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White River Trout Rig

Scott Portell

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A White River rig is a typically a hook on a longer length of leader 18-24 inches attached to a swivel with a shorter leader 6-10 inches to form a dropper kind of rig with a bell sinker. Some use a three way swivel to attach the bait section and the sinker section, but this involves too many knots for my taste. However, some say, like my dad, that this helps reduce line twist. Fish don't seem to care and I typically out fish him.

I usually start with a 24-30 (small armlength) piece of 2-4 lb. test, sometimes flourcarbon. I then tie my bell sinker to one end, measure 6-10 inches from there. form a small loop and tie a double overhand knot to form a small 1/2 inch loop (to attach to my snap swivel) and tighten up leaving the loop. Then measure to taste, 18-24 inches from there, trip and tie on hook. I usually use a smaller circle hook or #6 or#8 bait hook for power eggs or worms. I have also used a floating Rapala (use a cheap one in case of hang ups)instead of bait. The White may have too much structure for this, Tanney this works great. Sculpin or shimp will require a bigger hook.

Weights vary from 1/8 to 3/8 depending on how many units are running. Lower the number of units, lower the weight, adjust accordingly to have it stay with the boat if drifting at the same pace. Bait going fast than boat, use heavier weight, bait really bouncing or hanging up, lighten up.

I sometimes pre-tie these and wind up around a piece of notched cardboard. If you do this you may want to leave hooks off, because I can now tie a full rig faster than untangling the card and line.

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I tie my bait rigs like this:

1. 18" to 24" of 2-4lb.

2. Tie a #6 bait hook to one end

3. Tie a small swivel to the other

4. Before tying the swivel to the rod section thread a 1/8 - 1/4 oz. egg sinker

This rig works good for heavy flows, beware though, you are going to think you are getting 10,000 bites per cast until you notice the difference between the fish and the rocks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scott, with sculpins I use a #1 or # 2 abeerdeen hook. With nightcrawlers I use a #2 or #4 abeerdeen depending on the size of the worm. With redworms I use a #4 abeerdeen. With whole crawdads I use a #4 or #2 baitholder hook. As far as weights I use a #10 on one or two generators a #9 on three and four units. a #8 on five six and 7 units and a #7 on eight generators of water These are all bell-sinkers. As far as my drops I use a lot longer, three feet up to four feet. I also never use a swivel as the bigger fish don't get big by being dumb!! GOD Bless Hotdawg!

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