Jigging / Popping Topshots

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by Sea Crappie, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    Lets talk topshotting for jigging and popping.

    I've noticed that there's a pretty wide range of methods in use out there and I'm interested in the how and why folks do what they do (especially if it's radically different from what I do). So jump in here with some techniques and theories behind the madness.

    My method:

    50-60 lb spectra w/ topshot of 10-15 ft of 80-100 lb test mono

    80 lb spectra same as above w/ 100-150 lb test mono

    The topshot is attached w/ a midknot

    Preferred mono is Jinkai Leader Material in clear, this stuff is awesome because it's very flexible and holds its knots really well, in fact I've never had a knot fail on it.

    I nearly always overtest my TS relative to the spectra, primarily for abrasion resistance. Don't feel that the heavy stuff has ever adversely affected my bite. I even like to cast the 6in yo-zuri bonitas at tuna, and the heavy mono doesn't seem to hurt that either. Don't like flouro for jigging a popping because of the stiffness. All that said, jigging during the day for tuna may require a flouro topshot, just haven't done it enough to know.
     
  2. ashton

    ashton Guest

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    I use flouro for all my leaders. Tying a knot is tough but the improved clinch knot has not failed. With that said 80lb test is the heaviest pound test of flouro I use. 60 pound seems to work great for the YFT in the GOM.
     

  3. TeamOso

    TeamOso Senior Member

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    On my TLD 25 Im gona get 80# JB and use a 20ft 100# topshot. Sound ok???


    Kevin
     
  4. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    I use the same setup as Sea Crappie only different brand of leaders.

    TeamOso,
    I don't think spooling 80# spectra on TLD 25 is a good idea.
    First 80# JB is expensive, secondly TLD frame might crack with that much preasure. JMO
    65# spectra is all you need.
     
  5. bpitcher

    bpitcher Senior Member

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    Minnow,
    I have 80lb on my 25's and it has worked well for several seasons now. Though, there is always that risk of cracking the frame, though I feel that's mostly while using a harness. You're right though, realistically 65 is all you need.
    TeamOso,
    You might want to consider going with a lighter topshot. 40lb works for me 100lb may be overkill.

    As for jigging, I agree with SeaCrappie, I don't like a topshot though it might be neccessary during the day. Popping - 5ft of 60lb flouro. I feel it provides a lot of shock absorbtion when the YF hits like a frieght train.

    Brad
     
  6. TeamOso

    TeamOso Senior Member

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    65# could handle the AJ's also??
     
  7. xs_tackle

    xs_tackle Senior Member

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    65# solid spectra or 60# hollow makes sense because the 80 is inordinately expensive (compared to 65 or 130). Using the lever drag at any reasonable setting, it doesn't seem likely that you could put enough pressure on the reel to crack the frame (for that you'd have to lock down the drag and install harness lugs. The risk would be different were you to use 80# mono (as folks used to do), because the mono stretches as you put it on and a spool filled with it would likely crack from the stress. I understand Spectra doesn't stretch enough to do that.

    You can avoid a clunky knot in your cast if you insert 50-100 yds of hollow spectra on the top of the spool of solid spectra so you can use loop to loop connections. This would also facilitate quick change of topshots--or use of a heavy (for abrasion) AJ leader instead of a topshot or use of no topshot for jigging.

    65# line will handle lots of AJ's--almost all 80# will handle; but, I remember an 83# AJ I caught on fresh 130# line when guys on both sides of me had just seen their fish break off on 80#. The optimal rig for AJ's may be sash cord, a cleat to tie it to, and enough power to pull the AJ off structure as soon as he hits. Of course, that's not very elegant and won't satisfy most folks; so, we make a few changes.
     
  8. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    TeamOso,

    FWIW, I just ran the numbers on how much 65lb solid spectra it would take to fill a TLD25 and it comes to around 850 yards (way too much). You will need ~300yds of spectra max, so there are a few options:

    1. Undershot, which means add a layer of mono UNDER the spectra so you fill the spool but only have to put 300yds of the spendy stuff on.

    2. Use bigger spectra, you could bump up to 80 or 100 solid and reduce the amount of spectra needed but you'll still need 600+ yards to fill your reel.

    And I see no need for hollow JB 80 for this app. JB 80 hollow is ungodly expensive and unless nothing else will do, I'd avoid it like the plague. Learn to tie a bimini in solid spectra and coat the first few wraps w/ JB adhesive 1 and even a poorly tied one will test out over 70%. Do this and then you can loop to loop topshots. Another alternative is learn the midknot and avoid the bimini. Since this will be your one rig (if I understand things right), I'd topshot w/ 100lb mono so you can bottom drop without changing topshots. If the tuna are wary, tie on a spro (150 or 200lb) swivel and add a 6ft flouro leader of your choice.


    Brad,

    Why a 40lb topshot? I can see 40lb mono when casting poppers on a conventional (in fact I prefer it) but as a topshot? I'm just too paranoid of chaffing I guess.
     
  9. bpitcher

    bpitcher Senior Member

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    John,
    Come to think of it I don't really have a good reason for fishing 40. It seemed like a good test when I first spooled up and I haven't switched since. Its a pretty good comprimise in terms of size, price, and versatility. I've only lost one fish that I can recall on it, a 70lb class YF. I think that was more of an angler error than anything though. It was straight 40 tied to the circle and when the angler jerked up on the rod (instead of smooth steady pulls) I think the line parted in the teeth. I was using 50lb flouro next to him and I had no problems.

    Edit: I just read about this being your one rig. Stick with the heavier mono for the bottom drops.

    Brad
     
  10. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    This board keeps getting better and better with all of the great info on these threads!

    Thanks to all of you!

    I still haven't quite been able to properly tie the mid-knot, but I'll keep trying.

    However, IMO, it is really easy while out on a boat, to change short or regular topshots with a loop-to-loop connection.

    Make up plenty of TS before you leave in different line strength and you're always ready for whatever situation comes up.
     
  11. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    Tom,

    On the midknot, there are a few tricks to making it work right. And unless you're casting, I agree, use a L2L topshot.

    1. When making the 15 up and 15 down wraps, go 5 close together, 5 spaced ~2mm apart and then 5 close together again.

    2. After laying down the first few half-hitches (before tightening) moisten the knot and then spread the 15 up / 15 down wraps out by about 1cm total.

    3. Use gloved hands (it'll take several wraps of the spectra around your hand to hold on) and pull the knot TIGHT and do so smoothly in one motion. During the fight, the knot will actually tighten a little more if tied correctly.

    4. I haven't been able to make it work on flouro or "hard" mono leaders in a way i'd be comfortable it won't slip. This knot has to constrict the leader, and if that material is too hard it resists the knot. Try some Varivas or Jinkai next time you tie the knot and see how it works.


    Maybe we should do a thread on chunking and live bait (non-bottom fishin) topshotting and leader making after this thread's run its course?
     
  12. xs_tackle

    xs_tackle Senior Member

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    EDIT--
    Oops, response was really tangential to the thread. I've moved it.
     
  13. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    tan‧gen‧tial  /tænˈdʒɛnʃəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled

    Pronunciation[tan-jen-shuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –adjective:

    1. pertaining to or of the nature of a tangent; being or moving in the direction of a tangent.

    2. merely touching; slightly connected: tangential information.

    3. divergent or digressive, as from a subject under consideration: tangential remarks.

    4. tending to digress or to reply to questions obliquely

    :D :D :D
     
  14. TeamOso

    TeamOso Senior Member

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    I feel reel dumb for asking this, but I was just wondering what yall are talking about when you say loop to loop connections.
    As ragman said, this site is great, and I think its 100000 times better than 2col.


    Kevin
     
  15. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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  16. TeamOso

    TeamOso Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, Im glad Im soakin up all this info, becuase Im gonna have 3 days from the time i get my reel to get all this prepared. Im gonna start my own thread here is a sec.
     
  17. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Unless TJ or Ronnie have me stocked up, I buy my topshots and wind-ons from Basil!

    They are crafted really well and worth it to me!