|  First Published: December 2008

It is strange sometimes how simple items can solve major problems. One of the bizarre items I keep on my boat, which manages to solve several problems and make some tasks easier, is the humble rubber band.

They are available in a range of sizes but it is surprising how even a normal size 26 rubber band can help your fishing and even save you money and a lot of frustration.

Often when trolling the line will get a bit of twist in it, especially when using high-speed and resin-headed skirted lures. This is mostly unavoidable but usually doesn’t pose too many problems whilst the line is kept taut. If the line gets a little slack in it, such as when a lure breaks free from the front of a wave, then the twist in the line will usually see it wrap around the tip of the rod. Gone unnoticed, this will generally result in a broken line once a strike is solicited.

However, by pulling the line down the back of the rod and using a rubber band to hold it there you can eliminate the line becoming fouled on the tip. This can be achieved by wrapping the rubber band around a guide, passing it around the back of the rod and line, and then back around the guide again.

Alternatively, loop the rubber band around the line and then secure the big loop to the reel handle or other position nearby. The band will stretch and retract as the various tensions change with the action of the lure breaking free from the water, however the tension on the rod tip will stay roughly the same and not allow the limp line to loop menacingly around the tip. The simple rubber band can save you losing both the lure and a prospective catch.

Another great use for rubber bands is when live-baiting. Rubber bands can be used to secure the hook to the live bait without penetrating the bait with the hook. This allows the bait to move more freely, maximising the hook gape, and it generally results in the live bait being more active and less restricted in its movement.

With baitfish such as yakkas and slimy mackerel, a bait needle can be passed through the eye cavity above the eyeball. The rubber band is then looped over the end and then pulled back through the eye cavity of the bait. Both ends of the rubber band can be looped over the hook, which is then twisted until the slack of the rubber band is taken up. When the hook point is passed between the taught band and the baits head, it is now in prime hook up position against the head of the live bait. It will swim stronger and live longer than if you pinned the bait through the flesh.

When using twin hook snelled rigs with larger baits, I will often just loop a rubber band around the tail wrist of the bait to keep the rear hook in position. Again the bait stays healthier and less restricted in its movements.

There are also many other uses for rubber bands on the boat. These include attaching lines to outrigger and flat-line clips, keeping unruly heavy leaders coiled neatly and even for tying back your girlfriend’s hair while she pukes over the side. Rubber bands are very cheap, easy to source and have a lot of practical uses. It may seem bizarre to some having rubber bands on your boat, however you will soon find they are extremely handy items.

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