How to Tie Up Flashers for Salmon Fishing

How to Tie Up Flashers for Salmon Fishing

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Fishing flashers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. The chrome metal herring dodger is a standard style of flasher. A metal flasher is fished deep and is meant to provide a baitfish-like flash in the dark water to attract salmon to the trailing bait or lure. Flasher rigs are usually trolled by means of a downrigger to get the bait deep enough without extra weight dragging the line. A medium to heavyweight 8- to 10-foot salmon trolling rod and reel is used when trolling flashers.

Items you will need

  • Trolling rod and reel

  • Monofilament line, 30- to 40-pound test

  • Flasher

  • Leader material, 20- to 30-pound test

  • Mooching rig

  • Lures

Attach the flasher's swivel to the line coming out of the rod. If the flasher has a rounded or narrow end, that end is tied to the line. The packages flashers come in will have specific directions for tying that particular flasher.

Tie 3 to 4 feet of 20- to 30-pound test leader to the swivel on the opposite end of the flasher.

Tie a mooching rig to the end of the leader. Put a cut herring plug on the two hooks of the mooching rig. Tie a lure on the end of the leader rather than the mooching rig.

Clip the line coming out of the rod to the clip on the cable of the downrigger. Allow 10 to 20 feet of line between the clip and the flasher. Lower the downrigger ball into the water and let the flasher and bait troll behind it.


  • If you are not careful it is easy to get the trolled line in the motor's propeller when the boat turns or when lines are reeled in. Mount a propeller guard on the propeller to prevent these accidents.


  • Flashers can be trolled with a deep diver rig hooked to the line. The major drawback with divers is they dig down in the water and create such a tremendous drag that a short stiff rod is necessary to hold on to it. For this reason diver rigs have fallen out of popularity with salmon fisherman as they favor the downrigger.
  • If you do not have a downrigger, flashers can be trolled by attaching a 6- to 8-ounce trolling sinker to the line ahead of the flasher.
  • Leader lengths, bait and lures and flasher styles vary from fisherman to fisherman. Everyone has their favorite set up.
  • Herring plugs hooked on a two-hook mooching rig is successful salmon bait. Lures such as hoochies, bucktails, large size spoons and salmon lure plugs are also good for taking salmon
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