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This is why we also suggest using wind-on leaders


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s time go to 200ft and let it out on the jug/balloon about 75 yards.  Proceed with the 250 and 300-foot rods. Once you have the 4 lines out on the jugs, lets move to your tip rods. The tip rods are called tip rods because that is exactly what they are. You will see the tip of the rod bounce heavily when a sword is slashing the bait. These rods are being fished right at the boat at varying depths. We usual set these rods at 75-100 feet and 400 feet.

These will be your most active rods, as they are in the direct light of the boat.  You should be constantly reeling the two tip rods.Now that you have 4 lines in the water, Turn off all boat lights and sit back and listen to your rods. Check all lines as needed. If you don't have any action within 30 minutes to an hour, start by checking your tip rods. If the baits have been slashed than bring in your balloon/jug rods and re-bait.You can also use the 4ft green Hydro Glow light is used to attract bait and fish to your boat. Make sure you put it on the opposite side of the boat that that lines are drifting on, to avoid direct light in your eyes. The light definitely doesn't hurt.  We have seen bait such as squid, mackerel, flying fish, and sardines swim through the light.  I have also seen these fish come into spreader lights and I have seen them come up with no lights at all.  But why not have the extra edge?There he is!!!If a balloon or jug comes off, or you hear the drag being taken out, or you see a fish surfacing, you want to jump on that rod fast. You should of have your drag set at practically nothing, just enough to keep line from coming off the reel. Increase the drag to an agreed upon setting (I use 16 pounds) and start cranking until you get tight on the fish.  The hook should automatically set once the line is tight if your hook is sharp.

It is always important to clear the sea anchor and the tip rods immediately, but sometimes if you are not getting dragged around you can leave a float line or two out in hopes for a double.Hooked Up!Monitor your drag carefully.  Too little drag and even a small 80-pound sword may take an hour. Too much drag may cause the hook to rip from the soft mouths of these fish.   Do not rush the fish. If you have a big fish on, and he starts dumping over 300 yards of line off the reel you should back the drag on the reel off to compensate for the weight of the line in the water.Most people fight the fish out of the rod holder using a bent butt rod, but there are some lower back workout fanatics that like to fish it standup. If you want to fight it standup, you should use a harness a good fighting belt. Swordfish get in excess of 400lbs and sometimes you have to slug it out to get them in the boat.Once the fish is at the boat, just reel take of the LP electralume and wind the swivel to the tip.  

This is why we also suggest using wind-on leaders. This will help avoid the dangers of hand-lining a big fish. Get ready with multiple gaffs or a harpoon and stick the fish right in the head. A swordfish has to be at least 47 inches from the fork of the tail to the tip of the lower jaw to keep, so make sure you have a measuring tape. So before hitting it with the gaff, you want to decide if you are keeping the fish or not. Always wear tough leather gloves, as the bill is very sharp.Cleaning up (Read this article on dressing tuna and swordfish)When you have the fish in the boat and after the high fives and pictures are taken, shorten him for easy storage and transport by sawing his bill off and cutting his head off. Once the head and gills are off, slice his belly from the anus to the collar and remove his guts.  Then pack his cavity with ice to ensure the best quality steaks.  Now get your lines out and do it again!Fisherman's Outfitter.

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