Sea booms

A sea boom separates bait from reel line: if it is doing its job, it prevents tangling and presents one or more baits a little way off the bottom where they can attract the most interest To the expert, the array of terminal tackle displayed in the sea section of a tackle shop is fascinating; but for the beginner or inexperienced angler that same array can be a nightmare of odd-shaped wire lengths. Terminal tackle for sea fishing has certainly undergone many changes in recent years, and the mixing of old and new, coupled with the barriers created when various items are identified by different names in different parts of the country, often leads to misunderstandings. Nevertheless, if the angler remembers his basic fish lore, selecting the right tackle is a matter of common sense.

Importance of swivels

Most sea tackle is designed for quick release, so that lead or reel line can be altered with the minimum of disturbance and, to counter the twisting action of the sea, swivels should be incorporated wherever possible. Because there is a tend-ency for hooks and line to twine together, wire, in the form of a boom, is used to keep the bait away from the reel line, and as snag-free as possible. The size of the boom and its position depend on the depth at which the bait will be presented, which in turn depends on where the fish are believed to be feeding.

The most popular item of end tackle is probably the paternoster. This is an arrangement of wire arms that will hold hooks at right-angles to the line both on and just above the sea bed, making it ideal for use over uneven ground. There are two and three-boomed varieties, the booms being spread out and held by the terminal weight, which is attached by a corkscrew link. The material used for paternosters is usually brass, but stainless steel, giving a firmer, more subtle arrangement, has found favour with many anglers, especially in the early part of the season when the water is clear.

Efficiency with the metal paternoster is at its best when the line is held vertically, with the rod tip above it, and this, in a vast majority of cases, means fishing from a boat. When the rig is used for shore fishing, the lack of angle between line and the bottom will cause the booms to collapse. To prevent this happening, some anglers fix a large bubble float or piece of cork above the buckle swivel where the reel line is attached, which lifts the rig into a stable, vertical position.

French booms

The ready-made paternoster pre-sents the hook only 2ft or so above the bottom. Where it is required to hold a bait well above the seabed, French booms should be used. These triangular wire frames can be fastened to the line by two or three twists around the central column and over the centre lug. This simple attachment means that they can be raised or lowered with ease to any depth, and that more than the normal two or three booms can be attached. But there is a disadvantage with French booms in that a heavy fish will slide them down the line, which leads to some stretching and distortion if monofilament is used.

A single-trace boom can be used either as a running or a fixed ledger and is especially useful if a long trace is to be allowed to flow with the tide. In its fixed state it will allow several feet of monofilament to he away from the line without tangling. But it has a specific use over rocky ground in its running form, used with a length of low b.s. Line with which to attach the weight. Should a snag occur, then the finer line will part, allowing the main

The Kilmore boom

There are several booms specially for ledgering, the best known being the Kilmore boom. In its simple form this consists of a loop of wire leading to a swivel and lead attachment. The loop through which the line is passed can be plain, or fitted with an inner ring of porcelain, or harderwearing metal. The latter are the better choice, for plain wire in constant use causes line damage. If the porcelain-lined model is used, take care to mount a bead stop between the eye and trace swivel, otherwise a hard knock will cause the brittle lining to fracture. A major disadvantage of the Kilmore boom is that the lead hangs from the bottom of the boom, causing the trace which hangs past it to tangle, either when the rig is descending to the bottom, or between rebaiting and casting, when the lead swings freely.

The Clement’s boom is designed to prevent such tangling. The wire boom has a large eye twisted in either end, and from the end of one of these loops hangs the lead attach-ment. The reel Hne is threaded through the loops so that the lead attachment hangs farthest away from the trace. This gives a cantilever effect making it stand at right-angles to the line and holding the trace well away from the lead.

A long trace with a Clement’s boom could mean that the stop had to be fastened 8ft or so from the end hook, which could lead to problems when landing a fish. There is a release Clement’s boom on the market which has a small inner cylinder along the body, through which the line is passed. With the cylinder pressed against the line the boom will stop in place, but once reeled tightly against the rod tip, the cylinder will free itself, allowing the whole rig to slide down to the end of the trace. The fish can then be played to the surface and landed.

There are many other sea rigs available, but most of the new arrivals are merely variations on the basic themes described above.