Trolling rigs.

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Post  Richard Neath on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:45 am

I've been fishing recently from a float tube to help me get to areas of the lochs I fish that I can't access due to my knackered knee and just for the fun of it! I've fished the fly for pike and have tried towing a float suspended dead bait slowly behind me. It's a fascinating and relaxing way of fishing. Last weekend I finned slowly around a large bay following the margins and trying to keep the bait swimming close to the drop-off. The sun was out all day and the mountains were truly awesome - to be honest, it didn't bother me that I never caught anything. Ok, just a bit then.
I'm just wondering whether anybody's got a decent rig for slow trolling? I simply used a high viz Fox float bottom only and stopped with a stop knot at the required depth, a small weight just above the trace and then a herring fished head up with a couple of bait flags. I had a couple of occasions of horrendous line twist that meant having to re tie the rig.
Having never trolled with a bait, I'm going on instinct really. The water I covered screamed pike and yet I remained fishless and I'm not sure the bait was presenting itself properly.
Any tips?
(Being towed around a loch in a float tube by an angry pike is quite an experience!)
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Post  Eric Edwards on Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:46 pm

Ok the line twist is easy to sort out. Your rig should incorporate an uptrace with the hook trace attached at the bottom end of it and whatever weight you're using positioned at the join between the two. To prevent line twist, join these two using a ball-bearing swivel and attach the lead on the upper eye of this swivel (the eye nearest the rod). The lead should be a pear-type lead, not an inline one, so that it hangs down from the eye. This acts like a keel, keeping the upper eye of the swivel stationary and forcing the swivel to work properly in response to any rotation of the bait.
You can also switch to titanium traces just as an added safety factor. Titanium won't kink up when twisted like steel does so even if you do still get some twist it won't weaken the wire and it will simply spiring back into shape when you reel in.
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Post  Richard Neath on Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:06 am

Thanks Eric - great advice from what sounds like someone who's done his fair shair of trolling! The idea about the pear shaped lead acting as a keel and helping stop line twist is inspired.
I had a look in an old pike book of mine last night 'Pike - in search of essox lucius by Martyn Page and Vic Bellars' and they show a trolling rig that uses a trolling lock under the float. (A crescent shaped piece of tubing to lock the float in position that will move under pressure.) The argument is that, especially when going against a breeze, the float can tend to ride down the line and thus shorten the depth at which the bait is fishing - any views on this?
It made me think that I may have been wasting my time and getting cold legs fishing from the float tube with a bait that was only two feet below the surface.
Thanks again though - I shall be tying rigs in readiness for my next trip.
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Post  Eric Edwards on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:36 pm

I abandoned the use of trolling locks long ago. They're only needed if you're travelling at a rate of knots and since I troll my deads and lives quite slowly i didn't need them. What you do need is a big float and a heavy lead. You need to use at least 2oz of lead, preferably more, so your standard pike floats aren't big enough. I use sea fishing floats and they work fine.
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Post  Richard Neath on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:49 pm

Thanks again Eric. Had a look on the net after posting the last message and found that Fox do a range of trolling floats with plastic lock tubes but, as you say, they aren't big enough for really big leads. The water I'm fishing is generally pretty shallow (up to 12 foot or so) and I'm covering it quite slowly under flipper power in really benign weather conditions (big winds and waves are no good in a float tube!) so I'm going to try it both ways - maybe get a couple of the Fox floats and also use the big boys with a heavy lead and see which suits the conditions I'm fishing best.
Bringing to my attention the up-trace issue, pear leads and ball bearing swivels is much appreciated!
Cheers.
Richard.
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Post  noodle on Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:54 pm

Richard Neath wrote:Thanks again Eric. Had a look on the net after posting the last message and found that Fox do a range of trolling floats with plastic lock tubes but, as you say, they aren't big enough for really big leads. The water I'm fishing is generally pretty shallow (up to 12 foot or so) and I'm covering it quite slowly under flipper power in really benign weather conditions (big winds and waves are no good in a float tube!) so I'm going to try it both ways - maybe get a couple of the Fox floats and also use the big boys with a heavy lead and see which suits the conditions I'm fishing best.
Bringing to my attention the up-trace issue, pear leads and ball bearing swivels is much appreciated!
Cheers.
Richard.

and those trolling lock smash far too easily, if you do want to use them make your own with rigid boom tubing and a kettle, cut a five inch legth off warm it over steam and bend to an s shape, then flair the ends with a lighter.

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