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SP180

Reel Weeds

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Have people used the reel weeds and seen a remarkable difference in catching or seeing fish? I did a forum search and could not locate this discussion in the past.

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I have used them about a half dozen times last year in lakes with no structure and I haven't seen a difference at all by using them. I have left them in one spot for over an hour and went back and still couldn't mark fish in that spot or catch anything at all. Haven't given up on these and will be using them this winter again to see if it makes a difference.

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I have used the LaDredge weeds for the past 3 ice seasons. I have had good luck and also not so good. First off, one does need to be near some fish and not off in a corner of the lake where there is a very small percentage of fish. I have watched fish come into the weed set up and swim around it and even nibble at it. It does give one a bit more time to get the interest of the fish with the correct bait.

I use them usually when I'm out panfishing most of the time.

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I have used them about a half dozen times last year in lakes with no structure and I haven't seen a difference at all by using them. I have left them in one spot for over an hour and went back and still couldn't mark fish in that spot or catch anything at all. Haven't given up on these and will be using them this winter again to see if it makes a difference.

My experiance too. I thnk they work better on flat lakes with less structure. Mille Lacs, URL are good. I'll put mine out again this year to see if they help.

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I have noticed that panfish will hang around in the Reel Weeds instead of just moving through in schools. Sometimes when a school of perch moves on I can see perch hanging around on my AquaVu. I can't say that they bite any better though. I guess I'll just keep putting them out though.

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I purchased some later in the year last year and can't say that they have helped. But I am going to give it more of a try this year. I hope they work, but one never knows.

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Yeah I think they shine best in those flat structure less lakes URL, Mille Lacs, or those prairie pot hole lakes we have.

I dont think they do a good job attracting fish, but will hold fish that are roaming the flats in your area a bit longer.

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I tried and tried them last year, I don't think that they helped at all. I'll probably try them again this year before I give them up.

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I've used them a handfull of times. Couple of times I didn't have much luck. Then I was out with a couple of buddies and we were in the pannies. They shut off after an hour. I went out and drilled holes in a "V" pattern from front of the house down along the sides. Dropped the weeds down and before I even had the last one in the water the fish were back and we pounded them for the next couple of hours.

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use em alomost everytime out, they seem to hold fish longer when they swim through perch really like them as do other fish but not as much had a pike lay in between a few one that was cool on the camera, I just made my own from plastic leaves from a craft store only have like $20 into them and I have 5 strings 6' long

they are a pain in the @$$ when its cold and windy tho

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The thing with Reel Weeds is that you need to use them when either weeds are already present in the lake, or when you have fish making "circle" routes.

Fish need to be relating to weeds in order to have these work effectively. Yes, they will work when weeds are not present, but as a general rule they are more effective when the fish you are targeting relate to weeds during the similar season. Slapping them down over an expansive boulder field might not always been the best plan of attack. Or putting one or two strands out over a giant mud flat might not be the right idea. Using them incordination with other weed dwelling structures is key.

If you do intend to place them out over non-weed structure, you need to put down more than one or two. Some sort of obstruction needs to be laid out, not just a slight glimpse in the night.

Most of my guide trips find Reel Weeds scattered around base camp. Yes, you might not see immediate reaction, but give it time and you'll notice that more fish are using the area. Reel Weeds serve an important purpose here... Reel Weeds are not always going to give you a homerun, but I can promise you that they'll give you an extra swing at the ball.

What I mean by this is... Reel Weeds will hold the fish there longer than without having them there. When all you're getting is one or two fish out a hole before the school moves on, now you can pluck out two, three or four out of a hole before the school scoots on. This is where the concept of fish making "circle" routes comes into play. We've all seen the situations where the pod of fish moves 10 yards every couple minutes, only to find itself back at the starting point 30 minutes later. These fish are perfect for holding with the Reel Weeds.

Another thing to consider when using the Reel Weeds is to think before you put them down. What I mean is when you lay out a set of Reel Weeds, lay them out in a manner that allows the fish to actually use them. Make a wall/edge, make an inside turn, make a pocket... make something that we already know fish relate to. Scattering one here and there is not going to give them comfort.

One other use of Reel Weeds that I've found to be successful if to place them directly below the ice, almost like they are frozen into the ice. One of the best winter structures I've found is when you can locate a spot where a big chunk of milfoil gets frozen into the ice. This draws fish up towards the surface and I can bet that most of those fish are active. These spots will hold fish all winter long and in water as deep as 40 feet. Often times we find ourselves trying to draw fish up and out of a school by jigging above the group of fish, now we can let the fish come to us smile

A lot of uses for the Reel Weeds. They have helped me put A LOT more fish on the ice. They've given me an upperhand when nothing else seems to hold fish. A great tool for ice anglers!

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Very well said Matt. I like the "extra swing" way of explaining it.

I will agree with Matt in that you need to provide an actual cover to attract the fish. I have used a "V" formation around my portable and it has worked very well. The line method as also worked.

One thing I will try for sure this year is right under the ice method. Great suggestion Matt!

jigs

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I am still on the fence with this issue. I dont even own a camera since i think it takes up to much of my time monkeying around with it. Maybe a Valium would help.

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Reel Weeds are not intended for the guy who can't sit still smile Some days they might not be the ticket. I have days where I'll punch a couple dozen holes over a piece of structure, fish each hole, and be out of there in 20 minutes if the fish don't cooperate. In this case, dropping down a series of Reel Weeds might not be the right idea.

Sure, you can set them up right away in hopes of drawing in a few more fish by the time you leave, but more than likely you're on the move looking for an active school and don't want to spend the extra time to punch a few more holes and drop down the Reel Weed lines. Makes sense, I'm not going to argue that, because there are situations where I leave the Reel Weeds in the sled of my trap.

Reel Weeds are not for every situation, that is also a point I'm not going to argue, but they do have their place and time, and that place and time can help you catch more fish.

When I'm on a hardcore bluegill hunt, I'll more often than not run without the Reel Weeds. BUT, once I locate an area where I know fish are holding, I'll drop down a line of Reel Weeds and most of the time, by the time the day is done, the holes closest to the Reel Weeds out-produce the rest. Sure, I'll hook a bunch of fish 30 or 40 yards away from my Reel Weed area, but my "numbers holes" are usually around the Reel Weeds.

The problem that most ice anglers make when using the Reel Weeds is that they go into it thinking its the "answer" to catching more fish. To be honest, there is no real answer out there, period. Dropping down a bunch of Reel Weeds and expecting them to do all the work is the wrong way to go about it. They will help you when the situation is right.

Yes, there are days where my line of Reel Weeds won't attract or hold a single fish, that's fishing. But there are a lot of days where having the Reel Weeds down have increased the productiveness of that given area. It's safe to say I've put in over 100 days on the ice using the Reel Weeds since they've come out, and I've seen a lot of varience in results. However, to sum it all up... I would honestly say they help much more than they hurt.

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