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October 26, 2001

It's a Snap

Some easy pre-rigging will smooth out the kinks associated with securing an angler into a bucket harness.

A well-fitted and comfortable bucket harness is a piece of equipment that's almost as necessary a part of heavy-tackle fishing as your rod and reel. However, when you have many different anglers of different shapes and sizes fishing on the same boat on the same day, keeping that bucket harness adjusted properly can prove a chore.
While working the deck in New Zealand a few years back, I learned from my skipper an easier way to keep the bucket harness ready to fit everyone on board at all times. It's one of those ideas so obviously simple but ingenious nonetheless. First, shorten the length of the ropes on the harness to fit the smallest person on board. Then, by attaching three or four bronze clips to each existing clip on the harness, you now have a one-size-fits-all bucket ready for the first bite of the day.
Before beginning a day of fishing, seat each angler in the chair one at a time, and with the rod in the gimbal adjust the length of the harness by adding or subtracting clips. Each individual should then remember the specific number of clips to add or remove for his or her proper harness length. Now, during the rush to get the angler situated in the chair after the bite, the angler simply tells how many clips he needs and the deckhand adds or removes the correct number for the perfect fit.
An added bonus is that the clips allow easy adjustments during the fight if the current fit becomes uncomfortable. Just snap or unsnap the necessary number of clips and you're in business.

Sam Talbert
Vero Beach, Florida