Using the Abu Garcia Rauto Spoon

The ABU Rauto spoon began life back in the 1960’s as an ice fishing spoon in Scandinavian countries. It was used with bait as an attractor by ice fisherman targeting trout, pike, char and perch. It was also used in saltwater for cod.

During the late 1960’s and in to the 1970’s sea angling in the UK was undergoing dramatic changes with innovation and modernisation the key theme. At this time new rigs came about and one of these was the attractor spoon rig used to target flatfish such as plaice, dabs and flounder when drift fishing from boats. Someone realised the potential of the Rauto ice fishing spoon as an attractor and tried it here in the UK.

The Rauto was an instant success producing a string of big turbot, brill and plaice when fished on the drift over sand. But also the spoon proved effective for targeting blonde, thornback, small-eyed and spotted rays, big cod, haddock, gurnards and ling when used in conjunction with bait. It proved effective over shallow sandbanks, amongst mixed rough ground and when drift fishing along side wrecks.

For some reason the Rauto became forgotten in the 1990’s, but this classic attractor spoon has now been reintroduced in to the UK and again has proved an instant success.

The Rauto rig is one of the rigs I rely most on when fishing all over the UK and Ireland for flatfish, rays and general drift fishing. Here’s how I build my version of the rig.

Although not part of the actual rig its important to always add a clear mono leader twice the length of the rod to the main reel line. Typically over shallow ground I fish 20lb braid with a 25lb leader of Fluorocarbon, though clear mono is also ok. When fishing 30lb braid in deeper water over mixed rough ground and tight in to wrecks I use a 40lb breaking strain leader. This is balanced tackle and gives some abrasion resistance when drifting the tackle over coarse sand and shingle.

Items needed to build the Rauto rig are a 12-inch hollow tube boom, one 5mm bead, a size 4 rolling swivel, 40lb Fluorocarbon or clear mono line, a Rauto spoon, six pearl or yellow luminous beads and a size 3/0 Viking pattern hook.

1. Begin by sliding on to the leader a 12-inch hollow plastic tube boom

2. Slide on a 5mm bead.

3. To the end of the leader tie on a size 4 rolling swivel.

4. To the swivel tie on 8 to 12-feet of 40lb clear mono, or better still Fluorocarbon. In light tide runs use 8-feet, but in stronger tide runs go up to 12-feet.

5. Tie on the Rauto Spoon.

6. To the free end of the Rauto Spoon tie on 12-icnches of 40lb Fluorocarbon.

7. Slide on 6 3mm pearl beads.

8. Finish by tying on a size 3/0 Viking hook.

The best baits to fish with the Rauto spoon are thin strips of mackerel cut from the white belly. These need to be the full length of the mackerel’s flank but no more than 1-inch or so wide and cut to a taper at one. Hook the bait through the wide end of the strip simply by passing the hook point through the flesh side and out through the skin. This gives the bait movement as it drifts along and imitates a small fish such as a sandeel.

Other good baits are long strips of squid, big launce sandeel cut as a flapper bait with the fillets attached to the head but the backbone removed, and strips of bluey. You can also use full fillets of mackerel or bluey when after big cod and ling. Use smaller belly strips 3-inches long by a ¼ -inch wide for smaller fish such as haddock, codling, gurnards and plaice. When using these smaller baits, reduce the breaking strain of the snood between the spoon and the hook to just 25lbs.

This rig works best when the tide is running and should be released to the seabed slowly to keep the spoon and boom extended to avoid tangles. Let out enough line to keep the chosen lead weight in contact with the seabed at all times and hold the thumb on the spool of the reel with the reel in free spool. When a fish is felt to rattle at the bait, release a few feet of line to give the turbot time to take the bait in, then put the reel in gear and let the line tighten to set the hook in the fish.

During the drift, occasionally allow the spoon to rest on the seabed by releasing 5 to10-feet of line, and then put your thumb back on the spool to retighten the line. This pause and move action sees the spoon suddenly lift off the sand, rise slightly in the water and burst in to life. This lift motion will often trigger otherwise passive fish to strike.

There are two colours of Rauto spoon supplied in the same twin pack. Use the all chrome one for drifting in shallow water up to 80-feet or so, and the green barred one with the orange edge in deeper water and in slightly coloured water conditions as it gives a harder silhouette for the fish to see.

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