About the Rig Creator
About the Rig
Rick Jeeter's Live Lining Rig - w/ Fish Finder
The theme for this one - big fish like to eat little fish.
The illustration to the right represents Rick Jeeter's version of the Chesapeake Bay live lining set up for Rockfish.
Rick will generally run a few lines at various depths. The fish finder set up you see here is used for the deeper lines. The sinker slide, or fish finder as it is commonly referred to, allows for simple depth adjustment by simply swiching weights.
Like lots of folks on the Bay, Rick is a fan of Saint Croix rods. For his fish finder rigs, he prefers a spinning set up ranging from 6 1/2 foot to 7 foot rods with medium to medium heavy power and fast action. A couple options that we would recommend are the TIS66MHF, the TIS66HF, or TIS70HF. If you want to grab one to get going, the TIS66MHF is a great starting point.
Shakespeare's Ugly Stick Series rods offer good value in a lower priced graphite rod options as well.
Rick's reel of choice is the Shimano Stradic ST3000fl. A step up option would be the Quantum Cabo with the TiMAG Salt magnetic bail system. Within the Cabo line up, the CSP40PTs is a good choice for live lining. A good value reel for the application would be the Penn Sargus 3000.
Another alternative is a Shimano Baitrunner. The Baitrunners feature a secondary drag system which allows the bait to run freely with the bail closed. We recommend the BTR3500B for live lining the Bay.
Rick is an advocate of braid. for the main line, he'll use a 30 pound test.
He prefers a flourocarbon leader - 20 pound test.
The key to the set up is the fish finder - or sinker slide. The fish finder is added to the mainline before the barrel swivel is tied. A cool new innovative time saver is the Quik Slide. It features a two part slide that you can twist to open - place over the line - and twist to shut. This eliminates the need to re-tie the barrel swivel if you choose to add or remove the fish finder.
The fish finder allows the sinker to slide along the line. This allows greater freedom of movement for the baitfish and for the target fish. When the Rockfish hits the bait, he'll be able to hit and grab the bait, feeling very little impact of the sinker on the line.
To prevent the fish finder from snagging or catching on barrel swivel between the mainline and the leader, Rick slides a small red bead onto the mainline below the fish finder.
For the barrel swivel between the mainline and the leader, a #5, 90 pound will work fine.
Hook and Bait
Two basic options for baitfish include Perch and Spot. The fish can be hooked through the lips, or through the back. If you rig the hook through the lips, you will want to bring the hook up through both lips - bottom lip first. If you hook through the back, slide the hook in one side and out the other, allowing as much freedom of motion for the baitfish as possible while assuring a solid attachment to the hook.
Rick uses Gamakatsu circle hooks, tied to the leader with a palomar knot. Check out "Animated Knots by Grog" within the Links and Fishing Resources page for a slick, animated how-to on knots including the palomar knot.
Whenever you are using circle hooks, it is important to remember to allow the fish time to grab the bait and begin moving before you attempt to set the hook. As the fish is swimming to the side or away from the angler, the circle hook will catch the side of the fishes mouth as the tension increases on the baitfish. Any attempt to set the hook too quickly could just slide the bait and hook out of the fish's mouth.