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We fished Olcott this weekend, Friday was horrible, Saturday was better. I just set the timer on my phone and every 20 min I'd pull my rigger rods and clean them. I would have an extra rod ready to go, send it down and clean the fleas on the other and do it all over again! Exhausting!! They cost us 3 matures at the boat with 20' of line left out without being able to reel anymore. Waiting for a couple spools of sea flea to be delivered this week.Resized_20200710_105545.jpgResized_20200710_110142.jpg

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Agreed with the above. We hand lined a few in Friday morning. I know everyone claims 30# big game repels them but that just hasn’t been my experience.

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36 minutes ago, Offshore IV said:

Agreed with the above. We hand lined a few in Friday morning. I know everyone claims 30# big game repels them but that just hasn’t been my experience.


Same here, I get piles of them on my 30lb BG line. With the wire it's pretty easy to slap the water with the line or grab a clump and "saw" them off using the thin wire. 30lb mono is just a pita. Might look into 40lb or try the sea flea line, not impressed with 30lb. 

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Last week I was able to shake most of the fleas off my line when reeling in with the30 lb. Sea Flee. It isn't a total answer but an improvement over most other stuff I've tried.

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I used 50 lb big game on my rigger rods this weekend and was happy with the results. The fleas were minimal on my rigger rods and mostly collected on the knot where the leader connected which is to be expected. My wire rods on the other hand were worse and looked like the pics posted above.

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Its a damn shame Cortland doesnt make the flea flicker line anymore. I got lucky and bought a 2500yd spool of 30# just before it was all gone. Im still working with it and have 1000yds left. Im gonna cry when its gone. I barely get anything on my rigger lines.

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Agreed with the above. We hand lined a few in Friday morning. I know everyone claims 30# big game repels them but that just hasn’t been my experience.

No it doesn’t, but 1 smack on the water and they are gone. I’m using 30# Ande pink for the first time and love it.


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I’m surprised someone has come up with an invention that is a currently made product. I know the line has been made but no longer. Seems a huge opportunity for someone to come up with something.

Any one ever try a twill tip with a downrigger line using mono? They seem to scrape them off with wire on the dispsy rods.

I know of all the other so called tricks out there, Velcro on a ruler, screw driver rubbing the line, 40-50lb mono.

Guess I’m looking for that button you push and they get electrocuted of the line lol.


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The Niagara flow is relatively flea-free due to Lake Erie water. This year the Niagara is pushing north and not staying along the South shore. Normally, I don’t have to deal with fleas in Niagara County. If you get a clog, have a second person push down on the wad and rub it back and forth (no jokes please) and the fleas mostly loose their attachment. Solo anglers....good luck. 

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Great idea!

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I used 50 lb big game on my rigger rods this weekend and was happy with the results. The fleas were minimal on my rigger rods and mostly collected on the knot where the leader connected which is to be expected. My wire rods on the other hand were worse and looked like the pics posted above.

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I have to agree. This yr we changed and despoiled all rigger poles with 40# big game And then leader appropriately. Fleas are very minimal on them. Is there a downside that I am missing to what we are doing?


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42 minutes ago, Frogger said:


Any one ever try a twill tip with a downrigger line using mono? They seem to scrape them off with wire on the dispsy rods.

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I think it’s the sawing action of the wire on the twilli tip which makes them fall right off. Not sure that would be the case with mono.

We’ve been using Blood Run Sea Flee for a couple years on riggers. Works great

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I think it’s the sawing action of the wire on the twilli tip which makes them fall right off. Not sure that would be the case with mono.
We’ve been using Blood Run Sea Flee for a couple years on riggers. Works great

Yea. I might have to try it.


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1 hour ago, Pa223 said:


I have to agree. This yr we changed and despoiled all rigger poles with 40# big game And then leader appropriately. Fleas are very minimal on them. Is there a downside that I am missing to what we are doing?


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Increased line diameter. Really it. You can prob land a small whale with 40# BG. 

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Posted (edited)

The increased line diameter is only one factor in the equation. The line texture is another factor. I think that the longer you experiment with this stuff over time you'll find that when the fleas are really thick line diameter and perhaps texture become nearly irrelevant. Even on the same body of water they vary in density both vertically and horizontally in the water column. This is why some folks report that the fleas are not bad and other report they are "terrible" on the same day on the same body of water, same side of lake and they may be using the same diameter and types of lines with somewhat different results. Another concern is the TYPE of waterflea encountered. The spiny flea seems to be generally easier to get off lines while the fishhook type seems tougher to get off. They are both a pain in the butt regardless. My hunch is that the fishhook type are a little more susceptible to the increased line diameter because of the size of the hooking apparatus which limits their grip so maybe when these guys are the culprit encountered they don't seem quite so bad because they can't adhere real well to the larger diameter line.The Bloodrun Sea Flee line has both an increase in diameter and a slick coating on the surface so the fleas apparently have a harder time adhering to it. When the coating wears off after time the situation may change,. I have used it for over five or more years and I have noted that as the line gets older and is used more the fleas seem to be abole to get a better grip or so it seems. I know this explanation is subjective and not scientifically based but I know for sure line  diameter itself is not the only factor involved because 150 and 200 lb test dowwnrigger wire is also affected when they are real thick and can be so bad as to impeded retrieval of the wire.

Edited by Sk8man

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1 minute ago, Sk8man said:

The increased line diameter is only one factor in the equation. The line texture is another factor. I think that the longer you experiment with this stuff over time you'll find that when the fleas are really thick line diameter and perhaps texture become nearly irrelevant. Even on the same body of water they vary in density both vertically and horizontally in the water column. This is why some folks report that the fleas are not bad and other report they are "terrible" on the same day on the same body of water, same side of lake and they may be using the same diameter and types of lines with somewhat different results.Another concern is they TYPE of waterflea encountered. The spiny flea seems to generally easier to get off lines while the fishhook type seems tougher to get off. They are both a pain in the butt regardless. My hunch is that the fishhook type are a little more susceptible to the increased line diameter because of the size of the hooking apparatus which limits their grip so maybe when these guys are the culprit encountered they don't seem quite so bad because they can't adhere real well to the larger diameter line. I know this explanation is subjective and not scientifically based but I know for sure line  diameter itself is not the only factor involved because 150 and 200 lb test dowwnrigger wire is also affected when they are real thick and can be so bad as to impeded retrieval of the wire.

I think the question was more asked of what’s the downside to using a thicker line diameter. I agree with you tho, I think they’d latch onto a telephone pole if you present them the opportunity 🤣🤣🤣

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Posted (edited)

:lol: +yep. The downside to the larger diameter is two-fold: capacity on the reel (less line with each increase in diameter and once you get to say 40 lb of most mono it begins to get quite stiff and offers a lot more resistance in the water (e.g. 50 lb.or more Big Game). For all of my pre-flea years on Lake O (about 40 of them beforehand) I used 12 lb Big Game mono, and before that its predecessor Berkeley Hombre (tough salt water mono) in 12 lb and many kings were caught and landed on it including a 32 lb. king my 8 yr. old son (at the time) caught on a rigger with it. Even the thirty pound line I'm using now feels like rope to me:lol:

Edited by Sk8man

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Wow I have learned a lot here guys. Thanks for the detailed responses. I really never thought of line diameter past being helpful for fleas. Need to heavily rethink


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One downside of using new Sea Flee is it won’t hold in a Scotty pinch type release because it is so slick. I have to switch back over to black releases on my riggers when I spool some on.  Blood Run even recommends taking 10 wraps before setting in the black to prevent slippage. Everything is a trade off. No matter the species though, they don’t like it. :puke:

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Posted (edited)

Yes there is also substantial stretch in the Sea Flee line. After using it several years ago I changed about a dozen rods to it and it is all I use on my rigger rods...(1,000 yd spools)

Edited by Sk8man
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1 hour ago, UNREEL said:

One downside of using new Sea Flee is it won’t hold in a Scotty pinch type release because it is so slick. I have to switch back over to black releases on my riggers when I spool some on.  Blood Run even recommends taking 10 wraps before setting in the black to prevent slippage. Everything is a trade off. No matter the species though, they don’t like it. :puke:

Try using bands with the blacks. Make 2 loops run the band thru and half hitch the band. Hasn't slipped on us yet but we don't run sea flee. Good luck!

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