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Rod Jump to the top of this page
Lamiglass Rod

The main thing here is to get a rod that is limber enough to see action of lure.  You don't want to use a stiff "cue stick" that is too stiff to see the lure action.  On the other hand, you don't want to use a limber kokanee rod that is too limp to fight a big striper.

The Mark Wilson Lamiglas model XCC795STRIPER was custom designed by delta trolling guru Mark Wilson.  If you have the cash, this is surely is a great high end rod.  I'm currently using the Shakespeare CA 1170-1M Ugly Stik Lite.  This is a 7 foot rod with medium light action rated for 10-20 lb line.  It will run you about forty bucks.

Reel Jump to the top of this page

Choose a mid-sized bait casting reel with a nice smooth drag and a clicker.  If possible, get a reel with a line counter.  Since I use lefty reels, I stick with Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur model 6501 C3 reels.  Lefty reels are hard to find with line counters, so I use line counters that clip onto the rod blank in front of the reel.

Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur Reel

As a shortcut, count the number of times the level wind goes back and forth and note how much line went out.  The next time you let out your line you can just count the level wind instead of dealing with the line counter.  You can also mark out distances on your line using a permanent marker (just hope you don't lose line in a snag!)

Shakespeare line counter

Main Line Jump to the top of this page

I use Power Pro 30 lb test for trolling.  The big advantage of using braided lines while trolling is the lack of stretch.  You can detect the action of the lure much better with braid than with monofilament.  This is helpful to detect when weeds and debris collect on your lure.  It also gives you a better hook set.

Another big advantage is the thin diameter of braid.  Thirty pound test braid is equal to 8 lb test monofilament.  This helps your lure dive deeper due to less water resistance.  In turn, you have to let out less line to get to the same depth you would have reached with monofilament.  With braid you let out 150' to get a Bomber B16 down to 7' deep.  With monofilament you would have to let out about 230' of line to get to 7' deep.

Power Pro Superbraid

You are generally safe trolling with braid because you don't normally encounter objects that could fray your line like rocks.  If you scrape any objects check your line for frays!

There area a couple of other things to keep in mind while using braid.  For one, do not use clinch knots.  Use the Palomar knot, and leave about 1/4 tag remaining.  Also, older metal guides may groove from braided line.  Newer rods should be braid-friendly.

Leader Line Jump to the top of this page

I use 25 lb test Maxima Leader Material for my leaders.  I normally use about a 4' leader when trolling.

Maxima Leader Material

Setup Jump to the top of this page

Use at least 50 lb test rated snaps and swivels.  Donít use pointed snaps because they donít allow the lure to wiggle correctly.  Use duo-lock style snaps.  Your trolling setup should go something like this:
  • 30 lb test super braid main line
  • 150# barrel swivel
  • 48" long 25 lb test monofilament leader
  • 50# test snap with a round tip (duo-lock style)
  • Diving lure with 4X strong hooks
  • White plastic worm (straight - no curly tail)

Trolling Setup

Hooks Jump to the top of this page

The first thing you need to do after you buy a lure is to change out the factory supplied hooks.  The worst feeling in the world is having a striper slam your lure only to lose it because the hooks straightened out.  I use Gamakatsu or Owner 4X strong hooks.  In some cases, I will also replace the factory split rings. Owner Hook

Worm Tail Jump to the top of this page
Bomber B16J with worm tail

You will want to add a white worm tail to most of your lures.  Use the straight worms, not the curly tail worms.  Curly tail worms will mess up the action or your lure.  Some popular choices are Zoom brand 'Trick Worms' and 'Strike King 3X Elaztech Finesse Worm'.  When you attach the worm, thread the first 1/4" of the worm onto a hook and push it as far up as possible.  Choose the hook which is closest to the centerline of the lure.  This will assure that your lure won't pull to one side.  If the action of the lure looks wrong or the lure pulls to one side adjust the worm.  Worm tails make lures run more shallow than normal.  Use this as a tool to adjust depth when needed.  If needed, use a drop of super glue on the hook shank to keep fish from pulling off the worm.

Skirt Jump to the top of this page

Some people add a skirt to the rear hook. You can add a hoochie, flashabou, or a shrimp skirt to give the lure some added flashiness.  I personally don't add skirts to my lures.

Scent Jump to the top of this page

I use scents occasionally, but not under normal circumstances.  When you troll, you are getting a reaction strike from the fish.  They most likely don't have time to smell a lure going by at 5 mph!  On the other hand, it can't hurt either.  Sometimes I will use Bang shad scent or Pro-Cure gel on my lures.

Pro-Cure Bait Butter

Chapter 11 >