Tips & Techniques >
Striped Bass >
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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
I use 25 lb test Maxima Leader Material for my leaders. I
normally use about a 4' leader when trolling.
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)
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
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
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.
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.
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.