Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

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Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby dodman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:11 pm

HI all - I know this has been discussed ad nausea here, there, and everywhere, but getting some fresh ideas on it is interesting. I grew up in Va Beach, but live in the mountains by VT now and we hunt rivers and the steep-banked lakes up here. It's always from a floating blind, and we don't use dogs.

In the lakes, we always have to go after birds...too deep to wade after them. In the rivers, it's about 50/50. Firing up the boat to get birds makes jerk rigs a real pain in the butt, as does the current and grass in the rivers. But I'd love to find some way to get effective motion in the decoys. Weasel balls provide some, but it's minimal. I really don't want to get a mojo, and in the lakes it gets too deep, too quick anyway.

What I want is some kind of anchored decoy that has effective, significant motion. There are the remote swimmers, but I don't trust them...and if something goes wrong, off it'll go down the river and they're not cheap. Plus who wants to fool with some goofy remote? One style that looks appealing are the anchored pulsators that swim around their anchor line...but I've read of quick tangles that stop their motion.

It seems like a simple prob to solve, but it's proven to be a pain up here. Any thoughts and ideas? I thought about posting this on the main forum, but I'm a Virginia guy and it'd be cool to get ideas from Virginia guys. It's all fun. :grooving:

Btw, just as an aside all the back and forth ranting at each other can be highly entertaining, or highly boring, but either way it's a shame...it's a blast to read good stuff, or funny stuff, or experiences from these areas we all love, but instead it degenerates into blabbering, pointless nonsense that no one actually cares all that much about. But I digress. Any ideas appreciated!
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby Undrcoverrednek » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Looks like you've considered all the options and already know the pulsator is the way to go. You can build 2 for price of buying one. There are plenty of how-to's on this website. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby scruggs12 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:37 pm

Hook a trolling motor up to a battery and have it dangle in the water. It will make waves, if you see birds shut it off. It will be a little noisy you just have to barely sink it and it should create ripples on the water depending on the current. Drape burlap, netting or grass mats over it for camo. You can also take a page out of Imaduckin's playbook and throw rocks (seriously it works).

Good luck with whatever you try.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:37 am

Tried something several years back ,(and if you can't find these things I'll post a pic), that did give me what I was looking for on those windless, non- motion decoy days.

Think I got them from Cabellas. They're battery operated "torpedo" looking deals with a small propeller that clip on to the keel of your decoy. Takes a size D battery.

Downfall was that after the battery dies you'd best remember which decoy(s) has the motor clipped to it, because jerking the decoy out of the water when you start picking 'em up can cause it to fall off.

You've got to use a snap swivel on both the weight, and where it attaches to the decoy, or you'll have a mess .

The motor has a "rudder" behind the prop. Worked best for me after adjusting it so that the decoy runs in a circle.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby Have Gun Will Travel » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:40 am

If you hunting flowing rivers look into some decoys with river keels on them. Google it.....
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby dukcommander » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:41 am

Pulsator works good for ducks. I will say that I've had it flare geese multiple times.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby fowl mouth » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:33 am

Love my pulsator.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby Tangier Island Slacker » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:50 am

swampbilly 1980 wrote:Tried something several years back ,(and if you can't find these things I'll post a pic), that did give me what I was looking for on those windless, non- motion decoy days.

Think I got them from Cabellas. They're battery operated "torpedo" looking deals with a small propeller that clip on to the keel of your decoy. Takes a size D battery.

Downfall was that after the battery dies you'd best remember which decoy(s) has the motor clipped to it, because jerking the decoy out of the water when you start picking 'em up can cause it to fall off.

You've got to use a snap swivel on both the weight, and where it attaches to the decoy, or you'll have a mess .

The motor has a "rudder" behind the prop. Worked best for me after adjusting it so that the decoy runs in a circle.


I like those, too, used them before pulsators came out.

dukcommander wrote:Pulsator works good for ducks. I will say that I've had it flare geese multiple times.


Something else is flaring them, if I had to count all the geese I've shot trying to land on a pulsator I'd be here all day.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby ESVA Duckin » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:19 am

fowl mouth wrote:Love my pulsator.

That sounds like something my wife use to mumble every now and then. :biggrin:
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby dukcommander » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:46 am

Tangier Island Slacker wrote:
swampbilly 1980 wrote:Tried something several years back ,(and if you can't find these things I'll post a pic), that did give me what I was looking for on those windless, non- motion decoy days.

Think I got them from Cabellas. They're battery operated "torpedo" looking deals with a small propeller that clip on to the keel of your decoy. Takes a size D battery.

Downfall was that after the battery dies you'd best remember which decoy(s) has the motor clipped to it, because jerking the decoy out of the water when you start picking 'em up can cause it to fall off.

You've got to use a snap swivel on both the weight, and where it attaches to the decoy, or you'll have a mess .

The motor has a "rudder" behind the prop. Worked best for me after adjusting it so that the decoy runs in a circle.


I like those, too, used them before pulsators came out
Are you talking about the duck or the goose. I was talking about the duck flaring the geese. I had 3 groups come in back to back and all flared over it. I then removed it from the spread and soon had a 3 man goose limit. Not saying that's the way it is, just my experience that day.
dukcommander wrote:Pulsator works good for ducks. I will say that I've had it flare geese multiple times.


Something else is flaring them, if I had to count all the geese I've shot trying to land on a pulsator I'd be here all day.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby dukcommander » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:47 am

Can you make heads or tails of that? My iPhone is giving me a fit!^^^^^^
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby kahunna » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:19 pm

Go to Refuge Forums and search for keel-type duck decoys. There's a sponsor or two over there who makes them. The river current will give you more than enough motion with nothing else but a decoy on a line with a weight.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby dodman » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:35 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. One of the keel attached torpedo/propellers would rock...simple, no anchored battery, wiring, etc...but I can't seem to find good reviews of them. What I keep reading is they're weak and don't propel the deke worth a squat. Oh well, they're cheap...I might get one and try it out, and if it sucks just punt and make a bilge-pump style.

The river current will indeed make them swim, but we're often in inside bends in the eddies, slow/shallow water. That's of course where they want to land up here, not out where the water's moving at a decent clip. It's def different up here in the mountains, and actually a lot of the ducks we see we figure are kinda lost...but the geese...wheeewwy the geese...and btw, blind laws and crowds? What are these things of which you speak? :grooving:
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby Mudgun » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:44 pm

I found that the torpedoes would clog with the tiniest amount of grass.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby LEWDOG » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:48 pm

A bilge pump , a lawn mower battery with a decoy to cover it and a stand to keep battery/coy out of water , a small garden 3/8" hose and a inline valve (to control speed of water) . Put it all together and use the end the water is coming out of as the line to a decoy and to end it at the back of the keel to power it . Once you get the rig set on the X find the right speed and leave it till the hunt is over . One problem I had with it was the hose weight and the fixed was to tie the hose to another decoy to hold the weight for the mover. Another problem you will have worst is clear water that will let bird see hose a green one worked here .
Have you tried tying a decoy near the center of the keel so it will ride side to side .

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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:33 am

Mudgun wrote:I found that the torpedoes would clog with the tiniest amount of grass.

Yes that's a fact, gotta' have at least 6" of grass-free water to run 'em.
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:52 am

dodman wrote: Firing up the boat to get birds makes jerk rigs a real pain in the butt,

Not sure what your set up is when you're using a jerk rig, (or what problem you're having), but if it's recovering the end of the line after picking up birds with the boat you can get yourself a large, cork, fishing bobber and permanently attach it to the end. When you move the boat just toss the end overboard away from the boat. Have your jerk rig off to one side or the other vs. right in the middle of your spread- that way you're not trying to navigate around a piece of string.
Works for me.

dodman wrote:What I keep reading is they're weak and don't propel the deke worth a squat. Oh well, they're cheap...I might get one and try it out, and if it sucks just punt and make a bilge-pump style.

Yep, the D size battery will only last a couple hours on a cold day, it's not the best ripple maker in the world but a decent "movement maker". Use 'em on smaller decoys not huge Geese decoys.

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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby imaduckin up north » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:35 am

swampbilly 1980 wrote:Tried something several years back ,(and if you can't find these things I'll post a pic), that did give me what I was looking for on those windless, non- motion decoy days.

Think I got them from Cabellas. They're battery operated "torpedo" looking deals with a small propeller that clip on to the keel of your decoy. Takes a size D battery.

Downfall was that after the battery dies you'd best remember which decoy(s) has the motor clipped to it, because jerking the decoy out of the water when you start picking 'em up can cause it to fall off.

You've got to use a snap swivel on both the weight, and where it attaches to the decoy, or you'll have a mess .

The motor has a "rudder" behind the prop. Worked best for me after adjusting it so that the decoy runs in a circle.

i had a few of those years ago and when i tossed out the decoy that thing fell off and went through the water like a mini torpedo, was a funny sight
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Re: Best ways to get motion without jerk rigs?

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:53 am

imaduckin up north wrote:i had a few of those years ago and when i tossed out the decoy that thing fell off and went through the water like a mini torpedo, was a funny sight

Hopefully it didn't go to waste- maybe a huge Rockfish chased it down :yes:

(I forgot to mention you can't toss the decoys like the others)
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