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Thread: Backtrolling questions

  1. #1

    Default Backtrolling questions

    Ok, so it's winter and I still have 5 months to go....

    But to keep us occupied, I thought I would pose a few questions I have about backtrolling for kings. I have had excellent results backtrolling kwiks, but terrible luck with glo/egg setups.
    My first question is about setup when trying to backtroll eggs with a diver. What length/type leader seems to be the best, size diver, size glo?

    Next question regards rod placement and how far back to run behind the boat. So most of the time if I have 4 people fishing I try to run two kwiks and two egg/glo setups. My goto amount of line while running the kwiks has been 7 passes of the level wind. This seems to work, and like I said...Iv'e had pretty good results. So the big question is, when running kwiks and glos where do you place the rods with the eggs? For example...do you run them straight out the back and put the kwiks out to the sides or vice versa?

    And lastly....what's the best setup to reduce line tangles? Should the inside rods that go straight back be closer to the boat, or should the outside rods be closer? Or should they all be the same distance? Iv'e tried different scenarios and haven't found the best setup yet....I keep getting tangles!

  2. #2

    Default which one?

    What gear I use and how I do it depends on the river I'm fishing (some things are universal). Is this a Kenai specific question or are your questions about other rivers such as the Kasilof, Deshka, etc?

  3. #3

    Wink Kenai River

    sorry should have been more specific.

  4. #4

    Default Here are a few pointers

    I fish both eggs and plugs. My normal day begins with 2 and 2 (assuming I am fishing 4 rods). I will mostly fish the plugs on the inside with the eggs out. There are many, many variables to consider when fishing the Kenai. Certainly the gear will fish much better the further out it is (within reason), but on a crowded day you will endure many more tangles with other boats if you are too far out. On an un-busy day I will fish about 50-60' back and as little as 40' on a busy day. The depth of the water fished will also effect the distance out. Don't worry about fishing under another boat, but if you are fishing 80' out and the boat behind you is fishing 40' out, guess what... you are tangled! So, be flexible, fish out as much as you can within reason, considering the traffic and the water depth.

    Next, I will try, to the best of my ability, to have all of the gear at equal distances. I know that others will vary their distances but equal works best for me. As the gear is fished and backed through varying currents and around under water obstructions, like rocks), I believe that you want all of the tackle reacting the same; whereas if it goes through the different flows at different times, one line will be going left and the other going right and you get the joy of either untangling the knot or cutting and retying. By having your gear at equal distance, you are creating a wall of scent/tackle which I believe increases your visiblity to the fish. On the other hand, too much activity may spook the fish, so having the gear at different distances may be beneficial. I had a guest fishing bait and constantly, every time I wasn't looking, letting line out... and wouldn't you know it, he was the first to hook up and limit out.

    For rigging, I use 50# Big Game mono for a leader and run anyhwere from 2' to 4' behind the diver (depends on the depth/speed of the current and size of SNG/Cheater) A longer leader will float higher in the water column and vice versa. The depth of the water and speed of the current will also determine the size of diver. I will typically use a 20' diver with plugs and 40' with eggs early in the season and increase the size later as the water flow increases. I will also vary the size to try to find the fish. Often, one reason that you may not be hooking up is that you are fishing either above or below the fish... so varying will allow you fo find the right depth. You should also pay close attention to the tuning of the divers. The Magnum's have a piece of pencil lead that you can move to get the diver to run true. Not a lot to do with the smaller divers but if it doesn't run true, change it out.

    Likewise, be flexible with the size of attractor. I frequently catch the biggest fish on the smallest attractor. I will have a variety of sizes tied up to start the day. If something isn't working, change it out. Generally speaking, in clear water I go with smaller tackle and likewise, the inverse, in murky water I go big.

    Probably the most important thing for bait fishing however is the bait. Make sure that the cure is good and the bait is fresh. On the average, you should refresh your bait every 30 minutes. Many things can effect this, such as junk in the water, water speed (trolling speed), the quality of your cure, the quality of the eggs and so on. Believe it or not, the curing process begins the instant you have the doner fish in the net. The secret to good eggs is first get the blood out, keep the fish cool, keep the eggs cool and process as soon as possible. There are many quality bait cures available and many quality custom recipes that work great... search this forum for egg cures and you will be over run with ideas and preferences.

    So, I hope that helps a bit. Cheers

  5. #5
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Charlie

    There's a 100 ways to skin the same cat, but here's my method, and why.

    A full spread while backtrolling on my Predator is 4-5 rods... generally start the day with two plugs in the siderigger position on 10.5 ft rods let out about 6 passes, two diver/eggs out the back let out 8 passes, and if the water is conducive, one last rod backbouncing rod straight down the middle with enough weight to keep it within 6 passes or less. I like to corral my lines as close to the boat as possible but still know that I am getting my goods in the zone, so you are on the mark with your baseline of 7 passes. Folks can and do let out a lot more line, but there's a compromise that has to be reached because of boat traffic... plus I like to have some line left on the reel when Mr Big takes off with my goods in tidewater.

    The spread I described staggers the lines to prevent tangles. But the other big factor in minimizing tangles is boat control. Learn to backtroll in as straight a path as possible. That's not to say you can't "switch lanes", just do it slowly and methodically. Once you've switched lanes, stay put until all the lines have caught up and are hanging straight downriver again. Lots of books/articles recommend sweeping side-to-side to more thoroughly cover a wider swath of water. That works fine if you only have two (three tops) lines out and have very few other boats in the run you are fishing. Continually wagging your tail back and forth across the run is disruptive to other boats and also compresses your spread of lines toward the middle increasing the likelihood of tangles. If you want to cover a wider swath, a better strategy is to run it twice on a straight-line path, but on a different lane each time.

    I run the plugs on a shorter leash because they dive better than eggs, plus the side-rigger position with the rod tips low to the waterline allows them to get down with less line.

    I run the eggs off the back as I believe eggs are a less intrusive "in-your-face" presentation than plugs. If the fish refuses the eggs, there'll soon be something different and more provocative on its way. I use a #50 diver (Jumbo Jet) with eggs to insure that my presentation is getting to the bottom. The longer leash in the back of the boat also helps to make sure my gear is getting to the bottom. Depending on how high you like to fish your rod tips, you'll be using a good chunk of that leash just getting to the waterline. Remember that the effective dive starts at the waterline. All of the "dead" line between the rod tip and where it enters the water is effectively unavailable to your diver.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  6. #6
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Regarding leader lengths. I use my arms out of convenience. One full wingspan for my Kwiks (about 5.5 ft) and half of that (tip of my outstretched hand to the base of my neck) for eggs.

    I would echo Ed's recommendation to "tune" your #50 divers. Superglue will hold the lead in place once they are tuned. A bunch of those left the factory with the vertical rudder NOT truly perpendicluar with the planing surface... look at yours head on to make sure they are good.

    As far as size of attractor, I like a BIG flashy profile.... more so the dirtier the water. What I don't like is all the buoyancy that comes with it. That's why we have transitioned to magnum ThinTwins to get more flash without adding the extra buoyancy of an oversized Spin-N-Glo or Flash-N-Spin Cheater.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  7. #7

    Red face Thanx!

    Wow....great info guys. Thanks for the replies....good stuff.

    I think my number one problem while running kwiks and glos at the same time is tangles. It's apparent to me now that the baits wouldn't have the same reaction time with respect to boat positioning and current. Hmmm.....me thinks I need to be a little less aggressive positioning the boat from "lane to lane"!

    Ok, so tuning divers? I typically run the 40's with kwiks and the jumbo 50's with the eggs. They all seem to grab the current and pull down, how should they run if tuned proper?

    All this talk has me fired up but dang it.....king season seems so far off still.

  8. #8
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    When it come to divers, they perform best (dive deep, straight down) if the vertical rudder is perfectly perpendicular (to a "T") to the planing surface.... and the lip of the planing surface lies level when it is deployed. Any variation from this will cause the diver to plane slightly to the side.

    Think of a diving planer used by trollers called a Dipsey Diver... which can be purposely adjusted to run off kilter to get it to plane not only downward but sideways as well. Diving at the sideways angle will sacrifice some depth... it's pure geometry.



    Jet divers that come out of the factory crooked will tend to do the same thing. So will a Jumbo Jet where the weight is not balanced to allow the leading edge to ride level. If one side of the planing edge drops, the diver will creep toward the opposite side and run a little shallower.

    Your first clue that you have a bad diver is it does NOT run straight back behind the boat. It goes off to one side, sometimes right into one of your other lines, or perhaps a neighboring boat's lines. Bad thing if you are trying to avoid tangles.

    Another clue that you have a really bad diver is one that won't stay down... it periodically keeps popping up to the surface while you are trying to fish.

    If you can't make them run true by adjusting the weight, toss 'em.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  9. #9

    Default Good stuff FNP

    In addition, you should look at the leading edge of the diver and see that the wear is even/equal on both sides.

    One thing to consider before tossing that $6 diver that is flipping out of the water is to make sure that it is not because of crud in the water sliding down and unbalancing the diver.

    enjoy

  10. #10
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    I believe that 90% of tangles happen when the line is being let out, not necessarily during the backtroll. To me, it is most important to let all the lines out at the same time so that they move back in the same path. Of course, sometimes you need to let a rod out while the others are already fishing. This is when you need to be the most careful.
    I personally let my back rods out the furthest because they're already 10+ feet further back since they're in the back of the boat. I let them out about 65-70 feet and the side rods out about 55-60 feet. When you add the ten feet of distance they started with, the lures end up about 20 feet apart in the water once they're set, which gives them some room for error.
    You also need to make sure your diver is running straight; the jumbo divers have lead attached to their belly that can get cockeyed and cause the diver to lean in one direction, and divers can get warped, causing them to run funny.
    Another common reason for tangled lines is when the s&g or beads get weeds stuck in them, impeding the natural rotation of the s&g. This often leads to the line being pushed in one direction, usually the direction of a neighboring lure. You can try to combat this by using beads with smaller holes and/or using more beads to protect the s&g (above and below). I like using beads small holes, which disallows a lot of weed build-up.

    Having said all this, I still occasionally get tangled up, but so does everyone. If it happens once in a while, you're probably ok, but if it happens on a regular basis you need to change something.
    www.akfishology.com

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    I believe that 90% of tangles happen when the line is being let out, not necessarily during the backtroll. To me, it is most important to let all the lines out at the same time so that they move back in the same path.
    Man oh man is that ever true, esp with newbies! (But that's also because you know to drive!)

    When you have your boat and crew running like a lean mean fishing machine, Charlie, you should try the "power deploy". This takes an attentive crew to do it right, but here's how it goes.

    Every angler has his rod ready to deploy... no tangles, no fouled hooks, no unbaited rigs, no untuned plugs to deal with.... everyone is in freespool with their thumb on the spool, their gear suspended over the water. On the captain's signal, everybody lays their goods on the water in the exact slot where it's going to fish and lets go of their thumb IN UNISON. The captain powers the boat upstream, and line rapidly goes out the specified number of passes when the anglers click their reels into gear. What the captain should hear is a quick "CLICK-CLICK" (the front rods) followed a few seconds later by another quick "CLICK CLICK" ( the back rods) if the captain staggers the front and back rods. If the captain fishes them all the same length, he should hear a quick CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK virtually in unison.

    AHHHHHH.... music to my ears!


    If a line must be let out amongst the rest of the spread already fishing, wait to deploy until all the lines are hanging straight back behind the boat. This will save you the hassle of a tangle. I'll often flip-cast the works well off to the side then let it free-wheel downriver to ensure it will clear the other line on that side of the boat before the gear dives down.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  12. #12
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    Default my 2 cents

    If possible, I like to run all my gear the same distance from the boat. I try to make a wall that is hard for the fish to get through. Like doc, I usually run eggs out the back of the boat. The hole depth and current speed dictate how far back, but usually 7 times on my penn internationals. I run my plugs on 10 and a half footers straight out the sides and let them out about 7 times, so they are right there if the fish rejects the eggs. Care must be taken not to tangle lines, and a wag free straight back drift will usually do the trick. The better you get at running your boat the more fish you will hook. When using bait remember this. Your bait is creating a scent trail. If a fish smells your offering and starts to react by swimming to it and you swing the boat it is not there when he gets there. If you want to know how to hold a line just watch Mike Kelly in the Hell's Angler boat. If it is closed to all scent and bait TRY wagging. You are now trying to get in front of fish, that, when bait is open, will often times find you. As a side note, my favorite backtrolling configuration for four rods is the box. The back rods are run short, the side rods long. It's hard to do with novices, but there is no better way to make a king mad enough to bite than to get him inside 4 obstacles. They usually "eat" their way out. Here's some other things to consider, especially on the Kenai. Rate of descent is often overlooked. Depending on time of day, tidal influence, and the hole being fished, the speed you back down can be critical. In my boat, plugs go off more often when the boat (or plug) is moving back. Sometimes the difference between zero and hero is FAST back. If you are going to back down quickly (like in the black of night) let out plently of line, like 80 feet, and go back not quite as fast as you would walk. Sometimes this really turns the bite on. I think at times the fish have become used to the gear coming at them at a fairly constant speed. This tactic will get your gear in the fish's face fast, and often times will result in a defensive strike from an otherwise uncooperative fish. It has "made" many a day in my boat. Of course, if you have "magic" kwikfish, just drop em overboard and get ready. They catch fish so the boat doesn't have to!

  13. #13
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    I got a better plan get a 50hp jet and let me drive you somewhere, you'll forget all about the Kenai

    Actually I'll be hitting drift boat only days if they fall right at the end of july I do know when I fished the lower in a power boat we would just throw a 3 foot leader behind the diver and a diver for spin and glos or kwickfish... In retrospect I shoulda thrown a big fly on the end of the leader, switch things up a bit...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I run the plugs on a shorter leash because they dive better than eggs, plus the side-rigger position with the rod tips low to the waterline allows them to get down with less line.

    Good point, Doc.

    Another benefit of having plugs on the side and eggs off the back is if you have to get your lines in the boat fast it's a lot easier to get eggs in from 70 feet than it is to bring a plug in from 70 feet. As you know, your neighbors will appreciate anything you can do to get out of their way as soon as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    Good point, Doc.

    Another benefit of having plugs on the side and eggs off the back is if you have to get your lines in the boat fast it's a lot easier to get eggs in from 70 feet than it is to bring a plug in from 70 feet. As you know, your neighbors will appreciate anything you can do to get out of their way as soon as possible.
    The other guys in your own boat (esp the captain) will appreciate it as well!

    I mentioned earlier about deploying a fifth rod down the middle to backbounce just behind the boat. (Typically my rod or my brother's.)

    Why bounce that fifth rod? To be able to get that extra line in FAST!

    Bouncing with enough lead keeps that line on the shortest leash possible. It also presents the least amount of drag in the current when retrieving your gear. All of which means you can get that rod out of the way PRONTO!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  16. #16

    Talking Kwikfish contest?

    Hey Doc,
    I heard through the grapevine that we are going to be treated to another "Eyefish" kwik this year from the Ifish folks....

    Your submission?

  17. #17
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    Do tell ?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  18. #18

    Red face Kwiks

    Maybe I'm mistaken...entirely possible!

    I was refering to the Kwikfish contest on the Ifish forum site. I saw in the thread that one of the winners this year was the "Eyefish II". I just assumed it was a creation of yours!?

    Ok..so here's another question regarding rod type for trolling kwikfish. I have only ever used 8.5' rods for all my king fishing ranging anywhere from 10-20lb, 15-25lb and 15-30lb models.

    You guys got me all hot and bothered to pick up some 10.5' rods to troll the kwiks with!!

    I am a St. Croix man. Just love anything they make, however I do have a few Loomis rods and an assortment of Lamiglas.

    Give me some ideas on what I should be looking at....?

    Assume money isn't part of the discussion! LOL
    Just don't tell my wife!

  19. #19
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Check out this discussion from last spring:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...65C#post242401

    Several makes and models of the 10.5 footers in there.

    Also a side discussion (with another link) about bouncing rods.

    Finally here's a thread specifically about the Shimano CENNAN rods.

    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/f...CEN#Post426954
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  20. #20

    Default

    I'm a big fan of the GLoomis 10.5 footers and would like more. I've got plenty of GLoomis 8.5 footers and if any one is interested in buying a used one PM me.

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