Duck & Goose Hunting

Texas Rigged Decoys

by Glenn Ging, aka Coastal Ducks

OK, guys. I have been getting quite a few requests regarding how to rig decoys with the heavy mono so you don't have to wrap them. I have taken pictures of the whole process. If you still have questions after all of this shoot me an email.

First, the required materials. You need 300-400# monofilament line available as leader material or thru longline suppliers like SNL. Second you need some weights, they can be strap weights, egg weights or bank sinkers. All will work fine and with strap weights you can wrap up the decoys in a traditional manner if need be. Third you need some crimp sleeves and there are several different styles. I use the aluminum and they do get dull in a hurry, I don't think they spook birds. You will also need a drill and a 1/4" bit and a pair of crimping pliers and a good sharp knife.

I will demonstrate on a Carrylite decoy which has to have a hole drilled in the keel since the loop to attach the anchor line is too large. This should illustrate what to do in that situation.

First you attach the weight to the line with a crimp sleeve. Make sure you trim the tag end of the line off completely. If you don't these tags will catch on the other decoy lines and give you headaches. If you use an egg sinker just stick the line thru the sinker and attach a crimp to it to keep it from sliding back out. If you use a bank sinker or strap weight do it like this...

Next you must cut the line to the desired length be it 3' or 10' I don't think it matters.

Then you need to prep the decoy keel. You want a big enough hole that the decoy line will slide thru it easily but small enough that the crimp sleeves don't get hung in it. I find a 1/4" hole is about ideal.

Next you run the end of the line thru the hole in the keel...

Now on the end of the line opposite the weight you form a loop. I will detail how I do it with pictures as it's easier than with words. Here is the start, you put a crimp sleave on the end of the line and form an overhand knot making about a 2-3" wide loop...

Then you continue to pass the tag end of the line thru the loop 2-3 more times until you make it back around to the crimp sleeve...

The tag end then goes into the crimp sleeve and the sleeve is crimped shut. The tag end sticking out of the crimp sleeve needs to be trimmed flush with the crimp sleeve to prevent snags...

Now you have finished rigging a decoy.

Be sure and trim all of the little extra snag pieces beyond the crimps.

Then you clip all the loops together, I use cheapo aluminum carbineers in bright colors so I can find them if I drop one. I put 2 dozen decoys per carbineer. This is how I store them...

Here is a closer view of the carbineer full of loops.

When I get ready to hunt I tie an overhand knot in the bundle of decoy lines to prevent the decoys from wrapping up too much and to make them easier to handle. I can carry 4 dozen decoys slung over my shoulders or 6 dozen on the racks of my ATV. This rig works great for boat hunters.

There you have it. When you get to where you hunt you just untie the knot, unclip the carbineer and throw them out. When you go to throw them they throw really easily because the weight and the decoy are together, when they hit the water the decoy line slides thru the hole in the keel and the crimp sleeve/loop act as a stopper. When you pick them up you just grab the loops which are right by the decoy and clip them on a carbineer until you get however many you want on the clip. Easy as it can be.

Question and Answer

Q: What about the smaller decoys? - do they sit in the water all right?

A: We use this rig on everything from teal decoys to magnums and have never had any problem at all with that.

Q: What if the water is shallower than the length of line you have on? How do you deal with the loop should you have for instance a 4' line but 1 or 2' depth of water? Do you just run the decoy on out to the end?

A: I don't worry about it. My decoy lines are around 4' long and we usually hunt water from 6" to knee deep, I just chunk 'm out and let them slide back to the loop. I have never worried about making depth adjustments even when I rigged them traditionally.

Q: Where do you find the carabineers and where is it that you get your mono?

A: I get carabineers at Walmart for $1.99/pair.

I buy my mono here...
It cost me around $40 for a 5# coil of clear mono which is about 2650'.

Q: Will it work with tangle free? What is the advantage of using the mono vs. that stuff?

A: It might work but tangle-free isn't as durable as mono not to mention the mono is clear.

Q: What is the main reason for the rig?

A: The main reason to use this rig is for ease of putting out and picking up decoys. I can put out 6 dozen decoys in less than 10 min by myself and pick them up as fast as I can walk to each one.

Q: We also hunt lakes that can be as deep as 10 to 15 ft. Has anyone experimented with lengths that long?

A: I hunt shallow water and rig mine with short lines. I don't see why you couldn't make it work so long as you gather the line and tie an overhand knot close to the dekes to cut down on twisting then maybe coil up the gathered lines above the knot. I think I could make it work. Just never had to.

Q: Why do you wrap the line back through itself on the top loop?

A: It makes the loop stiffer. You don't have to do that, you can just make a plain loop. I've done it both ways, no biggie. You just have to make certain the hole in the keel is small enough that your crimp sleeve will act as a stopper otherwise you will loose decoys. With the loop the way I do it you would have to have a good sized hole in the keel to pull that loop thru.

Additional Resources

Texas - Texas Duck and Goose Hunting.