Tubing for Salmon and Trout
By CHIP PORTER
In case you haven't heard, YUM Vibra King tubes are one of the hottest new techniques going for catching salmon and trout on the Great Lakes. About five years ago a buddy of mine and I started trying Vibra King tubes as a substitute bait behind dodgers for summer salmon and trout. Three days after our initial experiment, Steve Pennaz, the host of North American Fisherman on ESPN, came down to shoot a TV show with he and I. The single hottest rod on the boat was the one rigged with the Vibra King tube behind a dodger.
Well, wouldn't ya know it, that since that fateful July day in 1998, Vibra King tubes are now known across the Great Lakes and even specific colors are now made just for us salmon and trout fanatics.
Rigging the Vibra King tube properly is the key to making it work. The key to the rigging is how the line runs through the solid head. Because the tube is heavier than a typical mylar trolling fly, and it is run a significant distance behind the dodger, the dodger will not be able to impart the same action to the tube as it does the fly. For this reason, we need the tube to create its own fish catching action. That is accomplished with a coffee stirrer straw.
Clip the coffee stirrer straw at the end so that the straw forms a chisel point. Then place this point on the head of the tube, but off center from the exact top. Push the coffee stirrer straw through the head of the tube at an angle so that the straw runs across the solid head of the tube and the point comes out inside the body of the tube, opposite from the side it entered the top. Then clip the coffee stirrer straw off even with the head of the tube.
Now we will want to thread our leader line, the same stuff we use to tie flies with, a 40 to 50 lb. test heavy trolling line, down through the straw from the top and out the bottom of the tube. Then thread on two 7mm plastic beads from the bottom of the tube and push them up into the hollow part of the tube. Tie on an Excalibur TX3 Counter-Rotating Treble Hook and then pull the hook up until it makes contact with the beads and the hook should be hanging in the tentacles of the tube.
The final step is actually measuring out the leader length and tying a loop in the top of the tube leader. Typical leader lengths for Vibra King tubes are between 18 and 26 inches when measured from the top of the hook to the top of the knot.
Attach the Vibra King tube behind your favorite dodger or flasher and now you're ready to fish. Don't ever underestimate the power of scent, pheromones and enzymes when it comes to relating to salmon and trout. These fish possess an insane olfactory sense. The chemicals in the Vibra King tube, Live Prey Technology, stimulate the feeding senses of these salmon and trout unlike anything I have ever encountered before in my life.
Chip Porter is considered the most recognized and approachable person in Great Lakes Fishing by a wide margin. Chip is the host and producer of the hour long Chip Porter's World of Fishing Radio Show on WSCR 670AM in Chicago, Field Editor of North American Fisherman Magazine; Field Editor of Great Lakes Angler Magazine; Fishing Pro Editor for Midwest Outdoors Magazine; Freelance contributor to Walleye In-Sider; In-Fisherman, Musky Hunter and a host of other regional magazines. You can also find him on your television dial as a host of Midwest Outdoors TV shows and guest host and fishing expert on North American Fisherman on ESPN, along with appearances on In-Fisherman and Jim Henley's Northeast Outdoors. Chip also films highly popular instructional fishing videos specializing in the Great Lakes. For information on Chip Porter or to book a guide trip by the Great Lake's most recognizable Captain log onto www.chipporter.com.