Simple Trolling Rig

I really enjoy trolling, and can do it for hours on end.  I think it can be a very effective way to fish as you can keep your gear “in the zone” for a long time, while exploring different areas of the lake looking for where the fish hang out.

You can also use a variety of lures – spinners, plugs, spoons, flies, bait, etc..  Whatever you have confidence in and prefer to use.

I have a setup I call the simple trolling rig, which is the basis for my trolling setups.  What I like about this rig is:

  • Can be used for both when flat lining and downriggers
  • Can easily change the terminal tackle
  • Handles both a straight connection to leader/lure or dodger/pop gear
  • Easy to add/remove weight when flat lining

Here is a picture of the main seutp:

Simple Trolling Rig

What I do is take my mainline and slide on a large bead.  The purpose of this bead is to provide a nice stop which will avoid having things like the swivel damage the top guide on the rod.  A must have if kids or newbies will be using your rod.

Next I tie on a swivel snap.

Then I prepare a leader to my lure.  The leader is almost always fluorocarbon, and usually lighter than my main line.  I tie a surgeons loop on the end, so it can go in the snap.  The length of the leader is usually 4 to 5 feet.

If flat lining, then I can add splitshot between the swivel and bead.  This prevents the splitshot from sliding down the line towards the lure.  The amount of split shot depends on the depth you want to get down – which is dependent on trolling speed, what lure you are running, and what your mainline is.

As you can see you can very easily add and remove split shot of various sizes while trying to tune in your depth.

If I’m running a dodger or pop gear (i.e. a gang troll) then I can connect it to the swivel and then connect the leader to the dodger/pop gear.  For pop gear I can add splitshot just like normal.  Dodgers are a different matter, as the weight can interfere with the action of the dodger.  I’ll cover that in detail in a different post.

If I am using downriggers, then I can use the same setup – just don’t need to add any splitshot.

This simple setup has accounted for literally thousands of fish for me.  Hope it is as successful for you.

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