Heavy Duty Trolling Bumpers
Less Line Twist, More Fish.
By Tyler Comeau
When it comes to dealing with a tangled ball of mono, flasher, and hooks while trolling for salmon, we’ve all been there. This dreaded mess of gear is the result of line twist, encounters with debris on the bottom, or the most likely culprit, an angler dropping their gear down too quickly. Re-rigging after suffering one these massive tangles will cost you precious time on the water, and fixing the mess when you have time is never an enjoyable task.
The section of line between the bead chain swivel to the mainline and flasher, known as a “bumper,” is most often involved in those annoying tangles. For many years, anglers have experimented with different solutions to this problem with some using spinner wire in place of monofilament, and others utilizing heavy braided line. Just a few years ago, most bumpers were tied with 25- to 40-pound monofilament.
With the growing popularity of 360/ rotating flashers, and the continued adaption of trolling techniques to new salmon fisheries, anglers began to transition to extra heavy monofilament to reduce line twist and tangles. Cutting off 18 inches of 60- to 80-pound Berkley Big Game or other heavy mono and attaching duo locks on both ends creates a fairly effective and economical solution to tangled bumpers. This proved to be quite effective in reducing the number of tangles.
Doing one better than the homebrew solutions, tackle manufactures have begun to offer their own trolling bumpers made out of materials ranging from extra heavy-duty mono (120-pound test) to titanium wire. These new products provide a more streamlined trolling setup with beads and crimps to cut down on potential tangle points, reducing possible weed grabbing knots, along with a more rigid setup than the heavy mono bumpers. The titanium style bumpers, while costing a bit more than the pre-tied extra heavy mono bumpers, are extremely well built and they will spring back to shape if you try to tangle them.
If you haven’t done so already, you should upgrade your trolling bumpers to a heavier material. If you are willing to splurge on the extra heavy pre-tied mono versions ($7.99/2 pack from Shortbus Flashers) or the titanium bumpers ($7.99 from Hawken Fishing), 24-inch lengths are the most versatile choice available. These new heavy-duty bumpers will keep your gear fishing longer with less tangles, which means more effective time spent on the water.