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October 26, 2001

All Buoys Are Not Created Equal

Insert a glowstick into a clear plastic milk jug to create a very practical night bouy.

Keeping track of a buoy while fishing a ledge or wreck at night can be extremely difficult and usually involves an unwieldy, power-draining spotlight. And once you have found it and turned the spotlight off to start your next drift, someone invariably snags the buoy line because they couldn't see it.
By using a gallon plastic milk jug with a Cyalume light stick inside for a buoy, you'll never lose sight of your marker again. You should be able to see this buoy setup from a half-mile away.
And, to give you an even better chance of avoiding the buoy line, use Spiderwire or one of the other super-braids for your buoy rode. Because these braids absorb less water and don't stretch as much as mono, you'll need a lot less scope in the water to keep the buoy in position, and less scope equals less chance of a foul-up.
Capt. Rob Hammer
Miami, Florida