Thursday, March 21, 2013

U-Turn Rock Hoppers - new Cable Spinner


Here's how it went down.

I started out wanting to make a bottom bouncer spinner that could be used in fast deep water channels and cascades.

You know a bottom bouncer - those cool wire sinkers about 10 inches long, used to get depth or troll bait along the bottom.

You know the places too. Too fast for most lures and spinners. I always put on a heavy spinner and try a few casts, watching as the spinner hits, and it immediately shoots by downstream, tightening line and breaking the surface as it arc's over to crash into some big rock wall. Forget about casting downstream... Powerful white water. Dam spillways with deep fast current. Home to big fish.

Beaten, I leave these chutes feeling like big fish are there, but just too deep.

One trip I brought along a 1oz zonker spinnerbait and caught one in a chute - what a fish!

Platte River Rainbow on 1oz Zonker Spinnerbait
The nice ones 'are' down there.

So I started off with wire. I put an R bend in the bottom of a 12 inch  length of .028 stainless and strung on a .4 ounce double taper body for weight ... the bouncer.

Then did an R bend about 7 inches up and then built a Colorado bladed spinner, using a flat glass prism eye to fish it up.

Finished it off with a split ring attached #6 zonker dressed treble on a slip R bend.

Oops, not done yet. Added a skirt band over the U-turn R bend, to keep line from sliding around when cast.


Seemed like a decent idea for a prototype, but then I began to worry about it twisting 180 and how it might behave in low current. It will likely be fine, but stay tuned.

Because I had second thoughts, I then thought about using nylon coated cable vs wire, kind of like a weighted cowbell. The more I thought about it, I liked the flexibility of 15# test cable.

It's flexibility - allowing it to pendulum through the water was a definite plus - hopping or dragging over rocks while still suspending the spinner above bottom obstacles.

Same with the spinner side, cable would allow side to side and up and down motion which seemed like a fish enticing property.

So I quickly moved through the wire version, right into this unique cable spinner design. I think it will find lots of applications. Trolling or drop drifting through fast water river channels for trout and salmon.

Here's a picture of one. The weighted cable is looped to get into the picture. It's sixteen inches long and the weights slid and clack.



Sixteen inches of flexible drop, weighing 1/2oz, with a bottom loop in the cable to add more weight, if needed.

Those are two white quartz rock bars (about 1/2oz worth of rock) separated with a black nickel bead to provide a sliding clacker. What a Fish Witch!

Noise on the Line!

Why U-turn? Used a .051 inch Stainless wire right angle bend to brace the cable's U-turn. This will support and suspend the spinner away from the drop cable.

A crane swivel at the bend for line attachment.

Four inch Flex cable Propeller spinner - flat glass prism eyes - split ring attached Zonker weedless Aberdeen single hook.

I used the weedless hook to try to defeat fouling across the cable ends during casts. It's split ring attached and other hook choices will be available in a hook choice drop down.

I'm excited about the double pendulum action on both cable ends. Should present differently then many spinners, more like a big stinger in current or while being trolled. Reel a couple cranks, raise and drop. Then set the hook, lol.

The weighted cable enables deeper more natural bounce drifts through rocky bottoms, when fishing in hard to fish fast current channels.  I built it for those fish.

Headed to the ponds tomorrow. Can't wait to get some feedback.