View Full Version : What is the best trolling plate?

09-05-2005, 01:46 PM
I have just outfitted an 18í aluminum boat with a Merc 75 hp 4 stroke.
My GPS indicated 3 mph at idle so Iím looking for a good trolling plate.
I have searched the various threads on the forum and am more confused than ever.
The Hydra Troll with hydrofoil at Cabalaís for $100.00 looks good but would like some input from people that have been using a trolling plate and are happy with it. At this point I donít want to add a kicker motor, pull a bucket or troll backwards, so that is not an option. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

09-05-2005, 04:07 PM
Irish, I have a Troll-O-Matic that's spring loaded. I didn't care for it. Just my opinion. It did slow me down for trolling just fine, and you don't have to worry about pulling the cord to get it back up, just hit the throttle and go. It was slow to come up sometimes though, taking forever to get the boat on plane. My dad has used the Happy Troller for many many years and it produces great results, and is easy to raise when it's time to go. The drawback is that if you forget to raise it and hit the throttle, damage to the plate or outdrive can occur. The plus to the Cabela's unit is the shear pin built in just in case you forget to raise it. This is the way I would go. As for the hydrofoil, it's up to you. Some boats it will help, others it won't. Cabela's makes models with and without.


09-05-2005, 06:15 PM
I used the Cabelas Hydro-Troll for three seasons and it worked great. It would slow my 75 h.p. Honda down to 1.2 mph for kokanee trolling and dramatically improved the hole shot and on-plane handling of my 17' Hewes Craft. It eliminated all porpesing (spelling?), making for a smooth ride.

I finally saved up enough pennies to put on a kicker motor.

The unit is FOR SALE if you are interested. I'm asking $65 plus shipping. I'll throw in some extra brass shear pins. White in color.

09-07-2005, 12:58 PM
I have 190 HP and kept bending trolling plates. I put on an EasyTroller and it works great.


09-08-2005, 04:45 AM
I like the looks of this plate. What is your experence with being able to lock it down and then release it to the up position. This seems to be the problem with some of the plates, getting it to lock back up without raising the motor to get it up by hand. Did you get the hydrofoil model? Also how did you mount the cable next to the motor. Thanks for the help guys.

09-08-2005, 01:35 PM
I have the happy troller and love it. It has two positions so I can adjust it acording to the wind. It it spring loaded so just pull the cord and put it into gear.I also feel it has made my ride smoother at higher speeds, in my 14ft which is aout 20-25mph.


09-10-2005, 05:17 AM
Thanks for the input guys,it helps to know what's working and what's not, rather than trial a error.

09-10-2005, 08:07 AM
i have a 2002 4-stoke merc an the little fella happy troll. it works great but had to modify,by the way its a 15 horse. i found it better to have the plate the same size as the prop , so i clipped the plate to match. this may not work for everyone, but it did mine.

09-11-2005, 08:17 PM
I had the Cabelas model with the shear pins. It worked great for me. The only thing that I did not like about using the plate was if the wind picked up and was blowing into you from the side, You could not get enough power to turn into the wind with out shearing your pin. I finally broke down and This last week I installed Mercury's new four stroke Pro Kicker 9.9. I have not used it yet, but I am pretty excited to get out and try it. The guy's at gone fishin marine suggested that the trolling plate was not a real good idea. They were saying that you will build up some carbon which could lead to other problems. I don't know how accurated that is, especially since they are in the business to sell motors. But it might be something you want to take into consideration.


09-11-2005, 08:46 PM
i also have a 190 hp motor and use the large happy troller and it works fine, if it bends just bend it back into place, that is what i always do and it seems to work fine

09-12-2005, 04:56 PM

I used the Happy Troller on a 90 HP Merc on my old boat. Worked great to the point it would troll down too slow for me. I was going to modify it but sold the boat instead. Did bend it a couple of times because I had my head up my rear and forgot it was down.


09-17-2005, 09:43 AM
fresnofishfan, (or anyone else)

You mentioned that your happy troller had two positions. I've been thinking about modifying mine. With this modification can you still get it to release to the full up position? I don't want to be reaching over the side.

Thanks in advance

09-17-2005, 04:28 PM

Laketroller told me that he had cut notched in his to give him a couple of options on settings. He said when bringing it up if he caught he would have to pull the cord a second time. At least that is what I think he told me as it has been a couple of years ago now.


09-17-2005, 09:50 PM

Thanks. I wouldn't mind a second pull but reaching over the side is too much.

I had a different trolling plate and it wouldn't come up. So I had to raise the motor and lift the plate by hand.