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  1. Basin tactics 2, leadcore

    One tactic this time of year that tends to excel in larger rivers and lakes is trolling leadcore line for walleyes. Basic tackle is a large capacity level wind reel and a 7-9' medium action trolling rod. I recommend a trolling rod as the taper is made to troll nonstretch lines like leadcore or superbraids. A line counter reel can be very helpful to replicate your presentation when targeting suspended fish but leadcore line is colored every 30' and you can get by with letting out line by how many colors you have out as well. Leadcore line is a dacron sheath around a fine lead filament and the additional weight of the filament is what causes the line to sink. A basic rule to follow is 5 feet of depth for each color you have in the water when travelling at 2 mph. In most lakes and rivers, 4-6 colors of leadcore will suffice with 6 getting you to the 30' plus range depndeing on your presentation and trolling speed. Leadcore is speed dependent so slowing down will get you slightly deeper and speeding up will raise your presentation slightly due to the water resistance against the line. This scenario is also true in rivers where current may cause the need to let out additional line to get your baits in the strike zone. For most presentations 27# leadcore is sufficient to cross over between walleyes and salmon fishing and there is really a negligible difference between 18# and 36# leadcore as far as sink rate. A mono leader of 10# line between the leadcore and the bait to be presented is the next addition to the arsenal. To attach the leader you will need to push the dacron sheath down to exspose 6-8" of the lead filament, cut the filament off and tie the mono leader to the dacron sheath. A double uni knot or a nail knot work nicely and I have even seen guys use back to back clinch knots. Leader lengths can vary from 10-50' depending on the lures used. The important thing to note is if you are going to troll diving crankbaits like slamo hornets or shad raps you will need to know the dive depth for that particular lure with the amount of mono leader that you have on as the baits will dive an additional few feet deeper then what the leadcore is achieving. So for instance, I have three colors of leadcore out and a 50' leader with a #5 shad rap. I know the leadcore will get me down 15' and that a #5 shad rap will reach an additional 8' on 50' of 10# mono for a total depth of 23'. When working with spinner rigs or stick baits your rigs will generally run just 2-3 feet deeper then the leadcore and it may take a bit of experimenting to get your baits right in the zone that you want to attack. This tactic can be particularly deadly on lakes with thermoclines and where suspended forage like whitefish or tullibees are present and allows you to target fish suspended out over the basin or sitting just above the thermocline that you would not normally be able to reach with just standard diving baits. Tightlines and good luck on the water! Tunrevir~