HuntnFish has spent many years on the water fishing and has caught nearly every species of fish in Washington State.
What is a Wedding Ring Lure?
Wedding ring lures are a classic lure that can be used to effectively to catch a variety of species of fish. They get their name from the sparkly bead in the middle of the lure, resembling the diamond on a wedding ring. These lures are available in a plethora of sizes, shapes, colors, hook styles, and blade finishes. If you're thinking about giving wedding ring lures a try on your next fishing trip, read through these tips before you head out to help you land more fish on the water.
Fishing With Wedding Ring Lures
Wedding ring lures are a particular favorite among trout and kokanee fishermen, but can also be used for walleye and other larger game fish. Use these tips to use these lures more effectively:
- Match the size of the lure to the target species. For trout and kokanee, use 1 to 1.5" models. For walleye and larger fish, size up to 2" or larger models.
- Select spinner blades based on water conditions. For colder water, use silver. For warmer water, use gold or bronze. In green or turbid water, opt for a larger and flashier blade.
- Select the color of the lure based on water conditions and depth. You will generally want to use reds and oranges high in the water column, and greens when fishing deeper. (Red and Green are my two most productive wedding ring lure colors!)
- When the law allows, add bait to the wedding ring lure. Bits of nightcrawler, meal worms, and corn are all effective when it comes to attracting fish. When using bait, make sure and have a swivel in your line, as bait will often cause the line to twist.
- When the law allows, add scent liberally to the lure.
- To attract more fish, troll the lure behind dodgers or pop gear. When using dodgers, tie a shorter leader (12" to 14"), and for pop gear, opt for a longer leader (20" to 24").
Trolling With a Wedding Ring Lure
Due to their light weight and low drag, wedding rings lures are most effective when trolled. Since they are such a light lure, it takes some finesse and know-how to get them deep enough to work their magic. Here are some options on how to rig one for trolling:
- Flat Line trolling: Flat line trolling refers simply to trolling the wedding ring lure behind the boat without any added weight. Generally, this is not an advisable method because the lure will often skip across the surface rather than spin under the water as it should. Occasionally, especially if you add a worm, surface-feeding trout may take a nip at a flat-lined lure, but I wouldn't suggest this method.
- In-line weight trolling: In-line weight trolling involves using a small crescent sinker or sliding sinker two or three feet up the line from the lure. Obviously, the more weight you add, the deeper the lure will go. In-line weight trolling is the simplest way to rig a wedding ring lure to troll deeper, but does not provide very good depth control as boat speed will drastically affect the depth.
- Lead-core line: Lead-core fishing line is becoming less and less common with the increased use of downriggers. This type of line is a stiff and heavy fishing line, providing all the weight necessary to troll a lure deeper in the water. You will need to tie a monofilament leader from the lead-core mainline to the wedding ring, as a lead core line is very visible underwater and will likely spook fish. Some of the reasons lead-core line is becoming less popular include how difficult it is to tie, its visibility underwater, and the fact that no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to cast with a lead core line. On a positive note, lead-core line requires no additional weight and provides much better depth control than using in-line weights. Many lead-core lines are manufactured with a different color every 10 feet to indicate depth. This makes it easy to achieve the same depth every time you let out your line.
- Downrigger: Hands down the best method for depth control. Downriggers allow you to accurately pinpoint your desired depth whether you are fishing with a bare wedding ring lure, or one loaded with bait and a flasher rig. The only downsides to downriggers are the cost to install, maintenance, and steps you must take to get your lines in the water. A downrigger paired with a reliable fish finder is a one-two knockout punch for trolling.
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- Start with a variety of sizes and colors, then switch all lines to the hot lure.
- Troll at different depths. This allows you to cover more water, as well as avoid tangles between lines.
- Troll in S-shape patterns. This moves each lure up and down in the water column and varies the speed of each lure.
Wedding Ring Lures with Flashers, Dodgers, and Pop-Gear
One method that can really increase your chances when trolling with wedding ring lures, as well as many other lures, is to add a flasher, dodger, or pop-gear to your trolling line. They all serve the same general purpose of adding flash and action to your rig, but have some minor differences.
- Flashers: Flashers are designed for faster trolling (approximately two miles per hour). When trolled at speed, they will rotate 360 degrees around the axis of the fishing line. This not only adds a lot of fish-attracting flash to your line, but will add motion to the wedding ring lure. The shorter the leader between the flasher and the wedding ring, the most action the flasher will transfer to the lure. 12" to 24" is the standard length.
- Dodgers: Dodgers are very similar to flashers, but are meant to be trolled at slower speeds (under two miles per hour). Unlike flashers, dodgers do not rotate a full 360 degrees, but rather swing back and forth at roughly 180 degrees. They provide a more subtle performance for less aggressive fish. Flashers and dodgers are best when using forgiving lures, meaning the action added from the flasher or dodger will not disrupt the designed action of the lure. Examples include wedding ring lures and trolling spoons.
- Pop-Gear: Pop-gear is designed to create extra noise and flash to attract fish without adding any additional motion or action directly to the lure. Pop-gear is the best choice when trolling less forgiving lures, meaning a flasher or dodger would severely impact the designed performance of the lure. Examples include Rapalas, stick baits, and in-line spinners such as Mepps and Panther Martins.
Casting Wedding Rings
Since they weigh so little, wedding rings can be very difficult to cast without any added weight. If you choose to cast, add a couple of snapshot style weights at roughly 16" in front of the lure. Keep adding weight until you achieve the desired casting distance. With light tackle, simply adding half a nightcrawler to the hook can provide enough weight for casting.
Make Your Own!
Each of the individual components for making wedding ring lures are available for sale. This means that if you want a small green lure with a large gold blade, or a large half red, half orange lure with a smaller blade, you can simply make it yourself! With enough components, lures can be custom-created for each fishing adventure, meaning you'll always have the perfect lure.
Wedding Ring Lures on the Water
Jeremy Richmond from Hubbard on September 07, 2019:
Wedding Ring Lures are an allstar fishing lure. I have fond memories of trolling them on eastern Lake Erie as a kid when the steelhead weren't quite in the rivers yet and having an amazing time. The lure that gave me my love for chrome, great article, thank you!