The 9er's rig is best fished with a rod in the 30 - 50 lb. class. These are usually considered to be medium heavy. If you are using wire, you should use a rod with roller guides and tips or carballoy guides and tips. If you are using a super braid avoid tips that are ringed with plastic as the braid can cut a slice right through the ring material (and your fingers as well). The appropriate stiffness of the rod is important because one of the beauties of the 9er rig is the ability to look at your rod tip and be able to tell just by the rod tip movement if your rig is tracking properly. A steady pulsing of the tip should be quite apparent. If that pulsing is not present, you have probably picked up and unwanted passenger like seaweed, eel grass, jellyfish or the occasional bud can. if you are using a rod that is too light, the rod will bend over too far (buggy whipping) and you will not be able to detect the pulsing action. Conversely, if you are fishing with a rod that is too stiff (no pun intended) you will likewise not be able to detect that rod tip movement.
Always use a leader on your line and the 9er rig. The leader should be 4 to 8 feet long mono or fluorocarbon of 80 to 100lb. test strength. Check your leader often as it can become chaffed or nicked during the fight. This is most likely to happen when you have hooked more than one fish at a time. Always life the rig (and fish) out of the water by the rig itself, not by the line or leader. I have too often seen 50 lb. striped bass swimming away wearing a 9er rig on it's head like a party hat because an angler decided to boat the rig and fish by the leader. Remember, these are just guidelines. Your own experience will teach you many tricks that will enhance your enjoyment of your new 9er umbrella rig.
Congratulations on your purchase and catch em up.
Captain Bruce Macomber, USCG 100GT Master
USING AND RIGGING YOUR 9ER'S UMBRELLA RIG
The 9er's umbrella rig is one of hte most productive saltwater fishing systems in the world, but there are several details that should be considered. The most important of these is depth control. Remember 90 percent of the problems that may arise are depth related. When using wire line, it should be stainless steel or monel of 40 or 50 lb. test. Conventional wisdom regarding wireline trolling is that you will get a depth of 1 foot for every 10 feet of line let out. Under this formula, 300 feet of line should get you to around 30 feet deep. Due to the increased body mass of 14 shad bodies and the violent swimming action that the paddletails produce, if you use the conventional theory of 10 to 1, you probably aren't fishing as deep as you think. The actual line out to depth ratio is closer to 13 to 1. Therefore, with 300 feet of wire out, you have achieved an actual depth of about 22 to 24 feet, not the 30 feet that you may think.
Another effective way to fish these rigs is using a so-called super braid line. Super braid is a type of line, not a brand. If the words super braid do not appear on the box or spool, it isn't a super braid and these instructions would not apply. When using a super braid of 50 or 100 lb test strength with a diameter of 14 or 15, try the following...
Lead core line of approx 45 lb. test can - once again, you must increase the manufacturer's recommended line to depth ratio by about 30% to achieve the desired depth. Check your lead core line often as it tends to become brittle under continued exposure to salt and sun. As soon as the colors on the line begin to fade, replace it or risk losing your 9er's rig.
We discourage using monofilament line with the 9er's system because of the prohibitive amount of weight needed to achieve productive depths.