tuna rigging clarification

Have a question about windon leader (or any leader for yellowfin tuna) terminal end. Do you just thread a skirt and crimp a hook to end of the windon (with pin if pin rigging)? Or do you still use a snap swivel?
Old 04-13-2017, 10:25 AM
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I use a snap.
Old 04-13-2017, 10:36 AM
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Mainline to a small SPRO Power Swivel (I use a 130# SPRO swivel and it will easily go through guides). From there 25-30' of 80# or 130# fluoro (pending grade of fish). Then piece of wire bent for the bait spring or small rubber band to a 7691 Mustad hook. In order to change skirts you have to cut end and slide off old skirt and put new one on but it is way more stealthy then a snap swivel. Also no need for leader man as everything can be reeled onto reel and you don't have lure bags filled with rigs for each lure just one 25-30' fluoro wind on on each rod and when you want to switch it up cut at swivel end, take off skirt, put new on, re-crimp and back in action.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:39 AM
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great info arbogb06!
Old 04-13-2017, 12:40 PM
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Thanks arbogb06! That is what I had pictured in my mind, but wanted to make sure I was correct.
Old 04-13-2017, 01:45 PM
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Also, you see guys double crimping the swivel and/or hook end. This is not needed. Crimp properly and only one crimp per end. The name of the game is stealth and less hardware. Some folks say 25-30' of fluoro is a waste. IMO its needed as I can switch out lures and cut out chaffed fluoro by the hook end and still fish the fluoro until it gets down to 15'+/- or so.

Then you have the folks that say that costs too much money to run long fluoro windons. Run 10 rods with 25' of fluoro windons that's 250'. Or they rig all 40+/- of their lures on 6-8' fluoro leaders (same footage, same cost) and when it gets chaffed they have to replace fluoro. Also, 40+/- lures rigged on 6-8' fluoro leaders is a pain in the ass to keep stored and untangled. Stealth and no leader man make windons 100x better IMO then the snap swivel way.
Old 04-13-2017, 01:49 PM
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great explanation, making the switch this year and this seals the deal, thanks!
Old 04-16-2017, 12:14 AM
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Snaps have an advantage in a hot bite. I fish both ways. I'll put the a small squid over the snap to hide it. If my crew is not experienced and can not rig ballyhoo, I can prerig 20 baits on 8ft leaders the night before and just unclip and clip baits on as we go. This makes things much easier if we are getting covered up with tuna especially in the early morning, that's the only advantage to snap swivels.
Old 04-16-2017, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by seapro12 View Post
Snaps have an advantage in a hot bite. I fish both ways. I'll put the a small squid over the snap to hide it. If my crew is not experienced and can not rig ballyhoo, I can prerig 20 baits on 8ft leaders the night before and just unclip and clip baits on as we go. This makes things much easier if we are getting covered up with tuna especially in the early morning, that's the only advantage to snap swivels.
If you are on a hot bite why would you need to swap anything out???? Suppose the bite is on blue/white shutes - you have 20 blue/white pre-rigged the night before???

I pre-rig a handfull of shutes (6-8) in different color and weight every trip and the rest of the ballys are prepped and salted. Once we know what color pattern or weight is getting the attention we can switch our game. We also carry 4 different color Shute daisy chains to match the hot color.

We direct tie #100 or 130# mono topshots to all of our swim baits with clinch knots. We use SPROs with 8' leader on all skirted baits. Leader is crimped to a SPRO and mainline direct tied to SPRO.

Long leader is a waste IMO as the leader doesn't need to be any longer than the tail of the fish. Also if all your leader is 8' long then everyone on the boat knows where the fish is when you see the swivel and it is ready for a poon or gaff shot.

I don't like guys grabbing leader - that's what the rod and drag are made to do. Once we see the swivel up near the tip we walk the fish forward and kill it.
Old 04-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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Also putting a squid skirt over your snap is not a great idea you could have another fish hit the skirt while fighting a fish, and like other mention the small barrel swivel directly to main line is the way to go
Old 04-16-2017, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by swellhunter View Post
If you are on a hot bite why would you need to swap anything out???? Suppose the bite is on blue/white shutes - you have 20 blue/white pre-rigged the night before???

I pre-rig a handfull of shutes (6-8) in different color and weight every trip and the rest of the ballys are prepped and salted. Once we know what color pattern or weight is getting the attention we can switch our game. We also carry 4 different color Shute daisy chains to match the hot color.

We direct tie #100 or 130# mono topshots to all of our swim baits with clinch knots. We use SPROs with 8' leader on all skirted baits. Leader is crimped to a SPRO and mainline direct tied to SPRO.

Long leader is a waste IMO as the leader doesn't need to be any longer than the tail of the fish. Also if all your leader is 8' long then everyone on the boat knows where the fish is when you see the swivel and it is ready for a poon or gaff shot.

I don't like guys grabbing leader - that's what the rod and drag are made to do. Once we see the swivel up near the tip we walk the fish forward and kill it.
I tie my own sea witches. I do mix in shutes and islanders as well. I have not noticed any difference in tuna preferring colors in a hot bite. Last year we had an epic month of tuna fishing in the Norfolk, I ran charters by myself (30 ft center console) and using snaps was much easier for me to get the spread out quicker and the new guys could help. We were getting constant multiple bites, sometimes 5-7 Tunas on. I prefer to use monel wire on my hoos, which takes longer to rig and it would have taken me 15-20 min to rerig after those cover ups. I'd rather use the snaps on these days with a fresh crew and lots of bites, it works for me just have to take the time to rig the night before.
Old 04-16-2017, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Seacraft25 View Post
Also putting a squid skirt over your snap is not a great idea you could have another fish hit the skirt while fighting a fish, and like other mention the small barrel swivel directly to main line is the way to go
Understood, I've had that happen once. I agree the barrel swivel windon is superior and prefer it, but I was explaining when I use snaps in some cases (hot bite, fresh crew) I like to skirt the swivel to hide it and can also act as teaser. Fish will tear apart daisy chains, birds and bars too but how often does that happen?
Old 04-17-2017, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by seapro12 View Post
Understood, I've had that happen once. I agree the barrel swivel windon is superior and prefer it, but I was explaining when I use snaps in some cases (hot bite, fresh crew) I like to skirt the swivel to hide it and can also act as teaser. Fish will tear apart daisy chains, birds and bars too but how often does that happen?
Once is too much for me. Plus skirting the snap can cause the swivel not to work correctly.

I have used both, but I was taught using snaps, so I still do it. I can switch from a full cedar plug spread, to a full plastic chain and bar spread and then to a full shute/witch spread in seconds by having snaps. Some leaders are 130, some 80 some wire, so I can switch if only 80 is getting hit etc. Can snap on a #2 planar and drone if we need it as well, all very fast. The drawback, it does take a guy on the leader who knows how to leader a fish.
Old 03-26-2019, 06:40 PM
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Bringing this back to ask another question. Is it a mistake to splice a windon with a pin rig fixed to end of windon?
Old 03-27-2019, 09:38 AM
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I wouldn’t do it for two reasons. 1, I want a swivel somewhere in the rig for line twist. 2, if I wanted to change skirt color or go naked, I’d have to cut the leader at the hook end, thread on a different skirt, and redo the crimp at the hook. There’s a lot more hardware at the hook end (chafe gear, pin, chin weight) than at the swivel end. So much easier to keep the connection at the hook and and redo the connection at the swivel end.

My 50s and 30s for tuna are braid > 100 yard top shot > Spro swivel > 30’ fluoro leader > hook. My TLDs for dolphin are 30# mainline > Bimini twist > Spro swivel > 30’ mono leader > hook.

For the TLDs during marlin season, I’ll ditch the swivel at the end of the Bimini, put a 24’ spliced windon at the end of the Bimini, then a Spro, then a 6’ fluoro leader with circle hook. Everything crimped. Change out baits using o-ring rigging.

edit - added 3rd reason. Splicing is a lot of work. I don’t want that work to go to waste by having that leader get beat up, abraded, and snipped over time. That’s why I like affixing a swivel to the end of the spliced windon and then making new connections on the bait end of the swivel.

Last edited by Capt. Ahab; 03-27-2019 at 09:52 AM.
Old 03-28-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by arbogb06 View Post

Then you have the folks that say that costs too much money to run long fluoro windons. Run 10 rods with 25' of fluoro windons that's 250'. Or they rig all 40+/- of their lures on 6-8' fluoro leaders (same footage, same cost) and when it gets chaffed they have to replace fluoro. Also, 40+/- lures rigged on 6-8' fluoro leaders is a pain in the ass to keep stored and untangled. Stealth and no leader man make windons 100x better IMO then the snap swivel way.
I use this approach. flouro wind ons. I usually snip up at the spro wind on swivel to change lures.
Old 03-29-2019, 01:20 PM
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I really don't like the spro wind on swivels and try not to use them. I've actually had them chafe through leader and cause it to part off. For the most part, we just use a snap swivel and a leader that is manageable in a small boat. Usually 6-8 feet from the swivel to the lure or bait.

Note this is for trolling and yft drifting. I don't fish for giants so no need for 30 feet of leader.

On deep drop swordfish rigs, it's very different, but those are unique to deep dropping.
Old 03-29-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by seapro12 View Post
Snaps have an advantage in a hot bite. I fish both ways. I'll put the a small squid over the snap to hide it. If my crew is not experienced and can not rig ballyhoo, I can prerig 20 baits on 8ft leaders the night before and just unclip and clip baits on as we go. This makes things much easier if we are getting covered up with tuna especially in the early morning, that's the only advantage to snap swivels.
Squids over swivels can keep the swivel from doing its job causing twists.
Old 03-30-2019, 12:53 AM
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To each his own, but when tuna are being picky and there’s 200 boats at the Hudson all trolling the same shutes and islanders, that 20 ft of fluorocarbon and tiny Spro will out catch a giant 130 lb snap swivel and 6 foot flourocarbon.

Stealth is is key in my opinion, 130 lb spros, small/short quality crimps and no chaffing gear. Windon leader eliminates the leader man and one more level of human error. Good luck!
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