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Thread: Rookie Trolling For Kings

  1. #1

    Default Rookie Trolling For Kings

    Hey Guys,
    I have a stupid question about trolling for kings. What type of rod do you use? There is no casting involved, so couldn't you just use a halibut rod geared up for kings? I am not asking about baits, flashers, etc. I just want to know what type of rods people use and why or why not? Thanks in advance......

  2. #2

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    I use very light one piece Uglysticks. They put up a good fight and require some user skill. A halibut rod would be very difficult to maintain pressure on a King as the run every which way while fighting. No pressure means a good chance of spitting or hook coming out.

  3. #3

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    It depends on where and how you are trolling, but a good average would be a 8-9' rod rated for at least 25# line. I've caught kings accidentally while fishing for halibut with halibut rods, and naaaah. You don't want to do that if you have any choice.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As others have said, you want a rod that will load up and keep tension on the fish. Don't look at it as a dedicated trolling rod, but a trolling, mooching and jigging (lighter jigs 2-6 oz) rod. I've got two shimano scimitars and two shimano clarus that I use to fill those duties. The clarus is definately a nicer rod, but the scimitars have acounted for quite a few fish, and you can't beat the price. For the money the shimano charter special 1000 is hard to beat, I'd just spool it with 50# braid and call it a day.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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  5. #5

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    It does kind of depend on where you plan on trolling. I fish almost exclusively in salt water for feeder ("winter") kings and spawners when they are coming through and my absolute favorite rod is a 7' to 7'6" Ugly Stik casting rod with the medium to med./heavy action. Some people prefer longer rods (as BrownBear states), but I really love the action of the shorter rod. And as Paul H. said, you can't beat 50# braid. I have never had 50# braid break on me other than through operator error.

    And as other people say here, don't use a halibut rod unless that's all you have. It really would be overkill.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  6. #6
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    I actually operate the other way, I use heavy salmon rods for halibut fishing as long as i'm in less than 150' of water and using 1lb. weights. I predominately catch halibut in the 20lb. range (I don't go out far) and it makes them fun!

    I am using Ugly Stick heavy weight rods, 9' I believe.

  7. #7
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    I use a Lamiglass 8 1/2 foot Salmon rod with a discontinued Shimano B-50 Reel spooled with silver thread 25 lb line. Good combo for kings off shore also Kenai spawners.

  8. #8

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    Longer fiberglass rods work pretty well for trolling with downriggers. They can be really cheap and work fine too, as you don't need any sensitivity to detect a bite.

    I'm opting for lighter rods though, as they are a bit more fun. I can't remember the model, but I use a 8'6" IM6 Lamiglass for my trolling. Kings are fun on them!

  9. #9
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    I like the lighter salmon rods also and mono, when I tried braid the kings were destroying my leaders due to the no stretch with braid. Do you guys who use braid use a snubber in front of your leaders?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I like the lighter salmon rods also and mono, when I tried braid the kings were destroying my leaders due to the no stretch with braid. Do you guys who use braid use a snubber in front of your leaders?
    Nope. And I've never had any problem with kings destroying my leaders.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I like the lighter salmon rods also and mono, when I tried braid the kings were destroying my leaders due to the no stretch with braid. Do you guys who use braid use a snubber in front of your leaders?
    I run braid on my mooching/jigging rods with no issue, I'll also use braid trolling with deep six divers. I generally use pre-tied mooching leaders with 25-50lb. mono depending on what i'm doing.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Nope. And I've never had any problem with kings destroying my leaders.
    Same here. I tend to run heavier leaders than a lot of guys, but that has more to to with the way they work with rigged herring than fear of wear or breakage.

  13. #13
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I like the lighter salmon rods also and mono, when I tried braid the kings were destroying my leaders due to the no stretch with braid. Do you guys who use braid use a snubber in front of your leaders?
    I run a topshot of mono ~10' on all my saltwater rods whether using jigs, mooching rigs etc. It provides abrasion resistance, just a little bit of give where it's needed most, and you have a larger dia line to grab ahold of when bringing the fish into the net.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I run braid on my mooching/jigging rods with no issue, I'll also use braid trolling with deep six divers. I generally use pre-tied mooching leaders with 25-50lb. mono depending on what i'm doing.
    I use a LOT of leaders during a season with clients so I taught myself how to tie my own. Sure is a LOT cheaper. Not to mention I like to use fluorocarbon (I use Seaguar which is great) and I've never found pre-tied leaders that use it. You should give it a try!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I use a LOT of leaders during a season with clients so I taught myself how to tie my own. Sure is a LOT cheaper. Not to mention I like to use fluorocarbon (I use Seaguar which is great) and I've never found pre-tied leaders that use it. You should give it a try!
    I've shied away from Flourocarbon since it was so frail when it first came out. Sounds like it must have gotten better? Can you find it in 40-50lb. range? I've tied my own in the past when I ran out of pre-tied on the water, maybe i'll tie some up this week while i'm not cold and salty!

    Are you using Flouro on silvers or just kings?

    Thanks for the advice!

  16. #16
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    I like 8' to 10'6 slow action glass or composite for trolling on a downrigger. I also like 20# mono.

    I haven't done any mooching up here - only trolling. If I mooched too, I'd use a rod with a bit faster action and graphite, and I'd consider using spectra.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I've shied away from Flourocarbon since it was so frail when it first came out. Sounds like it must have gotten better? Can you find it in 40-50lb. range? I've tied my own in the past when I ran out of pre-tied on the water, maybe i'll tie some up this week while i'm not cold and salty!

    Are you using Flouro on silvers or just kings?

    Thanks for the advice!
    I use it all the time---kings and silvers. I didn't use it when it first came out because it was so expensive. But I won't use anything but, now. Seaguar makes what they call Fluoro Leader and Fluoro Premier Leader (the difference is an increase in "molecular weight", whatever they mean by that) and they come in everything from 4 lb. up to 80 lbs. I LOVE the stuff.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  18. #18

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    The last few years we've been using P-Line Copolymer for salmon trolling leaders- the same stuff we use for down south for bluewater tuna and billfish fishing. Gotta say it's a little cheaper than true fluorocarbon, and I can't imagine anything tougher.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    The last few years we've been using P-Line Copolymer for salmon trolling leaders- the same stuff we use for down south for bluewater tuna and billfish fishing. Gotta say it's a little cheaper than true fluorocarbon, and I can't imagine anything tougher.
    It's funny you mention that because I have used it before (the CXX line in 30 lb.) and think it's great. I just think the fluoro is less visible in the water, though that might just be wishful thinking. I have caught plenty of fish on the P-Line and it is a lot less expensive.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  20. #20

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    Muttley-- What type of knot are you using with the Seaguar? Or are you using crimps? If I recall, one of the "gotchas" with Fluorocarbon is that it is picky about knots--they have to be the right type and tied diligently or it will weaken it.

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