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muskielaw

Trolling Rods,where is the feel?

22 posts in this topic

I have never really trolled with cranks before so I went out and purchased two of the cheap Cabela's combos with the line counter reels and 8.5 ft medium action "trollmaster" rods. Went out this weekend for the first time with them and hooked into a couple of nice walleyes w/ the two biggest being 28.5 and 27.5. So I watch the road get wacked so I know it a fish, I pick up the rod from the rod holder and it takes me a while before I can really determine if I have a fish on or not. Then once I get it within the last 20ft or so I can now feel the fish fighting but it is nothing like the fight you usually get walleyes that size with my usual 7 ft lindy rod. Come to think about it with the smaller eyes my brother didn't even think he had a fish on until he pulled it out of the water at the boat. So the question I have is it the cheap rods that really take away from the feel of the fight so that if I get a nicer rod it will make a huge difference? Or is it a fact of life with trolling due to the fact the fish is 150' back and I am using a 8.5ft rod? Should I go with a shorter rod? It was a little disappointing to not feel like I was fighting the fish but just dragging it in. Thanks

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The rods you have were probably designed to be used with planer boards, dipsy divers or lead core. I can't say that I like using rods like that, but that's what I use with boards, divers and lead.

When I troll flatlines (ie. superline straight back to the bait, nothing attached to the line, not using lead core, etc) then I use 7 foot graphite rods and Sealine 17 line counter reels. You get a much different feel with that setup, you can feel the bait vibrating, you can tell if you've picked up the smallest weed, you can feel everything the fish does, etc.

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the bigger rods will usally be a little stiffer, as perch said, they may be designed for boards or downriggers. Also look at what action they are; fast, very fast and so forth. If you are just going to troll for eyes, I would go to a 7ft medium weight, fast action.

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I agree I have used those rods and also a Loomis trolling rod and there is a big difference in feel. Another thing to consider is keeping the bail open and keeping your thumb on the spool, it will really improve your feel.

You know a rock or a fish by the head shake (and then dive if its a nice pike!).

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What kind of line is on there? I get a different feel with the low stretch superlines. May help some if you have mono on there now.

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I use a Mitchell trolling rod for my linecounter reel for long lining eyes with crankbaits.

The rod works just fine. No problem feeling the action of the lure through the rod. I can tell when the lure fouls with a weed.

A very nice trolling rod for cranks. It will also work with planer boards. Its the 8ft model in the link below.

http://jasonmitchellrods.com/pages/open_water.php

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Back to the original post, is it gear or is it technique was the question??

My opinion... combination of both. When you are crank trolling and a fish hits, its basically keep steady pressure on the fish to keep him from shaking hooks lose. You'll get good headshake and rod pump but you wanna just keep steadily cranking. Fight? Not so much IMO.

Live bait rigging.... much more sensitive rods, lighter line, smaller hooks, more finesse. Big fish rigging will give you a heck of a fight as you can't apply too much pressure to him.

Spinners are going to be in between.

I still find my enjoyment with cranks is in the technique and productivity and maybe less in the fight that results.

Throw boards or leadcore in the picture and the resulting fight is a yawner. The excitement with big fish in this situation is wondering how long I can keep them on until they shake loose. Slow, steady, consistant pressure... thats all you can do.

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Thanks for all of the replies. I am running 10 lb Trilene XT on the rods and the rods do indicate they are for boards. I kind of figured this technique is more for putting fish in the boat then for really feeling the fight. I will have to try some shorter graphite rods for straight longlining and go from there. Thanks again.

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Any time you have longer, softer rods with a mono back 120'- 200' Plus you wont feel much unless you have bigger fish on. Its pretty much just a weight feel. A superline like power pro will increase sensitivity and decrease line stretch of course.

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Assuming you are not pulling boards, I'd troll with a superline. That will give you more feel, although with the rods you're using you still won't have all the feel you'd have with graphite. But mono = mush when it comes to feeling what the bait or the fish is doing if you have any line out at all.

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From the limited amount of trolling I’ve done, I understand that the “mush” is actually a good thing in getting a proper hookset without pulling the bait out of the fish’s mouth.

If you want to “feel” the fish, I would suggest a different technique wink

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Trolling is a whole new world.

The trolling rod that you have is more a Great lakes salmon rod. (you now know why people say: I’ve got a weed on my line. No? it’s a Walleye!).

If you are just flat lining (Just the lure on your line) a 7 foot M/H Bass rod with your reel is all you need. I have a Mr. Walleye rod MWS86MCT with a okuma Convector CV 20 D reel. It works fine, although the tip did break off the rod and the tip top replaced it works well.

The granddaddy of Speed trolling “Buck” Perry used a 6 foot solid fiberglass rod to troll!

After saying all of this, 90% of all flat lining trolling in my boat (and I troll 90% of the time I’m on the water,) is done with a 7’ fast action M/L spinning rod in my hand.

In Mn with its one line only rule you do not have to keep the boat going forward to keep your line from tangling while fighting fish. So a heavy slow action rod with a low geared reel is not needed.

Hey! I think I’ve got a fish!!

Use a thin line like 10-14lb fireline.

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From the limited amount of trolling I've done, I understand that the "mush" is actually a good thing in getting a proper hookset without pulling the bait out of the fish's mouth.

I troll a lot and I heartily disagree with that. Sensitivity is a good thing, no sensitivity (ie. mush) is a bad thing.

Mono is excellent for pulling boards in open water but I don't like it for any other trolling application. And I don't like "trolling rods" over 7 feet long for any trolling applications other than boards, dipsys or leadcore.

Superlines have several advantages for trolling --- they are thinner which will get you more depth if wanted, and they're so sensitive that they'll indicate anything going on with the bait ---- hooks tangled, small weed, small fish, banging rocks, digging into a soft bottom, occasional ticks against the lake bottom or weeds tops, etc. With a mushy trolling setup you can't tell if any of those things are happening.

Make sure your hooks are sharp and the right size for your crankbaits. For flatline trolling, use a superline and put your reel on a Medium-Light Fast Action rod (can be pretty soft for big, hard pulling cranks) or to a Medium Moderate Action rod (great all-around trolling rod). You should have no problems with hooking fish or having hooks pull out with that gear smile

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If you want to feel the fight of the fish more when trolling, put the motor in Neutral when you hook up with a fish! If you keep on trolling at 2-3 mph, the fish gives up to the relentless pull of the boat, so you don't feel much fight because the fish has given up, at least until they get close to the boat. When trolling and I get a nicer fish on, I put the motor in neutral and reel up all other lines to focus on that fish. You get a lot better fight that way. Trolling can be a very productive method of putting fish in the boat, but it's not always as much fun to catch them that way.

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I'll second the Jason Mitchell trolling rods, very responsive with fireline & they fish very nicely inside the boat with the shorter grip.

toddb

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Mono has it's place in the long line trolling as well. Although I use superbraids 90+ percent of the time. Sometimes you want to the crank to actually run shallower. For example the top of a rock reef on Mille Lacs. Mono helps with this specific application. Also on some nights fish are hitting in such a way that you missing a lot or having fish come unbuttoned. Try mono on these night and often you'll see a significant increase in fish landed.

When it comes trolling to weeds I'm a 100% braid guy for multiple reasons already stated.

Just a few more thoughts on it.

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I love long rods. I use mostly 7'10" - 9' rods for all trolling. I like the spread I get from longer rods and when using superlines they are more foregiving.

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If you can find it get the book Spoonpluging by E.L."BUCK" PERRY. the book is old but fish haven't changed. The book is about trolling the right way and it has good info on how to setup a game plain. There is good stuff on fish behavior that I find to be very helpful.

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Good Ol Buck. Met him when I was a teen ager. My dad went to one of his on the water schools.

Speed and depth control. Simple but very effective. I've still got a spoon pluggin rod and spoon plugs somewhere around here. Bullhead pattern plus a few others.

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Yup. I have 3 of the rods in the basement with Penn No.9 reels.

With the bigger spoonplugs you can tell when you have a fish on because the fish pulls through the water easer then the Spoonplug. You have had a work out after trolling them at 4mph+ all day.

Don't forget to make contact with the bottom!

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