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  1. #1
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    Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Hey Everyone! So I need some advice... My wife's farther recently gave us his old (1982) 16ft ski barge. I spent last winter rebuilding the whole boat and had fun fishing for bass on it this summer. I would (my wife included) would like to get into trout/koke fishing. As I dont have the funds to get everything all at once id love for your feedback. Right now the boat as a 1982 70hp motor... at idle in gear it still pushes it too fast from what i read is the right trolling speeds so I can drag bucket/get those trolling bags to help slow it down. I also have an electric trolling motor that I can use for a bit till the battery dies. Eventually id love to get a little kicker.... and some down riggers. What would you spend your money on first? I think i can at least start to play with trolling if i get a pair of down riggers and try to slow the speed down with buckets. As Im new to this I know there will be a steep learning curve! Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    We had a kicker and went back to a trolling plate. Much less weight and I can get out of trouble easy with the bigger engine. We have the plate with the spring loaded safety.

    We use Scotty DR with great success and zero failures.
    Good luck!
    vince

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  4. #3
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Ditto on the trolling plate. Money-wise a trolling plate and a couple used manual downriggers are the best bang you can get. Not much you can’t do with that setup. Bungee the steering wheel straight and used the electric on bow to steer your direction and you can maneuver with the best of em. A 5 gallon bucket off each back corner will work too, but they get in the way.

    My grandfather had the same boat with a 15 hp kicker and it was a fishing machine. Wish I had it. I’ve owned boats worth 10 times what that was, but can’t say they fished any better. Cooler, faster, more comfortable yes, better - not really. Best boat you’ll ever own is the one you use the most.

    Be sure to post reports.
    Last edited by fishwrong2; 10-12-2019 at 11:46 AM.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Ditto what others have said about the trolling plate.

    As for downriggers, you could buy manuals to save money but if you get serious, you'll wish you would have spent the extra dollars and got electrics. Food for thought: unless you are young or have a teenager, cranking a manual downrigger up from 50-100' all day long while trying to reel in a fish can be a real pain.

    Have heard lots of anglers say "I had manuals and switched to electrics" but I have never heard "I bought electrics and switched to manuals."

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  8. #5
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Only problem is some old 2 strokes don't want to idle all day.
    A used 8 or 9 hp 4 stroke is sweet on idle. Them 2 strokers stink to
    after a couple hrs you can taste it.

    I'd go with the 4 stroke kicker, if you had a 4 stroke main then yes, trolling plate no question.

    just my 2 cents,, worth 1 cent.

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  10. #6
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    I just changed boats. I let my manuals go with my old boat and replaced with electrics. I don't want to sound like a prude, but manuals are a PITA. Especially if you don't have a boat that tracks straight without constant hands on the wheel/handle. Most boats shift direction when you move around. Wind, waves, and jerks in surf boats compound this. Constant leaning over the side for a significant amount of time can be a real pain.

    If you want to get serious, and probably save an inevitable second purchase, go straight to the electric downriggers. Scotty's are the cheaper ones and are usually more positively reviewed, but they are all very nice. Until you get the knack of setting the line in the clip, you'll be hard pressed to not have the line come unhooked while loading up the rod when the downrigger weight is all the way down. Not such a big deal in the spring at 20ft, a MUCH bigger deal towards the end of summer at 70ft. Either way, you'll probably be cranking the ball up a LOT and it takes away from the enjoyment of it. I'd say at least a few times an hour. If you actually get good at Kokanee and catch 10 in an hour or 2, you may get where you're spending more time cranking then anything else. Additionally, anyone who isn't a "I LOVE FISHING, rain, shine, catch or no catch" kind of person is not going to enjoy the cranking part of it.

    Start checking for used electric's now and through the winter. Use SearchTempest to check additional areas. Also, check online for new. I ordered mine from Hodges Marine in Florida. Great prices, free n fast shipping, and no tax. Honestly, not much more than a used price. Unlike most fishing equipment, downriggers hold a significant portion of their value in the used market.

    If I was on a strict budget I'd opt for electric downriggers and buckets initially. An electric, remote controlled (Xi5), bow mounted trolling motor with enough juice for 8hrs would be my next purchase.

    Good luck!

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  12. #7
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Thank you all for your awesome advice! For another question what would be your go to budget rod/reel for someone wanting to get into trolling for trout/koke?

  13. #8
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    A 4 stroke troll motor would be nice to have..... but

    a new battery for that Electric troll motor would be a lot cheaper way to get down to .9 to 1.7 mph for kok's.

    Down riggers are also nice to have but as mentioned.........
    leadcore and regular old lead weights from 3/8oz up to 3 oz. will get your gear to the fish.

    The "Fish Finder" is the #1 unit that you will need to locate and catch kokanee.
    anything else is just improvements..............

    Good fishing.

  14. #9
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Reels--the 4600 Abu Garcia with clicker is one many koke fishermen use. For multi-specie, get the slightly larger Abu 5500. Both are around $60-100, if you get them on sale. If you don't like or want a reel with a clicker, a standard bait casting reel used for bass fishing will work great (I have four Daiwa Lexa 100's). Decent ones start around $70-80. Might try looking on craigslist or ebay for used reels, might be surprised what you can find while also saving money.

    Rods--the rod of choice seems to be a 7-7'6" ultralight/light powered rod with a moderate action. Price varies from about $40 (Shakespeare) to over a hundred depending on brand. Fisherman's Warehouse will usually have a nice selection at different price points. Might want to look on craigslist or ebay too.

    You will get many different opinions on rods and reels. Just have to figure out what you really need/want and how much you are willing to spend, then have fun buying and trying.

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  16. #10
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    Re: Need advice on how to get into the trolling game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Ed View Post
    A 4 stroke troll motor would be nice to have..... but

    a new battery for that Electric troll motor would be a lot cheaper way to get down to .9 to 1.7 mph for kok's.

    Down riggers are also nice to have but as mentioned.........
    leadcore and regular old lead weights from 3/8oz up to 3 oz. will get your gear to the fish.

    The "Fish Finder" is the #1 unit that you will need to locate and catch kokanee.
    anything else is just improvements..............

    Good fishing.

    True True... I was thinking about the trolling motor battery as well... might be another option at some point.
    The wife gave me a Simrad Go7XSR for my birthday last year so the one new thing on the boat is the fish finder.

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