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A general trolling question


BlackwaterStout

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I've been reading about species specific trolling and have learned a lot about depths, baits, speeds, etc. But I'm looking for some general info regarding gear and how that gear is used.

If I'm trolling with heavier gear for muskie (Abu 7000/7' medium heavy rod, 50lb power pro) what kind of drag setting should I be using? Should I be using the clicker or will the lure action cause line to be pulled through the clicker. Will a tight drag cause me to loose fish or possibly break my equipment?

If I'm using a lighter setup for walleye (Abu 6500 or maybe a bass type spinning reel, 7' medium action graphite rod, 15 pound power pro) what type of drag setting should be used there? Obvisouly there would be no cliker option on a spinning reel.

Are spinning reels (ie Pflueger President) appropriate for trolling walleyes?

Lastly, how would trolling with mono versus braid effect my drag settings? Obvisouly the mono has a lot more stretch so I'd theorize I'd need a stiffer drag. But I'm no expert.

What do you guys think?

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Trolling the braids can be very effective whe fishing the toothie critters, but you may want to consider the bait type for the waldos.

If you are dragging cranks for the walleyes while using the braid, use a softer rod....like a fiberglass or a glass/ composite....to help absorb the shock of a hitting fish. You'll lose far fewer fish with a forgiving rod.

If you are using live bait and braids, you may need to allow the rod to drop back for a five to ten count before hitting the hookset. That braid will signal the fish simply picking up the bait and not actually have enough of it in the chops for the hook to bite. Mono stretches and by the time you see a hit the fish has done its eating and an immediate hookset is prefereable.

A musky hit on a trolled lure while using braids of 50 pounds will be something else. Again with the braids I'd go with a softer rod or glass. Still, to avoid tackle breakage or severly injured and missed fish, I'd have the drag set so it slips at about 15 pounds- perhaps a bit less, maybe a bit more. The fish will likely be hooked solid right off the bat and you can adjust the drag accordingly when you have better control of the situation, rod in hand and knowing how big of a fish you are dealing with.

Myself, I'd forget the clicker.

The tackle/reels you mention are worthy of the tasks you decribe. The question about how the drag is affected when using the different lines will still fall back more on the kind of rod make-up than the line itself, in my opinion. Just remember that the monos have an inherant stretch to them that offers a degree of cushioning to your hits while the braids are really quite absolute and have little forgiveness in them. Braids, I think, are over kill for the walleyes unless you do nothing but vertical jig them in deep water. On the other hand, braids have a proven track record in the musky and large pike arena. You have to be aware of the drawbacks for specific uses and gear up accordingly other-wise you can end up with damaged tackle, injured or lost fish and go away from the water pretty frustrated.

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So generally speaking mono would probably fit my needs better than braid? The rods I will use to troll for muskie will be 7 and 8 foot medium heavy ugly stick rods that are glass.

I do have some medium action glass rods that are 6.5 and 7 feet in length that I could use for Walleye trolling. Maybe I'll use the graphite rods with some braid while jigging live bait.

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I was only suggesting that you use a glass or a composite rod, like your U Sticks, for the trolling and even then to lighten up on the drag. My personal experience with the braids has been iffy when trolling waldos, especially when doing live bait. When trolling lures like cranks or sticks though, you should be ok as long as the drag is set to slip at the hit.

The braid is something that you have to toy with to find your place with it. Honestly, I haven't the need to use it often and I have two spare spools filled with PowerPro 1/8 in the bag should I find the need for it. And then it is , or would be, only to jig vertically.

I get nervous around the stuff. I have seen rods snapped and reels fried when a a rock or wood got the lure fouled and the line didn't break. I have seen people with injuries from broken rods too. I'd rather have to re-tie than chance a broken rod or burned out drag.

Some people love the stuff, others hate it. I border on being the latter.

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I love braid for trolling, it is the only thing that I will personally use. I only troll for walleyes and usually in circumstances when the eye's are relating to weed edges. So using a braid allows me to instantly know if the lure is fouled or dragging a weed, telegraphing to the rod tip. A couple quick snaps and you can usually clear the lure, minimizing lost fishing time you might incur with using mono in the same circumstance. However when pulling spinners on three ways I prefer a mono for the fact the stretch allows the fish time to get a hook in the mouth by just dropping the rod tip back about 5 feet and sweeping it forward. Jigging I usually prefer a mono or flourocarbon as with live bait rigging, due mostly to water clarity where I fish, I suppose a mono leader on a braid would perform well, I personally don't use this approach, but would it be a good compromise. But when fishing the rivers I still like a mono because of the snag issues, much easier to break mono than a braid and usually more abrasion resistant.

As far as drag settings and such, I primarily fish MN where only one line is legal and therefore always hang on to the rod rather than place in a rod holder. This way I can feel excactly what is going on and I do not need to have the drag loosened, if the lure hangs up I simply drop the rod tip back and hit the freespool while I turn around. I suppose if using a rod holder it would be necessary to back the drag off a bit like Tom stated in order to avoid the problems he talked about.

It sounds like you have the equipment otherwise dialed in as far as rod type and the such. Braids and mono and flourocarbon for that matter all have there place and time, you just need to experiment to find out the system that best works for you.

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I troll with superbraid and mono in different situations (walleyes are pretty much the only fish I troll for). Planer boards in open water is always mono, flatlines (contour trolling) is always a superbraid. Occasionally I troll boards on superlines if I want extra depth from the lures, but in general boards work better with mono.

Stratosman is right on about the sensitivity and being able to detect and clear small weeds with superbraids - can't do that with mono. Greater running depths from using thinner lines is another benefit.

I don't use glass or composite rods anymore, even when pulling boards. I have glass and composite rods and used to use them but I have replaced them all with graphite and the other ones sit in the corner of my garage. Boards do not harm or break graphite rods, neither will superbraids, and you want the extra sensitivity when trolling flatlines. Plus it's just more fun to catch fish on light graphite rods than on mushy glass rods.

You want the drag tight enough to drive the hooks home when a fish bites, but no tighter. If you snag up you want the drag to go easily. I have my drag just loose enough that the biggest fish might occasionally take a little drag when they strike, but any looser and you'll miss some fish that bite.

For jigging I prefer mono, for livebait rigging I sometimes use mono and sometimes use a superbraid. It's personal preference, I just get more hookups with mono. About the only time I use superbraid with live bait is in very deep water (even in 40 feet I still use mono) or sometimes in current.

A couple words of warning with superbraids. If you get snagged, don't try to pull the line free with your bare hand (the superline will cut your finger to the bone). And don't pull and pull against a snag with your rod or you could snap the rod. Reel down tight and point your rod right at the line and pull straight back and you might pull it free or straighten the hooks, or pop the knot. Or use a leather glove or towel to protect your hand. And as others have mentioned, when using superbraids go with a lighter drag setting to compensate for the lack of stretch in the line.

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Thanks guys. That is all good info. I'll add it to my arsenal. You guys ever use dipsy divers and snubbers?

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I have dipsys but rarely use them for walleyes. I have caught walleyes on them but usually do better without the dipsy for walleyes.

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I'll tend to go with the Jet Divers (a cousing of the Dipsy). With the shallow models you can get by with thinner mono than Dipsy's; besides they'll float up when you stop. I've had some luck running floating rapalas behind the jet diver.

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  • 1 month later...

Braids are great for musky and walleye trollingset drags snug but not to snug its hard to explain if you want do something differnt try monel steel no strench at all set drag light. lots of fun. i found over the years holding the rod makes big differnce instead off rod holders for musky. alot of times the strike is so fast the fish is moving faster than trolling speed slack line.give boat more speed while setting them sharpened hooks home. DLK. MUSKY ARE FUN BUT FOR ME A 60 POUND FLAT IS THE BEST GOOD LUCK.

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