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A lot of people talk about running cheaters now of the riggers. My question is how long of a leader should I run on a cheater?  Is it better to run a free slider or a fixed?  I have fished the lake years ago and we always stacked rods on riggers which it seems like isn’t done much anymore for understandable reasons. I have run cheaters this year the few times I got out with very limited success. I have only been running about a 5-6 foot leader on them.  I’m afraid if your not running deep on your riggers your cheater won’t be down very far and 5-6 foot back on a leader ends up too close to the boat. Maybe I’m totally off course on this and that distance is OK. Any advise is appreciated. 

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Cheaters are very effective. 8-10ft leader length and I stack 8-12ft above the ball. Once you are fishing 25+fow cheaters are used on my boat. 

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I have run both fixed and free sliding this year and on more then one occasion when I was bringing the line in the free slider ended up all twisted up around the bottom bait. Most times I was running a spin doctor and blamed that. Is there a way for that not to happen?  Don’t let the slider go all the way down? It was a pain because it gets really twisted together. 

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I usually run  (free) cheaters when I only use spoons, 4 ft is my length, more spoons in the water, I put a dodger on back of ball for a attractant.

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1 hour ago, Archer12977 said:

A lot of people talk about running cheaters now of the riggers. My question is how long of a leader should I run on a cheater?  Is it better to run a free slider or a fixed?  I have fished the lake years ago and we always stacked rods on riggers which it seems like isn’t done much anymore for understandable reasons. I have run cheaters this year the few times I got out with very limited success. I have only been running about a 5-6 foot leader on them.  I’m afraid if your not running deep on your riggers your cheater won’t be down very far and 5-6 foot back on a leader ends up too close to the boat. Maybe I’m totally off course on this and that distance is OK. Any advise is appreciated. 

Sliding cheaters with 6-8 foot lead were great for me last year on steelhead,,only run them with spoons. I didn't start getting consistent  hits on cheaters last year until late June.

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Free sliding cheaters on a 8 to 10ft lead. Only run them when your main lure is a spoon. Running them with a spin doctor as a main is asking for a mess. I’ve had very good luck on sliding cheaters. When that temp is high in the column, I’ve had mature kings hit the sliding cheaters on my 40 rigger, which would only put the cheater about 20 feet down. Great for picking up steelhead and cohos higher in the column 

Edited by fisherman21
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Cheaters are only used when running spoons. You are asking for a mess if you running attractors and cheaters. I use a rubber band to secure the cheater. Need a barrel swivel for the cheater to prevent line twist. 

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as said, either fixed or sliding, ONLY run spoons or you will have issues. I max out the length of the cheater to 7' due to boat size and a long enough net.

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I've run both fixed and sliding cheaters since the late seventies and when I first started using them I tried them about 15 ft long as I was thinking about staying away from the back of the boat. After a couple times I realized that when you get a decent sized fish on them (e.g. kings :>) there is a big problem getting to the net once you reach the swivel of the main lure. If you keep them just slightly shorter than the length of your rod it eliminates that problem  ( e.g rigger rod 8 1/2 ft slider 7 1/2 or 8ft). I also try to run spoons that run at compatible speeds to avoid twisting at higher speeds. It also can help to run light flutter spoons on the slider and regular or heavier spoons on the main line as the lighter spoon will pretty much stay in the bow of the main line. Using ball bearing swivels can also help reduce line twisting. I've known people that use 2 ft. sliders successfully as well so having a long length may not be as crucial as some may assume.

Edited by Sk8man
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2 hours ago, LongLine said:

The only way I've found to avoid a mess with cheaters is to run stackers.  :smile:

This! More often than not, I end up with a $hit show all tangled up. I stack with a Scotty cable clip and run it 10’ further than my lower rod and 15’ above and rarely encounter a problem. As others have already advised, spoons only! 

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Fixed cheaters with spoons are great. We run a 6 foot leader. We wrap a rubber band around the rigger wire to hold it. We run duo snaps and run the main line (from the rod) thru the inner part of the snap and hook the rubber band to the outer part. Make sure BOTH snaps are beefy and have fun!

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X2 on the rubber band. Attach one end to cable then the cheater clip w/swivel goes through the other end and on the main line of course.  When a fish hits, it snaps the rubber band and allows the cheater to slide down your main line to the swivel. 

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On 6/17/2022 at 9:20 AM, Archer12977 said:

I have run both fixed and free sliding this year and on more then one occasion when I was bringing the line in the free slider ended up all twisted up around the bottom bait. Most times I was running a spin doctor and blamed that. Is there a way for that not to happen?  Don’t let the slider go all the way down? It was a pain because it gets really twisted together. 

I only run cheaters when I am running a spoons off the ball. This allows the cheater to slide all the way to the bottom spoon after slider is hit. Not allowing this to slide to the "end of the line" will create a twist and mess as you found. 

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Look back on the classified for Fixed Cheater Snaps sold by Troubles (Greg).  These are easy to use and I have been very successful using them about 10-15 feet above my main line.  Greg is great to deal with and has quality product.  Come in Salmon size and Brown Trout size at a reasonable price. No need for a rubber band

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