For some time now I have been thinking about the increasingly popular ‘drop down pulley rig’.
The concept of the rig is simple enough- a Gemini Bent Rig Clip runs freely on the body of the rig containing the trace and hook, its clip locates in what would usually be the snood swivel at the top of the pulley rig. The hook clips onto the bait clip and the rig is ready to cast (best to add some bait first for better results!). Because of the design of the clip, it will only travel one way, in this instance towards the lead.
Are you following me so far?
But no matter how many times I try and get my head around the next bit, it just doesn’t add up. The thinking behind the rig is that upon impact with the water or sea bed, the bait is rejected from the clip and the bent rig clip is free to slide down the body of the rig where it presents the snood and bait hard on the bottom. The rig seems to have found favour with ray anglers in particular, probably for this very reason. It’s a lovely idea and because the snood itself does not have to be an exact length, it's so quick and easy to tie.
But in reality, I cannot for the life of me see how the snood will ever make it down the body of the rig to its desired location.
To start with, let's presume that the bait leaves the clip upon impact with the water. The lead mounted clip in these images may not necessarily reject the bait on impact, (more likely as it touches down on the bottom) but many other types such as Solo clips, Impact Shields etc. would. The lead would travel down to the bottom, with the bait trailing up in the water following after it. As the lead reaches it’s resting place, just a tiny amount of tidal pressure would be enough to drag the snood, rig, shock leader and mainline down-tide of the leads’ position. The baited hook would also be pulled down-tide of the lead.
So, it would appear to be physically impossible for the baited trace to slide down the body of the rig to nestle against the lead clip, as many believe to be the case.
Water pressure on its journey to the sea bed and the pressure of tidal flow once it gets there would prevent it from doing so. For this reason, I had written off the drop down pulley rig. I simply couldn’t see any advantage over the conventional version that has served me well for such a long time.
For whatever reason, my curiosity got the better of me late last year, in particular during a ray fishing session when a friend out-fished me by some margin using the rig. Same baits, casting distance and fishing just a few feet away from each other. This could’ve been pure coincidence, but after that session, I started to experiment with the drop down pulley rig for myself, and strangely it did seem to put more fish on the beach.
But working on the assumption that the drop down pulley rig fishes in the same way as the conventional pulley rig, why could this be? If anyone can offer an explanation to this or any other reason why we should be using this version of the old faithful, I'd love to hear from you.