The basics of the pulley rig consist of in order, Sinker, bait clip, running line with beads and free running swivel, swivel, leader, hook. These are the components I have been using.
I have been using “Gemini Splashdown” bait clips lately and really like that they positively lock until splashdown which prevents your weight and bait from separating in mid cast. Other components include 500lb swivels, 10 mm beads and 12/0 or 13/0 Eagle Claw L2004 circle hooks. I have found these to be excellent quality for a great price.
Generally speaking, most directions tell you to use a plain swivel as your free running swivel, however, I have found that having mono fold over just the swivel caused a severe crimp in the line from casting and always gives me doubts about having a weak point. So I came up with my solution, which is the item in the upper right above. I take a size small thimble and swivel and crimp together with heavy mono. This gives my “pulley” a wider pivot point that prevents the line from developing the kink.
Here is a picture of an assembled rig. I am using 125lb mono here and 270lb 49 strand uncoated cable. Of course everything is double crimped, with shrink wrap on the leader side crimps. A few important points about the pulley rig. The sinker weight must be greater than bait weight and the Mono section must be longer than the leader section. I have been using a leader length of approximately 3 feet and a mono section of around 4 1/2 feet. When folded and ready for casting this gives me around a 4 to 4 1/2 foot drop from rod tip to sinker which works well for me.
You may have noticed a small mono loop attached to the hook. The reason for it is due to the Gemini clip. the clip is only designed for light wire hooks up to about 2/0, so the mono loop allows me to clip any size hook I want to the clip. I use 60lb mono for this and it is attached to hook eye, not the leader loop.
Here is the rig, ready to cast.
Closeups of the pulley section and the hook / clip section.
The basic principle benefits of the pulley rig are 2 fold:
1.Increased Distance and Castability – Keeping the weight and bait together streamlines everthing resulting in a longer cast.
2.Decreased Sinker Snag – While fighting a fish, the nature of the rig pulls the sinker tight and in-line reducing(not preventing) the chance of the sinker snagging on bottom debris. (The 3-way rig and the Clip-down running rig both leave the sinker leg dangling which increases the likelihood of the sinker snagging bottom during the fight)
The primary negative(for some) of the pulley rig is that it works best with Circle hooks which do not require “setting the hook”. The pulley rig would require tightening of the pulley system prior to setting the hook and could result in a fish dropping the bait. On a side note, probably not such a big deal with any of the fish make the reel scream, but might be more troublesome for those more finicky fish that just sit there chowing down instead of taking off.
I recently made up some “stealth” versions for my next trip. These include coated 49strand 270lb cable and taped hooks to supposedly reduce the “electrical signature” of the metal in salt water.