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Discussion Starter #1
Had a frustrating couple of attempts at working Xlayers through rocky gulleys. Got snagged practically everywhere i tried, even though i thought i knew the ground i was over. Have stopped using any jig head that exposes the hook and fished weedless with cone heads but i'm even loosing these as well. It must be the cone head that gets caught? I'm casting out, letting them sink to the bottom, pulling up gently with a wiggle from the rod tip and letting them sink again, pausing and repeating. Trouble is i inevitable get snagged and loose it. The above technique obviously works fine over sand and has not been too costly through gulleys during rough weather, i guess because the power of the waves can flush it out again but i'm unsure how to fish with them in calm seas where once you're snagged your bugg***. Basically I've a good idea how to work an Xlayer but i'd appreciate any ideas anyone has on using them over very rough ground?
 

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What weight jigheads have you been using Martin? First step can be going lighter. It can make a big difference. If you've already been using weedless hooks and cone heads then using lighter weights should have an immediate impact.
 

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Ben, I've been using 9.5g cone heads mostly, sometimes 13.5g which i guess is a bit heavy but i presumed i needed the weight to get some distance in the cast using an 8ft rod that's rated 20g to 50g. I did think of going lighter so i tried a 7.5g but lost that too! Giany Xlayers on weedless hooks.
 

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Hmmm, most obvious and easiest solution would probably be to almost remove the delay from the retrieve. I think that pause helps, but if it jsut leads to constant snagging then adjust the length of it (or remove altogether) until you are actually able to fish again. Feel it down until it hits bottom, then immediately start the lift and shake. The bonus of heavy jigheads is obviously that you'll feel a solid thumb as it touches bottom. Its not too dissimilar to the bites sometimes to be honest, the 'bump' as it falls, but you'll get used to feeling the bottom contact. Just keep the bait moving up and then dropping waiting for those bites on the drop. Lift (shake), drop, lift (shake), drop.....

Next thing to try (or probably the first actually) would be football head jigs. Specifically, if you can find them, shaky head football jigs. Check out this video for an idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7-xktoD6rw&feature=related. Either an offset hook or straight hook version can be rigged weedless/snagless. I love them to be honest. This video is actually a great commercial for tying your leader direct to the lure as well. When it comes to shaking baits, you can imagine why it is best tied direct. If you use a clip then a lot of the 'shake' is taken up in the clip and not in the lure. A football shaped had will sit flatter on the bottom than the hook, with your hook point facing upwards; whereas the hook behind your cone head will lie flat and has more potential to catch the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shaky heads look good but may prove difficult to source over here. I did try a 10g searcher and it did seem to avoid getting snagged for longer than a weedless hook with a cone head, so round does appear better in these circumstances. Would a small ball weight with a weedless hook be any better i wonder? I've also got some 7g Bachi heads to try with original Xlayers. With these i'm guessing you don't let them hit the bottom over such rough ground? Just jig them up and down without the pauses? Need to experiment i think but Xlayers are quite pricey. Hmm, thanks a lot for your help on this Ben.
 

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9.5 g is quite heavy still.

On my blog we did a series of articles based around the problem of snagging in heavy rocky terrain.

The trick is in the wrist action and, the use of floating braid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cheers Keith, I'll have a look in the blog. Beginning to rethink the the way i've been trying to fish these areas so i'm going to go lighter and experiment next time i get out.
 

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Start with football heads in the 3.5 -7g range.
After bottom contact, quickly wrist strike the jig UPWARDS and let it sink again.
You'll get it but no method is perfect.
 

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... the use of floating braid.
I think that is what has been saving our bacon this year.

You see the effect exaggerated when boat fishing. SPs cast and left to sink deep leave the bottom vertically before they start to move forward. Having seen baitfish, especially sandeels do something similar underwater, I am sure this movement is attractive to bass and other predators.
 
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