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Thread: Yak trolling rod & reel?

  1. #1

    Default Yak trolling rod & reel?

    Is there a good reason to spend more money on reel other than Penn 309? Ratio, ease of use etc. thanks!


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Baltimore
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    1,908

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    What are you fishing for?

    My first thought is that this reel will be overkill for kayak fishing (and for most fishing in my light tackle minded opinion). I troll with a much smaller conventional reel like a Shimano Calcutta 101, or simply a 1500 size spinning reel. Trolling from a yak isn't like on a boat where you're winching in fish while the boat plows forward. In a yak, you fight the fish as if you weren't trolling and usually, if you're lucky, the fish pulls YOU, not the other way around

    Then again, it really depends what you're targeting and what kind of lures/bait you're using.

    As for the rod, I use the same rod I use for jigging or casting. Something medium-light to medium.
    Mike S.
    Hobie Outback & Oasis
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers

  3. #3

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    That is an interesting question Jimmy. I assume your talking about trolling for Big rockfish and like Chex above I think there are more versatile options from a kayak where space is limited like the ones he mentioned. I would only add that I usually assign a good value to any salt water rod and reel according to how much maintenance is required or how corrosion resistant it is. Sealed drags and bearings, brass or other highly corrosion resistant frame etc. I am the kind of absent minded, lazy man who forgets to rinse everything after a day on the water and doesn't like taking things apart to grease them every season. I have replaced many a cheap rod or real after only one season. Worst of all is going out for that first trip of the year and realizing that your reel is locked up, or that the corrosion on the rod guides keeps cutting your line.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold, MD
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    2,633

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    Abu 6500/6501 is more than enough for big rock in the kayak. You'd be fine with a 5500/5501 too.
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Co-Founder - www.chesapeakebaykayakanglers.com
    Hobie Local Kayak Fishing Team - Backyard Boats, MD


  5. #5

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    Wow, great feedback much appreciated. Yeah rock in the bay spring/fall that info would have been helpful. I'm like you dirtyjake I could take the reel apart but never get it back together. So low maintenance. I almost purchased the wrong setup yesterday and thought I'd try this first ever post. I sincerely appreciate the shared knowledge. Best of luck to all of you. Thank you


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3,686

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    I do a lot of trolling from my kayak. I used medium-heavy, medium, and medium-light spinning rods in 6' or 6'6" lengths (most are St Croix Premiers). I pair these with high quality spinning reels in 2500 or 3000 size (all are Shimano Stradics). I have caught rockfish up to 37", bluefish to 38", and a 39" black tip shark on these rigs. I even caught a 38" redfish on a medium rod and reel and 3000 series reel while fishing bait on the bottom. I have tried larger reels and longer rods in the past and do not like them for kayak use, so I sold them.

    Part of your decision should be based on what types of lures you plan to troll. If you want to troll umbrella rigs, parachutes, large crankbaits that swim erratically, or other baits that make a lot of resistance through the water, you should look for heavier gear. Likewise if you want to have your lures working at deep depths, you will need heavier lures or deeper diving crankbaits. These will necessitate heavier rods and reels to use.

    Some of the previous posters recommend revolving spool reels like baitcasters or even heavy tackle trolling gear. Since I troll only paddletails on lead heads or bucktails or the equivalent in a swim shad, I do not need to worry about very heavy rods and reels.

    Another advantage of getting a rod and reel in the range I describe above is that it is not a single-function rig. I use the same rigs for trolling, casting, and jigging.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Posts
    2,633

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    John makes a good point, you don't need a conventional reel to troll in the kayak. There is not as much stress on the reel or line out required like a boat and you can really get by doing double duty with a MH 6'6-7' jigging rod. IF you want to troll heavier bucktails/tandems, deep diving plugs, etc then you may need a stouter rod to pull those lures. I found the Shimano Teramar MH rods to be capable of this trolling task and for live lining an eel or large bunker with enough backbone to set the hook.
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Co-Founder - www.chesapeakebaykayakanglers.com
    Hobie Local Kayak Fishing Team - Backyard Boats, MD


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southern Maryland- Charles County
    Posts
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    I am in the lighter fishing tackle category with John and the majority of our forum members- I do use a lot of low profile baitcaster outfits for the Spring trophy season like John points out for trolling bigger heavier baits like a Stretch 30 or an XRap XR14 lure...I like the premium reels and rods because they last a long time and are smoother, more dependable tackle- and even though each outfit averages about $400 each, it is the less expensive in the long term...like John I favor the Shimano reels and St. Croix/Shimano rods- have several of the 2500/3000 size spinning reels and favor 6'6"/7' medium action spinning rods and medium-heavy/heavy action casting rods in the same lengths...braid is on all my reels...with either mono or floro leaders...I recently caught two large blue catfish on the casting tackle with absolutely no problem whatsoever- plenty for anything we get in the Bay or inshore...
    Last edited by ronaultmtd; 03-04-2017 at 09:53 AM.
    "Lady Luck" 2016 Red Hibiscus Outback
    "Ugly Duckling" 2010 Olive Hobie Outback
    "Wet Dream" 2011 yellow Ocean Prowler 13

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaultmtd View Post
    I am in the lighter fishing tackle category with John and the majority of our forum members- I do use a lot of low profile baitcaster outfits for the Spring trophy season like John points out for trolling bigger heavier baits like a Stretch 30 or an XRap XR14 lure...I like the premium reels and rods because they last a long time and are smoother, more dependable tackle- and even though each outfit averages about $400 each, it is the less expensive in the long term...like John I favor the Shimano reels and St. Croix/Shimano rods- have several of the 2500/3000 size spinning reels and favor 6'6"/7' medium action spinning rods and medium-heavy/heavy action casting rods in the same lengths...braid is on all my reels...with either mono or floro leaders...I recently caught two large blue catfish on the casting tackle with absolutely no problem whatsoever- plenty for anything we get in the Bay or inshore...
    Let me start by stating that I have been crabbing for 5 years on a yak and I made my traps from garden wire and my daughters noodle. So I am frugal and/or cheap. I do buy item of value when I research the purchase first. Like the Hobie yak. Used btw. The goal is to catch n eat rockfish spring summer and fall, so using a versatile rod and reel is desired. So do I want deep diving lures? Umbrella rigs? Tandems? Or buck tails on the top of the column? I have googled the reels and rods suggested above, the recommendations are greatly appreciated. The season is almost upon us so I need to make a decision. Do I buy two rod n reels at $400/each or continue to do it cheaply? Thanks again.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southern Maryland- Charles County
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    Spring Trophy season is a one time deal...although late fall the eating habits get back to bigger baits...most of the year I use three and four inch swimbaits- mostly Sea Assassins and ZMan soft plastic paddle tails with 1/4 and 3/8 oz jigheads- and I was very successful last year using these baits- white and chartruese bodies produced 95% of all my fish- I use about four lures exclusively- a top water tsunami 5 1/2 inch popper when fishing top water- Menhaden color XRap jerk baits, red/white Stretch 27 for Spring trophy trolling in deeper waters and soft plastic paddle tails on jigheads- for the top water popper I use a 3000 spinning reel with 15# braid and 2 feet of 20 pound floro leader on a 7' SE Teramar medium action spinning rod- for trolling the paddletails I use 2500 reels with 10 and 12# braid with 2 feet of 15# floro leader...for trolling the XRaps and Stretch crankbaits I use Revo NACL Toro Winch reels loaded with 30# braid and 2 feet of 25# floro leader on St. Croix Avid X medium heavy and heavy action 6'6" and 7' rods...once the Spring Trophy season is over I use Spinning tackle exclusively until late fall when the big baits work again...I would suggest a good medium priced 3000 reel like a Penn Battle on a 7' Ugly Stick lite medium action rod with 12-15# braid would do you very well...
    "Lady Luck" 2016 Red Hibiscus Outback
    "Ugly Duckling" 2010 Olive Hobie Outback
    "Wet Dream" 2011 yellow Ocean Prowler 13

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