Jump to content

Various Trolling Questions


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, long story short this year will only be our my second year of trolling and I've still got tons of questions regarding various styles of trolling, equipment, line, lures, etc. Feel free to only answer some if you'd prefer not to take an hour in order to respond to all of them haha. Anyway, as last year was my first year of trolling we didn't want to spend a fortune so we only trolled with two Downrigger rods all season and I'd like to start using other trolling methods this year, specifically dipsy divers and inline planer boards. I have been doing a lot of research on both but I figured it would be wise to get some personal opinions too. For all of the questions below, also keep in mind that the primary species I fish for are Lake Trout, Steelhead, and Brown Trout on Lake Erie, with the occasional Walleye troll but not that often (sadly, no salmon in Erie in any half decent numbers, although somehow I managed to luck in to a random/lost 5 pound Chinook back in July). Anyway, these are my questions.

1) What are some of the better rods and reels for fishing with Dipsy Divers? As far as reels go, I've been looking at Okuma Convectors and Magda Pros but I'm sure there's ton out there. I've been pretty stumped looking at rods, though. The Daiwa Heartlands looks good, but the low price concerns me regarding quality.

2) Is there any certain color of dipsy diver that works particularly well for the above mentioned fish (again: Lakers, Steelies, and Browns)? From what I've been reading, diver color isn't that important with Salmonids but I just want to make sure not to spook any away with flashy colors and if possible it'd be nice to attract some in.

3) With Dipsy Divers, is there a certain brand of snubber that works better than others? I looked at the Luhr Jensen regular green/yellow ones and they seem fine but they look so stretchy that it seems like a big Laker would snap them like a rubber band. Also, after the snubber is there a certain pound test line that works best? I assume it'd be Fluorocarbon too, right?

4) Moving on to Planers, what are some of the better rods and reels for fishing with inline planer boards? For this application, it seems like you want pretty heavy duty rods and reels to handle the pull of the board without taking away a lot of the fight from the fish.

5) When it comes to line for inline planer rods, would leadcore or copper be better for getting lures deep enough for Salmonids? I've never used either and it seems like leadcore is more forgiving and cheaper but doesn't get quite as deep while copper kinks a lot and is more expensive while sinking the lures pretty deep.

6) Last season, I was running 25 pound test monofilament going directly to a snap swivel attached to my lure on my Downrigger rods. I've been reading a lot on 'rigger rods and it seems some people prefer monofilament while others like braid. Which do you guys prefer and how heavy?

7) Whether I run mono or braid, would you recommend a leader of any sort on Downrigger rods from the main line to the lure? If so, what type of line, how heavy, and how long?

8) When you guys are trolling for lakers and steelhead, is there a certain leader length from the cannonball to the lure that works well for you? From what I've seen, lakers like short leaders (we were hammering them with 2-8' leaders from the ball) and steelhead like longer ones (20-60'). I can't seem to find that much info on Browns, sadly.

9) As far as trolling spoons are concerned, any particular brands you guys like? I was running all Michigan stingers last year either in regular or stingray size and did pretty well.

10) For lures in general, are there any colors that work very well for lakers, steelhead, and Browns? I caught the majority of mine last year on combos of silver, green, blue, pink, and orange with the most successful colors being in that order.

11) Are there any good online guides you guys could link me to regarding flies, flashers, and Dodgers. I've only read a bit about them and would like to use them this year but I'm ready very confused about shape, size, color, line, leader, etc. Also, any brands that are better than others?

12) Last but not least, what is the best trolling speed you've had luck with for the above species? Steelhead seem to like faster for us (2.2-3.0), I've been reading that Browns like it slow (1.8-2.2), and I've seen everything from 1.5-5.0 for lakers but we caught all of our's between 2.2-2.8.

 

Thanks for taking the time to help out a new troller, everyone. Sorry for the large amount of questions but this seemed like one of the most knowledgeable forums to be asking these things on. If any of the questions are prying in to your "secret tactics" or whatnot then feel free to skip over them.

Thanks again,

                       Sean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our best setup for steelhead is a 150' copper with a double orange crush spoon.

We use convector 55's for all our copper reels but honestly you could use a convector 45 for a 150 copper. The 55 is overkill for a 150' copper.

We use the okuma classic pro GLT copper rod. 8'6"

~30-40' fluorocarbon leader

Church's Tackle Walleye board.

That is as cheap as you want to go. Its a good setup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fish trout and salmon out of marquette,mi on lake superior. For tackle we love GL-TACKLE.COM   Check him out on Ebay FishKnocker.  Tom will fix you up with some great lures. I've had good luck with flasher/ fly and flasher/squid combos also throw in a set of cowbells for a little more flash.  They also have a selection of spoons that work good.  I like willow blade cow bells but a medium size colorado blade is good.  As for speeds I think you rite on but it will change with current and depth. If your fishing lakers keep your leads from 18 to 36 inches from your ball in deeper water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second the Okuma Classic Pro GLT for copper and lead core.  Can't say I've found a perfect reel for anything yet but haven't shelled out for Shimano's either.  I haven't run any wire dipseys, but I have used the Heartland rods for braid dipseys and have no complaints. Best rod I've found for the braid dipsey is the old Daiwa Linear Interline but they aren't made anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 7:45 PM, Divemaster said:

 

1) What are some of the better rods and reels for fishing with Dipsy Divers? As far as reels go, I've been looking at Okuma Convectors and Magda Pros but I'm sure there's ton out there. I've been pretty stumped looking at rods, though. The Daiwa Heartlands looks good, but the low price concerns me regarding quality.

I use the okuma blue diamonds roller rods with convector reels. stay away from magdas. I also use wire with my diver rods and rum mag divers a lot. if I am using standard divers I have diawa wilderness rods with convectors and 50 lb power pro on them.  

2) Is there any certain color of dipsy diver that works particularly well for the above mentioned fish (again: Lakers, Steelies, and Browns)? From what I've been reading, diver color isn't that important with Salmonids but I just want to make sure not to spook any away with flashy colors and if possible it'd be nice to attract some in.

Nope I buy what ever is on sale at franks at the fishing shows I have all different colors.

Quote

3) With Dipsy Divers, is there a certain brand of snubber that works better than others? I looked at the Luhr Jensen regular green/yellow ones and they seem fine but they look so stretchy that it seems like a big Laker would snap them like a rubber band. Also, after the snubber is there a certain pound test line that works best? I assume it'd be Fluorocarbon too, right?

I like the opti tackle dreamweaver brand

 

4) Moving on to Planers, what are some of the better rods and reels for fishing with inline planer boards? For this application, it seems like you want pretty heavy duty rods and reels to handle the pull of the board without taking away a lot of the fight from the fish.

I use the okuma copper rods for copper and diawa wilderness for lead core

5) When it comes to line for inline planer rods, would leadcore or copper be better for getting lures deep enough for Salmonids? I've never used either and it seems like leadcore is more forgiving and cheaper but doesn't get quite as deep while copper kinks a lot and is more expensive while sinking the lures pretty deep.

I use a mix for shorter lengths I use lead core for getting from 20 tf down all copper.

6) Last season, I was running 25 pound test monofilament going directly to a snap swivel attached to my lure on my Downrigger rods. I've been reading a lot on 'rigger rods and it seems some people prefer monofilament while others like braid. Which do you guys prefer and how heavy?

drop down to 20 big game or ande and use a good coast lock ball bearing swivel

7) Whether I run mono or braid, would you recommend a leader of any sort on Downrigger rods from the main line to the lure? If so, what type of line, how heavy, and how long?

Nope not needed

Quote

8) When you guys are trolling for lakers and steelhead, is there a certain leader length from the cannonball to the lure that works well for you? From what I've seen, lakers like short leaders (we were hammering them with 2-8' leaders from the ball) and steelhead like longer ones (20-60'). I can't seem to find that much info on Browns, sadly.

typically I set mine t about 30 back unless fishing a tight pack of boats

9) As far as trolling spoons are concerned, any particular brands you guys like? I was running all Michigan stingers last year either in regular or stingray size and did pretty well.

Dreamweaver, Silver streaks and moonshines and Pro kings. I like stingers but they get torn up way to quick. Paint falls off and they bend easy.

10) For lures in general, are there any colors that work very well for lakers, steelhead, and Browns? I caught the majority of mine last year on combos of silver, green, blue, pink, and orange with the most successful colors being in that order.

Kind of depends on the day. Go to colors are Silver Streak/ Dreamweaver:  green dolphin blue dolphin lemon ice Moonshine: dancing  anchovy perch atomic melon happy meal flounder pounder double trouble Pro king: I always have at least one in the water green glo

11) Are there any good online guides you guys could link me to regarding flies, flashers, and Dodgers. I've only read a bit about them and would like to use them this year but I'm ready very confused about shape, size, color, line, leader, etc. Also, any brands that are better than others? 

none that I really know of. Go to some of the fishing shows and sit in on the salmon talks.

12) Last but not least, what is the best trolling speed you've had luck with for the above species? Steelhead seem to like faster for us (2.2-3.0), I've been reading that Browns like it slow (1.8-2.2), and I've seen everything from 1.5-5.0 for lakers but we caught all of our's between 2.2-2.8.

2.5ish for salmon 1.8 for trout over 3 for steelies.

 

For planer board this is a good reference how to make them run better:

http://bloodruntackle.com/pro-tips/inline-planer-board-modifications-and-tips/

Quote

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Diver Setups - I like my Daiwa Accudepth Plus 47LCB reels.  I run both braid and wire off of these.  Reels with smoother drags are important for divers. For rods, I've been using Okuma dipsey rods (the ones that sell for about $35).

2) I like black or clear divers, but will run orange & yellow when fishing up higher up in the water column (diver settings on 3 or 3.5 or the smaller divers)

3) I don't use snubbers unless I'm using mag divers.  I use 20 lb test flouro leader.  Haven't snapped a fish off yet.  The snubbers you say stretch too much have several strands of heavy monofilament inside them - I would doubt you're gonna have anything snap the snubbers themselves.

4) For planer boards I run Okuma Pro GLT trolling rods - the specifically the ones made for copper trolling.  I run both longer leadcore & copper off of these rods.  For short leadcore segments and mono trolling i like the Okuma Pro GLT precision trolling rods in 7'10".

5) I use both copper & leadcore.  They both work.  I like leadcore for getting down to about 5 to 30 feet, whereas copper for 20 through 80 feet.

6) I run rigger rods like you do with 20 lb test mono.  I like the stretch of mono - and have not run braid off the riggers.  If I'm fishing spoons only, I've run down to 12 lb test on lighter rods.

7) I don't run leaders for the downrigger rods.

8) Lakers - 5 to 20 feet.  Steelhead & browns - generally 50+ for spoons.

9) Spoons... I run all sorts of spoons.  My highest used ones are Dreamweaver Super Slims, Silver Streak Mini's, Silver Streak Mags, Moonshine, Stingers.  It's easy to buy too many spoons - and then have trouble deciding what to run.

10) I just run orange & reds shallower,  greens/yellows below the orange, greens/blues below that.  Put out more of whats working if you see a pattern.

11) How would you be using flasher/fly setups?  It can be a little crazy figuring this out.  It really varies by time of year, the fish you're fishing for, what depths the fish are at...

12) Change speeds until something works.  Then replicate.  I fish from 1.8 to 4 mph.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies, everyone!

 

jdh, good to know you don't need snubber, but would they spook the fish at all if I use them? I'd be more comfortable using them just in case but if the color scares fish I'll skip them (although from last season's experience it seems like if an 8 pound lead ball two feet from the bait doesn't scare a laker then nothing will!). Also, any problem with using 25 vs 20 lb mono for the riggers?

 For flashers and flies, I'd be fishing lake trout from early April through mid June in 50-130 FOW, and then again in October in 15-60 FOW, normally always within 2-10' of the bottom at 2.2-2.8 mph and running the flashers off of either the downrigger rods or the dipsy rods. After lakers the next target will be Browns from mid June through October again close to the bottom at 1.8-2.2 mph off the same rods. And finally, for steelhead from early or mid July through October at 2.5-3.0 mph about in the middle of the water column.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 vs 20 lb mono is a trade off. If the bite on your riggers is slow, you may be better off with 17 or even 12 lb mono.  Smaller diameters pick up more fleas though fleas aren't as bad now as they were in the past.  That being said I pretty much stick with 20 Flea Flicker (no longer made).  Blood Run does make a Flea Free line, though I haven't tried it yet.

Head starting to spin yet?  Keep it simple and throw on some 20 lb Big Game.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, those fleas can be annoying. I was picking them off Downrigger cable all summer last year and had no idea what they were until a couple months ago. My head started to spin a while ago haha, I'll downsize to 20 pound test this season I'm thinking, mono stretches enough (40% I think) if I would happen to get a fish that would exert over 20 pounds of pressure (I hope!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Dr Hook said:

25 vs 20 lb mono is a trade off. If the bite on your riggers is slow, you may be better off with 17 or even 12 lb mono.  Smaller diameters pick up more fleas though fleas aren't as bad now as they were in the past.  That being said I pretty much stick with 20 Flea Flicker (no longer made).  Blood Run does make a Flea Free line, though I haven't tried it yet.

Head starting to spin yet?  Keep it simple and throw on some 20 lb Big Game.

Line weight does change the action of the spoon. We used to run 15 and went to 20 big game. We haven't noticed much of a difference in our rigger bite. going up but it is more forgiving.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I've been doing research the past week or two on some of the setups you guys have recommended and so far this is what I'm thinking. For inline planer boards: 8'6" medium power Okuma Classic Pro GLT rods with Convector CV-45D reels spooled with 100 yards of 27 pound leadcore 150 yards backing of 30 pound power pro and a 50 feet leader of 20 pound fluoro (the rod seems like it's pretty low power for inclines but I'm not sure, have any of you guys used them with inlines?). As for the dipsy setups, I'm thinking I'll probably go with Okuma Magda Pro reels with 200 yards of 30 pound braid main line and 200 yards of 20 pound mono backing. However, I'm still looking at what rod to use for the dipsies, whether I should use another model of the GLTs or something else. Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 6:28 PM, Divemaster said:

I've been doing research the past week or two on some of the setups you guys have recommended and so far this is what I'm thinking. For inline planer boards: 8'6" medium power Okuma Classic Pro GLT rods with Convector CV-45D reels spooled with 100 yards of 27 pound leadcore 150 yards backing of 30 pound power pro and a 50 feet leader of 20 pound fluoro (the rod seems like it's pretty low power for inclines but I'm not sure, have any of you guys used them with inlines?). As for the dipsy setups, I'm thinking I'll probably go with Okuma Magda Pro reels with 200 yards of 30 pound braid main line and 200 yards of 20 pound mono backing. However, I'm still looking at what rod to use for the dipsies, whether I should use another model of the GLTs or something else. Any thoughts?

Do not use magdas for divers they will not hold up and the drags suck on them for diver usage. By the time you upgrade the drag you may as well just buy convectors.

 

Where are you located?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had never seen a dipsy used before I started fishing the central basin of erie. them went out on a charter a couple of times and now use them all the time. I got my dive curve for my front diver set on a 3 setting. then I try to find out what depth the fish are and let out my front dipsy until I get the depth I want. then I set my middle dipsy on the 2 setting and let it out 20' less than my front diver. then my back diver is set on the 1 setting 20' shorter than my middle diver. I think 30# braid is the standard for divers fishing for walleyes. but the charter I used was using 65# line so that's what I started using. I also switched to the lite bite slide diver for fishing walleye. I can set the lure tension loose enough that small fish will trip my diver.

 

for running divers I like the sealine sg17lca but for salmon I would use the sg27 reels for divers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, upon further looking in to rods and reels I think these combos should work, correct me if I'm wrong though.

 

Braid Dipsies- Okuma Classic Pro GLT diver rods with Shimano Tekotas.

Inline Planers- Undecided rods but I'm thinking a pair of the heavier St. Croix Triumphs or Premiers that can take the beating of inlines on the Great Lakes without snapping like a twig with Okuma Convector CV-45D reels.

 

Just a few more questions about the setups. 

1) Is it necessary to put mono backing on braid dipsy reels or will straight 50-65 pound power pro work?

2) Has anybody here used Tekotas and if so are they quality enough to handle dipsies before I go spending $400 on a pair of them? Also, any recommended size for them?

3) Any suggestions for specifically inline planer board rods? Most places I find that sell planer board rods design them for external ones that are on the masts or reels and aren't constantly tearing and beating on the rod like inlines do at Salmonid speeds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I'll look in to wire line (any different from copper or are they the same thing?). I was just thinking braid because Erie is shallow and we only occasionally fish water deeper than 100 feet (normally in the 30-100 FOW range depending on species) and never fish deeper than 140 FOW. If I was going to go with wire, would this be an option: http://www.fishusa.com/product/Shimano-Tekota-Line-Counter-Reel-Prespooled-Wire-Line

I'm thinking I might order all the new reels prespooled so I don't have to take 2 hours to spool them all up with backing, mainline, and a leader and I know the people at cabela's would hate me if I asked them to haha.

 

Also, has anyone here used uglysticks as inline planer rods? I was looking at the Tiger Lite heavy action 7' or 7'6" models and they look pretty durable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copper has to be run like leadcore, Wire line is for dipseys or bouncing 1# wts on bottom. Two totally different applications. Most people use the wire for dipseys. It really isn't hard to Spool up a reel with Wire. 10 min. Max. No backer needed, 1000 feet 30#wire fits great on size 30 reel. Not sure size on shimanos. No leader needed either, bead(to protect tip and knot) and a good quality swivel.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Divemaster,

 

with regard to backing under the braid, you can run straight braid. It will be somewhat more expensive initially. Or you could back with mono and have say 200 yards of braid on top.

 

If you have all braid, when you decide that the braid needs to be changed out, you could take an empty reel and pull the top braid onto the new reel becoming that reels backer and then your old backer becomes your new top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone ever used the Penn Squall for trolling? I know Penn makes great reels but most don't have line counters (for saltwater trolling), the 20 size model of the Squall does, though. I was thinking of using a pair of them for dipsies, I still am considering the Tekotas as well but for $80 less (each) the Squalls seem pretty nice! The gear ratio seems a little high to me (4.9:1) for pulling divers but what do you all think? The 20 size is also the second smallest model, but it still takes 455 yards of 50# braid which in my mind is pretty impressive! I was also thinking if I used braid, the rods could be multi-purpose and I could also use them as Flatlines if I was trolling shallow, but if wire makes a big difference in the divers I'll go with that.

 

Also, I'm thinking of using a medium-heavy power Uglystick Tiger for my planer rods instead of a heavy power Tiger Lite, as some folks over at the fisherie.com forum were saying that heavy power was too stout for my primary target species.

 

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I buy the right gear that'll work well and last before I dish out a couple hundred dollars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...