We’re back with our third and final installment of our series on advanced bead fishing tips from Deneki team member, Rob Rymph. In case you missed the others, be sure to check them out by clicking right here, and here.
Today, Rob offers up a few advanced rigging tips he utilizes at Rapids Camp Lodge for more natural drifts and better hookups when fishing for big, and we mean big, Naknek rainbows.
Bead Fishing for Trout – Advanced Rigging Tips
- Use a Swivel. A simple, yet effective, tip to land more fish is to incorporate a swivel into your nymph rig above your tippet section. This not only provides a nice stopper for your split shot, but also acts as a good insurance policy for when you hook into a big, feisty, smasher rainbow. Big fish like to thrash, melt drag, and spin circles, and a swivel eliminates any chance for a hook to torque out because of this. Swivels are a great way to increase your landing ratio, especially on big fish!
- Snell Your Hooks. When rigging beads for trout, many anglers never look beyond slapping any ol’ hook onto the end of the tippet with a good ol’ clinch or fisherman’s knot. Although this will work, a much more effective way to tie your bead rigs is to snell your hooks using either a uni knot or bait loop knot. This fixes the securing wraps of the knot behind the eye, around the shank of the hook, ensuring your tippet and hook are riding the way you want it, in a straight line, not all willy nilly as can be the case when connected directly to the eye. This will ensure a rock solid connection to the fish with no room for error. All other variables aside, you’ll get the same amount of strikes, but more solid connections, and thus more fish to the net. Don’t forget to maintain no more than a two inch gap between the hook and bead to eliminate any chance of foul hooking. Also, be sure to check your local regulations as they vary state to state.
- Use Up-eye Hooks. In addition to the above, when snelling hooks in a bead rig, its important to use up-eye hooks. We prefer hooks such as Owner SSW when targeting larger, steelhead-sized, Naknek rainbows, or lighter-wire (but still slightly up-eye) hooks like Owner Mosquito hooks when targeting smaller water trout and dollies. Keep in mind, most hooks sold specifically as ‘bead hooks,’ are straight-eye hooks designed for tippet to be attached directly to the hook eye. However, from our experience, attaching your hook in this manner can cause the tippet to slide around the eye of the hook from time to time, potentially leading to a poor hook set.