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Trolling rod advice
Posted by: Paul Willits (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: August 04, 2018 03:54PM

Just got back from Canada and we did some trolling for Lake Trout and since I don't troll much, I bought a couple cheap medium light Cabela's whuppin sticks a few years back before I started building. They work but they're a little heavy. I'd like to build a couple lighter rods to troll Lake Trout and maybe walleyes but don't want to build anything expensive because I don't troll often. The rods can take a beating in Canada with travel etc. and I don't want to worry about breakage so I'm thinking about glass to fill all those requirements.

My friend runs the downrigger and has trouble getting the clip tension right because I think he's running too stiff a rod. A lighter rod with more bend might allow him to loosen the tension on the clip a bit so it will release while still having the rod take up the slack.

We troll usually one rod using 2-4 oz. snap weights and one in the downrigger. Occasionally I used a dipsy or jet diver but the snap weights were so much easier, I don't have plans to use a diver much anymore. The Rainshadow E-Glass blanks look good. For my purposes, would the SPG842 light work for both applications or should I go up to a medium or one of each? Would the light survive as a downrigger rod? We usually just run Wiillams Wobblers, Doctor Spoons or crankbaits off the downrigger and same lures off the snap weight. Most of the trout we catch are 3-8 lbs.


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Re: Trolling rod advice
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: August 04, 2018 04:15PM

For what you are doing, fiberglass downrigger rods in a medium light power with slow actions will do a perfect job for your uses.

For example, here are some examples of built up finished rods that are actually ideal for the job that you are trying to do. I appreciate the fact that you want to build a rod to your specifications. But, since it is such a seldom used rod, it can often make sense to just pick up a rod off the shelf to complete these seldom completed activities with a very good item to do the job.

If you look at this link, pick the rod length that you wish with the power that you wish and you will be set for $40 each for completed rods.


I only mention this, because, this is exactly what I did for the exact same need. I have been building rods for a very long time and have built large numbers of rods; but for this particular, I want out into the commercial world and picked up a very inexpensive rod that worked exactly as needed for very few pieces of silver - so to speak.

Basically -
Medium light
Slow action -
Adequate rating for the fish being targeted and caught.


In contrast, for targeting the same fish, but rather than using downriggers, I also use very hard pulling lake trolls with big spinners and also pulling in line weights, I build my own rods using a medium heavy or heavy action 8 foot blank in a moderate action composite blank that also worked very well for the application. But the physical weight of these rods is about 3 times the weight of the medium light fiberglass rods, but each of the different rods work perfectly for the given application.

When used as a down rigger rod, one needs a slow action blank that can take a big bow for hours on end which means fiberglass. Since the line snaps free of the ball when using a downrigger line, the rod can be of a much lighter power when catching a fish compared to catching a fish with lake trolls and heavy in line weights which come with the fish, when the fish are caught. Thus the much heavier action when using lake trolls and heavy inline weights that come with the line all of the way back to the net.

Best of luck and great building and catching.

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Re: Trolling rod advice
Posted by: Paul Willits (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: August 04, 2018 07:11PM

Great advice, Roger! I wasn't thinking about the slow action for a rigger rod, although I knew it needed to be more limber. I was thinking the heavier blank for rigger and lighter for snap weight so your different perspective on a lighter rod for a rigger is valuable advice. I just don't run that type of equipment much. Much appreciated! Also, wasn't thinking about fiberglass due to bend for long periods.

I'll probably build just for the experience. I'm still under 30 rods built, although I sold 4 this year. There were 3 guys fishing in my boat in Canada this year and we were all fishing rods I built. It adds something to the trip when 90% of fish we catch are on my custom builds. If I build trolling rods and a slip bobber rod, I can get that almost to 100% next year.

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Re: Trolling rod advice
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: August 04, 2018 10:54PM

10-4 on the satisfaction that one receives when one observes happy folks landing fish with rods that they have built.

Be safe

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