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Trolling With Leadcore

By David Heine

My dad taught me trolling as a way to introduce me into fishing. Trolling allowed us to cover more water and find productive areas to still fish. That was back in the day and I still troll to get fish in the boat. First off, trolling with leadcore has had it's misconceptions and it basically came from using leadcore on over-kill tackle. I use an ABU 6500 C3 for 12-15 leadcore depending upon the manufacture of the line. I will pair that up with a 6"6 fiberglass baitcasting rod, basically a spinnerbait rod one would use for bass

 
fishing. Sometimes I will go up to a worm rod like an 843 Loomis, especially for 15 leadcore when I'm going deep. With a set-up like this, the fishing is much more enjoyable and you will fight the fish instead of just cranking them in. Other reels I use for heavier lb test leadcore include the Shimano Bantam 50,Calcutta 700 (27lb test leadcore), ABU 5000.

Basically you want a reel that will hold a minimum of 200 yds of 20lb for 12lb leadcore to be put on. And just increase the numbers for a heavier pound test leadcore. When it comes to the rods, I use a 6 foot 6" always and will go with a longer rod when it comes to heavier lb test leadcore. After you have your set-up you will have to experiment when it comes to how much leadcore you can fit on your reel. Basically with a 6500 ABU I can fit a whole spool of 12lb leadcore. And that's with about 20 yds of 10 for backing on the reel along with a leader of 10lb at the end of the leadcore about 6-10 feet long. You can attach the leader one of two ways. You can take the lead out of the leadcore by pinching it and doing a couple of half hitches or you can attach a barrel swivel at the end and tie on you leader. I use the latter of the two but make sure the swivel can make it through the guides and on the reel or you will have a problem on your hands. I gauge my leader length and lb test based on the current lake conditions and species I might encounter. In case your wondering, I have caught walleye, largemouth, smallmouth, stripers, wipers, rainbow, brown and brook trout, huge crappie and the incidental catfish. Leadcore opens up the world of fishing when it comes to specie variation. These are some of basic lures I use which I have found will catch almost anything that swims, just change the colors to match the forage in your body of water. Rapalas - J7 - the most versatile hands down,F7 & F9 also work well. Needlefish, these baits work really well on trout. I use size 2 mostly. I will bend these baits ever so slightly and put Lucky Craft scales on the back side of the baits.

Sometimes I will also put on Gamakatsu trebles as on some of the other baits as well. Smithwick Rattlin Rogues work really well also, the suspending feature is really nice when you stop the motor and the bait stops in it's tracks. Another killer bait/combo is an Apex with a mini-dodger. A long time favorite amongst salmon fisherman, this combo will take the wary stripers and trout that have been hit hard. The key here is to troll the bait s-l-o-w-l-y. Speeds at 0.9 - 1.2 work best with the dodger and Apex. When you decide which bait you will start with the next step is making sure it works at the speeds your motor will troll at. Put the bait in the water along side the boat and vary the speed of the motor until the right action is achieved. Now comes the depth at which you will be fishing. Lure depth will vary with trolling speed and the type of lure you are using. A graph really comes in handy, and

 
one with a speed/temp sensor is really the best. As a basic rule of thumb with some variables of course, this is what I have found - 12 leadcore with rapala can achieve a max depth ( all colors out ) of around 30-35 feet deep depending upon speed. 15 - 27 lb leadcore will depend upon how much you can fit on your reel. One way to achieve a greater depth without using heavier leadcore is to use some of today's bass crankbaits. With some crankbaits on the market breaking the 20 foot barrier with monofilament, leadcore can achieve a greater depth. I have found the following baits to work great when I need to get down there - Bill Normans DD 22, Manns 15+, 20+, Rapala Risto Raps, and that's just to name a few.

Remember to experiment when it comes to baits to find what works best for you.

 

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