Long Line Setup...

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by TSS Caddis, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Every year there are many posts asking people for long line ideas. I had been meaning to take some pics of how we do it for reference, so while cleaning up the outbuilding last night I snapped a few as I put stuff away from the fall. I’m sure everyone does this different, but this is how we do it and maybe when guys have questions they might find something here that they can apply.

    We primarily run super mag burlapped decoys. These do not suit being bagged since they are heavy and take up a lot of space. In addition, we don’t bag because, at least for us, it is quicker picking up and setting out if we do not bag. What we do is leave them attached to the long lines and stack them down the side of the boat. After each row is full, we put down burlap over it and proceed to stack the next row on top of the first. This doesn’t work so well with any decoy smaller than a super mag since they will want to fall off the stack.

    On each end of the long line we run a 10lb lead pyramid weight. Most grab per pound IMO.

    For the long line itself, we run 5/16” braid. Now even with the large commercial fishing clips, the 5/16” braid will barely fit into the clip. Once you get them set, they definitely will not move. The advantage to the 5/16” is that it is very easy to handle, pull on and it doesn’t tangle.

    Droppers are very stiff diamond braid 3/16". Stiff enough that it does not easily bend, hence it doesn’t tangle.

    Long line anchors attached to long line with just a ring so they can be removed at end of season. No swivel since the pyramids do not roll and the droppers have swivels on each end.

    Decoys hooked up.

    For stacking decoys, we set the anchor down at one end of the boat and coil the line up next to it until we get to a decoy. Once at a decoy, tuck the mainline and dropper underneath the decoy and set the decoy on it.

    We run around 6’ in between decoys, so the next 6’ of long line goes next to the decoy you just sat down. Once you get to the next decoy, set the decoy on the 6’ of line you just put on the floor of the boat tucking the dropper under the decoy. Repeat until you reach the end of the line. Once at the end of the line pile the rest of the line up next to the last decoy and set the anchor down next to it.

    For the next line, put burlap over the first row of decoys and stack the 2nd line on top of the first. The burlap will keep the lines from tangling. On my old boat you could go up to 4 rows high.

    On putting out, pick up the anchor from the top row of decoys and just heave it. We then back downwind as we feed the long line out. Once at the first decoy, just pick it up by the bill and chuck it into the water, at that point the rope under that decoy will follow the decoy out without having to mess with it. Pick up the next decoy and repeat. When at the end of the line, pull tight before dropping the other ends anchor. Take off the burlap and repeat. You can fly doing this because for the most part you never need to touch the rope, just pick the decoy up and throw it as the driver backs you down. Amazingly fast.

    Bad pic since everything is covered in snow from the last weekend snow storm.

    Easy to take apart and store for the winter

    On a side note, here is how I run the layout anchor, the other guys keep the float inline. I run a crab float line right off the layout anchor and then run a separate anchor line to the layout. When picking up, I can just motor near the float, snag it with the boat hook and then can bring the layout to me, versus having to get close to the layout. Then when dragging the layout to me, you already have the back coming in toward you and can use the anchor bridle to lift the back of the layout up and in.

    A lot of this came from how Cuz set his boat up.

    Maybe some other guys, can outline how they are rigged, also.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. Tender/boat blind anchor. Inline crab float. Just unclip to retrieve birds. On motoring back up, just snag the float and hook back up.

  3. ...who's going to start yelling at you for this one?

    I deployed this set up, it's military tight, it works, and it's even Waxico proof.
  4. Very nice! Care to share where you buy the main line, drop line and clips?

    Good info there.
  5. thanks for takin the time to lay this all out for the newbs.

    however i think it was just a midwinter excuse to play with the dekes for a while........................;)
  6. Not sure where Caddis gets his stuff, but I have bought some clips and other things from these guys, and have never had a problem.


    Nice write-up Caddis, I am sure that will help some people out.
  7. I've bought from that guy in Indiana that goes to the Sag Bay Waterfowl fest, I think he calls his company Decoy Rigs and Knutsons also. The 5/16 mainline Knutsons has is a little to limp IMO. The guy from Indiana's line is marginally stiffer, but the stiffness is nice to have to keep things from tangling. Plus the guy in Indiana has some nice color options.

    KRL deploys Doctari and likes them as well as Tim Bouchard in Alaska. For what we need though, they tarred line is too narrow of a diameter. Some times when the waves get big, you need to snag the downwind ends of the lines and pull them away from the spread to help insure you don't get tangles. Once they are away from the spread we idle in one spot and pull them in. The 5/16" is very easy to pull on and handle when wearing crabbing gloves, plus it is a lot less prone to tangle. Everyone I know that runs Doctari are very satisified with their products.

    Crab Clips (6.25"): http://www.knutsondecoys.com/rigging/decoy_snapsNclips.html

    Snaps I bought from Decoy Rigs. I would not use them again. They go on easy, but the swivel can come apart. Usually we have to chase at least 1 decoy down per set. If you don't take them out of the boat all fall, the old school snaps from Cabelas are nice. I take them out of the boat every weekend and disassemble so I use the snaps in the pics since they are quick to get off and on.

    I don't have the guy from Whiting Indiana's number at work, but I found where Just Ducky posted it before: phone number is 219-659-8371. You can get by with the 5/16" Knutsons has, but that 3/16 diamond braid dropper that Decoy Rigs has is essential.

    BTW, all dropper knots are bowline's that have Gorilla glue on them to insure they don't come apart. Bowline's on the mainline also, except zip ties to make sure they stay together. Most of that is my questioning of my own knot making ability.
    #8 TSS Caddis, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  8. Yep, the Decoy Rigs guy doesn't have a website, but he'll send you a little catalog book if you call or write to him. I've used his stuff for a while without any complaints, but I'm not hardcore at big water like Caddis and the boys are. Knutsons is quality as well, just not as good of selection.

    My long lines are almost exactly like yours Gene. Same size lines, same clips, same method for attaching to the main line. Couple differences though...I don't clip the dekes to the dropper line, I tie them off. Which leads me to a question...I see in one of your photos that you have crimps for connecting the line to clips and such...where did you find crimps that would take that size of line? I had planned to re-do my connections last summer exactly that way, and I looked and looked but found nothing. help please?

    Another difference is I don't stack them with the burlap system, although I admit I really like that. I use big wide mouth leaf bags for dekes, and when we pull em in at the end of the day, one guy rolls the cord on a reel just like yours (although mine are black, not blaze orange for christ sake :dizzy: :evilsmile), and you just unclip the deke and drop them in a leaf bag. Each bag holds about 18 super mags.

    I may just try stacking my dekes with the burlap like you showed...looks easy. When it gets real cold do you have any problem with the burlap freezing right to the dekes or lines? Seems like if you pulled them in at night and left them out in freezing temps that you may have an icy mess the next morning?

    The other difference is in anchors. I learned from a very experienced layout hunter who used to haunt this site how to set my lines, and he used cylindrical sash weights, which is what I use now, in varying weights depending on the situation. The nice thing about sash weights is they hold tight to the bottom, but they don't snag anything really, so you can grab hold of the long line and just drag them if you need to move them. I find that my first or second line is rarely where I want it to be, so I'm always grabbing hold of the end with a boat hook and pulling it a bit. Maybe that's just me, but the sash weights work fantastic for that reason.
  9. that dude from indiana coast himself some money 2 years ago i had a list of stuff i wonted and he had it all. about 300 dollers worth of line gator clips and such but he kept trying to push more and more on me. finely he got far enough under my skin that i just walked off. not saying he isn't a good dude hes just irritating LOL. his prices are a little higher but there not unreasonable.

  10. Dan, I just used zip ties.

    When the burlap freezes, it doesn't stick to anything.

    Sash weights are probably fine in most areas. In areas like the straights where the wind and current can oppose, you really need weights that don't easily move in those places. The pyramids can be difficult to pull along the bottom if you need to pull the line in while stationary. Most of the time, we just motor next to the line being taken in, so we don't need to pull drag the weight. For me it is more important that the lines don't move since if they drift into each other in 4' waves it can be a mess.

    Reels never come in the boat, so they could be pink if I could get them for a good price ;)
    #11 TSS Caddis, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  11. Can't vouge for him as a person. As long as he has what I need, he can beat his dog for all I care;) I'd rather deal with Knutsons if possible.

    I will add that for anchoring, I remember reading a post from someone last year mentioning keeping a spare anchor in the tender in case your motor dies while tending. Good advice and I'll be doing so this year.
    #12 TSS Caddis, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  12. All good stuff! Thanks for sharing!
  13. I run Doctari line because I can buy about a jillion feet for $100. If I had an unlimited hunting budget, I'd run the stuff Caddis does. The decoy rigs stuff is definately the cadillac of decoy line. Really though, the only time the Doctari gets tangled is when I do something stupid.

    Good write up Caddis. I rig my lines more or less the same way, but I store them in decoy shelves I built, so I can deploy/pick up single handed.
    #14 KLR, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  14. Awe man,

    Now after a good post like this you get the itch and we are just coming into spring.

    Time has a way of moving by quick though so it will be here before you know it.

    Thanks for the insight TSS~

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