“Repeatability” When Trolling: Professional Angler Pat Slater’s Tip of the Week
By Kjel

Posted: May 15, 2012

Hope everyone had a great weekend and got to enjoy the outstanding weather.  Thanks to all those who attended my seminars at Tour America RV in Billings Saturday during their “Customer Appreciation Day”.

As I mentioned last week, I want to talk about “Repeatability” when trolling.   This phrase is used describes what I do when I’m trying to develop a pattern.  The first thing I do is to set up my rods and reels the same, the same length of leader and line weight.  I have reels with leadcore and braided line so whichever combos I use for a given situation, I’m confident the lures will run in a similar fashion. 

The reason any of this matters is simple; if my setup is working ie:catching fish, I need to know ahead of time how much line was let out so I can return my lure to the same distance after the fish has been landed.  Distance equals depth so I’m able to repeat what just worked.  If it is not working then I have a baseline or starting point from which I can make adjustments.  If you’re not sure how far back your lure was, trying to duplicate what you did is extremely difficult. 

Line counter reels make this task very easy and most avid trollers have them, but for those that don’t there is a simple method that you can use to get similar results.  This is done by making “rod sweeps” of a known length and doing the math.  As an example, if you are trolling in a 15 foot boat and you are in the middle of it, rod in hand, lure just in the water digging, allow the rod tip to drop back to the stern corner of your boat.  Now release the line and “sweep” the rod tip forward to the bow of the craft and pinch the line off preventing any line from coming off the spool while the rod tip travels back to the stern of the boat.  You have just let out 15 feet of line and can repeat this process until you reach your predetermined distance back.  It can be a little tedious but this method will give you your “baseline” so you can make adjustment if needed or something to repeat when successful.  It is a LOT of words to explain a simple process but when done just a few times you’ll find it’s pretty simple.

This is a start, I’ll talk more about trolling next week, some more details I keep track of when I troll.

Til next time….Be Smart and Be Safe!

Pat Slater
Pro Staff: Mack’s Lure & Ranger Boats
National Professional Angler Association #757

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