Recommend a spring trolling rod / reel combo

Junebugg2.0

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Wondering if someone on here would recommend a spring trolling rod/reel combo. Reel with line counter & capable of using lead core line. Something in a reasonable price range. A West Grand togue and salmon type setup.
 

Kingman Cruncher

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Wondering if someone on here would recommend a spring trolling rod/reel combo. Reel with line counter & capable of using lead core line. Something in a reasonable price range. A West Grand togue and salmon type setup.
Like anything you can spend a little or a lot. I bought a few of those Cabela’s depth charge combos I think they are called for around 70 bucks. They work ok. No failures.
 

WetWool

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A eagle claw star fire 8'6" with a Penn 209 or 309 level wind be in same price range as what Jeremy suggested as well. You don't need the line counter when fishing lead core because you can expect each color to sink roughly 4' at 2.0-2.2mph, just count colors out. The cabelas model will have a faster retrieve. My main lead core set ups are shimano Triton 200's but run $70-80 for just the reel. Smooth and quick retrieve. If experienced trollers hard to beat simplicity of the old sal trout 1558's, still my favorites and readily available on Ebay. Can be problematic though for kids, etc. A "good" spool of 12 or 15 pound lead core can be had for $25 bucks or so but in reality they all suck. Good luck, if that damn wind would just calm down a little!
 

JDK

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Like Wetwool, I use and LOVE the Shimano Tritions for both downrigger and leadcore. Not linecounters but I can count levelwind passes with the best of them. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive and very serviceable linecounter reel, the new Daiwa Accudepth reels can be had for about $50-$55 on sale (just picked another up from Sportsman's Warehouse). I'd stay away from the cheap Okumas.

FishUSA has Daiwa FT trolling rods for $17, Wilderness rods for $20, and Shimano TDRs for $30. I have all 3 and far prefer the action of the FT, although I will admit that the jury is still out on their durability. The Wilderness rod action labeling seems to be all over the place and I use a ML for musky trolling and it is pretty stiff.

If I were buying today, I reluctantly would spend a lot more money on the reel (Okuma Coldwater, Daiwa Sealine or Saltist, Shimano Triton or Tekota) and get lesser quality rods.
 

shawn_in_MA

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On my 2 DR rods I have a cheap Okuma Classic 200 and a cheap Convector 200 line counter. On my LC rods I have a Okuma classic 300 and another Okuma 300...these are cheap reels, but have performed flawlessy for the past 14-15 years now. We do a lot of trolling w/ shiners for salmon using lite action spinning rods/reels with an open bail setup and light line. I need reels with good drags for these setups.
 

JDK

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I am admittedly a gear junky and have way too much stuff. If I were starting over, knowing what I know now and fishing what we do, I’d:

Buy 2 Ugly Stick 8’3” big water downrigger rods and top them off with Okuma Coldwater reels for downriggers.

Buy 2 Diawa Wilderness rods, especially if I could handle them first and use either a Sealine or Coldwater for leadcore

call it good and go kill some fish
 

sneaky_pete000

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I was going to start my own thread, but I think its relevant in this one.

I'm starting a new/old adventure...

When I was a kid, my grandfather had a 16' Sea Nymph. He didn't fish with it very often, but when he did, I'd climb in. As a kid, I didn't pay too much attention to what he was doing, but I remember using lead core line with colors on it to determine the approximate depth our lure was in. We used different rapalas. I think you call them stick baits. They were either solid or jointed and were all minnow imitations. We used 2 planer boards and put out 4 lines. We were targeting salmon, but there weren't a lot of them back then.

My parents picked up a little 14' boat. I think its a 1968, and it looks like it was rode hard and put away wet - but we patched up the leaks and took some test rides. Other than the boat itself, its a decent setup. There's a reliable 25hp 2-stroke on it, it has a decent trolling motor, a bilge pump and a Humminbird 565 fishfinder on it. We hope to use it for a few different strategies:

Pike casting
open water jigging
trolling for browns

I'm set up for the first 2, but not for trolling. I like JDK's Ugly Stick recommendations above, but after that, I'm a little lost.

Anyone want to throw more entry level ideas out there? I think we have some of those canon balls with wings on them - downriggers maybe? But I don't remember using them, probably because we used lead core line? If I pick up a couple of the Ugly stick big waters, then some of the leadcore people referenced on here (Is it all colored, or do I have to specifically look for the colored line) tie on a leader, are we good to give it a shot, or am I missing something?
 

sneaky_pete000

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Oh, more questions...

Do I need to pick up reels specific to handling lead core line, or can any heavy duty reel handle it?
I'd love to take the lead core reel off the rod, put on a lighter weight reel with mono on it and use them for our pike casting.
 

JDK

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I'm not sure I fully understand your question regarding reels but you would definitely need something with some line capacity. There is micro leadcore available (Tuf Line comes to mind). You don't need to spend a lot and something along the lines of an older Penn 209 works well. I used a Penn 109 for years. I've seen older 209s on Fleabay for as little as $20. You can certainly match that to a rod that serves a duel purpose for casting and trolling.

All leadcore that I know of is colored in 10 yard sections but there may be something out there that isn't. You also don't need "heavy" line and 12, 15, or 18 pound works fine.
 

sneaky_pete000

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Ok, thats a big help.

So if I'm targeting brown trout, I can probably get away with a 12lb lead core line. I've been told 20ft mono leader is a good length?
 

JDK

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I always seem to go against the grain with leaders but I use 50 or more feet until the fish drop into the 20 foot range and then cut back to a 30 feet.
 




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