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TROLLING PLATES


dfv87

Question

I am in the process of getting a new boat and am having some trouble giving up my smaller motor and the ability to troll at low speeds. My new boat will have a 90HP motor and I have heard some good things about trolling plates to slow them down. What is your opinion?
(The kind that go behind the prop to disperse the thrust of the motor.)

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Try the Cabela's Hydro-troll design. They have a nice shearpin design that will break in case you forget and leave the plate down when you speed up. Not bad for price, and they seem to work well--I've used one on my 16-ft/40hp boat, and a friend uses one on his 17-ft/90hp boat.

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On my 16-footer with a 40hp Johnson, I originally could not slow down the boat much less than about 3mph, otherwise the motor would want to cut out. 3 was a bit fast. The hydro-troll lets me run the outboard at a higher rpm, but I can limit the speed to about 0.7mph on the GPS. I actually have enough control that I can adjust in 1/10 mph increments--it's very nice.

The trolling plate doesn't really affect your boats top-end performance either. If you get the design that has the hydrofoil design, it might change things a bit, but I got the one without the fins.

If you buy this, get about a half-dozen (or more) extra shear-pins. You will forget someday, and bust the pin..or sometimes in windy conditions if you need to give it extra throttle to keep up, you'll accidentally break the pin. They're relatively easy to replace out on the water.

You will notice with this or any other trolling plate, that your steering control isn't quite as responsive as you're accustomed to (only when trolling with the plate down). You need to begin your turns earlier than usual, otherwise you might not be able to stick to your desired course. Just something to be aware of.

I also sometimes use a drift sock to slow down the boat--this might be a cheap option for you to consider. But picking up the trolling plate for about $80-100 isn't a bad idea.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

My experience with the trolling plates has been the same as cashcrews. Your maneuverability will be hampered by the plate. Turning will be exaggerated by the tiller or wheel movement. If money isn't an issue then I would opt for an electric bow mount motor.

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There are times I Troll with my 150. It also will only troll down to about 3mph. What I do to slow down is put out my drift sock, I have a med size sock. That gets me to about 1.2mph. I run it from the bow so it's not in the way(short leash). The steering gets a little strange but no real problems. It seemed like a good solution with out adding breakable parts to my motor!

It has worked great for downrigging and trolling raps on bottom boucers on LOW.

Brian

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A half dozen shear pins will last me about 2 days. Mine seem to shear constantly, even when just trolling. Maybe my 165 hp stern drive is just too much for them.
Polar Bear

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Take a 5 gallon bucket, drill some holes in it, attach a rope or chain and toss it over board!
I lost my drift sock while on a trip and a guy at the resort heard me say I had lost my sock and he came over with this rig and said give this a try, so I did. It works quite well.

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