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Thread: Trolling with a Surf rod

  1. #11
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    Aug 2014
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    Getting deep into thought is all part of fishing. One year I thought a down rigger was a great idea so I can get two maybe three lines down in addition to the four I normally put out on my dads boat. So off we go with 6 rods ready. I put out my four normal rods and hook up the down rigger. One right on the cannon ball and another on a clip half way down. Lines are set and rods on down rigger bent perfect awaiting that hit. Ten seconds later my dad at the wheel was not paying attention ran into a crab pot field and two rods are dragging a pot. Reels are screaming and then the down rigger line snags a pot and the whole unit breaks free from the mounting bracket and is gone. Meanwhile both rods are now out of line and snap. Lost two rods and a down rigger and two spools of line.

    First time out with the down rigger..oh and last time out. Bought a new one about a month later...

    More lines is not always better.

    Capt Mike
    Last edited by captmikestarrett; 01-09-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #12
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    May 2016
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    New Windsor Carroll County
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    Bignose, I hate cabin fever also. It makes me think to much. With that said, people will always try and come up with a bigger better mouse trap. Why?? Because. BUT, what IF it worked and became the Holy Grail of kayak fishing?? Then again IF a frog had wings.
    Last edited by Steve6902; 01-09-2018 at 09:48 PM.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Perry Hall, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by bignose View Post
    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.
    I was just going to add what Bignose mentioned. I have trolled with a "Noodle" Rod. It's roughly 9-10' long and has a big parabolic action for fighting big fish on light line like steelhead. It's actually a ton of fun catching them on this kind of rod because they have so much "play"
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Havre de grace, MD
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    I usually troll with two 9' trolling rods and line counter reels off my front rod holders all the time. I don't use planers or anything, I just vary the jig head weight and line out for my depth. It's worked fine for me but I don't use 4 rods. To me It's hard enough with a double hook up let alone more.
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbayrunner View Post
    I usually troll with two 9' trolling rods and line counter reels off my front rod holders all the time. I don't use planers or anything, I just vary the jig head weight and line out for my depth. It's worked fine for me but I don't use 4 rods. To me It's hard enough with a double hook up let alone more.
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  6. #16
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    Jul 2010
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    ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
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    I use 7.5' rods for kayak trolling. Heavy flipping stick rods work for spring and fall trolling. Planer boards will create too much drag for a pedal kayak or even my electric kayak. The added drag works the motor harder and thus kills the batteries quicker. I agree, I never liked trolling from my boat. However, I do like trolling from the kayak. It is quiet and relaxing. Fall season kayak trolling for stripers can be quite productive. Spring stripers are sort of like other spring striper trolling. You need to hit the migration right. Otherwise, it will be those long periods with the "15 minutes" of excitement. I usually troll two rods. I have used four rods. I like to troll large crank type baits, YoZuri, Rapala, and others of the like. In the spring one of my favorite lures is a 9" Sebile Magic Swimmer. I will also occasionally use a tandem bucktail rig.

    I do not like a traditional bay style trolling rod. They tend to be too stiff. A larger fish will pull the kayak, and a stiff rod tends not to build up enough to provide decent action, at least for me. I like to have enough bend to the rod to keep pressure on the fish and keep up the slack, which may result from the kayak being so light. With that said, you also need a rod that will be heavy enough for heavier baits.

    You can see my trolling set up on YouTube, just search Kayak Fishing With Dogfish.
    Last edited by DOGFISH; 01-10-2018 at 05:27 PM.

  7. #17
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    May 2016
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    New Windsor Carroll County
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    Here is an interesting video on using a planer board on the Great Lakes.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...ANSu6uQyfDJXPh

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...DZG-_7O1pwq0Xb
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  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Southern Maryland- Charles County
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    I have enough trouble with two rods trolling...especially with two large fish hooked up at the same time..I used to troll 4 rods much like described by John V’s post...hooked a fish on the long line that was pulling drag like a freight train....stretch 27 tangled the other lines, ended up losing the fish and had a net woven from the tangle...after that I only troll two rods...
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  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Odenton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve6902 View Post
    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??
    Never tried. Probably won't, but it's a great idea. I troll 2 7' rods and that is great for my yak setup. Do it man!!!!
    J

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