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Thread: Trolling with a Surf rod

  1. #1
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    Default Trolling with a Surf rod

    Now here me out on this. Has anyone ever tried to use a say 8-10 foot surf rod while trolling?? Here's my thinking; you have say 2ea. 10' surf rods running horizontally out to the sides. This would give you about say somewhere around 20' between the tips. You could then run 2 more standard rods vertically behind you with the angle set to give you 8 or so feet between them. Guess what, NO more tangles. Well maybe a less chance of your gear getting tangled. My question is has anyone ever tried it??
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
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  2. #2
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    We used to do tgat on a charter boat i deck handed on as a teen....for salmon off oregon coast
    14.5 ft Sand colored Malibu X-Factor "the promise"
    2010 Hobie Outback "the Gift Horse II"

  3. #3
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    The concept is sound, but the logistics of using very long rods from a kayak seat are more complicated. You can accomplish a 4-rod spread using shorter rods (in my case, 6'6" rods). In my pedal-drive Native Slayer Propel 10, I routinely troll four lines. The two in the rear are in Scotty Rod holders attached to the decking behind the seat. They are pivoted out 45 deg to the rear. The two in the front use Scotty rodholders attached to extenders and mounted to the gear track. Those rods are positioned 45 deg to the front. The photos show the general layout. The second photo has the rod holders pivoted so the rods line up in line with the hull. They can be pivoted out in seconds when trolling begins.

    C.jpg 005.jpg

    With a pedal drive kayak, it is possible to keep forward momentum, even after hooking a fish. I run heavier lures and let out more line for the rear rods. The front rods have lighter lures and less line out. I rarely get tangles, unless I hook a particularly large fish. Also when running four lines, I stick with jigheads or bucktails with plastic paddletails. If you use a crankbait or other lure that moves around a lot or contains multiple hooks, you are more likely to get tangles.
    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

  4. #4
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    I like the idea of the larger spread, but it might be a hassle to deal with any sort of knots/tangles near the rod tips on those rods. And when you brought the fish in, you'd be much more apt to "high stick" when you brought it closer to the yak, because you're going to angle the rod up higher to get it closer to allow you to grab the leader and/or fish. And that could likely lead to broken surf rods, but sometimes they're very stout, so this might not happen. Since you've got an outback, if you're able to keep the yak stable enough for standing, I would just try out 1 surf rod on one side, then switch to that one to throw some seriously large topwater baits or big jigs to busting fish, you'd be able to cast a mile. I like to keep my trolling spread as narrow as possible also, because I like to troll very closely to piers, and between moored boats (which is particularly effective in the summer on the severn), but if you stick to more open water, I don't see a problem with what you're proposing. Anxious to see what you think of it, good luck sir

  5. #5
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    John, I tired something similar to your front rod holders in my Slayer 10 and I felt that there was a worrying amount of lift and side-pull being applied to the track. Has that ever been an issue for you? I was using casting rods so the weight of the reel is sitting higher, but I an not sure if that really matters. I want to give trolling a real go this coming season, but I have still not found my "perfect" position for the front rod where they clear my knees, are reasonably easy to reach, and feel secure.

    On the topic of surf rods, I once brought mine out with some foolish idea to cast a 2oz jighead and plastic "really freakin far" and reeling it in while bumping bottom, with some added dumbness involving the Naval Academy wall. Casting was a mess and I almost speared myself in the groin with the rod butt on the follow through on a hard overhead cast. With trolling you will not be fighting to cast, but even just moving the rod around in the boat was a huge annoyance.
    Drew

    Yellow Pompano 12
    Lime Slayer 10

  6. #6
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    columbia
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    Surf rods are probably a bit too heavy, but I used what are described as "Steelhead Rods" about 8-8 1/2 feet long picked up thru eBay.
    I could cast about a mile and a half, too far out to troll with.

    I tried both spinning reels and smaller sized Penn trolling reels, #9 and #109. The smaller Penn reels were very slow to retrieve line, their spool diameter is small and the retrieve ratio was like 3-1. You had to wind forever! It worked a lot better with the 2500 sized spinning reels even with a tandem rig of Storm Shads being towed.

    I fished them in a 4 rod spread from my little tin boat with clamp on rod holders, many years ago. I did a lot of fishing in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco near Fort McHenry. I somehow managed to catch fish and busted up two rods up on CNRs.
    They worked O.K., just a bit too long and awkward to manage. You are right about "high sticking" the tip top which makes the fish hard to control at the boat. I eventually went back to a 6-7 foot medium heavy Spinning rod.
    Not long afterwards, I decided that I didn't really care much for trolling.
    Last edited by bignose; 01-09-2018 at 07:44 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnielab View Post
    John, I tired something similar to your front rod holders in my Slayer 10 and I felt that there was a worrying amount of lift and side-pull being applied to the track. Has that ever been an issue for you?
    I find that after several trolling trips, the front rod holder mounts have flexed the track sufficiently that the front bolt holding the track to the gunwale get loosened slightly. It takes a few seconds to tighten that bolt down. Another solution is to add some Loctite to the bolt threads to resist movement.
    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

  8. #8
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    May 2016
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    New Windsor Carroll County
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    Okay, good points. So a 8-10 foot surf rod is going to be an issue. BUT, how about a planner boards. Now hear me out on this idea. Take a Yellow Bird or whatever company you like and set them up to run off the front of the kayak. Say out to 10-14 feet with weed trimmer line. Then you just attach your release clip slide it down the line and fish. Just like the charter boats do. Man it sucks being stuck at home with nothing to do but think of crap to invent.
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost

  9. #9
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    Double post
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost

  10. #10
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    columbia
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    I help out on a Charter Boat as a first mate, and I hate trolling. But the boat owner/Captain enjoys running the boat.
    It's an 8 hour boat ride with 15 minutes of chaos. We do not use planer boards, a 6 rod spread plus a dummy line is more than enough!
    I still see myself standing out on the back deck in 2-3 foot chop when it's 55 degrees out while we are taking water over the front of the boat. The captain and clients are sitting up in the cabin, dry. No longer my idea of fun!
    We can't switch over to chumming or jigging soon enough!

    The though of running a pedal yak dragging planer boards, even little ones........I get tired just thinking about it! Maybe if you've got the legs of a marathon runner. I can visualize a CNR hitting an outboard line and heading under the yak! What a mess!

    Why do people try to make fishing so complicated? Lol.
    Gosh darn cabin fever!
    Last edited by bignose; 01-09-2018 at 08:45 PM.

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