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goose pit

Just wondering what would be the best setup for fishing a looper bobber? I know a longer rod would be best but am unsure about what action.

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End of the Line

I like at least a 9' most of mine are 9.5-10 and are super light on the tip that I classify as a buggy whip. I have one Rapala brand thats a touch stiffer and I dont like it nearly as much.

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Decoy Dan

I spend a lot of time fishing for loopers over the years. I have a few highly sensitive rods that i use, but i also use them for walleye fishing. I really don't think sesitivity is all that important when looping. I would definitly say to go with a rod that is 8.5 to 10ft long with some wip to it. This allows for greater casting distance and accuracy in tight areas. Try to have a lot of flexibility on the top half and a firm back bone on the bottom for when you hook a large fish or for snags. Marine General has some very decently priced rigs that would do you fine. Also try to have a good reel with a big spool for line. many people learn the hard way when they accidently hook a chinook. The drag starts going then PING! so does the fish with a hundred feet of line hanging out of its mouth! Hope this helps

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Tom Linderholm

Here's a little more info from past posts:

Here’s a quick course on loopers the way I do it. Others do things slightly differently, and there’s lots of room for difference and experimentation, but these are the basic shore angler looper techniques. Thought I’d run through the whole thing all in one post, so it’s all there instead of scattered piecemeal throughout the board.

Rods: 8 to 10 foot spinning rods, light action that’s appropriate for 4 to 8 lb line. Stiff butt and fast tip are good. You can use shorter rods, but long rods mean longer casts and more shock resistance when you’re fighting a fish. The also keep your line off the waves that break near shore, which can pull your rig into rocks if your rod’s too short. You can find affordable rods from $40 to $80.

Reels: Spinning reels. I use the inexpensive 4000 series Shimano reels, which have smooth enough drags and a big spool. Big spool also means longer casts since each revolution contains more line on a big spool compared to a small one. These reels run about $30.

Line: Maxima 6 lb, with a 6 lb fluorocarbon leader about three feet long. I use fluoro on the live bait slip rigs because it’s one more advantage against sometimes finicky trout. Whatever your main line is, whether mono or braid, it MUST be abrasion resistant. Standard soft lines will get chewed up on the rocks when a fish runs.

Rigging: There are two basic live bait rigs, the slip rig and the bobber rig. The slip rig is just like a walleye slip sinker rig, except the sinker is a slinky (how to make them later). On main line, slip on the sinker, then tie a barrel or ball-bearing swivel, then 3 feet or so of fluorocarbon, then a small strong hook, a No. 8 or 10. You bait them with floating spawn sacks (you can buy them or make them) or a night crawler hooked once or twice and injected with air so it floats. Some guys add a twist of green or red yarn as an attractor, but that’s never made a difference for me. However, it’s all what you’re confident in, and experimenting is part of fishing. You hook the spawn bag by passing the hook through the fabric gathered in a knot. It’ll never cast off the hook if properly hooked. The other rig is a slip-bobber. The bobber of choice is a custom made weighted bobber that casts a mile, is available at Duluth tackle stores and is called a Ross bobber. I don’t use fluorocarbon on this rig because I tie it like a standard slip bobber, with the knot first (no bead needed, since the bobber has one built in). Tie a looper bug on the end (small weighted jig especially made for this. Cheap and in all the Duluth tackle stores). Tip the looper bug with a couple waxies. The bobber slides all the way down to the bug before you cast, which is another reason you can cast a mile with them. I set mine from 3 to 5 feet deep. The bugs come in all colors, with black and purple being the standards and most commonly used. But some days bright colors are better. Don’t worry if the bobber drifts back in close to shore. Lots of fish come only 30 feet offshore, not just from farther out. A note on bobber color: Black is best in many situations. If the sun is out, North Shore anglers are staring into it, and it’s low in winter, so black shows up really well in silhouette. I like the blaze orange on days when color shows up easily. Get a couple of each and see which color works best for you. Some folks chuck spoons for loopers in winter/early spring and catch some, but with the water so cold I think your odds of catching them are better with the bait/bobber rigs.

Rod holders: I use 2-foot-long PVC pipe in 1.5 inch diameter and buy steel dowel from the hardware store, cutting it about 3 feet long. Using black electrical tape, wrap it around and around, fastening the rod to the outside of the PVC with about 2 feet sticking out. You can drive these into the pebble/sand beaches using a handy rock (watching out you don’t shatter the PVC), or you can use bigger stones to make a pile and anchor the shaft. With these holders and the 8.5-foot rods I use, the tip of your line stands over 10 feet off the ground, keeping it out of the close-in breakers. But standard 7-foot walleye spinning rods with the lower-capacity reels work OK. You can’t cast quite as far and it’s a bit harder to keep the line off the waves, but plenty of guys who don’t want to shell out for new rods/reels do it that way, and they catch fish too.

Slinky sinkers: I make them by buying nylon hockey laces, some shot in bulk and some big split shot sinkers, as well as some snap swivels. You’ll need a lighter, too. Cut the hockey lace into about 3-inch lengths. Burn one end with the lighter to seal it. Stuff in shot (I used No. 8 shot), as much as you think you want. Then put in a couple big split shot and work them down in, which will pack the shot nicely. Then trim and burn the open end, flattening it with your fingers when it cools a bit. Then open the snap swivel and stick it through the flattened end beyond the melt, through the lace and back out the other side. Fasten. There you go, a slinky, and way cheaper than you can buy them. Mine averaged about 2 inches long. Not sure how much weight, but you’ll lose far fewer slinky rigs than with standard sinkers.

Some other notes: Half my catch was loopers, half coho. The season picks up in January and continues to get better, especially around the rivers, right up through the April spawn. You can set the hook hard on loopers, which usually take in the whole bait right away, but cohos bite more gently, a rat-a-tat-tat kind of thing, and I’d hook them by slowly tightening up the line and reeling in. No need to set, because the hooks are sharp. If you set it on a coho bite you’ll often pull it right out of the fish’s mouth. I have one stiffer rod that I used for the spawn bag rigs (which stay on the hook no matter what) and the bobber rigs. Made for really long casts. My softer rod I used for the crawler rig, which needs the softer touch while casting. And you won’t get it out that far, but it won’t matter. At least half my fish came on the crawler. Use patience when fighting and landing these fish. A 9-pound looper on 6 lb line is a lot of fun and a lot of fight. No net needed. As the fish tires, you can ease it right up on shore, allowing the waves to help push the fish in. Of course, if you’re on a rock shelf instead of a beach you’ll probably want a net.

Good luck.

--------------------

Steve Foss, Canon Professional Services member

click HERE for images of the wilderness and guided nature photo excursions

stevefossimages@yahoo.com

Fishing Minnesota Sponsors

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Steve Foss

I mostly used two rods: an 8.5-foot, two-piece Berkley spinning rod that was marketed as a stream steelhead rod and was rated for 8-12 lb mono and that I used mostly for chucking the looper bobbers and spawn sack rigs. I had a softer rod, a 9-foot Polar HT rod, that was rated for 4-6 lb line and was more noodly, that I used for the nightcrawler rigs, so that softer rod made it easier for the crawler to stay on during the cast.

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goose pit

Thanks for the info guys.

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oz1970

I use 2 9' silstar lexus rods that are really affodable and perform exellent and I use shimano spirex 2000 spining reels that cost about sixty new and can be picked up on the internet cheap but there are afew guys on the shore that can rig you with poles and tackle rather reasonable

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matthothand

As said above...long rod 9 feet or so and light action. 4-8 lb line with sturdy butt and faster/lighter tip. I'm making a new looper rod soon. After learning the craft it seems to be the way to go. I'll wind up with a g-loomis imx exactly how i want it and a lot less than in-store. I recommend if you plan on fishing a bobber leave the rod holders at home. I have a way better hookup percentage when i set immediately. I think the time it takes to grab the rod out of the holder is a deal breaker often for me.

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