The Hotchip 11 Flashers are the traditional 11 inch flashers that have been used for decades. They are a mainstay of the commercial salmon fishing industry. Pro-Troll Hotchip flashers have several advantages. They are made of ABS plastic which is more brilliant in color and will not warp in the sun. All Pro-Troll flashers come with the superior "Easy Spin" ball bearing swivels on both ends. All Pro-Troll Flashers also come with the EChip electronic attractor which emits a nerve pulse into the water and results on more strikes. More salmon are caught on flashers than by any other fishing technique. The vibration of the flasher duplicates the tail movement of a salmon charging a school of baitfish. Salmon detect this vibration in their lateral line up to 50 feet away and will come in hopes of finding baitfish. It is important that these flashers be rigged right.
Rigging HotChip 8" and 11" Flashers
Conventional 8" and 11" flashers have been used by sport and commercial fishermen for decades. Rigged right, they are the top salmon catching devices in the world. The flashers are normally made of bright colored plastic and have colored tape on both sides. Embossed silver tape is very popular as is glow in the dark tape and various colors of tape.
Typical Flasher Rigging
Front Leader Lengths
For the HotChip 11 model, the distance between your downrigger release and the front of the flasher can range between fifteen and thirty feet. This long leader here gives the flasher plenty of room to spin which is an important part of its action. In restricted conditions some fishermen will set the front leader length as short a six feet. Lengths more than thirty feet are rare and generally serve no purpose. For the HotChip 8 model, see the Tail Leader lengths below.
Tail Leader Lengths
The tail leader length is the most critical part of correctly rigging a flasher. The tail leader length is the distance between the back of the flasher and the bait or lure. Tail leaders that are too long or too short will perform poorly in catching fish. Commercial fishermen who make their living with flashers will often repeatedly adjust their tail leader lengths if they are not catching fish. Sometimes a few inches will make a huge difference in the catch. Recommended tail leader lengths vary by the type of lure or bait behind the flasher and also vary by the species of salmon you are after. Following many years of research, here are our recommended tail leaders.
Hootchies or Flies Bait or Lures Chinook Salmon
11" flasher 36 to 50" 42 to 60"
8" flasher 20 to 27" 26 to 48"
11" flasher 26 to 40" 24 to 42"
8" flasher 20 to 27" 22 to 48"
(1) The Chinook (King) salmon distances also apply to Makinaw (Laketrout) and halibut.
The diagram shown above assumes you are fishing with a downrigger. The downrigger allows a fisherman to extend his front leader up to thirty feet back from the downrigger wire and still be able to reel the flasher up to the tip of his fishing rod when he is netting a salmon. When drop sinkers, dipsey divers or other planers are used, the front leader length is restricted to five or six feet. This will still work but the flasher is somewhat restricted in its arc of rotation and amount of tail kick. The research at Pro-Troll indicates that fishermen that are not using downriggers will have better success with flasher like the Pro-Troll ProChip which has a built in agitator fin for more action with a shorter front leader.
Many fishermen prefer to not have the flasher tied onto their fishing line. When a fish is hooked the flasher adds some extra drag to the retrieve. These fishermen will often tie the flasher directly to the downrigger weight on an extra cord and then hook a downrigger release and their fishing line up the cable four or five feet. The flasher then acts as an attractor and does not interfere with landing a salmon.
Alternate Flasher Rigging
Eight Inch Flashers vs. Eleven Inch
Pro-Troll makes both 8 inch and 11 inch HotChip flashers with EChips. Both of them work well. If you are fishing bait or a spoon behind the flasher the 11 inch model usually works better. The tail kick and vibrations from the flasher are what attract salmon. You need to be careful you do not fish a lure that is too heavy or you will reduce the tail kick to a small wiggle and the flasher will not attract salmon. The 11" model is better able to handle the heavier bait setups and spoons. The 8" model works very well with small light hootchies or flies. These are both very light and will allow a good tail kick on the 8" model.
Guide to Rigging Flashers: