Decoy Lines

I have been hunting long enough to see just about every kind of line and weight.  When I was younger, lines were simply strung with anything you could find to tie to the line.  I saw spark plugs, bolts, nuts, and even rocks tied to lines.  Later lead strap weights were all the rage and if tied perfectly could be wrapped around the decoy neck to avoid tangling.  Today, we have so many cool rigging options so let’s dive in.

I was fortunate to receive lines from almost everyone I asked.  This gives you a wide variety of styles and materials to read about here and determine what works best for your needs.  Among those contributing to this article:  Mojo Outdoors, Tangle Free, Lifetime Decoys, Drake Waterfowl, Deadly Decoys, Rig Em Right, and Hebert’s Custom Decoys Rigs, L.L.C.

MoJo Outdoors

Mojo Outdoors is a well-known and respected company with a wide variety of waterfowl hunting products.  Terry Denmon has been an innovator his entire life and that is reflected in the products they offer.  I received a set of Texas rigged 48” x 6 oz. lines.  Per their website, “The Texas Style, tangle-free decoy rigging system has been in use for many years along the Louisiana/Texas Coast by hunters who had to transport their decoys into hard-to-reach spots and had the absolute need for an easily transportable, quickly deployable, tangle-free system, as they had to place and retrieve their decoys for each hunt. The Texas Style system is Simplicity and utilizes a heavy-duty (400#) mono line which is tangle free, connected to the decoy by a snap which allows the decoy to slide naturally to the weight when picked up, with a loop in the upper end allowing a dozen to be secured by a simple carbineer. There is no better, or quicker, or more tangle-free system for duck decoys. Forget wrapping decoy chord and weights around your decoys – that is antiquated.”

Comes in a pack of 12 – MSRP $34.99
These rigs come with barrel swivels, a 1.21” clip, carabineer, and aluminum crimps.

Tangle Free

Tanglefree is a family-owned and operated waterfowl company offering hundreds of functional field proven decoys, blinds, gear, and accessories that have been committed to providing industry leading customer service since 1972.   That’s almost 50 years in this business so expertise is well grounded through experience.  Tanglefree provided me the components necessary to make my own lines using per their website, “The original decoy line that gave “Tanglefree” its name over 40 years ago, and still remains the finest decoy line in the waterfowl industry. When used as intended, you can just drop the decoys, line, and anchor in your decoy bag and go. You no longer need to wind line around bodies and neck because the line eliminates potential decoy tangles and birds nest knots. This line is Tangle free. Manufactured of superior PVC material, the decoy line has a tensile strength of 1500psi, won’t retain memory and resists tangles when used with the Original Tanglefree decoy anchors and clips. Best of all, this line will not freeze, float, rot, or flare your ducks. This line is and can be used with other anchors. Available in Original Green color in spools of 200 ft. or 500 ft. lengths. Proudly made in the USA.”  I also was provided rust-free aluminum crimps to attach the line to the decoy and per their website, “Compared to other decoy anchors, this “Tanglefree” anchor system does not require the purchase of decoy line crimps. Best of all, this decoy anchor system allows you to adjust for varying depths of water. Available in 12 packs of 4 oz and 6 packs of 8 oz anchors. Proudly made in the USA.”

Tanglefree decoy line kit – MSRP-$41.97
The adjustability or simply tangle-free design is not a Texas rig, but rather a simple and effective way to store and keep the decoys from tangling.

Lifetime Decoys

Lifetime Decoys advances the line material by using PVC coated steel.  Per their website, “Lifetime Decoys has set the new standard in decoy rigging equipment. Our signature, patent-pending designs use PVC coated steel cable to prevent rust and corrosion, allowing virtually ZERO line memory, while providing UV resistance, incredible strength, and durability. Unlike monofilament, steel cable won’t coil up and tangle with the other lines because of excessive line memory. Our swivels and clips are made with high-quality stainless steel and aluminum ferrules are hydraulically pressed providing unsurpassed strength. These materials combine to form the strongest, longest lasting, and most tangle-proof decoy rigging equipment on the market today and we are the only manufacturer who offers a warranty for 3 years as well as a money-back satisfaction guarantee.” 

I received a set of Mallard Foot Orange coated 30” x 3 oz weighted lines, stainless steel swivels and aluminum crimped Texas rigs.  Their inventory includes colors in green, brown, maize, Harvest Red, and Deep Blue with line lengths in 102”, 72”, 48” and 30” with egg weights in 3, 4 ounce and Mushroom sinkers in 6, and 10 ounces.  You can also purchase kits to make your own lines. All pre-assembled lines come in a mesh bag with a carabineer clip. 

Lifetime Decoys Mallard Orange 30” lines – MSRP $36.99
Each line comes in a mesh bag with barrel swivels, carabineer, and 1.21”clips.

Rig Em Right

Rig Em Right is a company grounded in the passion of its owner Matthew Cagle. Through years of testing, they have produced a lineup of waterfowl innovative products available at reasonable prices.  I was provided a set of 36” lines in original Texas rigs with 3-ounce weights.  Their inventory also includes Extreme coated cables, strap weights, J-weights, mushroom weights, jerk rigs, and kits to build your own custom rigs. 

Rig Em Right 36” decoy anchors – MSRP $32.99
Rig Em Right lines come with a carabineer, barrel swivels. Aluminum crimps and a 1.42” clip.

Drake Waterfowl

Drake Waterfowl is also a family-owned business with a wide variety of outdoor hunting and fishing apparel and equipment.  Tate Woods along with his father, Avery Woods developed an expanding company meeting the demands of those spending time in the great outdoors.  From Drake I received a set of Shallow Water Extensions allowing me to clip onto existing lines and add 60” of depth.  These 2.2mm lines are also available in 72” and 120” lines. 

Drake Shallow Water Extensions – MSRP $15.99
Having extensions can be so useful for converting quickly shallow-water rigs to deepwater rigs.  These have 1.19” clips with barrel swivels and stainless steel crimps.

Deadly Decoys

Deadly Decoys has been in the windsock decoy business for many years and leads the industry in windsock designs and flyers.  Their patented Backbone Support ensures the sock catches air and stays open.  Deadly Decoys also offer a fine line of floater mallard decoys designed by Laurie J. McNeil.   

What Deadly Decoys offer in the way of decoy lines is unique to the industry with lead-free weights.  Per their website, “Deadly Rigs™ are the first NON-LEAD floater decoy weight. They have a 6 oz powder-coated cast iron weight. They are strung on 48 inches of PVC-coated cable.  A barrel snap swivel attaches the rig to the floater decoy. There is a nice-sized loop at the top. Grab the decoy by the head, stick a carabineer through the loop, and go to the next decoy. Simple!”  These weights provide full access to restricted areas and are sensitive to the environmental issues with regard to lead and any health risks associated with handling lead.  The power-coated weights are 6 ounces on 48” PVC lines rigged Texas style. 

Deadly Decoys Lead-Free weights – MSRP – $24.99
These rigs come with 1.19” clips, barrel swivels, and aluminum crimps.

Hebert’s Custom Decoy Lines, L.L.C.

Hebert’s Custom Decoys Lines are of course all about giving the customer exactly what they want.  You can call Damon Hebert in Jennings, Louisiana, and simply tell him what you want or ask Damon for his advice.  As Damon says, “Many would rather talk to a real person instead of a website, where they can ask questions and be comfortable in their purchase.” They have a huge variety of weight sizes and styles; mono lines in many colors and the same for PVC coated steel lines.  It is really difficult to explain or describe all the possibilities, but here is a video that might help.  Hebert’s Custom Decoys hold a patent so here is another video to better understand that patent. I should add, once you receive a set of these you will quickly recognize why they don’t tangle by looking at the crimp and cable cut.   I received a set of 48” 6-ounce lines using no-roll flat sinkers. 

Hebert’s Custom Decoy Lines – MSRP  $22
Herbert’s rigs are made with a 1.21” clip, barrel swivels, aluminum crimps, and a carabineer.

There are so many possibilities and rigging your decoys should provide you years of service with little or no frustration.  Time should be spent hunting not untangling decoy lines.  Please give these folks a try and thank them for supporting our great waterfowl industry.

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About the author: David R. Vaught, Ph.D. began hunting waterfowl at a young age due to his father being a waterfowl biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Today he hunts both public and private waterfowl grounds and is always working on something related to waterfowl throughout the year. He loves to turkey hunt and fish for walleye and crappie in the spring. David is a university professor, holds an NRA Level II coaching certification and works with youth in trap and skeet shooting in the summer with his annual trap-shooting academy.

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