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Pro Tips

Tom's Tips

Fishing Rod


A number of specialty tip-ups are now available, and my favorite is the HT’s TU-1 Windlass, which uses wind to jig your presentation.

After coming off the spool, your line passes through a spring loaded “rocker arm.” This arm is driven downward against the spring tension by wind. Whenever the wind eases, the adjustable, spring loaded system lifts the rocker arm. Jigging action can be varied depending on wind velocity and the amount of spring tension pre-set by the angler.

Since the Windlass incorporates an exposed spool and line, it’s advisable to include a hole cover such as HT’s THC-1 thermal hole cover and monitor your set closely, particularly during sub-freezing temperatures or blustery conditions where blowing snow might otherwise accumulate in the hole.

My favorite rig starts with braided Dacron sprayed with a thin film of Blakemore’s “Reel Magic.” This coats the line and helps prevent freezing. Add a ball bearing swivel, 15-18” length of monofilament tipped with a round based snap and clip on a lightweight, bait-tipped spinner or spoon coated with a liberal application of fish attractant. The lure will flash and flutter, attracting fish--all while tiring the minnow and making it appear stressed or injured, tempting more strikes.

Advantages: Jigging action keeps baits moving and allows use of lightweight lures.

Best situation: Milder days when extra motion, vibration or flash are desired.