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Wobblin' all weekend

I don't use this rig simply because I'm cheap. I once witnessed a gruesome scene where a kingfisher dove underwater for a wabbler that was snagged on a submerged tree.

The bird had likely mistaken the wabbler for the flash of fleeing baitfish. It was tangled in the line and could not escape. Despite efforts to free the ensnared bird, I could only watch as it struggled and drowned.

It could have easily been a loon or a bald eagle, and ever since, I've used light tippet for snells. I've lost a few wabblers, but fortunately, no birds.

Most anglers prefer to tip their hooks with a piece of nightcrawler or leeches, and some use streamer flies or a small lure.

On a fly rod, I like to use a Number 3 wabbler trailed by a large stonefly or dragonfly nymph. I've also had success using a tandem of Hexigenia mayfly emergers.

A key to fishing wabblers effectively, whether trolling or casting, is to determine the proper speed by trolling next the boat.

At proper speed, the rod tip will have a slight and steady cadence and the spoon will rotate only 180 degrees or less.

When casting, it is important to retrieve line by lifting the rod, and picking up the slack line with the reel. With this method, it is easy to detect a strike and avoid twisting the line.

I use the same method of retrieve to check my bait after a strike. The easiest way to ruin a day is to reel a wabbler directly.

Even the best snap swivel will not prevent line from becoming severely twisted. Line damaged in this manner will literally explode off the reel when the bail is opened and in an instant, it will be a bird's nest of monofilament.

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