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Thread: Best lure for a handline

  1. #1

    Best lure for a handline

    Hi Guys

    I`ve just made myself a Hobo hand line for a bit of Mackerel fishing off the shore and was wondering what lure would be best?

    I`ve had great success with a Dexter wedge lure form the beach with a spinning rod would these work from a hand line cast and retrieved from the beach?


  2. #2
    Samuel Hearne
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I have used mackerel feathers with a 2oz weight with my hand line and the last time caught 5 mackerel but put the 3 joeys back to grow bigger, I have also used the rubber lures, hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Natural Born Bushcrafter luresalive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I make my own from Do it moulds, they tend to work well..

  4. #4
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Midge_Fodder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Sunny Dumfriesshire
    Any lure will have its day imo. I tend to use flies because that's what I know. The angler in me says try and match what they are eating anyway, but then when was the last time you ever seen a hatch of Durham rangers.
    Border Bushcrafters

    Isn't it nice when someone says "that's a great piece of kit, where did you buy that", then you can modestly reply "you can't buy it, I made it myself". The moral is, it's amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

    "No better burden can a man carry on the road, than a store of common sense." - Hávamál: 10

  5. #5
    Peasant tds123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    nr liskeard Cornwall
    Feathers mate, can't be beaten, its what I used to use when I was a commercial fisherman, and its what they still use today, we used to catch hundreds of stone a day on stings of 30 odd feathers gigging, but stick to 6/8 to save getting in a mess! Good luck and have fun, oh and take a small stove and pan gut one stick it in the pan still flapping, put it in some brown bread and butter with horse radish sauce, it will blow your mind

  6. #6
    Alone in the Wilderness
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I live on a small island and fish with a handline a lot, I have done for years now. I don't really go out without one in the car no just because it's so fast and easy to set up and get going with, I've easily caught more with my daily driver handline than I have with any of my rods just because I have it with me.

    It's one of those marvellous things that is at the same time simple and marvellously complicated. But in a nutshell though the answer to your questions is ''it depends on your handline''.

    If you're using something as big as pop can in diameter I'd forget about a long string of feathers. You can sort of get away with plugs as long as they are floating/diving or suspending. If you're feeling brave enough you can try trailing a spoon behind a bombarda float but they really cast like crap and tangle so it's not ideal.

    Without the mechanical advantage of gearing it's a nightmare to keep up the retrieve, for every 1m of line you bring in, you're doing maybe 5 'wraps' around your reel. Even on a close cast of 20m (and I can get well over 60m on my little handline in the pic) that's a good 100 wraps at speed just to keep your lure off the bottom and from snagging. I'll jig and dropshot from a ledge or bridge with this kind of set up but most of the time it will be with bait (smashed up limpet etc) fished static. The effort you have to put into keeping the a lure active just isn't worth, for small handlines fished from shore I stick to bait

    Smaller handlines also suffer from mono memory a lot more too. Line spills off in a coil which is a pain on a retrieve you have to pay attention to speed wide as the line can get very twisted and kinked as you're pumping away and trying to get a level line lay on the handline and keep the lure off the bottom- don't be tempted to spool up with braid to make the spill easier because it will cut you to ribbons when you handle it coming in even without a fish on (I learnt the hard way lol)

    I do have a larger Aussie handcaster type handline that will let you bring in about 0.5m of line per wrap and this one I'll use a small eddy eel with on a 20g drilled egg weight rigged up Carolina style over sand for bass, again as the weight distribution is a bit funky it's prone to tangling when you cast An honourable mention are the sidewinder sandeel type soft lures- the sidewinders are some of the best I've found for handcasting as they have the hook pointing up and it's far less like to snag if you do struggle to keep the retrieve up. They go up to heavier weights too but the 10g is a nice size and the weight for packability I've found and if you're just lobbing them 10-15m into the surf for bass they do fine until they get chewed up.

    If you're chucking a line a good way from the beach to horizon the best set up I've found is a couple of twisted dropper loops with size 1 circle hooks with floating beads tied about a 45cm apart with sand weight (watch weight, wire gripper or pyramid) tied at the bottom of the line about 30cm below the bottom hook. Circle hooks are a bit stouter and easier to unhook as they tend to set themselves when a fish takes the bait (see below)

    Hope this helps!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    p.s. The little guy was straight back in to grow big and come back another day
    Last edited by 3bears; 22-04-2019 at 03:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Samuel Hearne
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Good to see that you put the little ones back.
    On my hand line I use braid it is quite thick and I have not had any problems with it cutting my hand, I think its about 40lb braid, I tie all my rigs with mono which I attach to the braid with a swivel link.

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