Using release clips plays an integral part when trolling offshore. While just about everyone uses clips on their outrigger halyards (some prefer tag lines), the use of “flat-line” clips is little less common. The flat line refers to the bait or lure that is placed closest to the boat. Most crews run a flat line off of each corner. I like to keep the flat line just behind the teaser.
If you use a flat-line clip, it keeps the angle of the line lower to the water, which helps the bait stay down and swim better while also giving the bait a short drop back when the fish pulls the it out of the clip.
There are different ways to attach a flat-line clip to the stern of the boat.
I prefer a removable set up as opposed to screwing the flat-line clip permanently to the boat.
Making a suction-cup flat line clip is very easy and works great. But probably the best part is that you can pop off the entire rig at the end of the day as you wash down the boat. I use a Black’s rigger clip for this rig.
Take a quality suction cup and drill a hole through the solid nub on top.
Place the rigger clip over the suction cup and pass a short piece of 300 to 500-pound mono leader through the holes.
Trim the leader so only a short end remains on either side of the clip.
Using a lighter or torch, melt the ends of the mono. As you heat the end of the mono, it will mushroom back to the clip. You can smash the end while the mono is soft to flare it out.
Once both sides of the mono are flared, the clip will be attached to the suction cup.
One key factor to making your suction cup stick to the boat is to place the suction cup on a smooth surface. You will have to rinse any salt crystals off of the transom before you stick the suction cup on.
Once you have your clips in place, use them to keep those flat-line baits in the water and looking pretty. Some of the biggest fish are caught on flat lines so make sure your anglers are ready and able.