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Rigs & Knots
How To Reinforce Your Dredge
Use heavy mono to reinforce and protect your dredge teaser.
On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic fishing for white and blue marlin on the Chaser, deckhand Garrett Penley showed me how he uses monofilament to add a bit of security to the dredges. By Charlie Levine.
Loaded dredges carry a lot of weight, whether you are pulling rigged natural baits or plastic squids. Dredges are also expensive. After losing a couple of dredges, Garrett came up with this simple system to reinforce them. All you need is some 80- to 200-pound mono and seven crimps.
Garrett begins by making sure the existing hardware on his three-arm dredge is secure. He uses a crimping tool to pinch down the metal crimps that keep the barrel swivels in place.
Next he cuts a section of mono that is roughly the length of one of the dredge arms. Crimp one side of the mono to the outside edge of the first barrel swivel.
You don't want to crimp the mono super tight to the dredge. The loop should be a tad loose, and leave yourself enough mono to reach the first barrel swivel on the other side of the dredge.
Run the mono through the split ring on the top of the dredge. This ring is the main pulling point for the dredge.
Loop the mono around the dredge bar just in front of the first barrel swivel on the opposite side of your first crimp.
Place a crimp on the mono and slide the loop down toward the bar, leaving enough room so the dredge can move freely.
Pull on the crimp to make a loop around the dredge bar. Again, you want to leave a bit of room but make the loop tight enough that it will stay in place in front of the barrel swivel.
Crimp the mono in place.
The mono should run from one side of the dredge, through the main split ring and attach to the other side of the dredge. You want the mono to be taut, but not so tight that it effects the movement of the dredge bar in the water. The dredge bar needs a bit of slack to do its thing.
Repeat the same process on each dredge bar. This added mono does not effect the dredge's action but it will save the day should the dredge break. Rather than losing the whole $400 dredge, the mono will hold things together and let you pull it back to the boat.
Garrett also makes a circle of mono that he runs through the two split rings on the main pulling area of the dredge. If this dredge were to break in the water for some reason, he can still get it back to the boat and retrieve his baits and/or squids. Think of it as a cheap security blanket.
This dredge has been reinforced with mono and is ready for baits, squids or mudflaps. This simple tip could save you a bunch of money should your dredge come apart. If you fish in a remote area like the crew on the Chaser, it's more about saving the gear because there is no tackle shop nearby to replace it.
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