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Feature Article_ IGFA Swordfish Rules

IGFA clarifies swordfish line-class record rules

Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Dec 24, 2019

igfalogo


DANIA BEACH, Fla. — In recent months, the IGFA has been contacted by numerous anglers in southern California that have begun deep-dropping for swordfish and are using wind-on leaders as top shot. Because many angling clubs fish according to IGFA International Angling Rules, the following is intended to clarify the use of wind-on leaders as top shot and how it affects line class determination.

When deep-dropping for swordfish, anglers need to be aware of a number of factors in order to be IGFA compliant. Under IGFA Rules, any catch shall be classified under the breaking strength of the first 5 meters (16 ½ feet) of line directly preceding the double line, leader or hook. This line must be comprised of a single, homogeneous piece of line and may not exceed 60-kilograms (130-pound) line class


swordfishhogyluresPHOTO CREDIT HOGY LURES

However, when using a wind-on leader as a top shot there are additional considerations. First, the breaking strength of the first 5 meters (16 ½ feet) of the wind-on leader will determine the IGFA line class. As such, in order to be IGFA-compliant, the wind-on leader cannot exceed 60-kilograms (130-pounds) when used as top shot. Anglers pursuing IGFA World Records that are using wind-on leaders as their top shot should also be aware that the actual breaking strength of the wind-on leader may be higher than the manufacturer’s stated breaking strength.


If an additional length of leader is attached to the wind-on, it cannot exceed 9.14 meters or 30- feet in length for IGFA line classes over 20 lb. test. The length of this leader is the overall length including any lure, hook arrangement or other device, and is measured to the bend of the last hook. There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.


Should you have any questions please contact IGFA Angler Recognition Coordinator Nick Haddad at nhaddad@igfa.org. International Game Fish Association, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004.


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