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Best Mooching Rods and Reels?

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Best Mooching Rods and Reels?

Does anyone here use mooching setups for Great Lakes trolling? This seems to be more of a west coast method but it's also slowly growing in popularity on the Great Lakes. I'm considering buying a pair of them to use as my Downrigger rods this season but wanted to get some feedback from guys who've trolled with this style of rod and reel before. The single action reel has to make the fight of any fish even more fun, almost like using a fly reel, which is my preferred method of angling if practical, not to mention I'll bet the maintenance of this type of reel is a lot less than line counter level winds. The longer rods with a slow action also sound great but at the same time I'm not a fan of only having an 8.5" rear grip in the rod holder if a big Steelie starts going aerial and storing a rod over 10' could definitely be problematic, though I'd say it'd be worth it for all of the benefits this type of combo offers.

 

If I do end up buying a couple setups, I was thinking the Shimano Convergence rods in 10'6" medium-power, slow-action, 1-4 ounce presentations with either the Daiwa M-One UTD or Shimano GT-4000 reels and 20# or 25# mono. The Islander MR3s and Daiwa Raws both look great too, but I don't have that kind of money to throw around at the moment haha. Any thoughts on the best rods and reels for someone just starting out with this type of trolling? The main species I'll be targeting will be Lake Trout (5-30#), Steelhead (1-20#), Brown Trout (1-20#), Pink Salmon (1-5#), Walleye (3-15#), Drum (2-30#), and White Bass (.5-6#) on eastern Lake Erie with the occasional trip to Lake Ontario for Lakers, Chinooks, Cohos, Atlantics, Steelhead, and Browns.

 

Thanks for the help, all!

-Sean

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Since no one else is responding,

I'm not a big lake fishermen per say but I do a lot fishing around the piers and surf.

I picked up a new G Loomis EX6 this past summer. It is advertised as being an excellent "mooching" rod. Don't know about all that. I got it for fishing the pier and surf. Its 10'6" and has what I call a "surf style" butt section. ie...the butt section is quite long. Sounds like that's something you were looking for.

What sold me on it is its so light, yet its strong. Not really a rod I would use for drift fishing because the butt section is too long and makes it uncomfortable for that type of fishing. I have used it to cast spoons but mostly I got it for fishing slip rigs with alewives. For that it works perfectly. Nice and long and even though its extremely light weight it has a really strong spine. Handles big salmon really well. I like it :) 

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We ran mooching reels on riggers and board rods for two years, started using them on our small 16' boat running 6-8 lines and they worked well. Diawa M-One have stronger drags than the Shimano's and they don't have creep, the Shimano's were almost unusable for that reason. We just switched back over to conventional stuff this last May/June because they were too much work using with 4 planer boards per side on our new bigger boat. We even ran copper off of them but the 1:1 just is too inefficient to make that fun and if you get a newbie on the rod they forget to watch where the line is going on the reel; with no line guide we had a lot of instances where it piled up on one side. That isn't a problem with 20lb mono though so they always worked well for riggers. As for the rod, those big long mooching rods aren't needed IMO, we literally used 7' Cabela's Whuppin sticks and they were a blast to catch fish on.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Great Lakes Fisherman mobile app

 

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Phishtix, thanks for the info, do you recall what model of the E6X you're using? I have a couple E6X spinning rods and love them, but for use as downrigger rods, they're a tad expensive haha.

 

mrhookup, that's good to know! I was partial to the Daiwa due to quality but now I have someone with experience with both reels to confirm that. Yeah I can imagine that having copper on 1:1 reels with no levelwind might get a bit messy lol. I do a lot of fly fishing though (more than I troll or boat fish, actually), so I've got experience guiding line on to that style of reel. Do you have a preference for 20# vs 25# mono? I haven't noticed much of a difference myself, and I can fit a few extra yards of the former on any given reel than the latter, my only concern is the strain when running Dodgers and flashers at high speeds, etc.. I'll have to look in to different rods, 7' might be a tad short for me but something in the 9' range would be perfect for storage and still long enough for a good fight, though I don't believe any true "mooching" rods are made at that shorter length.

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My first passion is fly fishing as well, been doing it since I could walk so the guiding the line thing wasn't and issue for me, but when you take friends and have to explain over and over what you mean by that well it just doesn't end well. Again on downriggers with mono it wasn't an issue tho. We run 20lb for spoons and 30lb for flashers on our rigger rods. I keep an extra set of reels and swap out depending on what I'm using. If I had to pic one I'd go with 25lb but run fluorocarbon. If you search my older posts on here you'll see some pictures of my rigs before I switched back over.


Sent from my iPhone using Great Lakes Fisherman mobile app

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Anyone here use the 9' TFO mooching rods? http://templeforkoutfitters.ca/9-downrigger-mooching-rod-blue-blank.html

 

The shorter length is nice but at over double the price of the Convergence and still the same short rear grip (8.5"), I'm skeptical.

 

Ideally, something 9'0" with a slow action, medium power, and 10-12"+ rear grip would be perfect for me, maybe just a standard downrigger rod? But then I believe the guides are different between conventional and mooching style trolling rods, with mooching guides being more similar to those on a spinning rod.

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Earl, I don't believe that mooching rods have triggers considering the reel is on the bottom of the rod, maybe you're thinking of the conventional casting rod setups they use for the non-trolling mooching technique out west.

 

 

On a side note, I measured my downrigger rod holders yesterday and they're much shorter than I remembered, only about 7.5", which means that the 8.5" butts on the mooching rods will be suitable. So, I'm thinking that the setups I'll be going with will be the Shimano Convergence rods in 10'6", medium power slow action and the Daiwa M-One UTD reels with 25 pound mono.

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