11-13-2003, 04:23 PM
Rig divers, please post pictures of your riding rigs.
I did a search, but the only link I found was by FredT to a thread that could no longer be accessed.
11-13-2003, 06:18 PM
That's what I needed.
Thanks, what I had come up with was more complex. The short rope makes sense.
11-14-2003, 12:19 AM
The riding rig is a necessary part of the rig diver's hardware. It is a method of attaching the fish to the diver in a manner that allows the diver full control and comfort and doesn’t risk the gun in case of a poorly placed shot.
The rig consists of stainless steel cable attached to the shaft made up to a rope section to enable you to hold on without cutting your hand on the cable during the Nantucket Sleigh ride. The terminal loop goes over your thumb with the rope crossing the back of your hand and then passing up through the fist to exit the hand along the thumb. This is an absolutely solid anchor that is comfortable to hold with or without gloves but requires only opening the hand and pointing the fingers towards the fish to release. Below is how I rig my guns.
The first step to making a rig is to measure the distance from the muzzle end loop hook on the gun to location on the but or handle where you intend to loop or tie off the rig. Now multiply that length by about 2/3. That is your desired rope length after the splices are complete. Do an eye splice in each end of a length of ½” 3 strand or 8 braid line. The eye in one end must be sized to fit easily over the base of the thumb, but be small enough there is no way it will fit over the hand. Sliding a riding rig loop over the hand is a good way for the wife to collect your life insurance, so you don’t want that to be able to happen even by accident. That eye needs a #2 or #3 snap or snap swivel threaded onto the eye before doing the splice. I prefer using a #3 swivel, but others use the #2 plain snap. The other eye should be as small as practical without turning it into a crown splice. I generally make an extra 2 tucks and work both splices wet to set and stretch the line before trimming and melting the tails flush with the surface. A newer relatively soft line is preferable to an old work hardened one for this piece of the puzzle.
The next step is to choose a cable size. 7x19 (7 lays of 19 strands each) cable is flexible but gets fish hooks in it easily and may kink. 7x7 (7 lays of 7 strands each) cable is less flexible but resists fishhooks and kinking better. 7x49 (7 lays of 49 strands each) is very flexible, but has much lower strength and fishhooks if you look at it. The heavier the cable the stronger it is, but the more it’ll slow the shaft. All these are the trade-offs you need to consider. Most use 304 stainless steel cable, since the wear is usually more of an issue than the corrosion life and 316 cable comes right dear. I prefer a 3/32” 7x19 (SAVA # 2095) as a good compromise for the conditions I see. Others use smaller or larger cable. A well maintained 1/8” cable will never fail in tension, but it’ll slow the shaft more than I’m willing to buy into. To get an idea of the full range of sizes check out http://www.savacable.com/catalog/p6-minismall.htm to see what’s available. Once you have a roll of the appropriate cable, along with suitable crimp sleeves and the tools to apply them you are about ready to finish the rig. For the #2095 cable I use you’ll need 7092A or 7092C loop sleeves and a T-188 crimp tool. Aluminum sleeves are removable by dipping the loop end crimp in a caustic. The caustic will remove the aluminum and leave the stainless alone. This makes it possible to recover a damaged cable off a longer gun to make a rig for a shorter one if the kink/fish hook is in a suitable place, or allows a recovery if you crimp it in the wrong place. Copper sleeves are just there once applied. Both the tools and sleeves are available from SAVA.
To do the final rigging you l’’ just be dealing with cable. Make one end of the cable up to the shaft or shaft slider. If using a slider double loop the eye. Sliding two sleeves onto the line and routing the cable twice through the slider eye does this. Wrap the cable around itself 3 or 4 times to stiffen the end of the loop. Then pull the second sleeve up to the eye, put the loop tail in through it, and shorten the eye as much as practical. Remember that the smaller this loop is the less drag the shaft will have, but a single loop won’t take the abuse stopping a running AJ or ‘cuda will put on the loop. Also remember that there is no shock cord in this rig, so a missed shot REALLY puts a high impact load on the cable, not to mention the arm holding the rig. Once you have the shaft end loop a reasonable size crimp the sleeve as far back on the sleeve as practical so you have a tiny ‘funnel’ on the loop side. Now cut the tail on the cable to within an inch of the previously finished crimp. The closer the better if you intend to butt up the sleeves but not less than 70% of a sleeve length. Then slide the first sleeve up to the one just finished and crimp it in place to just cover the cut end of the cable. This second crimp is not necessary for strength, but will save your fingers from the sharp soon to be frayed end of the cable. I like about a half sleeve length between my two crimps.
Now it’s necessary to put the shaft together and mount it in the gun. Do NOT cock the gun at this time! Hook the end of the rope section on whatever you intend to use for a base anchor. On JBL guns the loop with the swivel is either snapped off to the knuckle guard or slipped over the handle. It’s generally just slipped over the handle on Biller and Riffe guns. The cable is then routed from the muzzle down to the handle line latch, back to the muzzle line hook, back down to the handle line latch and up around the muzzle latch once again. If this is done correctly you’ll have two wraps around the muzzle hook and two wraps around the handle line latch with the unterminated end heading back down to the handle again. Pass this through the end of the rope section without the snap swivel pulling everything snug. Mark the cable about 6” to the roll side of where it went through the line loop and cut the line off the roll here.
NOTE: Wrap the cable cut location tightly with a couple layers of masking tape before cutting and cut in the middle of the tape! This stuff frays in a heartbeat! Once it frays you’ll have trouble getting it to “lay” right again. The tape prohibits this problem.
Now form the terminal loop for the cable. Again slide two crimp sleeves onto the cable. What you want to end up with here is two interlocked loops that unstressed looks like a square knot. Run the cable through the rope eye, around the eye, and back through the eye from the same side the cable previously exited then up through the second crimp sleeve. Put the cable back onto the gun’s cable handling gear. Pull the tail end tight while working out all the cable slack from the system you can without heavily stretching the nylon line. While you hold this tension on the cable have your buddy crimp the sleeve on the end of the sleeve away from the loop about 2” above the line eye. If this last step is done with the bands cocked the band displacing the cable at the muzzle end will usually hold the rig in place for transit once the bands are uncocked.
The method of using a riding rig is to remove the rope from the handle and get a good grip with the left hand before the shot is made. The gun can then be clipped off to the belt, threaded on an arm, or hung on a handy anode during the fight. For very large fish the shooter should have an idea of where he can clip off the line if he misses a kill shot before the shot is taken. One easy method is to have the fish go on one side of a leg or cross member, and the diver on the other. The clip is then made up to the cable on the other side and the diver can get out of the cable arc. Once the fish has finished tying himself to the rig the diver can approach from outside the remaining arc to give the fish an attitude adjustment.
I prefer clipping the snap swivel off to a large ring diameter ¼ inch eyebolt through the handle or butt tube. A buddy made up a few of these around a 1inch-diameter rod several years ago and I use these as the rear anchor pin of my Ultimate gun triggers. This gives me a solid anchor that is always in reach. I can disconnect and go into “riding” mode quicker than the fish will wake up from a missed brain shot, but it simplifies my life otherwise.
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