Wire Line Wind-On

Whether you prefer high-speed wahoo trolling in the Bahamas or pulling planers for king mackerel on this side of the ‘Stream, there’s no denying the effectiveness of wire line and its ability to present baits and lures deeper than traditional monofilament lines.


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The ever-popular wire line trolling outfit is a longstanding favorite with old salts and local charter fleets, but also a popular tactic among new school anglers who’ve learned how deadly the approach can be. While fishing a wire line from each corner of the transom will increase your encounters with toothy predators, the approach requires specialized outfits with reels spooled with expensive monel or stainless steel trolling wire. While the benefit is clear, many avoid the tactic because of the inherent cost of the weighted mainline and required equipment. Additionally, if not properly handled and cared for, wire line can trap moisture and invite corrosion to the spool.

Mercury Pro Team member Seth Funt of Three Buoys recently stopped by with an innovative idea that makes fishing wire lines easier and more affordable than ever. With this modified wind-on leader anglers no longer need dedicated wire line outfits and can implement the approach whenever and wherever they’d like.

1. Create a 7-foot double wall Dacron splice by measuring out 14-feet of 130 lb. Dacron. Fold the Dacron in half and make sure one end is about three inches longer than the other. The longer piece of Dacron will end up being the inside wall of your splice.

2. Secure the end loop by temporarily whipping the Dacron with a short length of wax rigging floss. This will prevent the loop from collapsing on itself.

3. While you can use a professional splicing kit with specialized rigging needles, you can fashion a 24-inch threading needle by doubling back a 48-inch length of #5 single-strand wire. Insert the makeshift wire puller into the shorter end of Dacron and snake it all the way to the base of the end loop.

4 & 5. Push the wire puller through the Dacron wall and insert a few inches of the longer Dacron tag through the wire loop.

6 & 7. Pull the wire puller with the Dacron tag end inserted through the loop all the way down through the inside wall, resulting in a double wall splice with end loop.

8. Gently work the outer wall of Dacron all of the way up toward the base of the end loop.

9. Double back a few feet of stainless or monel wire line and insert into the inner wall of Dacron. The doubled wire line should extend all the way to the base of the end loop.

10 & 11. Gradually work the outer wall back down over the inner section of Dacron with wire inserted and trim the wire tag at the point where it exits the inner wall of Dacron. Make sure the outer sleeve of Dacron is shorter than the inner sleeve.

12, 13 & 14. To lock the wind-on you must serve the Dacron with consecutive overhand knots using wax rigging floss. Start on the outer sleeve of Dacron, about one inch above where the inner sleeve exits the outer sleeve, and move toward the wire line.

15. Continue the overhand knots until you reach the point where the wire line exits the Dacron. From there, tie a series of 10 half hitches. Lock the connection with a 5-wrap uni knot and trim the remaining wax floss. Remove the wax floss from the base of your end loop and your wire line wind-on is ready to go.