How to Catch Fish with Wedding Ring Lures

What is a Wedding Ring Lure?

Wedding rings are a classic lure that can be used to effectively fish for a variety of species. They get their name from the wedding ring-like sparkly bead in the middle of the lure. These lures are available in more sizes, shapes, colors, hook styles, and blade finishes than are probably even necessary. If you're thinking about giving Wedding Rings a try on your next fishing trip, read through these tips to help you land more fish on the water.

Rainbow Trout are one of many freshwater fish that can be caught using wedding rings.
Rainbow Trout are one of many freshwater fish that can be caught using wedding rings. | Source

Nightcrawlers on a Wedding Ring are a Great Combination!

How to Fish with Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings are a particular favorite among trout and kokanee fishermen, but can also be used for walleye and other larger game fish. Use these tips to fish wedding rings more effectively:

  • Match size to target species. For trout and kokanee, use 1 to 1.5" models. For walleye and larger fish, size up to 2" or larger models.
  • Select spinner blades based on water conditions. For colder water, use silver, gold or bronze for warmer water. Additionally, in green or turbid water, opt for a larger flashier blade.
  • Select color based on water conditions and depth. In general, use reds and oranges high in the water column, and greens when fishing deeper. (Red and Green are my two most productive Wedding Ring colors!)
  • When legal, add bait to the wedding ring. Bits of nightcrawler, meal worms, and corn are all effective. When using bait, make sure and have a swivel in your line, as bait will often cause the line to twist.
  • When legal, add scent liberally to Wedding Rings.
  • For extra fish attraction, troll wedding rings behind dodgers or pop gear. When using dodgers, tie a shorter leader (12 - 14"), for pop gear, opt for a longer leader (20 - 24").

Trolling on a downrigger, seen here, is the most effective way to get your lure down in front of the fish
Trolling on a downrigger, seen here, is the most effective way to get your lure down in front of the fish | Source

Getting your line down

Since wedding rings are such a light lure, it take a little extra effort to get them deep enough to be fishing effectively. Here are some options on how to rig a wedding rig while trolling:

  • Flat Line trolling: Flat line trolling refers to simply trolling the wedding ring lure behind the boat without any added weight. Generally this is not an advisable trolling plan for such a light lure as it will often skip across the surface rather than spinning in the water as designed. Occasionally, especially if you add a worm, surface feeding trout may take a flat lined wedding ring, but again, I wouldn't suggest it.
  • In-line weight trolling: In-line weight trolling involves using a small crescent sinker or sliding sinker 2 or 3 feet up the line from the wedding ring. Obviously, the more weight you add, the deeper the lure will go. In-line weight trolling is the simplest way to rig a wedding ring to fish deeper, but does not provide very good depth control as boat speed will drastically affect the trolled depth.
  • Lead-core line: Lead core fishing line is becoming less and less common with the increased use of downriggers. Lead core line is a stiff heavy fishing line which provides all the weight necessary to troll a wedding ring deeper. You will need to tie a monofilament leader from the lead core mainline to the wedding ring, as lead core line is very visible underwater and will likely spook fish. Some reasons lead core line is falling out of use include how difficult it is to tie, its visibility underwater, and the fact that no matter how hard you try, you will NEVER be able to cast with lead core line. On the positive side, lead core line requires no additional weight and provides much better depth control than using in-line weights. Many lead-core lines are manufactured with a different color every 10 feet to help count how much line is out behind the boat. This makes it easy to achieve the same depth every time you let your line back.
  • Downrigger: Hands down the best method for depth control. Downriggers allow you to pinpoint any depth you like accurately whether you are fishing just a wedding ring, or a full wedding ring, bait, and flasher rig. The only downside to downriggers are the cost to install, maintenance, and additional steps necessary to get lines in the water. A downrigger paired with a reliable fish finder is a one-two knockout punch for trolling.

Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler are a consistent favorite for walleye, like this beauty seen here. Walleye are also an example of a fish which often requires a more subtle presentation, use pop-gear rather than a flasher or dodger.
Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler are a consistent favorite for walleye, like this beauty seen here. Walleye are also an example of a fish which often requires a more subtle presentation, use pop-gear rather than a flasher or dodger. | Source

Wedding Rings with Flashers, Dodgers, and Pop-Gear

One method that can really increase your chances when trolling with wedding rings, as well as many other lures, is to add a flasher, dodger, or pop-gear to your trolling line. They all have the same general purpose, adding flash and action to your rig, but do have some minor differences.

  • Flashers: Flashers are designed for faster trolling (2mph and roughly). When trolled at speed, they will rotate 360 degrees around the axis of the fishing line. This not only adds a lot of additional fish-attracting flash to your line, but also adds additional motion to the wedding ring. The shorter the leader between flasher and wedding ring, the most action the flasher will transfer to the lure. Twelve to 24" is standard.
  • Dodgers: Dodgers are very similar to flashers, and serve the same purpose, but are meant to be trolled at slower speeds (under 2mph roughly). Unlike flashers, dodgers do not rotate a full 360 degrees, but rather swing back and forth roughly 180 degrees. They provide a slightly more subtle presentation for less aggressive fish. Flashers and dodgers are best when trolling more "forgiving" lures, meaning the action added from the flasher or dodger will not disrupt the designed action of the lure. Examples include Wedding Rings and trolling spoons.
  • Pop-Gear: Pop-gear is designed to create extra noise and flash to attract fish without adding any additional motion or action directly to the lure. Pop-gear is the best choice when trolling less "forgiving" lures, meaning a flasher or dodger would severely impact the designed performance of the lure. Examples include Rapalas and similar stickbaits, and in-line spinners such as Mepps and Panther Martins.

Trolling Tips

Due to their light weight and low drag, Wedding Rings are most effective when trolled.

  • Start with a variety of sizes and colors, then switch all lines to the hot lure.
  • Troll different depths. This allows you to cover more water, as well as avoid tangles between lines.
  • Troll in S-shape patterns. This moves each lure up and down in the water column and varies the speed of each lure.

Casting Wedding Rings

Since they weigh so little, wedding rings can be very difficult to cast without any added weight. If you choose to cast a Wedding Ring, add a couple snapshot style weights roughly 16" in front of the lure. Keep adding weight until you achieve the desired casting distance. With sufficiently light tackle, simply adding half a nightcrawler to the hook can provide enough weight for casting.

Whats your favorite Wedding Rings Color?

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Make your Own!

Each of the wedding ring components are available for individual sale. This means that if you want a small green lure with a large gold blade, or a large half red half orange lure with a smaller blade, you can simply make it yourself! With enough on-hand components, lures can be custom created for each fishing adventure, meaning you'll always have the perfect lure.

Quick Hook-ups on Wedding Ring Lures

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