Logging In
Invalid username or password.
Incorrect Login. Please try again.

not a member?

Signing up could earn you gear and it helps to keep offensive content off of our site.

October 26, 2001

Eco-Breakaway Rig

Rather than waste money and pollute the ocean with lead weights for breakaway rigs, try a drilled rock instead.

An often-heard complaint about breakaway sinkers is that the lost lead pollutes the sea bottom. From my own point of view, throwing away something I had to buy lacks economic sense as well.
My solution: a rock. I drill a hole in the rock with a masonry bit, then attach it to the bend of the hook with about 2 feet of cotton sewing thread. (Around 6 to 8 pounds breaking strength is perfect.) When the bait is lowered to the bottom, a sharp tug on the line breaks off the rock, leaving the bait to float free. The current then brings the bait up from the bottom in an arc, giving it a natural presentation.
This technique can be used with single or multiple-hook rigs and strip or whole baits. However, the bait should be tough enough to withstand the jerk needed to separate the rock from the hook. I prefer attaching the rock directly to the hook rather than to the swivel. This gives a straight line from the rod tip to the hook without causing fold-backs in the leader which can result in tangles.
I normally rig with a circle hook, 8 to 10 feet of leader and a ball-bearing swivel to the main line. If the current is strong, an egg sinker can be slipped onto either the main line or the leader, whichever you prefer. This slows the rise of the bait from the bottom, allowing it more time in the strike zone.
I use this rig mainly for our southern yellowtail in 300 to 500 feet of water, but it can be used in any depth when you want to get the bait to the bottom quickly, then let it float free. For different depths, experiment with different sizes of rocks and cotton thread so it will break off when you want it to.
Tolaga Bay, New Zealan