Duck Decoys and the Beauty of the Fabled “Jerk” Cord
Bob McNally 12.29.15
Motion in a decoy set is often the key element in duping ducks. Without wind, however, getting decoys to bob and weave, dip and dive is difficult. Unless, of course, you rig a “jerk cord.”
The simple, but very effective “jerk cord” has been in use by avid duck hunters for generations. It can be set up several ways, but the simplest employs just a long length of heavy cuttyhunk-type braided cord or decoy line, a brick, a decoy, and several heavy-duty fishing snap-swivels.
Take a length of cord (10 feet or so), tie it to the brick, and then attach a snap-swivel to the free end of the cord.
Next tie a snap-swivel to the end of the long length of cuttyhunk. Now fashion two loops of cuttyhunk line at the forward and rear anchor attachment holes on the decoy.
To set up the “jerk cord,” place the brick in your decoy spread in an open spot. Fasten the snap-swivel tied to the brick to one of the cuttyhunk loops on the decoy. To the other loop of cuttyhunk on the decoy, attach the snap-swivel from the long length of cuttyhunk line and run the line to your blind.
It’s important the long length of cuttyhunk line be kept taught and free of brush, weeds, and other debris. When ducks are passing overhead, give the cuttyhunk line a sharp tug or “jerk,” and that will impart diving and dipping motion to the decoy. The decoy can be “jerked” violently, but it maintains its position in the spread because it’s anchored to the brick.
It’s amazing how effective a “jerk cord” can be, particularly on calm, clear days when motion imparted to a decoy is especially noticeable.