How to Make Custom Texas Rig Decoy Anchors

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Video how to texas rig decoys

Do-it-yourself instructions for making these convenient decoy anchor setups

The older I get, the more often I can be heard preaching at my hunting pals to “work smarter not harder.” About seven or eight years ago I took my own advice and switched my entire floating duck decoy spread from traditional twine and lead strap anchors to Texas rigged anchors. Let me tell you…It’s. A. Game. Changer!

Texas rig decoy anchors were born on the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. They utilize heavy (400+ pound test) monofilament line with a loop on one end and an egg-shaped lead weight affixed to the opposite end. The monofilament line is rigged in such a way that it slides freely through the hole in a large snap swivel attached to the decoy’s keel. The end loop allows for several decoys to be attached together with a spring clip (a.k.a. “carabiner”). A dozen or more decoys can be easily picked up and moved to a different spot or to a vehicle for the ride back to duck camp. Best of all, Texas rigs are resistant to tangling; after all, who wants to untangle five dozen decoys when the greenheads are circling your favorite duck hole?

Many companies offer pre-rigged Texas rig anchor sets in lengths ranging from 18-inches up to 5-feet and longer. I first dipped my toe into the water of Texas rig anchors by purchasing a set of one dozen anchors with 3-foot long lines and 4 ounce weights. After the first hunt I was hooked. I began thinking about how I would want to tweak the system to better suit my specific needs.

A couple of years ago my D.I.Y. tendencies got the best of me and I decided to make a batch of my own custom Texas rig anchors from scratch. For the shallow marsh area where I hunt, I wanted very short anchor lines of 24-inches or less. I also wanted lighter-weight anchors of 2 ounces because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. With the abundance of moist soil vegetation and shallow water at my hunting spot I don’t have to worry about my decoys going for a joy ride on windy days.

See also  .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum for Whitetail Deer Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Whitetail Deer Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for whitetail deer hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the whitetail deer, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the whitetail deer in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a whitetail deer in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum within the ideal range of suitable calibers for whitetail deer hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Animal Species Whitetail Deer Muzzle Energy 3170 foot-pounds Animal Weight 210 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum round is approximately 3170 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer is approximately 210 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in whitetail deer hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for whitetail deer to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the whitetail deer being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting whitetail deer to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

The ingredients for making Texas rig decoy anchors

When I embark on a D.I.Y. project like this the first thing I look for is a materials list. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to bake your own batch of D.I.Y. Texas rig anchors:

Supplies for making Texas decoy rigs
  • 400 lb. test clear monofilament line (can be purchased in pre-cut lengths or rolls)
    • 325-yard roll: $17.50 per roll
    • Pre-cut 48-inch monofilament line pack (200 lines per pack): $12.50
  • Egg-shaped slip sinker anchors (sizes range from two to eight ounces)
    • 2 oz: $0.46 each
    • 3 oz: $0.69 each
    • 4 oz: $0.92 each
    • 5 oz: $1.15 each
    • 6 oz: $1.38 each
    • 8 oz: $1.84 each
  • Stop sleeves to secure the anchors to the line (0.23-inches long/2.3mm inside diameter)
    • Pack of 100: $3.65 per pack
  • Decoy line sleeves to create the loop at the opposite end of the decoys (2.3 mm inside diameter)
    • Pack of 100: $3.90 per pack
    • Pack of 1,000: $35.00 per pack
  • 2/0 decoy snap swivels
    • Pack of 25: $9.95 per pack
    • Pack of 100: $36.90
  • Hand crimping tool, electrical crimping tool, or pliers (investing in a specially made hand crimping tool will make your life easier and may prevent a stream of “fowl” language flowing out of your mouth)
    • Hand crimping tool: $27.85 each
    • Electrical crimping tool: $15.97
    • Pliers: $3.49
  • Wire cutters or pocket knife for finish trimming
  • Spring clips (a.k.a. “carabiner”); one for every 12-18 decoys: $0.85 each

The recipe for Texas rig decoy anchors

Making your own Texas rig anchors is an activity that can involve the whole family, so create an assembly line at the workbench for an afternoon with the fam. In keeping with the theme of working smarter not harder, here are 6 simple steps:

  1. First, cut your clear monofilament line to your desired anchor line length. Add three inches to your overall length to account for creating the loop at the end. For example, if you want 36″ anchor lines, cut your line to 39″.
  2. Next, add the decoy line sleeve by sliding the line in through one channel and back through the other channel to make the loop at the end. Make your loop big enough to insert a finger through with some wiggle-room. Use your crimping tool to secure the decoy line sleeve by pinching together both sides of the sleeve. Be careful to not squeeze it too tightly or you could cut the line with the line sleeve.
  3. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT! From the opposite, unfinished end of your line segment, slip on one 2/0 decoy snap swivel by sliding the line through the round closed loop on one end of the snap swivel.
  4. Next, slip on one stop sleeve, then slide on your egg slip sinker. Finally, slip on the second stop sleeve. You’ll end up essentially book-ending your sinker with stop sleeves.
  5. Use your crimping tool to secure both stop sleeves firmly to the line.
  6. Open the snap swivel and attach your anchor line to the hole in your decoy’s keel. The line should slide through the snap swivel loop freely.
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Instructions for making Texas rig decoy anchors
Texas rig decoy anchor attached to a duck decoy

Where to purchase D.I.Y. supplies

Most of the supplies needed for custom Texas rig decoys can be purchased at a local sporting goods retailer and a hardware store. Many online retailers are also great sources for purchasing basic materials.

If you’re serious about taking on this project for your decoy spread I recommend you visit the SNL Corporation website as I’ve found them to be my one-stop shop for all things Texas rigging. The “Duck Decoy Rigging” section of their website is dedicated solely to supplying folks with everything needed for D.I.Y. Texas rigging.

Supplies to keep on hand for repairs

Anchors will inevitably slip off lines and fall into the muddy abyss of the marsh. Snap swivels will get caught on your blind and break off. If you’re a klutz like me, you’ll even step on a few of your anchor lines and murmur expletives under your breath. Gear breaks; get used to it and plan for it.

Following are a few items I always keep in my duck hunting backpack to make repairs in the field to my Texas-rigged decoys:

  • A half-dozen pre-cut monofilament anchor lines
  • A half-dozen egg sinkers
  • An small travel pill case with a few extra stop sleeves, snap swivels, and line sleeves
  • A multi-tool that is equipped with a small pair of pliers and knife blade

Cost comparison: pre-rigged vs. D.I.Y.

Okay, how much is this going to cost?

Pre-rigged

A 12-pack of pre-made 36-inch long/4 ounce Texas rig decoy anchors starts around $24.00 per 12-pack and goes up from there depending on brand, length of anchor lines etc. Bargain-minded D.I.Yers can often find inventory-clearing sales during the off-season for as low as $19.99. Most online waterfowl retailers carry these pre-made anchor packs.

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D.I.Y.

Using the costs outlined in the ingredients section above, here’s my math:

  • Monofilament line: $0.05 each
  • 3 ounce slip sinker: $0.69 each
  • Stop sleeves: $0.04 each
  • Line sleeves: $0.04 each
  • 2/0 decoy snap swivels: $0.40 each
  • Spring clip: $0.85 each (one spring clip per 12-18 decoys)
  • TOTAL per dozen decoy anchors including one spring clip: $15.49 (does not include price of crimping tools or pliers)

In our world of battery-powered wing spinners and wave-making duck butts, I think anyone can appreciate the simplicity that Texas rigs bring to a duck decoy set. They’re easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and save time deploying decoys before the hunt and retrieving them afterwards. Who doesn’t want to spend more time working groups of mallards and less time fighting with decoy anchor lines?

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>