TA clips and rigged eels

As a recent convert to using clips instead of a snap, I am somewhat at loss for explanation why it took me so long to embrace the clips. I think it was because of one bad night on the Jones Reef at Montauk Point few years ago when I lost three plugs in one night that slipped off the clip. Not sure what brand that was, I know it wasn’t a Breakaway and Tactical Angler clips were not on the market yet. Since I am not, to this day a hundred percent sure of why did it happen I don’t want to assign the blame on the brand itself. For all I know, I could have tied the clip the wrong way. Hey, I never said I was a genius…it happens

But after that experience I stayed with Duo Locks until basically last year when out of respect for Crazy Alberto I decided to give them another shot. I can honestly say that I never looked back.

I never was a fan of tying direct unless it was to a bucktail in some very specific situations and places. I don’t see the point. Yeah, tying directly eliminates one more thing that can fail  you. Heck, I can eliminate ALL the things that can fail  me by just falling asleep on my couch instead of going fishing. Or I could spend more time retying the plugs then fishing….I’ll pass on both

I like to change plugs a lot, particularly when fishing jetties. Sometimes after every three casts. Don’t ask me why but every night is different, conditions are different, tide and current movement differs, wind velocity and directions are different…so are the lures that I use.

Having said that could I just use a bucktail 99% of the time? After all, aren’t bucktails by far the most productive jetty lures anyway? Yes and no. Are they the most versatile? Yes. Most productive? Not necessarily

Now if you are talking about inlet jetties  then they are both the most versatile and the most productive especially if the inlet you are fishing features deep ,fast moving water.

But I prefer jetties where I can toss a rigged eels and the inlet jetties are not well suited for this except for times of slower current. And since I like to use only 8/0 or 9/0 hooks, tying directly was usually the norm. Duo Lock snaps are not well suited for this type of fishing. Its thin wire can bend easy against giant thick hooks that can handle a tuna or a shark. Because I fish a tighter drag with rigged eels that I do with lures, the strain that is put on a Duo Lock increases. I’ve had quite a few Duo Luck straighten out over the years. They came back mangled up while my eel was somewhere out there hanging out of the mouth of a cow bass.

I know many guys who once they are convinced that their arch enemy is not in the area,( I am talking bluefish) they attached rigged eel directly to the mono and they will cast that thing all night long. I am not one of those guys, I guess I have a short attention span.

Many of you have noticed that clips can be a pain in the ass to put on some lures. In fact, some lures that have thick wire are almost impossible to get onto the clip. So you might be wondering how in the world would you be able to fit a giant 9/0 hook on a rigged eel onto a Tactical clip?

I thought you’d never ask…lol

It does help to have a right tool, in this case large clip from Tactical Anglers.

Here is a video demonstrating what works for me. I did this video in spring and forgot all about it


7 comments on “TA clips and rigged eels

  1. Steve S.

    I started fishing rigged eels this year after watching Roger rig them at your seminar. The first few I rigged I put a swivel on the the front hook. That was actually one of his suggestions. Then I realized that the 125lb. tactical clip slides onto the hook with no problem at all. I cut all those swivels off and the rest were rigged normal. I use 8/0 open eye VMC siwash and have no problem getting the clips on. The 125lb. is the size I use normally so it’s not a problem going from eels to lures. If you’re fishing only rigged eels maybe try the 175lb. That should be even easier.

  2. Robert McC

    How did you loose a video, two hours to make ?

    I love TA clip for all application {lures or Rigs } The problem is all the tackle shop on Long Island are running out!!!

    Swimming popper are tough to get off and on, I use my needle nose pliers and that works.

  3. woodwker99

    Being left handed I usually do as you do and have learned that the right handed trick also works when tossing Hopkins like tins.
    I learned this from a “crazy”guy when talking to him about putting rings on Hopkins in order to use them with clips. He told me that putting them on right handed worked better then putting them on left handed. go figure!

  4. woodwker99

    This might be a bit late.. but I just Gave up a never fished Bunker boy in white trying to get the clip on to the split ring on it’s nose. fumbled it and as you would guess the wave came up and snatched it away before I could get to it.

  5. layer8

    Great video! I’ve actually tried going to clips twice but quickly went back to duolock as I found it to be a pain to hook certain lures to the clips.
    Will give it a try again. Thanks again.


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