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Cost-effective DIY Long Line

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by AppalachianHollers, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. markd

    markd Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Wilderness, Virginia
    The mainlines can be 75 or 80 feet long. That gives you enough room to space a dozen decoys 6-7' apart. Then you clip separate anchor lines to the main line.

    I will be dissenting voice and say if you are going to scrimp on something, don't do it on the mainlines. Get some 1/4" or 3/8" diamond braid and you never have to worry about upgrading. Ever.
     
  2. Hellbender

    Hellbender Elite Refuge Member

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    I guess no one uses twisted tarred twine anymore....
     
  3. markd

    markd Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Wilderness, Virginia
    We do, 96# for the droppers.

    We also leave the decoys clipped to the line and drop them into the Ryobi bags. I won't say the heavy braid line won't tangle, but it is rare and easy to clear when it does.
     
  4. fowlwhacker

    fowlwhacker Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Maryland Chesapeake Bay
    if you are not interested in drops off the main line for allowing a dog to go over, you can get some double swivel clips(Cigar Snaps) and attach one end to the decoy and the other to the long line snap clip and have the decoys affixed rarely easily to the long line. I do this for my sea duck rig and they easily go in and out of a 12 slot decoy bag. i either use some black or camo #6 polyester rope and buy it in either 500 to 1000ft spools. I find this size not to small to knot up and easy to pull in with gloves and not to big for storing the rope with the decoys in a bag.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Clark

    Clark Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Jamestown, NC. Duckin desert.
    See post 6
     
  6. AppalachianHollers

    AppalachianHollers Senior Refuge Member

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    May 17, 2020
    Mixed bag, really. We get mallards and gadwall on the lake but also see divers, but other than buffleheads it’s iffy to get them into a mallard spread.

    I have individual rigs for the puddlers. Mainly hoping to have a system to draw divers, but also to increase long-range visibility for the spread, generally.

    Going to need to be able to set and pick up every time.
     
  7. quack1

    quack1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Butler,Pa.
    I use parachute cord for the main lines and regular decoy line for the droppers. Keep the decoys 6-7' apart and if you hunt with a dog, make the droppers long enough for him to swim over. I also put a weight on the main line between each decoy, mainly to help keep the clumps of coontail that break loose in the fall from drifting and snagging on the line. For the lakes I hunt, 10-12lb weights on both ends have worked well. Trot line clips from Herters with an added large snap swivel clip the decoys to the main line. I leave everything clipped together in the boat, but being able to take the whole line apart while hunting comes in handy, especially when drifting sheet ice decides to make it's way through your spread. I use that black plastic landscaping cloth to separate the lines of decoys. It's porous and allows water to drain through it so the lines, which are laid out under the decoys, don't freeze together. I stack up four layers of decoys between the seats. I also have two shorter lines ahead of the front seat. My single puddle ducks are bagged and set on top of everything.
    I set the lines with two methods, beach the boat perpendicular to the shore, grab one main weight and walk down the shore, pulling out decoys as you go. Wade out a little ways and drop the weight. Leave the other weight in the boat and back the boat out, while angling toward the weight you dropped, pulling the string of decoys with you. Once the line of decoys is roughly perpendicular to the shore, drop that weight over the side. Repeat for the other lines. When picking up, wade to the weight close to shore, carry it to the boat and proceed to pull in the line into the boat, loosely piling the lines under each decoy.
    I use the other method if I can't walk out the lines along the shore. I simply run the boat upwind of the blind, drop the first main weight, and feed decoys over the side as I drift past the blind. Repeat for the other lines. Decoys set this way are parallel to the shore.
    I mainly hunt alone and I've used this setup for at least 40 years without any major problems,
    Hope this helps.
    A picture is worth a thousand words:
    [​IMG]
    decoy clipped to main line and main line clipped to the weight.
    [​IMG]
    lines coiled under each decoy
    [​IMG]
    landscape cloth between layers
    [​IMG]
    a line of decoys ready to be pulled out
     
    Dr Swane likes this.
  8. ibfowl

    ibfowl Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    America
    How much more cost effective do you need than a few hundred feet of Tarred line a box of longline clips and two thrift store dumbbells weights? If you need to go cheaper than that by 1/4 nonfloating nylon rope and tie your droppers instead of clipping them.

    You are better off buying one of these.
    https://doctarilonglines.com/guideseries90foot12decoylongline.aspx
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  9. AppalachianHollers

    AppalachianHollers Senior Refuge Member

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    May 17, 2020
    Thanks for all the responses thus far, guys.

    A few takeaways for me at this point:

    1. A potential benefit of sticking with DIY instead of buying pre-rigged mainlines is being able to control length. I still like the idea of having a row of jugs or decoys that’s 40+ yards long. Seems that would require a full 150’ spool at a minimum, since at least 20’ seems to taken up on each anchor end.

    2. So that leaves either tarred line by the spool or some other sinking braid available at Wally World. Since I’m going to try this for the first time and don’t know if bird traffic will merit doing it repeatedly, I’m not sure if I mind going with something cheaper even if it’s not as durable. At least initially.

    3. Something unclear to me is how precisely drops get attached to the long line. That is, do you make a pair of knots for each drop clip? Or do you make a single knot and slip the clip through it like a needle?
     
  10. ibfowl

    ibfowl Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    America
    I don't hunt in the ocean, but do hunt the tidal waters of the bay.
    I've hunted L.L. with as many as a dozen on each line with 18'' droppers 5# lead weights at each end.
    Just go water depthx2 for each end and however long you want your mainline to be. Our spacing was about 4' apart. I leave the decoys clipped on but if you rather you can just clip them as you feed the lines out, but that sucks doing in current even with two people.
     

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