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Engine Size for trolling - kicker or not?


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4 stroke 70 Yamaha 16.4 Alumacraft

I want to know if I should break down and buy a kicker for trolling. I can only achieve minimum speed of 2.6 w this engine which may be fine for some situations, but not most.

Can I get away with deploying a drift sock? I have not experimented with that yet. Or does it take two D.S. off back perhaps?

Do I need to buy I kicker? Don't want to but will I guess.

Thanks in advance for advice.

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Drifts socks will help, just a matter of how much. Back trolling may also help.

I put a trolling plate on my 50hp 4-stroke and now it's down to .4mph. I love it for trolling. I rarely use my trolling motor anymore as the main motor trolls down so nice.

I did cut a few 2" circles out of the plate as it slowed me sooo much.

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i have an alumacraft nav 165 sport with a 90 4-stroke merc and get along just fine with a drift sock(s).

in the river i can get down to 1.8 to 2.0 going upstream but on a lake, it's usually around 2.3 to 2.6 depending on the wind (and thats with the bowmount trolling motor in the water), which is still too fast sometimes.

my boat has cleats in front of the consoles, which is where i tie the sock. just make sure you tie them off short enough so they stay under the boat and not reach the motor. i didnt like the socks off the back due to the possibility of tangling when bringing in fish.

on a lake, i can get by with one sock, but in the river the current causes the boat to torque to the side where the sock is, so i will put one out each side. 2 socks will slow the boat to a crawl.

as an example ... we were trollin lead on pepin in june on a dead calm day and at 2.6 mph not getting bit. tossed out one bag, started trollin at 1.7-1.8 and started whackin em pretty good.

doesnt mean i still wouldnt like to have a kicker, though. grin

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Excellent feedback everyone as usual.

I can get 2.0 on Minnkota Truth, and when conditions allow it it's my first option. But looks like in extreme wind or when battery is kicked I will be going drift sock or plate.

Thanks again.

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Amish Outfitters makes a set of trolling bags that would work great for you. Hang one off each cleat in the front and your good to go. They also help stabilize the bow in windy conditions. I had the same issues as you and a set fixed my problems. I believe I bought the 18"ers.

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Anderud = Correct

Fact is you can't rely on a trolling motor, at lease my minnkota, in all conditions due to wind and battery life. If you wanted to fight mille lacs for a full day of trolling for example. Even with 8-10 mph winds, You would not make it through.

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and you could back troll.

I have a 16' lund with a 25hp 2 stroke. With just me in it it trolls around 2.7 mph if I do somewhat zig-zags I can get it down to 1.5mph (stopping the momentum). If I back troll on a straight line it will troll around 2mph. Back trolling with a sock or socks .5 can be achieved. This messes up boat control by moving the pivot point of the turn off the boat and to the sock.

I catch more fish doing S turns on the inside line on the turn (slower line) on a rod pump or just as I start to turn the other way and the lure speeds up. Plus the lure on the inside turn is not fishing water that the boat has gone over.

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You could also get a S.S. prop. My 90 had 17 AL I dropped to a 13 SS went from 2.7 to 2.3 and performance across the board increased to boot. Top end didnt change much, but hole shot and holding plane improved quite a bit.

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