Saltwater salmon rigging in Alaska runs the gamut. We might be mooching during the morning tide change, and switching over to trolling with downriggers or lead after the tide change. The next day, we might be backtrolling a river for king salmon. Having to re-tie for each of these different techniques can be time consuming, but one way to simplify things is to use the Universal Rigging System shown in the video.
The main advantage of this saltwater rigging method is that the items on the end of your main line don’t change. All that changes is the tackle beyond what is at the end of your main line, and to change techniques you simply remove gear and replace it with something else. There’s no need to cut line and re-tie; it’s a modular approach.
This simple saltwater rigging (which works well for certain freshwater situations, too) involves a Silver Horde Gum Pucky, a large BnR Tackle EZ Slider, and a size 4 Sampo Welded Ring & Coastlock Snap ball-bearing swivel.
With this saltwater rigging, you first slide on a Gum Pucky, color of your choice, with the pointed end pointing towards your rod tip. The Gum Pucky is a soft, cone-shaped bead. Its main purpose is to prevent you from winding hard items (like swivels, sliders, etc.) into the ceramic ring of your tip top. A swivel, if it hits the ceramic ring just right and with enough force, can crack or chip the ceramic ring, The chipped or cracked edge can easily damage your line, and you might not know about it until your main line starts mysteriously breaking.
After the Gum Pucky, slide an EZ Slider onto your mainline. We modify EZ sliders by cutting a notch in one end with a Dremel tool. This is so the swivel we add next has something to seat into. This will prevent line twist. If you don’t do this, you will experience severe line twist if you are Pro-Trollin’ (using a 360 flasher with lead attached to the slider). The EZ Slider also allows your weight to slide up and down the line while fighting a fish, lessening the chance of fish breaking off or coming unhooked.
Lastly, tie on the Sampo Welded Ring & Coastlock Snap swivel to your main line using your preferred knot (we like the San Diego Jam knot for this).
This saltwater rigging (freshwater, too) is designed to simplify the process of changing salmon-fishing techniques. Once tied, it will likely last for several trips before it needs to be re-tied.