There are many different ways to set up wildfowling rigs for decoys. Over the years I have used a variety of cords and techniques on a range of decoys until I found what I believe is the perfect combination for the job.
There are many different ways to rig decoys. The Green Head Gear decoys have numerous holes in the keel to attach them. The conventional way is to tie cord to the keel and then wrap it around the decoy’s neck. This is fine, but prolonged use can wear on the paint. For many years I simply tied tangle-free cord to the lowest hole on the front of the decoy, which allowed me to wrap it up around the keel and use the notch at the front to keep the cord secure while in my bag.
You can also use crimps, but rather than tying the decoy to the keel, simply thread a crimp over the cord, thread the cord through the keel hole and back into the crimp, then compress the crimp together with a pair of pliers until tight on the cord. This is less likely to come undone than a knot and makes a tidier job.
‘Texas rigging’ is a technique the Americans have been using for many years with slight variations. It is possible to buy the rigs pre-made from some UK suppliers. The basic theory is that the line and weight are free-running on the decoy. Thread tangle-free cord through the lowest front loop on the decoy, but pull plenty of excess through to play with, slide a two-way crimp over the cord and run the cord back through the crimp, leaving a circle roughly the size of a golf ball and crimp it firmly in place. Unravel the line to the desired length and cut it ready for the weight to be attached. Take that end and thread a crimp through it, slide on a weight, then thread the line back through the crimp and clamp it tight. This technique is handy as the loop at the opposite end to the weight can be clipped to a carabineer, allowing the decoy to slide down the line to the weighted end.
Numerous decoys can then be clipped together for easy carrying. When deploying, simply separate the decoys off the carabineer, allow the decoy to slide back to the loop end and place the decoys on the water.
The Sykes rig
The next technique is my very own – the ‘Sykes’ rig – which takes elements of the Texas rig, but makes it more versatile for UK ‘fowling, be it tidal creek or inland pond. The basic principle is the same as the Texas rig, however as most of my decoying takes place on tidal creeks and rivers I have no need for a weight to be permanently attached to the decoy cord as I rarely use separate weights systems. I have replaced the weights with heavy-duty long line fishing clips so that my decoys can be easily attached directly to a motherline without the need for loops.
When it comes to using this system with weights, simply thread a loop of para-cord through a fishing weight and attach the long line clip to it. The para-cord is the key to this technique, as unlike a snap swivel, which can be looped on to the weight and re-clasped, the long line clip has to bite down on some form of cord.
All the different rigging techniques will work, it’s just a matter of personal preference and finding the best setup for the individual’s needs. Despite your best efforts, it sometimes comes down to the duck gods whether it is a successful outing, good luck and happy decoying!