Using Safety Lines Offshore

Marlin DIY: Set up a safety line for your offshore fishing gear

offshore safety lines
offshore safety lines

When trolling with medium to heavy tackle, most crews use a set of safety lines to avoid losing a rod and reel overboard. For my safety lines I like to use ¼-inch, three-strand nylon rope and small carabiner clips.

Determine the length of line you’ll need to reach from the covering board to your desired anchoring spot. Then splice a 4- or 5-inch loop in each end of the nylon rope and attach a carabiner clip on one end. I attach the loop end to the fighting-chair pedestal via a removable rope collar, then run the line flat on the deck to the covering-board rod holder farthest from the chair and up to the reel, leaving about a foot of extra slack on deck.

I make all my lines the same length so I can move any rod from any rod holder to every position on the boat without coming tight on the line. Leaving enough slack in the lines allows them to lie flat on deck, minimizing the chance of the angler tripping over the line. It also allows the angler to move the rod to the chair or stand up and fight the fish without worrying about the safety line right away. If fighting the fish standing up you can remove the safety line after everything's been cleared and things have settled down.
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Capt. Randy Baker
Destin, Florida_