Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
Using “wire line” to make Dipsey Divers go deeper than they would go using monofilament or braid has been a popular tactic for decades. Deeper is better when summer thermoclines pushed salmon and trout to depths reserved for downrigger fishing. Wire line also helps when deploying a pair of divers on each side of the boat, relying on the diver’s belly weight to dipsey them apart. The wire gives the divers a totally different dive curve than when using either mono or braid and that helps keep separation on the high diver and low diver.
Braid comes close to putting divers as deep down as wire, but anglers soon learned that wire often outfished braid in head-to-head competition. The only conclusion is the wire creates some sort of vibration as it cuts through the water that fish find attractive.
Thirty pound test, seven-strand wire is made by several different companies, and for years was the wire most anglers used. Many still do. It certainly works, but there were some drawbacks to it.
Primarily, it kinked easily and once kinked, no longer tested 30 pounds. And, it was abrasive to conventional rod guides so it required using rods with roller guides instead of rings. Those rods aren’t cheap.
Torpedo Fishing Products got it’s start making Torpedo Divers – a tool designed to take lures deep instead of, or as an addition to, downriggers or diving planers and it was soon learned that pairing the Torpedo Divers with wire, instead of monofilament or braid, provides the same fish catching advantage as it did with conventional divers.
Was there an alternative, more user friendly wire line? The Torpedo Diver folks asked and answered this question by introducing a stranded wire line with a similar diameter built using 19 strands of micro-stainless steel wire instead of just seven, larger diameter wires. The result was mini-cable much smoother to the feel and more supple. That makes it easier to use and less prone to kinking. It also cuts through the water with less drag. Nineteen-strand is stronger to begin with, stated to be 40-pound test when new, 35-pound test when kinked and 30-pound test when tied in a knot.
Why tie it in a knot? Knotting it to the diver or the snap that will clip onto the diver is quicker, simpler and easier than crimping on sleeves to form a loop at the terminal end. That’s what I do – snipping off the knot and retying every few trips.
Most anglers still use their roller-guide rods when they switch to 19-strand wire. I don’t blame them, those roller guide rods are expensive. However, I know many anglers who use their 19 strand wire on moderately priced rods with Fuji SIC or other extra hard line guides. Weekend fishermen report getting several years out of a rod before they notice the line cutting grooves in these extra tough line guides. Even frequent fishers usually get a season or more, then they either buy new rods or just replace the worn guides with new ones.
If this all sounds good to you, let me mention one more selling point. I know dozens of anglers, from weekend fishermen to full time charter captains who switched from seven-strand wire to 19-strand on a trial basis. I don’t know any of these guys who ever switched back.
Nineteen-strand wire is available at many trolling oriented tackle shops, online at Amazon or order directly from Torpedo Fishing Products at http://www.torpedodivers.com