Determining The Proper Weight
The Main Concern while sandbagging in any environment is keeping contact with the bottom, unless smallies are in higher positions B and C position, throughout the water column. You want to keep an astute sense of feel while working bottom contours and structural elements. In river systems, a variety of ¾ oz to 2 oz weights are the wise choices. I’ll seldom use anything lighter in large river systems.
On Medium and smaller river systems with slower current flows, a 1.2 oz to ¾ oz sandbag weight [ Slinky } , Lindy " No Snag " or Mojo Rock Hopper weight will get the job done adequately providing depths do not exceed 20 to 25 feet of water.
In Larger Lakes and reservoirs, wind velocity, drift speed and depth will again determine weight choices. In The Great Lakes and tributaries, when targeting smallies locating in depths varying from depths to 40 feet, a one ounce to 1 ½ oz weight would be my staring point in most instances.
For shallower depths and light winds and slower current speeds the 5/8 oz model will usually suffice. One sure way to evaluate whether you are using the proper amount of weight in any systems you target would be to watch your line on the drop and as it reaches bottom. Any extra line drag will tell you your weight selection is too light. You need to be certain you are fishing as vertical as possible when drifting these systems. If your main Line is drifting too far behind the boat, your weight of choice is insufficient for the situation. On calm days in Smaller water applications, weight as low as a 5.8 oz model may work efficiently in depths from 10 to 18 feet. Choose the heavier options as you fish depths from 18 to 60 feet and vary weight with each depth change. Learning to use these crucial factors will triple your catch rate for out-size smallies on any waters you target.
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