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Scott M

Jerk String Dekes

12 posts in this topic

Anybody got any good advice on jerk string decoys, other than googling it? I want to get something going, but everything I'm finding online just says "it's a great way to add motion" or that I should be doing it.

Delta's website says "a jerk string is a great addition to any decoy rig. I have built one myself (I am eternally cheap!) and here is how I built mine. Take a piece of dowel stick, small piece of pipe or whatever you can scrape together to use as your anchor post. From the post tie 12” of heavy decoy line (I prefer Tangle free or other plastic line for jerk strings) and tie off to a 6-12” old bungee cord. On the opposite end of the bungee run the same heavy line to activate the decoys and simply wrap the heavy cord around the keel of several decoys in your spread and then run the excess to the blind. On your blind end tie a simple loop that you can grab on to and start jerkin! I store this contraption on an extension cord holder which keeps it nice and neat. I hope this helps and I would almost bet you can build it from stuff you having laying around in the garage."

I don't know if it's me but am I envisioning this correctly? I want to make the decoys pop and bob, not jerk them gradually towards myself. Would the above do this for me or would you be skeptical or posts coming out or being hard to put in? I guess the key would be to have just the right amount of heavy decoy line from the post in the marsh bottom to the keel of the decoy.

Any other tips or ideas?

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Well one way I could see it done is to fill a small coffee can or large soup can with cement and then put an eye bolt in the top, run the string through that and to the decoy. Then when you set up place the weight about 2-3 feet in front of the decoy. When you jerk it then it should come forward and down then float back into place.

One variation I can think of is to make 2 weight/decoy sets going back to one cord and place them about 10 ft apart. This however could lead to a tangled mess.

A potential problem I can see is retriving the weight from the bottom but it should be do able. Otherwise you could use a stake with a hole to put the cord through about half way down, then just place the stake and decoy. Also maybe attach the cord to the decoy with a big snap swivel so you can remove the weight for storage.

Now I have never tried any of this, so proceed with caution...

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I use the coffee can w/ cement method. It works pretty well. There is almost always enough soft mud where we hunt to hold the can. We run a long loose bungy from the can to a feeder decoy, then have a line with snap swivel on end to run from decoy to blind/boat. Decoy comes toward you when pulled then jerks back on release. Cheap and effective. We usually don't have much trouble with the dogs crossing over it. As they go in and out they don't cross it much.

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Quote:

I use the coffee can w/ cement method. It works pretty well. There is almost always enough soft mud where we hunt to hold the can. We run a long loose bungy from the can to a feeder decoy, then have a line with snap swivel on end to run from decoy to blind/boat. Decoy comes toward you when pulled then jerks back on release. Cheap and effective. We usually don't have much trouble with the dogs crossing over it. As they go in and out they don't cross it much.


I basically made the same sort of contraption one night last season and it seemed to work quite well...I actually already had the coffee-can anchor from vacation bible school about 15 years back so I just attached a big bungee to that, added about 30 feet of cord, and using the cord strung up 4 mallard dekes (right through the two holes in each of their keels). Make sure the cord is of a green/camo variety and that you put it in such a spot to keep the dog out of it, etc. It really helps late in the year when dekes start icing up as well.

This off-season's project will include a new boat blind, painting one canoe, possibly repainting some dekes, and making some cheap black-and-white canada goose silos.

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Hey Sartell, we use to have 2 dozen silo's we hand made, you could just have them, but after a weekend of hunting with them and flaring flock after flock we took them down and shot a bunch over just 12 shells, they made a good camp fire that night....

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did you make them out of sheet metal? I've heard good things about black and white silos...there are guides in Rochester who swear by them--say they work better in the late season down there than the nicest fullbodies do.

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I don't know how much the silos cost to make but a lot of times Gander or Cabelas will offer some good prices at this time of year. Last year I picked some Big Flock's up at Gander for $30 a dozen. They're not Real Geese but they look better than anything I could have made myself.

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We made ours out of old pallets from Kraft, my dad gets them for free, painted the bodies grey, black on top of the tail, white on the bottom, black heads with a white patch. Using old election signs was also an idea that crossed out minds, light weight and cheap.

Maybe just black and white would work better?

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The Sept/Oct issue of DU magazine had a nice story on jerk strings. I didn't find time to put anything together although its never too late. Once I have a frustrating day out there I'll get inspired and get it done some night.

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Well boys, this is something I made up forty years ago and it works just fine. Drill small hole in bottom of decoy's bill and insert a screw-eye. Add lots of lead to a decoy anchor and then wire in a piece of wire coathanger about a foot long with a 3" loop in it, sticking UP. Run mono or black fishing line FROM the anchor UP through the loop and to the screw-eye. I use a large snap swivel at each end. You pull the cord (I use an old reel) and the decoy moves ahead, dips its bill and, when you release tension, decoy drops back down. Hope I've made it easy to understand. Years and years ago we used to fool wise old mallards right oughta their socks with one of these! Ha! Have fun. grin.gif

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Personally, I think this technique (along wih countless fishing methods/tools/toys) are more for the hunter than the hunted. Throw out a handful of dekes, get camo, call conservatively and shoot accurately. That is the trick to successful hunting. Oftentimes making a simple thing complicated reduces the likelihood of achieving the desired outcome.

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I dunno, when the wind is not blowing at all, decoys look like fence posts out there. I think some motion will make all the differnce on days like that. I never see a group of live ducks on the water without some commotion. Now on a windy days when blocks are already moving, no need.

We are going to try this this year:

window sash weight tied to bungie cord. (That is our past the last decoy, down wind.)

bungie attached to lead by snap/carabiner/whatever.

lead has snaps that connect 5 or 6 or 7 dekes.

line gets attached to front of lead, and goes through a small anchor

line that is nearer the boat/blind.

pull line to get movement in dekes (they come towards you) and let go and they will move back due to bungie tension.

We tested this out already and it works and looks good, and seems easy so far, but time will tell in the cold and dark smile.gif We were going to use spreaders on it as well, but I think that might become too prone to tangles. We shall see, ha!

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