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Trolling Rods


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I've been having good luck trolling for walleye lately but my rods are not up to par. Which rods do you recommend using for A)flatline trolling fireline, B)leadcore trolling, C)planer board trolling? I will be using Diawa SG27LC line counter reels on them.

Thanks for the help.

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I use the same rods for longlining as I do for leadcore. The Limit Creed rods are a great choice, as are the Scheels and St. Croix eyecon trolling rods.

For planer boards, I was recently intoduced to the Okuma Pro GLT rods, and I'm going to say that these are the best planer board rods I have ever used, and the best part is they are $35 each! The problem is that they are hard to find around here. I have not used the Limit Creek trolling rods with boards but hear good things. I have used the 8' Eyecon rods for this and they are pretty sweet too.

Let me ask you this, do you plan on using he same rod for everything and what is your budget? Are you looking at one, two or four rods for each technique?

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I'd like the cheapest rod I can get away with. I have a hard time believing I need a high end rod for trolling applications. I am going to start with a longline set-up, a leadcore set-up, and a board set-up then expand my collection from there. A rod or two a year for a few years should get me on track.

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Diawa Heartland trolling rods. I've caught walleye, salmon, cat's, you name it. They are about 35 bucks. Actually, any cheap glass trolling rod works. They sit in rod holders and sensitivity is a none issue. I prefer 7 1/2 to 8 foot, maybe 7 for lead.

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I have a variety of trolling rods. I mix and match the rods to get ideal setups for various applications but for the most part I run Limit Creek Rods for all my Leadcore. The 12' 8'6" and the 5' Shorty cover all the bases extremely well. For my flatline setups I use 10' Cabelas Fish Eagle steelhead rods. Also, the LC 5' rods are plenty soft for trolling hardline. Bottome line is the most important thing is you want to be able to visually read the lure action off the rod. The rod must also be soft enough to not tear the hooks out of the fishes mouth upon strikes but stout enough to hold the fish on the rod before you can get the rod out of the rod holder. This is where the higher end trolling specific rods come into play.


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I've been putzing around with planer boards this year (on Mille Lacs) with some--but not much--success. The boards tend to lag behind the boat, and they surge a bit more than seems right.

What does a "board" rod do that a regular longline or leadcore rod not do? I've thought about getting one that's a bit longer and stiffer (insert joke here), thinking that would help, but i haven't actually pulled the trigger on any yet. Any tips?

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I bought a cabellas brand 8 foot 6 inch rod this Spring. (139.00 on sale for 99.00)

Didnt use it until this last week on my Fall fishing trip.

It was the magic rod. We trolled side by side with the same lures and the other rod was a 7 footer I have used in prior years.

We never lost a fish on the 8' 6"

I think it was a great combination of getting the lure another foot or so away from the boat and also a great balance for when the fish hit. No missed strikes or tearing the lure out of the mouth.

Also worked really well when fighting the fish.

Overall, just a great experience and I will be buying 1 or 2 more of the same rods.

Check out the fish pics on the Walleye thread.

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Here is some trolling rod 101. Info you won't find anywhere else.

A leadcore trolling rod must withstand the power that a big fish hits at speed. Traveling at 2+MPH and being able to take the hit of a 10lb walleye is a tall order to take. Not all rods can do this. Not only must the rod be able to take the hit, it has to show the wiggle that a lure give off when running clean, or more improtantly, the lack of wiggle when running dirty.

A planer board rod must be able to handle long term stress of pulling a board here all day long. Nothing real special here. Just about any 8' or so planer board rod will work fine. The difference come into play once the board is taken off and it's now you aginst the fish. If all you do is fish for 17" fish any planer board rod will be fine. The difference really comes into effect when the fish get bigger than 26", and bigger than 28" really amplifies the effect. This is where the difference between a $30 and $100+ rod become apparent.

When trolling with planer board the boards will lag behind the boat, that is the nature of the beast. When trolling with boards in the wind there are tricks to keep the surge out of the lure.

If there is enough interest I can write a program that will detail the diffences in presentation between calm and wind, and leadcore and inline weights this winter so everyone troll with the same effectiveness next year.

Send me a PM if interested.

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