Flashers – 8 or 11 Inch?

By on October 23, 2015

Each week one of the Salmon University experts answers reader questions in our “Ask a Pro” feature. This week’s questions are answered by Tom Nelson. Submit your own question here.

Is there any information on whether 8-inch flashers are as effective as the 11-inch flashers? I know you looked at the Ace Hi Flyes and they were definitely better when tested in Canada. Has anyone looked at the little guys? – Jurgen

The primary thing a flasher does is create sound. This attracts fish. The color of the flasher certainly helps attract the fish into the lure’s bite area and you do get more fish by fishing an 11-inch flasher, but this is not a large number of better hook-ups. If I’m fishing two downriggers, the first downrigger will have an 11-inch flasher on, while the second downrigger will have an 8-inch flasher (the 11-inch being the prime attractor and the 8-inch acting as an attractor by itself). When fishing by myself I always use an 8-inch flasher because I enjoy the fight of the fish; you get a better fight out of an 8-inch flasher.

I caught a lot of shakers this past weekend on red racer spoon 40 inches behind the flasher. Can I keep shakers off by shortening the leader? – Bill

Unfortunately, Bill, you can’t keep shakers off simply by shortening the leader. The best way to keep shakers off (and, sometimes, you just can’t), is to fish deeper. Shakers are ordinarily in the top 70-feet of water.

Great site here! I’m pretty new to salmon fishing in general. My question is when rigging flasher and spoons, hoochies, or bait is it better to tie directly to flasher or tie up a swivel and clip to flasher? Is one better than the other? – Paul

When rigging a lure to a flasher, the first thing you should make sure of is that the flasher has a ball bearing swivel at each end. Otherwise, if it only has a barrel swivel, the barrel swivel will freeze up in salt water over a short period of time. When you are attaching a hoochie I would take the little clip off and tie directly to the ball bearing swivel. This will help give action to the hoochie. If using spoons or bait, because they have action of their own, you could tie either to the clip or the ball bearing itself. I do think that tying directly to the ball bearing swivel is the better way to do it.

I hear people I fish with talk about how much better fresh herring is than frozen herring. I don’t know where to get any. Is there anywhere in Kitsap County (Washington) to go buy fresh herring? Anwhere in or near Port Townsend? Thank you! – Jay

I am not aware of any place that has a retail outlet for fresh herring in Kitsap or Jefferson counties. The closest place to purchase fresh herring that I am aware of is Pt Defiance Marina Tackle Shop in Tacoma. They have live herring in 4 ½ to 5-inch size.

Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson is the publisher of salmonuniversity.com. Known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Dean of Saltwater Fishing,” he has helped develop and test tackle and gear for Scotty, Pro-Troll and Silver Horde, is a regular speaker at area sports shows, has taught more than 5,000 students how to fish during his classes at western Washington community colleges, and is the co-founder of the Puget Sound Anglers.