Stainless diver wire without question is one of the most productive products we bring to the salmon fishing market on the Great Lakes. Season in and season out wire divers are responsible for taking some of the biggest, if not the biggest salmon. Many theories suggest wire vibration in combination with the diver water disruption signature are primary reason's for it's well documented success. In the end, it does not really matter why it works, it just matters that it does work.
Stainless wire can be a tricky disposition in getting reels spooled up correctly, knots tied, and even wire repairs. Here are a few tricks from Blood Run Pro Staff to assist you in getting geared up correctly with wire.
1) Never take a reel to a dealer to get wire spooled up if that dealer has an inexperienced guy on the linewinder. How will you know he is inexperienced? We remember thinking back to a local dealer here in town a few years ago who destroyed bulk spool after bulk spool of wire, only to finally give up. The problem....incorrect speed and tension.
If you take your reels to an authorized Blood Run dealer, by now they have the gig down pretty good and you should have a nice setup once finished. The trick is 1/3 speed on the linewinder, medium to light tension, and clicker "on" the reel.
Any dealer that starts "speed-winding" stainless wire should offer you a 100% discount on the wire, because you will be coming back in short time with a screwed up reel. Speed-winding creates a condition where the wire crosses over because the levelwind cannot keep up consistently at the rate the spool is traveling. This crossover will allow the wire to cut under itself and eventually get wrapped.
To further compound the issue is speedwinding with out proper tension. Too much tension exacerbates the crossover effect, and too little tension creates pockets in the wire as it passes onto the reel, allowing the wire to cut underneath itself eventually.
2) The same practice applies to guys spooling up a small spool off a screwdriver. First, this HAS to be a two man operation. Man (or significant other) should put a screwdriver through the spool and apply consistent and medium to light tension on the spool, with the wire coming off the TOP of the spool. The second man, with the reel firmly mounted to his fishing rod, should reel at a steady and consistent pace leaving the clicker "on" while reeling.
Do not stop once started, this will created a sudden and immediate release in tension and will loosen several layers of the wire already on the reel, and probably back-spool off man number one causing a huge tangle.
Once you have your wire packed nicely on your spool, you can thread your wire back up through the line guides on your rod and out the tip. We do recommend roller tips or Twili Tips. Standard line guides will either get cut, or cut the wire, if they have ceramic inserts. Most copper or leadcore trolling rods have stainless guides without inserts...these rods will work just fine for stainless diver wire.
Knots & Connections
A simple overhand knot is all that is needed to attach the wire to your diver. You do not need a crimp, or a swivel of any kind. If you want to slide an 8mm bead on just to keep an angler from reeling the diver arm into your rod tip, that is fine. Trim the tag of the overhand knot and you are back in business.
Retrieving or "Tripping" your diver
Never in any circumstances do you heave upwards, or jerk your rod upwards in order to "trip" your diver. Simply tighten your drag, or put your thumb on the spool to prevent line from slipping out, and slowly draw the rod back towards you as if you were preparing to take a shot with a billiards cue. Jerking and heaving upwards to trip your diver will break the wire sooner rather than later.
Deploying Wire Divers
Quality linecounter reels with quality drag systems allow for smooth payout of stainless wire while the rod is positioned in the rod holder. Put your bait, leader and diver in the water and let out about 20-30 feet with your clicker on. Move the rod over to your parallel laying diver rod holder and back the drag off (always leave the clicker on) so the line continues to creep out to your desired depth. Once you have the desired amount of wire deployed, simply tighten your drag to your preferred setting. If a fish hits on the slow creep out during deployment, slowly tighten the drag and follow the above "tripping" procedure to make sure the fish has tripped the diver.
Few people know of a trick to repair wire if for some reason you get a tangle and find the need to cut your wire while you are out fishing.
1) Make your cut, and align (not overlap) the two cut-ends together for about 4-5 inches.
2) Pinch the two pieces together and tie an overhand knot with them.
3) Draw the overhand knot "tight".
4) Snip off the tag ends that are created.
5) You now have a repair knot that will allow you to continue to fight your fish, or retrieve your gear.
This fix is fishable, though primarily only be used to get your gear back into the boat. You should then strip the wire back off and re-spool.
Tricks of the Trade
- Whenever working with wire, ALWAYS leave your clicker "on".
-We have tested colored (dark) wire versus "bright" wire hundreds of times (actually two entire seasons) and found no difference in fish catching ability of one versus the other. Your downrigger cable is ten times the size, and "bright".....and most guys are pulling 10+ foot diver leaders now anyway. In freshwater Great Lakes, fish are not going to notice the color of your wire at .015" diameter. In addition, the process that is used to "color" the wire can actually weaken the wire.
- Fishing through kinks. We regularly do it with our wire, we can't speak for other manufacturer's wire, but we have 100% faith and confidence in continuing to fish it. Someday it will break, and we know it, but we will more than likely re-spool before it ever happens.
- Do NOT ever store your wire diver rods without keeping the wire under tension. In fact...ALWAYS keep the wire under some kind of tension. We used to know a guy who was not really familiar with wire, and he kept having issues. When we got to the bottom of it we found out he was breaking his wire rods in half after every trip and storing them in his dock box. He would let the wire become "untensioned" and created "pigtails" that he would pull through and ultimately kink the wire when he re-assembled his rods. Note to self....keep your rods in tact during storage, and your drag settings tight and lay your rods down in your cabin...keeping the wire under tension at all times.
- Reels. You have to use a quality line counter reel when fishing wire, no question about it. If your drag is sticky and not super smooth, you will have issues when you least need them...when a fish is running. You also need a super smooth horizontal and complete travel of the levelwind in order to lay the wire nicely back onto the reel. Some levelwind mechanisms (i.e. worm gear) do not allow full and consistent horizontal travel of the wire across the spool. We highly recommend Carbon Fiber Drag upgrades from Dragmasters.
- Larger reels are best, smaller reels are more work. Why? The amount of line per crank you can put back on the reel. This is not copper we are talking about here with a big diameter, this is tiny stainless that takes a while to put back on a reel. We really like the largest levelwind linecounter reels we can buy for this purpose, or at least upgrading to power handles for more torque.
- You MUST have your linecounter reel completely full of wire in order for your linecounter to be accurate. You have a small margin for error, probably losing no more than 120 feet of wire before your counters start to become inaccurate. If you lost more wire than 120 feet for whatever reason, you must begin to compensate your numbers on your linecounters, or strip the wire and add a bit more backing and fill it back up again. Nothing is more frustrating to have a wire diver rocking at a certain "number" on one side of the boat, and not being able to replicate it on the other side of the boat because you have linecounters that are not accurate. You might have the same "number", but if the exact amount of wire on each reel is not the same, the actual amount of line out will be different. And most of the time that discrepancy can mean the difference between non-stop action and not-happening action.
- Read the current. Wire divers have the unique ability to tell you alot about your boats orientation into the current. Put it simply, if your divers are sucking underneath one side of the boat, or flaring out to one side...you are not properly orientated into the current and your (fishing) action will suffer. Your wire divers must be pulling at the same angle on each side of the boat, both downward and sideways angles. If one side is sucked under, or flared out, or straight down, or pinned back....the other side must be doing the same thing or you will have both tangles and slower action. We measure how far back our diver rod tips are behind our outdowns to tell us when we are going the "right speed" and always watch to see if one side flares out or sucks under. We tweak the autopilot until everything looks identical on each side of the boat both in terms of wire angle and rod bend...and then we stand back and wait for the action to happen!
- Wire divers create the bite. We can tell you without any question or hesitation about what kind of fishing trip it is going to be in about the first ten minutes of setting lines. We always let our wire divers out first, and if they are not firing in the first ten minutes we know three things. One, we are completely in the wrong place. Two, we have completely mis-red the water and do not have them at the proper depth. Or three...fishing is going to flat out suck.
If you put a wire diver out anywhere near the correct depth setting and there are even a few fish in the area, it will get whacked right out of the gate every time. It's not the lure. It is the wire diver. And if it doesn't get whacked, see one of the other "reasons" above.
Furthermore, we have had only a small handful of days that were "whack them stack them" that wire divers were not part of the action...and it was probably because it was such a fierce rigger bite and we could not even get the divers in the water. Outside of those insane days, all of our 30+ fish in 4 hour days were all four wire divers banging away the entire time...usually with flashers on them.
- Anywhere anytime. We pull wire divers out 15 feet with stick baits in the mud right in front and catch staging mature's. We pull wire divers out 10 feet with orange coho dodgers in 8 feet of water in the spring for coho. We pull tin cans and spin n glo's near bottom for trout on wire divers. We pull 11" paddles 500 feet out off shore for kings. We pull small Stingers and Streaks on wire divers out 60 on 3.5 settings offshore for steel.
Wire divers work any time, any lake, any port, for any species.