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Various Trolling Questions


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Lately, I've been working on a reference guide to have on our boat for the season with the most important information about all of the species we'll be targeting this year. I have been able to find the majority of the information that I need, but preferred water temperatures for each species seems to vary greatly with each source I check. So far, this table looks to be the most reliable, but what do you all think? Do these water temperatures seem to hold true when you're targeting the fish on here? http://www.fishhawkelectronics.com/salmon-walleye-fishing/preferred-water-temperature.html

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Got my Downrigger reels spooled up earlier today. The local shop didn't carry the big game trilene that I used last year so I spooled both up with 20# Trilene XL instead. That should still be strong enough for Lakers and Steelhead, I assume?

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Okay, sounds good. 20# mono is already pretty strong plus the lakers we catch only average 5-20 pounds with the steelhead being 3-15 pounds so it's not like we're trying to catch musky or salmon. Although, we may try fishing Lake O sometime this year for Chinook's if we get a chance.

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On January 6, 2016 at 7:45 PM, Divemaster said:

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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?............

There are lots of ways to rig dipsies.  The following works for me and should help shorten your learning curve.  Starting out, I recommend getting setup with braid divers for this year.  A Heartland Dipsey rod with ceramic guides is sufficient and won't break the bank.  Don't get talked into a wire rod for your first dipsey set-up. A wire set-up is not as forgiving, and costs at least twice as much. Rod length is in part personal preference but also influenced by your boat and how you have it rigged.  Judging from your enthusiasim you will eventualy be running mulitple dipsies per side.  A nine or ten foot dipsey rod is a good length to start. When you move up to two dipsies a side, this set-up will make a good high diver.  The high diver is going to be your longest dipsey rod.  If you think you might eventually run three dipsies a side, get ten foot rods now.  

You need smooth drags on your dipsies. If you like Okuma reels get the Convector or Clarion line counters in at least a 45 size. The Magda may not hold up.

Dipsey size is more important than the color.  If you run Luhr Jenson's, the #1 size with a large ring, on the 3 setting, will run down 1' for every 3' of line out.   When you find a size you like, stick with it so you learn how deep it runs.  The braid setup I've suggested can reach 100' depth.

I like clear rubber snubbers in front of mono or floro leaders.  If I'm running a spoon or plug, I'll use 17# - 20# florocarbon leader.  If I'm running a flasher, I'll run 25# - 30# mono leader.

 

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Thanks for the tips, bad dog! So if I'm running the dipsy diver with a base plate setting of 3, would that increase my chances of tangling with my planer board line! Also, how much line do you all tend to let out for inline planers after attaching them to the line? I don't want to have them so close that they'll snag my diver lines but I also don't want other boats to be running them over if everyone is on a school of fish.

 

I did buy all my setups the other day for those wondering what I'm working with and they seem to match up with the specifications everyone is saying works best for the application. For the two diver rods I got 9'0" medium power Okuma Classic Pro GLTs and Shimano Tekota 600LC reels spooled with 30# green braid. The inline planer setups are 7'6" medium/heavy power St. Croix Triumph Musky rods and Okuma Convector CV-45D reels spooled with 27# leadcore and a 50' leader of 20# fluorocarbon.

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On January 6, 2016 at 7:45 PM, Divemaster said:

So if I'm running the dipsy diver with a base plate setting of 3, would that increase my chances of tangling with my planer board line! Also, how much line do you all tend to let out for inline planers after attaching them to the line? I don't want to have them so close that they'll snag my diver lines but I also don't want other boats to be running them over if everyone is on a school of fish.....

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......

More rods equals more tangles.  Some guys have a better 3D vision of where each lure runs in relation to the others.  I imagine a dive master just pokes his head down below for a peek (sorry I couldn't help myself).  Knowing where everything is will help avoid tangles, and you will know what to do when lines do eventually get crossed.  It's gonna happen.  It may be your fault, or it may be a fish on a run.  

Tangles with planers usually occur when a dispey releases and raises into the lead core.  If you are only running one dispey, you can set the base plate on 2 to keep it closer to the boat.  Lots of backing on the planer rod is important and helps keep boards away from the boat.  How much lead core and how much backing are you putting on the Convectors?  If you haven't spooled up your board rods yet, get bright colored backing.  For short cores and big reels 30# mono backing is good.  If you want to get as much lead core as possible on the 45 Convectors, use braid backing.

As you've discovered, getting rigged for salmon is an expensive proposition. Like jmohunts mentioned, there are some deals on good used equipment out there.  

I didn't see anything about your boat and it's layout.  What is it, and how many rods will you run?  How about the inline boards, do you have them yet?  

 

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22 minutes ago, Bad Dog said:

More rods equals more tangles.  Some guys have a better 3D vision of where each lure runs in relation to the others.  I imagine a dive master just pokes his head down below for a peek (sorry I couldn't help myself).  Knowing where everything is will help avoid tangles, and you will know what to do when lines do eventually get crossed.  It's gonna happen.  It may be your fault, or it may be a fish on a run.  

Tangles with planers usually occur when a dispey releases and raises into the lead core.  If you are only running one dispey, you can set the base plate on 2 to keep it closer to the boat.  Lots of backing on the planer rod is important and helps keep boards away from the boat.  How much lead core and how much backing are you putting on the Convectors?  If you haven't spooled up your board rods yet, get bright colored backing.  For short cores and big reels 30# mono backing is good.  If you want to get as much lead core as possible on the 45 Convectors, use braid backing.

As you've discovered, getting rigged for salmon is an expensive proposition. Like jmohunts mentioned, there are some deals on good used equipment out there.  

I didn't see anything about your boat and it's layout.  What is it, and how many rods will you run?  How about the inline boards, do you have them yet?  

 

Yup, I normally just put on my tank and BCD and just climb down the Downrigger cables to see where the lures are LOL. My original plan was to run them on the number two base plate setting but I wasn't sure if keeping it farther away from the boat would get more strikes. I ordered the convectors prespooled actually so they're coming with a 50 feet leader of 20# fluorocarbon then 10 colors (300 feet) of 27# leadcore and finally 450 feet of 30# braid backing. We do have the planers already and they're offshore OR-12s.

 

As for my boat, it's a 1997 Sea Ray 21.5' Express Cruiser. Main engine is a 260hp I/O with the trolling motor being a Minn Kota saltwater riptide (160 pounds of thrust). Unfortunately the back deck isn't very open compared to other boats but it still works nicely for 1-3 guys and maybe even a 4th. 90-95% of the time it's just my dad and I fishing so during that time we can only run 6 rods max (2 downriggers, 2 divers, and 2 planers). 

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Wish I would have seen this earlier.  One of the other main reason for using wire dipseys is they do not hold fleas.  They attach to braid like crazy.  So basically if the fleas are thick you may have to take your dipseys out of your spread or reel them in the clean them off every 30 minutes or so.  I also run 25lb big game to keep the fleas down.  The bigger diameter of the line helps to keep the fleas from being able to hook onto the line.  As someone else mentioned flea flicker line is the best option.  I used to run 200 feet of it on top of my regular line when the fleas got bad but it got expensive switching it out so I just run with bigger line.  Very rarely do I have a day where the riggers do not play a major role in my bite ratio.  In the scheme of things you might only have 3 -5 weeks out of the year where the fleas are bad nowadays it seems.  But Erie might get more than Michigan.  Haven't fished the East basin before.

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On March 29, 2016 at 11:49 AM, Divemaster said:

Lately, I've been working on a reference guide to have on our boat for the season with the most important information about all of the species we'll be targeting this year. I have been able to find the majority of the information that I need, but preferred water temperatures for each species seems to vary greatly with each source I check. So far, this table looks to be the most reliable, but what do you all think? Do these water temperatures seem to hold true when you're targeting the fish on here? http://www.fishhawkelectronics.com/salmon-walleye-fishing/preferred-water-temperature.html

Bump for this ^. I'm aiming to finish it this week because we're launching next weekend and I'm hoping these temp ranges are pretty accurate.

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On April 15, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Divemaster said:

Bump for this ^. I'm aiming to finish it this week because we're launching next weekend and I'm hoping these temp ranges are pretty accurate.

Bump again lol.

 

On a different note from water temp, how much line do you all let out from the reel after attaching the leadcore (or whatever line you use) to an inline planer board? I've heard everything from 50-200' of line out after you clip on the board. 

 

We'll be putting in for the year this Saturday so hopefully I'll have some nice fish from this year to finally post here after months of stream fishing for almost nothing other than 10-18" inland stocked trout haha.

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1 hour ago, mrhookup said:

What port are you fishing out of?

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Fishing Lakers in the main lake off of the town of Northeast, PA and Steelhead/Browns on Presque Isle Bay in Erie, PA.

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We have about 20-30' of line from our planer boards to the knot where the leadcore or copper starts to allow it to sink just a bit more. Distance from the rod to the planer board doesn't really matter so much, just get them spaced out a comfortable distance from the boat and eyeball it.

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2 hours ago, mrhookup said:

We have about 20-30' of line from our planer boards to the knot where the leadcore or copper starts to allow it to sink just a bit more. Distance from the rod to the planer board doesn't really matter so much, just get them spaced out a comfortable distance from the boat and eyeball it.

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So you're saying get your entire fluoro leader out (in my case, 50 feet), then let 20-30 feet of leadcore out before clipping it off to the board, correct? 

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On April 15, 2016 at 10:34 AM, Divemaster said:

Bump for this ^. I'm aiming to finish it this week because we're launching next weekend and I'm hoping these temp ranges are pretty accurate.

It's a good starting point. Don't get wrapped up in thinking temp is a hard rule. Your link is pretty good info though. 

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9 hours ago, Divemaster said:

So you're saying get your entire fluoro leader out (in my case, 50 feet), then let 20-30 feet of leadcore out before clipping it off to the board, correct? 

I'm not sure I fully understand either.

You don't want to attach your board to the leadcore, only your backing. I think what he was saying was some people like to clip the board on right after the lead core but he likes to let more line out before clipping the board on to allow the lead core to sink more and to get the board away from the knot. I do the same thing for the same reason. 

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I'm not sure I fully understand either.

You don't want to attach your board to the leadcore, only your backing. I think what he was saying was some people like to clip the board on right after the lead core but he likes to let more line out before clipping the board on to allow the lead core to sink more and to get the board away from the knot. I do the same thing for the same reason. 

This is what I meant, don't clip the board to the leadcore.

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5 minutes ago, mrhookup said:

This is what I meant, don't clip the board to the leadcore.

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You can't clip the board to the leadcore at all?! That's going to be a problem for me considering we have reels loaded with 10 colors (300') of leadcore after 50' of fluoro. Not only is that too much line to have out in Presque Isle Bay (Max depth 35') with boats cruising around but that's going to sink lines way further down. It will be very helpful for deep water later in the year, though. It's hard to imagine that everyone is always running all of their leadcore, but I guess if you have enough reels to have some spooled up with different amounts then it wouldn't be a problem.

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You can't clip the board to the leadcore at all?! That's going to be a problem for me considering we have reels loaded with 10 colors (300') of leadcore after 50' of fluoro. Not only is that too much line to have out in Presque Isle Bay (Max depth 35') with boats cruising around but that's going to sink lines way further down. It will be very helpful for deep water later in the year, though. It's hard to imagine that everyone is always running all of their leadcore, but I guess if you have enough reels to have some spooled up with different amounts then it wouldn't be a problem.

You'll want a different reel with different lengths of leadcore. What I suggest if you have limited reels is to make a shorter length like 2 or 3 colors and then a longer length like 7 or 8. Then you can buy one spool of line (full core/10 colors) and get two setups out of it. You can use the shorter lengths for running on inline planer setups shallow, but it can also double as an SWR off your downrigger to get that stealth approach down deeper. Leadcore isn't a one size fits all, but shorter sections will give you more flexibility since you can always go "deeper". If you have a 10 color your only option to stay shallower is to run it right off the back of the boat and only let out some of the line. Another option is using shorter sections and adding a swivel between your leadcore and mono backing. Then hook a weight to it, just gets you deeper but hard to do that behind boards.

Short term I suggest starting small because it allows you more versatility. Long term you'll end up with more reels with different amounts of leadcore... It just happens.

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26 minutes ago, Divemaster said:

You can't clip the board to the leadcore at all?! That's going to be a problem for me considering we have reels loaded with 10 colors (300') of leadcore after 50' of fluoro. Not only is that too much line to have out in Presque Isle Bay (Max depth 35') with boats cruising around but that's going to sink lines way further down. It will be very helpful for deep water later in the year, though. It's hard to imagine that everyone is always running all of their leadcore, but I guess if you have enough reels to have some spooled up with different amounts then it wouldn't be a problem.

Correct. Do not attach a board to your lead core. Unfortunately this isn't a "buy one reel with 10 colors and fish every depth" scenario. If you want to target multiple depths, you'll need multiple setups. I have six: 2,3,5,8,10,12 colors. Then there's copper...

 

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11 minutes ago, Hockey390 said:

You'll want a different reel with different lengths of leadcore. What I suggest if you have limited reels is to make a shorter length like 2 or 3 colors and then a longer length like 7 or 8. Then you can buy one spool of line (full core/10 colors) and get two setups out of it. You can use the shorter lengths for running on inline planer setups shallow, but it can also double as an SWR off your downrigger to get that stealth approach down deeper. Leadcore isn't a one size fits all, but shorter sections will give you more flexibility since you can always go "deeper". If you have a 10 color your only option to stay shallower is to run it right off the back of the boat and only let out some of the line. Another option is using shorter sections and adding a swivel between your leadcore and mono backing. Then hook a weight to it, just gets you deeper but hard to do that behind boards.

Short term I suggest starting small because it allows you more versatility. Long term you'll end up with more reels with different amounts of leadcore... It just happens.

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Okay, I'll have to remember that for next year since we already have them both spooled with 10 colors. I like to idea of 3 colors on one and 7 colors on another though, it'll save some money on spools too! I guess we'll be flatlining this weekend when we're shallow, which will work fine for now. But like I said earlier, 10 colors will be very helpful in a month or two when Lakers are holding on the bottom in 70-110'+ of water.

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