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smeese

trolling question

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This seems dunb to ask, but I have fished shores my whole life, now that I have access to a boat, I am wondering how you guys set up for trolling Rapalas and Lindy rigs? Do you leave your drag set tight so the hook sets itself or do you leave it loose so the fish runs with it? Also what is too fast for trolling? Thanks for any help.

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From what i've learned, the general rule is lindy with trolling motor going from .1- .5 and cranks using your outboard or kicker if you have one going from 1.5 to 3mph.

On lindy, too fast is if you can't keep your line at a 45 degree angle, but usualy you go about what I said above. Go slow...if i had a boat I like to keep it as slow as possible to help keep the bait in the zone. What I see people do is open bail when you're holding the rod, and put finger on line. I do it myself. You really shoudln't leave other rod sitting there when Lindy ing unless fish is agressive, but with a good rod you can notice a fish on without the fish detecting the rod. That should give you enough time to feed line.

On cranks, just use your normal drag setting. If fish hits, its gona stay hooked.

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Depending on the lure anywhere from 1 to 3 mph. Mostly the 1.6 to 2.0 range. Set the drag fairly tight so there is a good hook up with the fish. You should be able to see the rod bending really good before any drag is pulled.

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I do a lot of trolling both forwards and backwards and this is what I've learned; Let the lure dictate the optimum trolling speed. All lures have an ideal speed for which they were designed and there can be wide variences between different models of the same brand. In other words you may not troll a countdown rapala the same as you would a jointed rapala or a shad rap.

Here's what I do. Tie on the lure and place in the water over the side of the boat just a foot down or so. As you go note the speed and observe the acton of the lure. If the speed is too slow the intended action isn't fully realized and if it's too fast the acton is lost and it won't track properly it will lean to one side or even break the surface. Keeping a log makes a handy reference especially for those times when your running multiple lines with different lures on each. That way you'll know that all are running within thier acceptable range and you don't have two lures that are incompatable with one another.

You will find that most lures (crankbaits) are pretty good up to about 3mph and that's where they start to loose it. There are a few exceptions that can handle much more. When I'm speed trolling for pike in mid summer I'm pulling at 3 to 5 mph. As far as Lindy rigs go your better off using your electric motor because all you want is a slow "drift speed". When it comes to pulling blades like a crawler harness a speed that's just enough to keep the blade moving is about right.

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At a minimum you need to have your drag set tight enough to drive home the hooks when the fish hits. If your drag is slipping when the fish hits or when you set the hook then you're not going to get as many good hooksets as you would with a tighter drag. It also depends on the line you're using, obviously a stronger heavier line can have a tighter drag setting than a lighter line. And in snaggy conditions you may want to go with a lighter drag just to help prevent break-offs from getting snagged.

With most crankbaits for most of the year 2.2 to 2.7 mph is a good range. Faster during the warmer months (like up to 3.5 mph) is definately an option, and slower in colder water (like down to 1.5 or 1.8 mph) will produce more bites.

For lindys, slower is better. Spinner rigs can run up to 1.0 to 1.2 mph but for straight live bait rigs you want to be slower than that.

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Also , a good purchase would be the Trolling bible from your local bait store. Very good read. It has all your lures on there, what speed, distance, and depth. Watch what depth you are marking fish and try to attack that depth. Welcome to trolling!

The best thing of trolling is, almost always when you hook something.. it is good. You will not hook bullheads on cranks.

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One additional comment. If you are using cranks and braid lighten up on the drag. It's a lot easier for the hooks to pull out if drag is set too tight. I use baitcasters with clickers and have the drag set so the lure can't pull out line but not too much tighter than that. Flip the clicker on and away you go. A strike will set the clicker off. I tighten the star drag and then set the hooks with a slow pull forward. Helps to use longer rods in the 8ft range with a medium to slow action. Ugly sticks work just fine for example.

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