Friday, January 14, 2011

Perch Jewelry

 Imagine my surprise yesterday when the administrator of a local fishing board requested that I moderate a new forum. From the beginning I was a little uncertain whether to accept, unsure of the responsibilities but also because in the past I've shown little or no signs of moderation in my own person life. After some assurances from the admin. that the job required minimal vigilance, I gladly accepted, partly because it's a relatively new site with a small but growing membership, but mainly because I believe a board's worth (and a blog) is directly proportional to it's membership's involvement.

  So my first duty, in my opinion, was to make a contribution. The forum itself  is simply called "Perch Jewelry" and asks members to upload pics of their favorite hard water tackle for these little bandits. This is just a small sampling of my tiny heavy metal arsenal.
  As I was laying all this out, trying not to hook the pets, it occurred to me to take it a step further and make a contribution that would be more informative than just showing what I carry out on the ice in my tackle bag. First off is a little trick I'd figure out a few years ago while fly fishing nymphs in dirty water.

  I hate tying knots! I particularly hate tying knots in winter when my fingers are as sensitive and dexterous as broom handles. Why not try those little spring clips (used by many bumbling knot tiers) for colder days out on the hard water when you're constantly changing it up? These clips are tiny, strong, have a low profile, and as a bonus allow your tiny jigs to swing and dance. If you're worried about their strength, don't, I've spent days landing 20 and 30 pound salmon without ever having one fail! They are available in 3 sizes at select fly shops, Bass Pro and Le Barons.
Spring Clips for Quick Change Overs
  Years ago when I first started ice fishing, I made a bunch of wooden tip ups for my friends and myself following a century old teeter-totter pattern. They worked just fine for perch but I was always concerned that something larger would quickly turn them into kindling. So a few years back I started working on a design that would allow me to use an existing rod & reel without worrying about losing it all down the hole when Mr. Toothy came to dinner.

 Designing by the seat of my pants, using old election signs and a polyethylene cutting board, I came up with something that covered my two main concerns: 1 - that it hold my rod securely and, 2 - that it fold flat to fit in my bucket. Now it was time to test it. Sitting on the slick kitchen counter with a jig dangling over the edge, I reefed down on the line and to my surprise the "tip down" didn't move an inch! As an added bonus a mild breeze would cause it to gently jig the bait.

 Since then my tip down has proven itself over and over, and I can say with full confidence that it can handle anything  that comes to dinner.
Add a small bell or battery powered alarm and walk away.
Spend an hour or two and make your own, it's not that difficult.

Check out Perch Jewelry and other neat stuff at:Fishing Lake Simcoe


  1. Very nice handy work John.

  2. Hey John. You know, I've been looking at those clips for quite a while. I use a snap swivel because I change lures frequently, but snap swivels tend to break after a while. I think I'll pick up some the next time I'm at the tackle store. Thanks for the positive input.


  3. Mark
    I know you're using spinners & the occasional rapala for those west coast trout. Just make sure you get the large size clip to accomodate the larger eyes. Forcing a large lure onto a small clip will open it enough to compromise it's strength.

  4. I will be checking them out also, John. Thanks for sharing.