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Gill-T

Pulling Copper vs Seth Green Rig

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I am trying to find the most accurate information on these two tactics. I am getting conflicting stories. I imagine what some people call a Seth Green rig has evolved over the years hence the discrepancy. I thought the original Seth Green rig was just a method....an organizer of boxes to keep all the rigging separate as you deploy and retrieve the leaders. Later some people fashioned a winding system with a Victrola record recorder? I had someone recount how a occilating system tied into the oars of the boat, raised and lowered the rigs with each oar-stroke. I talked to another fisherman and he stated the "Seth Green rig" is run off a meat stick-heavy rod and reel. Could someone chime in and set the record straight for me. Thanks.

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The SethGreen rig these days (He used it in the late 1800's) refers mainly to a technique which also may be called a "rig" or "thermocline rig". A usual setup now consists of a main line - most often wire (e.g. 7 strand stainless steel) used on a heavy duty fiberglass rod (with roller tip and perhaps guides) with a large capacity reel (like the Penn 309 or Penn 49 perhaps). About a hundred or more yards of wire is used for the main line. To this main line a "rig line" (can be heavy mono (e.g 30lb or so or braided Dacron etc) is attached often using bead chain swivels interspersed at intervals (which vary according to preference). The first bead chain swivel is hooked to the main line by using a small diameter steel sleeve (like those used in making various tackle using wire). This is used to attach the "rig line" which may be for discussion purposes 30 lb test mono cut into the desired number of sections spaced acording to preference (e.g. 12-25 ft. apart). Much of the time I use 12 ft. and tie 10 of them together which allows me the option of using 12, 24. or 36 ft. spaced intervals for my lures (depending on depth of water intended to fish). Each of the remaining mono sections of the rig line are tied together to each bead chain. At the bottom end I use a large three way swivel to which a large 32 oz. sinker (can vary weight according to conditions or preference) is attached to the bottom connector and the middle connector I attach a leader (usually 12 lb test mono) which has a spring clip at one end and a ball bearing swivel at the other. The sinker has a "dropper line" attached to it of 17 lb mono (lower lb test than rig line in case it gets snagged on bottom... will break first). The dropper line should be about 18-24 inches long). In the old days you were allowed 15 hook points per rod so many folks changed over from trables to single hooks and ran up to 15 lures per rod but in recent years the law was changed such that a total of only 5 leaders may be used per rod (two rods per person) regardless of number of hook points. This brings us to the leaders and lures....I use 5 sections of 12 lb mono cut into different lengths (12-30 ft) and some the same length (e.g. 15 ft). I have also used a longer leader on the very top line up to 60 ft long for rainbow trout and browns in the past. At one end of the 12 lb test mono a spring clip is attached and to the other a high quality ball bearing swivel snap is used to attach the lure. The leaders may be kept separate in a variety of ways. I use pieces of styrofoam insulation cut into usably small rectangles to which I insert the spring clip into a slot I cut into the styrofoam and wind up the leaders on them.

There are many other ways of setting up though such as large wooden or metal reels fixed to a base to which wire or dacron or toher braided alternatives are used but the heavy duty boat rod and reel is most common.

Pulling Copper: Very many methods and techniques exist for this. In the old days they used a hand wound wooden device which had handles that swiveled as you wound it up. Up to 600 ft of single strand copper wire was usually used on it varying in diameter but 30 lb test or more was common . On the business end of the wire you tied a heavy spoon (usually a pfleuger #4 or #5 or a barracuda spoon) or else a flatfish or twin minnow on a short leader. Sometimes monel wire was used but it is more prone to kinking) In more recent times other methods have been used at the "reel" end of the wire including the traditional "victrola rig" which is basically a box with a spring loaded set of gears (originally from the old victrola record players) which are under constant tension such that when the line is played out the spring is tightening itself so that when you release the line at you hand it retracts 'automatically". There have also been motorized versions of the victrola box. Another similar item in principle is the A&S automatic reel which was a much smaller and lighter version of the spring wound principle in a reel. The key to "jerking copper" is not just the equipment it is 85 percent technique in "jerking" the wire by hand....the rhythm etc. Another important thing is to wear either leather gloves or use just the cut off index finger and thumb of the leather glove to protect your fingers as they can be severely cut (or even amputated) by snags on bottom or large fish.

I hope this helps and at least serves as a starting point for you.

Sk8man

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The SethGreen rig these days (He used it in the late 1800's) refers mainly to a technique which also may be called a "rig" or "thermocline rig". A usual setup now consists of a main line - most often wire (e.g. 7 strand stainless steel) used on a heavy duty fiberglass rod (with roller tip and perhaps guides) with a large capacity reel (like the Penn 309 or Penn 49 perhaps). About a hundred or more yards of wire is used for the main line. To this main line a "rig line" (can be heavy mono (e.g 30lb or so or braided Dacron etc) is attached often using bead chain swivels interspersed at intervals (which vary according to preference). The first bead chain swivel is hooked to the main line by using a small diameter steel sleeve (like those used in making various tackle using wire). This is used to attach the "rig line" which may be for discussion purposes 30 lb test mono cut into the desired number of sections spaced acording to preference (e.g. 12-25 ft. apart). Much of the time I use 12 ft. and tie 10 of them together which allows me the option of using 12, 24. or 36 ft. spaced intervals for my lures (depending on depth of water intended to fish). Each of the remaining mono sections of the rig line are tied together to each bead chain. At the bottom end I use a large three way swivel to which a large 32 oz. sinker (can vary weight according to conditions or preference) is attached to the bottom connector and the middle connector I attach a leader (usually 12 lb test mono) which has a spring clip at one end and a ball bearing swivel at the other. The sinker has a "dropper line" attached to it of 17 lb mono (lower lb test than rig line in case it gets snagged on bottom... will break first). The dropper line should be about 18-24 inches long). In the old days you were allowed 15 hook points per rod so many folks changed over from trables to single hooks and ran up to 15 lures per rod but in recent years the law was changed such that a total of only 5 leaders may be used per rod (two rods per person) regardlessw of number of hook points. This brings us to the leaders and lures....I use 5 sections of 12 lb mono cut into different lengths (12-30 ft) and some the same length (e.g. 15 ft). I have also used a longer leader on the very top line up to 60 ft long for rainbow trout and browns in the past. At one end of the 12 lb test mono a spring clip is attached and to the other a high quality ball bearing swivel snap is used to attach the lure.

There are many other ways of setting up though such as large wooden or metal reels fixed to a base to which wire or dacron or toher braided alternatives are used but the heavy duty boat rod and reel is most common.

Pulling Copper: Very many methods and techniques exist for this. In the old days they used a hand wound wooden device which had handles that swiveled as you wound it up. Up to 600 ft of single strand copper wire was usually used on it varying in diameter but 30 lb test or more was common . On the business end of the wire you tied a heavy spoon (usually a pfleuger #4 or #5 or a barracuda spoon) or a flatfish or twin minnow on a short leader. Sometimes monel wire was used but it is more prone to kinking) In more recent times other methods have been used at the "reel" end of the wire including the traditional "Victrola rig" which is basically a box with a spring loaded set of gears (originally from the old victrola record players) which are under constant tension such that when the line is played out the spring is tightening itself so that when you release the line at you hand it retracts 'automatically". There have also been motorized versions of the victrola box. Another similar item in principle is the A&S automatic reel which was a much smaller and lighter version of the spring wound principle in a reel. The key to "jerking copper" is not just the equipment it is 85 percent technique in "jerking" the wire by hand....the rhythm etc. Another important thing is to wear either leather gloves or use just the cut off index finge and thumb of the leather glove to protect your fingers as they can be severely cut (or even amputated) by snags on bottom or large fish.

I hope this helps and at least serves as a starting point for you.

Sk8man

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Hey i got it the 2nd time through ,,,pretty much as Sk8 said only improvement ive add is using power pro vers dacron for dia. reasons,,also get one of those cheep single action fly reels (old used one is fine ) as i bring the mainline when done fishing and letting out you can CLOSE the swivel to another and reel in the leader line for each deployment or retival with NO mess or tangles also if i missed it in either of his post :D if you use 15ft spacing (my preference) do not make yer leaders longer than that 15 spacing or ya could make the mother of all tangles Ie .15 ft space =10 to 12 max length leader...the sethgreen is called "meatrod" for the fact it was a assured way to put "meat" in the boat it is kinda different way to fish but after handlining that last 12ft of leader and loosing a trophy fish ya might go back to other methouds real quick..

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Thanks guys. I had an old timer show me once on Canandaigua his hand-line technique. He used a dacron mainline and had leaders spaced 7' apart. I guess there are lots of variations of a common theme. I am still looking for a good picture of a handline or "seth green" rig....esp. one being used on the water to be used in an article I am submitting to GLA. PM me if you have a good photo. Thanks.

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Sorry about the double posting fellas :>)

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Try to find a copy of " Complete Fishing Handbook New York State Lakes for Fabulous Trout, Rainbows & Salmon " By Earl Holdren, published by Outdoor Sports Press, Box 20, RD 1 Stanley, NY 14561 and printed by Flower City Printing, PO Box 4744, Rochester

NY 14612.

This book was copyrighted back i n1975 so will probably be very hard to get but it shows all the popular ways to fish the Finger Lakes back thern.

I caught my first Keuka Lake laker back in 1960 when I was 12. Back then you either pulled copper or used the Seth Green Rig, using rowboats or at least used an outboard to get to your spot then rowed. Back then a 40 HP outboard was as big as they came.

I started out rowing then advanced using a motor(God forbid),to using a deep sea rod and reel in a rod holder( popular beliefe then was that you HAD to work the rig by hand to catch fish) and on to downriggers in later years and I've now evolved to verticle jigging and catch by far more than ever before with light tackle.

Lots of neat history on fishing the Finger Lakes, the book, if you can fine one, will explain it all--hope you can find a copy--

Tight lines---

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I run my rigs like Sk8man describes with a few subtle differences.

I don't run any wire, my entire main line is at least 30lb. mono. You need this strength to deal with the large weed pods found on the Finger Lakes. Also, if you are lucky enough to hook say three 8 pound lakers at once, you will be glad to have the 30lb. line. You need the larger diameter to deal with fleas. I have tried braid, absolutely no luck- it finds its way into the spring clips and causes horrible tangles.

I quit using bead chains several years ago. Small barrels swivels are stronger and last far longer. It's not fun losing several lures at once because your bead chain breaks. The barrel swivels need to be small enough to fit through your rod guides and also the "leveler" on your reel.

My leaders are high quality fluoro.

A Penn 309 is way to small and lacks the capacity needed to spool enough line. The Penn 49 doesn't have the "guts" to stand up to this kind of fishing- I have a couple of broken ones that anyone can have for parts if they are interested. I use Penn 320 or 340 GTI's for my rigs. (clickers don't hold up, but otherwise they work OK).

As Sk8man mentions, it is real important to evenly space your leaders, so that you can return your rig to the desired exact depth. Also, if I am running multiple rigs, they are set at different depths to better cover the water column. I know people who can "feel" the lake bottom their weights- I'm not in their class.

As our lakes are getting clearer, any technique that gets your lures away from the boat works better than running them close. Some people run their Seth Green rigs off of floats. I have also seen them run off of outriggers and Otter boards. Hope this helps.

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Ive got 2 of those fishing books laying around somewhere here are a few pics..from early (pre 1953 rods )to present...

DSCN1011.jpg

the bambo is a Horrack Ibbotson Co. from Utica Ny Pre 1953 vintage 5'6" 2 pc called "the king" tonkin cane it was used for early sethgreen and lead core fishing..

The steel 3 ft pole was from mid 50's fprimarly for lead and somee iced fished with it too.

The 1 pc 6'6" fiberglass with rollertip was used from early 60's to date. The Penn 309 was the prefferd reel for its durability and strong clicker that actually would add to the "drag"when set right to prevent creeping and ease of deploying lures (plus it would wake up the sleepin fisherman) this 309 is from the 60's and works as good as the day it was made ive owned it for 30 years and never took a screw out just lube where yer supposed to.

DSCN1012.jpg

DSCN1013.jpg

!st thing lernt me was to spread level guide tho most used standard reels and guided line with thumb

DSCN1014.jpg

newer rollertips are a tad tight too a little modifacation lets the swivels through..

DSCN1015.jpg

this is "a pine valley spinner as you see its a early version of the more popular "hemlock spinner" pine valley spoon co was a pre 60's mfg long gone

DSCN1016.jpg

this is a way i figured out how to store ,deploy and retrive indivual leaders as i set lines or changed spoons ..I tossed all my "Sesth green storage boxes"

DSCN1017.jpg

Back in the day i would have premade ,labled mainlines in case of total loss,or desire to change spacing.

DSCN1018.jpg

here are some different shape weights from 16oz to 32 oz .........16oz was a spinner,twin minnow or single lure ,32 oz is most common esed for the 5 spoon setup.

DSCN1019.jpg this might give ya a idea of weight and swivel location...........this is not the usual swivel spacing just one i made up to sorta resemble a school of fish using 1 ft leaders ,never ran it enuf to really tell if it worked.....

Ah yes brings back the days of learing to fish and before downriggers my sethgreen ant been wet for 14 years or so

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Thanks Ray and others. Pretty bed skirt too!

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Yup I am resurrecting a year old post!

I recently inherited some gear from my father in law that will let me give a Seth Green rig a try (without spending any extra cash). I got the main setup taken care of but I still have a couple thing that are not totally clear to me and/or I could use some suggestions/insights on.

First and I think I know the answer to this one but I want to be sure, how do you know when you have a fish (or two) on especially if it is a smaller fish (like many Keuka lakers)? My guess is either you don't or it takes a well trained eye to notice the slight difference with such heavy duty gear.

Second, I know you hand line the rig lines, but suppose you notice a fish on and it is on the bottom line (and obviously when you are done fishing for the day). What can you use to "store" the rig lines as you are bringing them in? I have a few ideas, but they might not be the best. My thought was to get a pool noodle and cut small sections to wrap each rig on (plus then you can set the hooks in the noodle to keep them safe and out of the way).

Thanks for any help.

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Captain,

I use those cheap little clip bells on my SG rods. The smallest fish will jingle them. I started using them so I wouldn't have to keep looking backwards, I can watch the graph and where I am going.

www.pcforestry.com

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Cool, never thought of that but it makes sense. I will be doing some experimenting this year to see how to set these up best (after all that is half the fun of fishing). One other question if anyone knows, I don't have the tools to create my own 16-32 oz weights for this, is there any place anyone knows of to purchase these? That's the only part I am missing right now!

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Ray knows this well. He actually used to fish with Seth Green back in the 1800's :lol:

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Hills valleys and streams in Elmira NY has 16 and 32's in stock along with some 40's...

Mike

[ Post made via Android ] Android.png

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fishy business by keuka state park has plenty
Hills valleys and streams in Elmira NY has 16 and 32's in stock along with some 40's...
I saw a bunch of those weights at hesselson pool place in Elmira

Sweet! Thanks for the info from everyone. Looking forward to playing with some new techniques. Got 5 days starting tomorrow for some jigging and trolling. Can't wait.

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Effective rig fishing with a “jug†requires a specific technique to best fish the attached rig. Straight line trolling is the least effective. Repetitive wide “S†turns, or even better yet, 45 or 90 degree turns are a better technique. The jug becomes the pivot point => “inside†turns allow the jug to slow/stall, causing the rig to sweep lower through the temp/fish zones as the lure speed slows. “outside†turns allow the jug to increase speed, causing the rig to sweep upward through the temp/fish zones as lure speed increases. The sweep and speed changes make the best use of the jug rig. Just another presentation technique.

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Pulling Copper: Very many methods and techniques exist for this. In the old days they used a hand wound wooden device which had handles that swiveled as you wound it up

Gentlemen, while data mining for Seth Green information, came upon the forum and this thread. I thought you might be interested to see one of the old Seth Green rig's I found at a garage sale in Watkins Glen when I was a kid. Not shown in the pictures is the brass carrying handle ...

SethGreenRig1.jpg

SethGreenRig2.jpg

Before I left Elmira in the '60's, I pulled a lot of copper with this rig along the Salt Works and the Painted Rocks on Seneca Lake

Regards

John in NJ

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Nice old copper rig....

However it's not a Seth Green Rig..

The Seth Green Rig used a heavy weight on the bottom and multiple leaders.. When old Seth himself fished it, it was used with bait..

Eventually, spoons replaced the bait, at least on a day rig...

Until 30 or 40 years ago, Seth Green rigs were commonly used with short leaders and bait, usually at night..

I can remember when there were 100 or more night lights off Hammondsport on a summer night..

It was as much a social event as a fishing trip..

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