Some technical questions about drift fishing

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ycxc16588

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Hello all, I am glad that I found this site for there are many very experienced anglers who are willing to share knowledge with people. I am new to drift fishing. I have a few technical questions. How to determine the weight of the slinky/pencil lead? I would guess that it may depend on stream flow rate and depth of water, but what are the practical rules to quickly adjust it in the field? My second question is how to determine the length of leader with respect water color/visibility, temperature, flow rate, possible fish position/activity? TIA.
 
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Mike123

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After you spend some time drift fishing you'll just be able to look at the water and know how much lead to use, or once you learn the hole. Best to start small and if you don't touch bottom, add more, and so on.

For leader length that depends on water clarity and type of water. Say on the Alsea, there is a lot of narrow deep chutes that require a short leader to get down into. But now take for example, the lower Siletz. It's mainly deep pools and runs with a cobble stone bottom. Fish can see farther and you want a little longer of leader; I run around 3ft. If your fishing gin clear water you can add maybe a foot. But when you start getting real long leaders then it CAN SOMETIMES take longer to feel a bite, and you take the risk of lining a fish.
I use P-Line CXX in dirty or stained water and P-Line CFX Flourocarbon in clear water. Make sure you don't make the mistake I did and buy Flouroclear.. it's not an all true flourocarbon.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Run just enough split shot to tap bottom about two to three times during your drift. Or once every 30 feet or so. Leader length does not really need to be change for clarity. They are steelhead, and they don't often get spooked by lines. I never run anything more than 2 feet on the Clackamas River.
 
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ninja2010

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welcome ycxc...

and, i'm glad you started this thread, coz i just started to try my hand at drifting, and i have questions...

i'm using 3-4 #5 splitshots to keep my rig on the bottom. and it's bumping every 3-5 feet. is that too much? i have a fear that if it isn't "scraping" the river bed, i'm drifting too high but aa sez tap bottom once every 30 feet or so... :think:

and what's the protocol at the end of the drift? do i just let the rig swing in or is it kosher to let some line out to let the drift go longer?

one other question i have is the length of yarn... i cut mine into inch long strips so when it's folded down through the egg loop, it's about 1/2 and inch, and i trim it with my scissors to "round" it out. is that right?
 
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metalmania

welcome ycxc...

and, i'm glad you started this thread, coz i just started to try my hand at drifting, and i have questions...

i'm using 3-4 #5 splitshots to keep my rig on the bottom. and it's bumping every 3-5 feet. is that too much? i have a fear that if it isn't "scraping" the river bed, i'm drifting too high but aa sez tap bottom once every 30 feet or so... :think:

and what's the protocol at the end of the drift? do i just let the rig swing in or is it kosher to let some line out to let the drift go longer?

one other question i have is the length of yarn... i cut mine into inch long strips so when it's folded down through the egg loop, it's about 1/2 and inch, and i trim it with my scissors to "round" it out. is that right?

Hitting bottom that often will sometimes get ya fish in the winter, but for summers you want to hit just a few times in a drift. Practice is what is needed to get it right. I reel in at the end but I have had fish hit at the very end before it breaks the surface. I like the yarn to end at the bend of the hook, so the length will vary depending on hook size. For cork and yarn I like to drill out a corkie so it barely covers the hook eye and beggining of the yarn. It looks way better than having the corkie above the eye. It's also good cause you don't need to peg the corkie. It has to be drilled at the angle of the eye or it will prevent proper hookset, but when done properly it's deadly.
 
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Mike123

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One word ..... Well two.... YARN BALLS!! All you need for drift fishing. :dance:
 
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ninja2010

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thanks much metal... what you said makes sense. gonna practice more of my drift technique this weekend.

mike, what's a yarn ball?
 
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OneMore

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thanks much metal... what you said makes sense. gonna practice more of my drift technique this weekend.

mike, what's a yarn ball?


YouTube - Make a steelhead fishing yarnball

Ninja sometimes I will let out more line and continue a drift It all just depends on the water and how its drifting. I once talked with an older fellow that told me to let out a lot of line when your bait hits the water let it sink then pull in slack, then when your swinging out of the zone let out a little more line out to stay in that zone. he hooked 4 fish that day to my one? Ive never been able to do it as well as him yet. I have also had fish hit it on the swing in so I say you be the judge try every way and see what works for you. Dont just go by what we all say. Try light weights and try heavy weight everyone fishes a different way cause thats whats worked for them. I know in time Ive found drift fishing to be my go to method.
 
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ninja2010

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thanks a bunch, OM. very helpful to see a video and yeah, i'm gonna try different drift techniques coz i'm not totally sold on best way yet. i'm sure the rig depends on the water, just like any style... but drifting is too new to me still.

but since i haven't caught any fish any other ways, what the hey... maybe drifting might be my go to if it produces something. :D
 
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metalmania

thanks a bunch, OM. very helpful to see a video and yeah, i'm gonna try different drift techniques coz i'm not totally sold on best way yet. i'm sure the rig depends on the water, just like any style... but drifting is too new to me still.

but since i haven't caught any fish any other ways, what the hey... maybe drifting might be my go to if it produces something. :D

Yarn balls are one of my favorite techniques for hookin steelies. Once you get them down there quick, easy and deadly. The sizes and colors will definitely depend on the water. The majority of my steelies come from drifting. Although i'm better at drifting than anything else I do bealive it to be the most effective way of hooking into these fish. Best of luck to you in your new venture into drifting man:D.
 
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OneMore

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One thing I will tell you Ninja that Ive learned the hard way is SET THE HOOK. Set it hard and set it even if your not sure if its a bite. You may look silly to other anglers but it wont looks silly when your reeling in your fish. Now im no steelhead master so take my advice for what its worth. Oh yeah and another lesson learned tha hard way TIE GOOD KNOTS and after every snag/fish on, check your line and hook.
 
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FishSchooler

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Ninja sometimes I will let out more line and continue a drift It all just depends on the water and how its drifting. I once talked with an older fellow that told me to let out a lot of line when your bait hits the water let it sink then pull in slack, then when your swinging out of the zone let out a little more line out to stay in that zone. he hooked 4 fish that day to my one? Ive never been able to do it as well as him yet. I have also had fish hit it on the swing in so I say you be the judge try every way and see what works for you. Dont just go by what we all say. Try light weights and try heavy weight everyone fishes a different way cause thats whats worked for them. I know in time Ive found drift fishing to be my go to method.
Or you can walk down the bank at the same speed of the drift. THen you dont half to let out as much line.
 
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metalmania

Or you can walk down the bank at the same speed of the drift. THen you dont half to let out as much line.

That can get pretty hard when fishin fast summer steel water, especially when wading in the water. But i've done it for winters and it can definitely work.
 
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ninja2010

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...now i gotta go make me some yarnballs. :confused: more work...

yeah, OM, i can set the hook and i don't care what anyone thinks. and i was weaned into fishing in the salt so good knots are never a compromise. and i always check my line/leader as well... coz if you don't, you'll be sorry. :D
 
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ninja2010

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so now i got a question on yarnballs...

why do i need to pre-tie? can't i just put a several strands of yarn in the egg loop and trim it into a ball?
 
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metalmania

so now i got a question on yarnballs...

why do i need to pre-tie? can't i just put a several strands of yarn in the egg loop and trim it into a ball?

I pretie EVERYTHING I USE. Every second on the water is important and should not be used for rigging things up IMO. The best way to do it is run a double egg loop, one on top and one on bottom. Then put two strands in the top loop and two on the bottom. Then fluff with a comb and trim to a ball. It takes some practice but it's not to hard to do. Just putting it in one egg loop and trimming isn't much different from corkie and yarn.
 
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ninja2010

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I pretie EVERYTHING I USE. Every second on the water is important and should not be used for rigging things up IMO.

i agree completely...

The best way to do it is run a double egg loop, one on top and one on bottom. Then put two strands in the top loop and two on the bottom. Then fluff with a comb and trim to a ball. It takes some practice but it's not to hard to do.

you lost me there... 2 egg loops on the same hook shank?

Just putting it in one egg loop and trimming isn't much different from corkie and yarn.

that's what prompted my question... i didn't see how the yarnball differs from the corkie/yarn setup, minus the corkie, but with more yarn.

maybe i'm missing something about the yarnball?? :rolleyes: :think:
 
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metalmania

i agree completely...



you lost me there... 2 egg loops on the same hook shank?



that's what prompted my question... i didn't see how the yarnball differs from the corkie/yarn setup, minus the corkie, but with more yarn.

maybe i'm missing something about the yarnball?? :rolleyes: :think:

Ya man, two loops and one shank. The second loop is made from the tag end you put through the eye to start a normal egg loop. It's only different if your able to make an actual ball that surrounds the entire shank.
 
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osmosis

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When you pull the shank length of leader through to start your knot, pull extra line through, send the end back up through the eye. finish tying your knot over the "loop" of line.. you can then pull on the tag end which is now going back up through the eye of the hook to draw the secondary loop closed.
 

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