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JRedig

Trollers:

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Alrighty, i'm finally setting up my trolling rigs and getting more serious about catching fish that way. I picked up a couple guide series 10 foot 2 piece rods and some okuma line counter reels. Pretty cheap packages overall.

I also just happened to win the $100 worth of drifter tackle so i'm loading up on believers and jakes.

What line do those of you who troll a lot use? I was planning on using Cortland Masterbraid 65lb in green which is what I have spooled on my smaller casting setups, any objections?

Also got a few different leaders in 35-48" lengths with both fluoro and wire.

Anything I should be thinking about that i'm not?

Thanks

Jeff

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Jeff,

For line, personally, I like a superline in the 80lb to 100lb range. I opt on the 100lb side of things, bigger is better when trolling musky IMHO.

Good choice on both stranded and fluoro leaders!!!

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i would also recommend 100lb test and make sure your drag isnt too tight...lots of gas, rod holders, a good radio, and some snacks!!

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Jeff,

First thing you need is patience!

I have 80lb on one set-up I use most, and I use it on occasion for tigers. If I was strictly looking at bigger baits, like your plank of a pike patterned bait, I'd go 100lb as well.

I keep my drag set just tight enough not to slip out line when trolling, too many times it's been too tight and I've ripped the bait out.

Cool part is $100 or so gets you a decent and serviceable set-up as you mentioned. I run an Okuma 20 Convector on an 8'6" Shimano Talora rod. Definitely does the job, however, if I trolled more I'd look at the longer rods. Reels are basically winches, so a decent reel with a counter will do the job. Another set-up is on a glass cat rod, which I used on the river this year. Good options to stretch the dollar and cover multi-species fishing.

As said, good call on the leaders, rocks you'll need the wire, minus rocks go fluoro, as the fish can roll and wire can cut them up.

If I'm brave enough, this weekend will see the bimini top out, bow closure snapped on, and the Big Buddy on the floor kickin' out heat!

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I use 65# power pro for trolling. Has worked well (knock on wood). I like the smaller diameter for spinnerbait trolling, so they run a little deeper.

If you make your own leaders, I'd reccomend using oversized snaps. They are stronger and the wider bend on them probably gives the lure a little better action.

Good luck.

My $.02, Huey

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point your boat to a spot and just go. grin

knowing nothing about what lake you plan to fish or where...

not all this is for you but if you don't already know it then it is, lol.'

i keep my drag about 1/8 - 1/4 or so of a turn looser than my casting setting for the same size hook. i like to keep my pole up and straght back if possible to stay in and/or below my prop wash. i like varying my speed. i make special leaders for myself for trolling. same as any but with an inline blade forward of the snap a bit. as long as you keep your drag looser i see no problem with 65 lb test. also, a way too little used tecnique is lead line. try it out sometime. need a big capacity reel though. hope this helps... or at least don't hurt. whistle

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I would suggest PowerPro for your trolling in the fall becuase it is drier than other lines and wet line in November usually results in reels malfunctioning.

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Thanks for all the tips, i'm gonna go with some 100lb cortland line. It's absolutely the least water absorbing line i've used.

Chris, funny you mention the okuma 20 series, that's what i have.

I'm gonna troll till I catch a fish this weekend...har har har!

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remember to set the hook! very common trolling mistake - even more so if you leave your drag loose. pull your rod from the holder, put your thumb on the spool, and bury those hooks. a well known musky pro once said set the hooks three times while trolling - once to free the bait from the teeth - second to bury the hooks - third in case the first two didnt work.....

if using planner boards use the kind that dont break free - break free boards make slack line and lost fish - also i like to keep the boat moving at or above trolling speed till the fish is behind the boat and not off to the side - again just to make sure i dont give her any slack -

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One tip, if you ever feel a short 3-6 inch slack while landing a fish always perform another hookset. Usually happens with bucktails or smaller baits where an initial hook was deep but then slipped only to bury itself in the front lip.

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i like to keep the boat moving at or above trolling speed till the fish is behind the boat and not off to the side - again just to make sure i dont give her any slack -

Just be careful to not drag the fish in while fighting the fish. Dragging the fish in without stopping the boat can literally drown a fish and you risk killing the fish. A good example of this is the pontoon trollers on Mille Lacs. I think it is important to stop the boat right away after hooking up trolling. Not any different than reeling a fish in while casting. Ask any big name guide what they think about this situation.

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very good point DHanson - dragging is not good - im talking a matter of a few seconds to keep the line tight and get it straight - between the fish and the boat it really happens quick. this is a two person job, one being on the kicker and the other on the rod. after the motor is out of gear next job for the motor man is to remove the planner board, get the net, help with hook removal, then get the camera.

trolling can be long and boring but once a fish is on everybody needs to know there jobs

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Quote:
Just be careful to not drag the fish in while fighting the fish. Dragging

true.

if your tecnique involves keeping the boat moving on a lake you can reduce or eliminate injury to a fish by not horseing them. leaving the drag loose enough to not drag it and let it take line is a good practice. stop the boat as soon as your sure you have control of the fish and all slack line is gone. on a river in fast water, just like in ocean currents, keeping control of your boat is paramount. neutral is ok with an electric handy. otherwise use slipping tecniques, including the side slide. never shut the motor down. currents can bring you toward a fish very fast and results in slack line, and lost fish cry gooseing it a bit helps get line back. but is dangerous with standing passengers as they can be thrown from the boat. take appropriate precautions please. i.e. life jackets, announce all changes in speed and get confirmation, including stopping, if there is a man overboard situation remember... the fish comes first grin that was a joke.... just a thought... or two.

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Is speed an issue when trolling this time of year?

I would say that speed is always an issue. It's the most easily varied component to see what will make them bite.

Got the rods all setup with Stren 80lb superbraid, very small diameter and coated well. Came by recommendation of Pat at Thorne. So far so good.

Now to fix the boat and hit it again next weekend!

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Quote:
Got the rods all setup with Stren 80lb superbraid, very small diameter and coated well. Came by recommendation of Pat at Thorne

yep. little noisey when casting but IMHO thats the best out there all around. Pat's the one who insisted i put it on my TE when i bought it there ( the forehead to the counter did it crazy). never been led wrong by him yet in anything. he's really got alot of knowledge about pretty much anything muskie. great salesman too.

i agree, speed is key and is never a pattern. even on the same day sometimes. hence the reason i like to vary my speed.

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Quote:
Got the rods all setup with Stren 80lb superbraid, very small diameter and coated well. Came by recommendation of Pat at Thorne

yep. little noisey when casting but IMHO thats the best out there all around. Pat's the one who insisted i put it on my TE when i bought it there ( the forehead to the counter did it crazy). never been led wrong by him yet in anything. he's really got alot of knowledge about pretty much anything muskie. great salesman too.

Yeah, pat is great. I feel bad, first year in more than 20 he hasn't caught a muskie because of his back. Hopefully he can get fixed up by next year!

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Is speed an issue when trolling this time of year?

Low and slow for lures. If you are trolling suckers try to keep it under 1mph. Much more will possibly kill the sucker. Plus ya want the little sucker to swim around while you cover some ground.

JMO,

James

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his backs bad? did'nt know that. he never mentioned it. not a whinner i guess. i would have offered to guide him for a shot at a shore caught muskie for free if i knew. that's what i do when mine goes out. now it's just getting to cold for me. yeah, i'm a wimp. i work pretty much all winter outside so i stay warm when i can. oh well, he'll double up next year.

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