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Hi my name's Dave, I've been reading posts here for years, thought it's time to try and contribute. I read a lot of back and forth on the subject of trolling speed and gps versus paddle wheel readings. Here's an extreme example to think about, if you are ancored or holding your boat in position with the motor against a strong current or outgoing tide of say 5mph, your paddle wheel will read 5mph but the gps will read 0mph. Which one shows the correct speed your traveling? On the other hand, if you drift beam-to in that same current flow your wheel may not spin and that speed could show 0mph while the gps reading may read 5mph. I think it's important to have a starting point trolling speed, but it's as important to experiment with your setup. As others have stated, pull lures close to the boat and watch what they do, try to match your speed to others around you that are catching and take note of your line angles, rod bends and how they pulsate at different speeds. You'll soon learn when to slow down or speed up, pay attention to the angle of your lines and the bend in the individual rods. In rough and windy conditions you may have to speed up or slow down to keep the desired lure action. Don't be affraid to experiment. Just my thoughts.

Cheers
Dave
 

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Good observation Dave... there have been LOTS of posts on this exact issue- however, I think there is a more simplistic way to determine trolling speed. Pull a large spoon- you know when youre going the correct speed when its pumping- few short, one long. Thats all there is to it. No need to try to acomodate for sub-surface cross currents, or possibly gunk build up ont he paddle wheel, or any of the other variables of the universe... all of it becomes irrelevant- if that spoon is pumping- you are going the correct speed.
 
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