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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am looking at running my first setup of trolling rods off my center console this year. Was hoping to get some help. I don't plan on using planer boards *too intimidating* my goal is to runn 5 to 8 rods off the back and sides of the boat.

Right now i have 5 shimano tekotas 800's i may pick up 3 more.

I plan on running tandems bucktails and 9" parachutes. Unless told otherwise.. Lol

i know running different deeps helps at different lengths i am just trying to figure out a good way to set them all up to minimize tangles

any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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That's how I fish in the summer and Fall but sometimes solo in Spring. The key is to ensure that all your rods are at different angles. I use two forward side-rods with inserts that look like the picture below to get those out almost 90 degrees. If the slot in the bottom is not correct for your rod holder, a machine shop can cut a new slot for a few bucks, the opposite way. I also use my longest rods in those two holders. If you have rocket launchers, run two way-backs. Then two rods on each corner or sides at 45 degrees and two off the transom or corners straight back. I would run umbrellas on the 90 degree side rods, a combo parachute and big spoon on one of the way backs. Tandem parachutes on two of the rear rods and maybe two single chutes. Just try to ensure everything is in a slightly different depth by mixing line lengths and weight combos.

Running a single planer board by yourself is quite manageable.
 

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I've ran 8 off the boat only before. Run lighter weights way back, as you move closer to the boat use heavier rigs.
You should get boards, they're not that difficult to use. Although I would suggest not trying them for the first time on opening day.
 

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Trust me on this - there is valid reason so many boats use planer boards.

If you are going to run 5-8 rods - try using one board on a 75 foot tow line. This will let you put 3-6 lines off the board and then 1-3 off the boat.

It pays to adjust lines when you only are running 5-8 , set them to try to be just above where bait or fish are showing on meter.

The general rule is to run short lines off the boat deep / heavy - longer ones will be lighter. Theory is as the noisy boat approaches - the fish will go deep or swim left / right. If it goes deep - boom , there is the deep short line. If it swims left / right - planer lines should get hit or the lines farther back.

There will likely be some upcoming seminars on trolling - try to get to a few and take notes. Going back on TF is wise too , lot of good tips.
 

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i am looking at running my first setup of trolling rods off my center console this year. Was hoping to get some help. I don't plan on using planer boards *too intimidating* my goal is to runn 5 to 8 rods off the back and sides of the boat.

Right now i have 5 shimano tekotas 800's i may pick up 3 more.

I plan on running tandems bucktails and 9" parachutes. Unless told otherwise.. Lol

i know running different deeps helps at different lengths i am just trying to figure out a good way to set them all up to minimize tangles

any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
PM captain Wayne Morgan and ask for a copy of his boat spread.
 

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Running 5-8 boat rods is fine, especially when single handed. After all, your limit is 1 fish. Your not filling the limits of a dozen or more charter clients. With that said, the odds of getting that 1 fish are greater with planer boards. I also use Tekota's and "mostly" tandems.

In reasonably calm conditions, I run 2 planer boards, single handed. Adding an auto pilot to my boat a couple of years ago makes that possible. With just a little practice, its not difficult.

Been to several talks by Capt. Morgan. I normally learn something new each time. Great resource.
 

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6-7 rod spread: Each side gets a short/heavy line (16oz.-20+ oz. total weight, out 50-65'), a medium/medium line (10 oz.- 14 oz. combined weight, out 90'-125'), and a long/light line (6oz.-8oz. Combined weight, out 150'-175'). If you want to sneak a 7th rod out, it is another light one, this time out 210'+.

If going with 5 rods, try 1 short/heavy, 1 or 2 medium/medium, and 2 or 3 light/long.

Start setting with your longest line, and finish with your short/heavy lines - tangles happen when setting out. If you have a way to keep your short/heavy rods pointed out to the side, it helps. Rod holder angle makes a difference, rod tip height makes a difference, and line type makes a difference (braid runs deeper than mono, and mono runs deeper than Dacron). 80lb. Dacron mainline is a productive secret weapon for 1 or 2 long lines off the boat in Spring.

White parachutes with off color heads (silver, blue, purple, black, chartreuse) and mostly with 9" green sparkly shads are productive, but you can mix in a couple white 9" shads, chartreuse 9" shads, or blue 9" shads if you want to diversify.

Umbrellas will outfish tandems, but may not be worth the hassle until you've got a season or two under your belt with a non-umbrella spread.

If you are out of Solomons, start in 40' of water, troll east until you hit 100', then turn and go back west to 40'. Then repeat. Anywhere from the Targets to the PowerPlant, with a general preference for straight out front unless it's crowded. If you see good bait or get a bite gradually circle that area.

Good luck!!! Hope you get to hear some drags scream! Be patient - Spring trolling is often tough, but the rewards are large.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for all the great information guys. I ireally appreciate it... Sounds like i might have to suck it up and try planer boards.
 

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I am in a similar situation and going to run 8 rods off my boat this Spring. My plan is to run a spread very similar to what rgardn2 mentioned above. I am wondering how you guys are determining your rig weight. Is it just the parachute or parachute with the shad? I realize that only makes about a 2oz difference on parachutes, but in umbrellas it could add 8-10 ozs. I am probably overthinking it, but just curious.

Also, does anyone have any good suggestions for "marking" your parachutes with their weights? I bought a kitchen scale to weigh my parachutes and wrote on them with "permanent" marker, but just by putting them in and out of storage bags the numbers have already rubbed off.
 

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Chad - don't worry about the weight of the shads, and I write the weight of the parachute on the head with a sharpie. It usually stays readable for at least a season... and I always make sure to write over it again before I put it away for the season because I know by the rod number what the weight is. -Jason
 

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Spring spread is complete. Scaled down this year and going with Kiss rule. 10 rods rigged with umbrellas 5 white, 5 green. 4 on each board all set at 4 bars, 1 20" brella with 16 Oz in line back 100' and second 20" brella with 20 Oz in line back 75'. Going to enjoy the resource that many of us are thankful for and most never get to experience.

Tight Lines and smooth seas to all this season
 

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I have seen many static charts with lure weights, line out, and approximate running depths, but this link allows you to control all the inputs. Obviously, these are just estimates and nothing beats actually bumping bottom to know your depth. For those that like to overthink and over analyze, have fun!

http://http://www.liveprecise.com/tdepy.html
 

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I will be giving a talk about small boat trolling at the Solomon's MSSA fishing fair on Saturday at 11. I will stay after to answer any questions and help to set up boats
 

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http://www.liveprecise.com/tdepy.html

Interesting ... that mono drag really holds the lures up !

2.1 MPH / 110ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~13 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 110ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~36 ft depth

2.1 MPH / 80ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~13 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 80ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~35 ft depth

2.1 MPH / 60ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~13 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 60ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~32 ft depth

2.1 MPH / 40ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~12 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 40ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~27 ft depth

2.1 MPH / 30ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~11 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 30ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~23 ft depth

2.1 MPH / 20ft mono / 3 oz lure = ~10.5 ft depth
2.1 MPH / 20ft mono / 9 oz lure = ~17 ft depth
 

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Jones112b, that is a great offer from Capt. Kyle, if you can make it to the Solomons Firehouse on April 2, make sure to catch his talk and take him up on his offer to consult on your small boat Spring rockfish spread. He is an exceptional trophy rockfisherman - from all kinds of boats...
 

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thanks for all the great information guys. I ireally appreciate it... Sounds like i might have to suck it up and try planer boards.
Keeper fish 2 years in a row opening day have been off an inline planer right off the back of the boat. I sold my planer boards last year because I didn't like messing with them. It's great when you are the 1 guy in the sea of boards around the Bay bridge who lands a fish and the other boats all swing to follow you. I'm not stating you will always do better but before the board craze hit people still caught fish.
 
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