Kite dropper rigs
A correctly deployed kite dropper rig has the mainline supported clear of the water, well above any rip or surf. As the kite continues pulling constantly throughout the time the rig is set, the rip and surf will have little or no effect on a correctly set dropper rig.
The constant pull from the kite keeps the terminal tackle anchored directly offshore while the altitude of the kite ensures the maximum possible wind strength is used at all times.
Dropper rigs pretty well stay where they are set because the rip and surf has little or no effect on the mainline.
Another advantage is that kite dropper rigs can be safely used in shark infested waters because the progressively sacrificial design protects the kite from being lost even if the hook section is bitten through or gets hopelessly snagged. Dropper rigs are unquestionably the safest and most versatile
of all the beach longlining methods. They can also be fished over intermittent foul or adapted to troll or cast out other lines.
The wind needs to be between 3 to 60 knots blowing straight up or down the beach or at any offshore angle to fish a kite dropper rig regardless of rip and surf conditions. (Specialist kites are required in very light winds) A kite dropper rig should always be set on the up-rip side of all other rigs
as it is the least affected by rip and drift.
The only thing that can tangle a dropper rig mainline is another kite rig and because the kites are clearly visible this is very unlikely to occur if a reasonable watch is kept. Dropper rigs can only be effectively used in conjunction with a kite.
Kite longline rigs
The kite longline system is affected by the rip as the mainline is in the water. A 1000 metre mainline on all longline systems has a surface area of over 1.2 square metres and the rip can create considerable drag on it.
The effect of the rip on the mainline of a kite longline rig is usually countered by the kite providing constant pull throughout the time the gear is set. However in very strong rips, or when the kite has inadquate pull the rip can pull the line along the beach. As with the dropper rig, the altitude
of the kite ensures the maximum available wind strength is used at all times. The vastly more powerful inflatable fishing kites has been of great assistance for kite longline fishers who previously had been fighting a loosing battle with very strong rips, light winds or both in their areas.
The wind needs to be between 3 to 60 knots and blowing 10 degrees or more offshore with a surf less than 3 metres to fish a kite longline rig.
Kite longlines can only be fished in clear sandy areas and are not advised on the west coast because of the risk of sharks biting through the mainline causing the kite to be lost, (the same risk of loss applies to electric torpedos and kontikis). A kite longline rig should always be set down-rip from
a kite dropper rig and on the up-rip side of all other rigs as it is the second best rig for holding against rip and drift.
Kontiki bag rigs
Kontiki bags being on the sea surface have only 20 percent of the wind strength available to a kite because of friction with the sea surface, turbulence and ground effect. A kontiki bag is much more likely to be affected by the rip than a kite longline because of this.
Once out, the kontiki bag will provide constant pull over the duration of the set and this counters some of the effect of the rip pushing the rig up or down the beach.
High surf or wind shadows can make setting a kontiki bag difficult or impossible at times. Kontiki bags are cheap but their use is limited to strong offshore winds and low rip and surf conditions.
The wind needs to be between 20 to 60 knots and blowing 60 degrees or more offshore to fish a kontiki bag in surf up to 2 metres.
While most electric torpedos will easily tow your line out, once they are out to the full setting distance offshore the motor switches off. The rig is then adrift and the mainline is susceptible to any rip that may be present. For this reason electric kontikis are the most affected by rips and currents.
On the positive side an electric torpedo does not need wind and some are powerful enough to travel through surf. On the downside their use is limited by strong longshore currents in many areas or when the surf is high in others (high surf increases the current). There is also the expense of replacing
the torpedo if the line snaps through sharks, snags or tangles with other users to consider.
Sharks can turn up almost anywhere, the worst areas for sharks biting through mainlines are from Raglan to North Cape on the west coast, the Wairarapa Coast and around Birdlings Flats on the east coast of the South Island.
Where to fish on busy beaches
When the winds are right and kite and kontiki fishers are also fishing, electric torpedo fishers should ensure they have clear beach on the down-rip side of their fishing possie equal to the length of their set before they launch. Kite, kontiki and other torpedo fishers should not set up in that area
while the first torpedo is fishing.
This wide down-rip margin is necessary to avoid getting lines crossed if the rip drags the torpedo down the beach after the motor cuts out.
It is also essential that the entire area is clear of snags as the mainline on the torpedo rig will cover the whole arc of drift on the seabed.
Kite dropper rigs can be fished quite close to all other fishers, as long as they are on the up-rip side. Usually a minimum of 200 metres up-rip from other fishers is quite safe for those using well balanced dropper rigs as long as you limit the set to a distance where you can keep the line supported
clear of the water and rip.
When only torpedos are fishing and the rip is strong the last one on the beach should set up well clear of others, especially if fishing on the down-rip side of those already fishing. If you arrive at the beach and it's pretty crowded, take a little time to check out what gear they are using and have
a chat about how strong the rip is and which direction it is going. If they're using a kite rig enquire if they have a tack on their kites.
We hope this information helps you prevent any possible tangles with other fishers no matter how busy the beach is.