Getting maximum results from the tightline rig depends on the type of equipment
you use and the terminal rig you make, which is quite simple and can be made in minutes. First, tie a 1 or 2
oz. bell sinker to the tag end of about 6 feet on 20-lb. monofilament line and a barrel swivel to the upper end. Eighteen
inches above the sinker, tie on a StandOut hook from Blakemore. Repeat with another StandOut hook about 18" above the
first one. Thats it! You may want to tie several of these rigs before you head out to the lake.
There are crappie rigs already made and available in stores, but they are made with wire loops and tangles
The bell sinker for this rig is primarily used to "bounce" the rig on the bottom,
and to detect objects such as stumps, brushpiles, rocks, etc... The reason for the 20-lb. monofilament is to prevent a constant
tangle, and is also appropriate to use when fishing in brush and getting snagged frequently. If you're fishing in a clear
lake, you may want to drop down to a 12 or 15-lb. test. The barrel swivel on the top of the rig is there so it can be
attached to a snap swivel on your main line quickly in the event the rig gets broken off in the brush. Keeping the hooks
18" apart will help you compensate for minor variances in depth the crappie prefers from one day to the next.
The key to rod or pole selection is light-weight & sensitivity. Any jig pole or fly rod can be used,
but I like to use 10-foot jig poles from B'n'M because these poles makes it easier to detect solid structures and
light bites almost immediately.
The basic procedure for catching crappie with this type of equipment
is simple. After using your depthfinder to find a good drop-off with structure, toss out a floating marker buoy to pinpoint
the underwater brushpile, stump or rockpiles. Put a minnow or a soft plastic jig with wax worm on each StandOut hook and lower
the rig in the water until the sinker hit the bottom. Keep all slack out of your line and begin lifting & lowering
the rod to bounce the sinker on bottom. This can be done while anchored or while slow-trolling.
When fish are active or hanging in shallower water you want to slowly raise your rod up or reel your line up very slowly
until you get a strike. Once you notice which hook the crappie strikes on, you may want to raise or lower your rod slightly,
putting both hooks into the higher productive zone.
Doing this, and slow trolling from one spot to
another works well during the spring and fall months. With summer approaching, this is a perfect time to catch crappie
with this tightlining rig. For the next 3 or 4 months, these fish will be holding on deep drop-offs out in or near river
channels. Bottom-bounce this rig for best results. This also works well in the winter when crappie are in their deep