View Full Version : Trolling Noob Question

01-16-2012, 12:04 PM
I was out trolling at Folsom this weekend and was top lining a flasher with a 18 inch leader with a night crawler on a hook. I ended up catching two fish on this setup but was having a hard time keeping the flasher under the water. Sometimes I would look back and 100ft back of the boat I would see my flasher so I would reel in then slowly let it out again. The problem is it would only sit about 1 foot under the water then once it surfaced it would not go back under the surface. The flasher was approximately 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide I think I believe that is a standard flasher. If anyone has any tips on how they would top line with that setup please let me know.

Thanks for all of you help.

01-16-2012, 12:41 PM
When toplining non diving lures such as your flasher worm combo sometimes it is necessary to add some weight to the line about 3 feet in front of the flasher to keep it down. I like to use the rubber core sinkers which allows you to add or remove easily. 1/4 to 1/2 oz is usually plenty.

You can also try a longer set back. Also, having your rod more horizontal to the water and lower sometimes helps.

01-16-2012, 01:03 PM
Sometimes the thin dodgers like the Vance's will rise up. Like suggested, add some weight a few feet above the dodger. Another option is to run it on your downrigger at like two feet deep - just enough to keep it down.

01-16-2012, 01:50 PM
Ok I'll try adding a weight a couple feet in front of the flasher and see if that helps. Thanks for answering that question for me.

Also if I bought a flasher that has a ball bearing swivel attached to it should I tie that to my line then hook the clip on the bottom to my 18 inch leader with a swivel to attached to the clip. Or would I want to add a ball bearing swivel to the clip on the bottom of my flasher? I'm guessing when there is a clip on a flasher that the clip should connect to some sort of swivel then a hook at the end of the 18" leader.

Sorry for all the questions I"m just trying to get this trolling thing down!

01-16-2012, 02:25 PM
I use a ball bearing swivel or chain swivel as often as possible to avoid line twist on both my leader and/or main line....it doesn't hurt much. I do however try to avoid putting a swivel from where the leader directly attached to the lure or bait I'm fishing to keep my presentation as natural looking as possible.

And it's no trouble or bother....that's what these forums are for....to share info / tactics and fishing stories with one another. I have learned a ton of stuff because of this site and I like to think I've been able to contribute some info that helped someone else out as well.

Happy Fishing....

01-16-2012, 02:55 PM
Tie the swivel side of the flasher to your mainline... your lure/leader goes on the snap side. Then you can try diffrent lenghts of leaders/ diffrent lures throughout the day.

Koke Machine83
01-16-2012, 03:18 PM
My first question is your Speed??? You shouldn't have your flashers on the top of the water... What kind of flasher are you running??? I would first try to slow down. If you can put up a picture of how you are running them. That will answer a lot of questions... Robbie

01-16-2012, 04:09 PM
I think some of the dodger/flashers are directional as well. I have experienced having the dodger/flasher stay on top too. Liked mentioned, add a little weight in front, and check your speed.


Big Game
01-16-2012, 04:40 PM
I use ball bearing swivels on both ends of the "Flasher" ie: Ford Fender, Beer Can, Seps, Vance, etc...to help with line twist and aprox an 18" leader - (varying sometimes). Too much speed will raise any attractor, so you have to find a good speed that makes the attractor work optimally while getting to the correct depth you need too. I find Dodgers will run higher than the heavier attractors already mentioned. If you use crawlers - and don't have one already, spend $2.00 for a Nightcrawler Threader, they work great (I like the Dilly Crawlers - smaller ones) for these set-ups.
Also, something I learned for Sep of Seps Flashers - you want your LURE of BAIT to be slightly ABOVE the fish - so they can see it (not below) and the shallower the fish are the further your setback needs to be to decrease surface disturbance and noise.

Tight Lines, Big Game

01-16-2012, 08:55 PM
I agree with schatgun and fishbucket, the main line side of the dodger should be the one with the swivel. Running a rubber core weight ahead of your dodger is a good way to go if you don't run on a downrigger or don't have any leadcore set-ups. Speed is important with dodgers though as they are not designed to spin like a flasher or set of trolls, they are made to simply sway from side to side, too fast and they will rotate. The sway or dodging action is what your looking for when using this type of atractor . Shorter leaders will usually produce more fish [18" down to even 6"] because as the dodger sways it imparts more action to the lure. Generally, I go with 8-10" leaders with lures that have less action like kokanee bugs or hoochies, and up to 18" with lures with action like spoons etc..

Like schatgun said, don't be sorry for asking, that's what these forums are for. We were all there once :fishing1:

01-16-2012, 09:37 PM

I will echo what Koke Machine83 and Westcoaster Jim stated........... Speed..... I am new to the doggers myself, but when I have used them with someone experienced or by myself, I noticed that if you get much above 2-2.5mph or so the doggers ski across the surface to no end. This is using a 6lb main line to the dogger. I tried a heavier line the first time using a dogger, and couldn't get the dogger to drop below the surface.

01-16-2012, 10:26 PM
You can use bannana weights tied before your flasher/dodger, just make sure they are ring to string tied and no swivel between. As was said they will rotate (unless you want the dodger to)........Jetspray

01-17-2012, 12:12 PM

Thanks for your feedback I appreciate it. I will try adding a rubber core sinker to my line a few feet before the flasher and see if that helps. I'm not sure the speed I'm trolling at I'm just going as slow as my boat will go the GPS on my phone says its 2-3 mph but it's probably not that accurate.

Finsane - I also have a second pole with lead core line on it if I'm using that pole but I'm only trying to get say 5 feet down then should I let out only one color then tie on a long leader maybe 70 feet. So that way I would be 5 feet down and approximately 100 feet behind the boat?

Koke Machine83
01-17-2012, 04:13 PM
I can see the problem now!!! Yes, it's your speed. Shouldn't have to add any weight to a set of flashers. You only want to go as fast as the blades are turning... See if you can get your speed down in the lower 1.0 - 1.5 range. That will cure your surface skipping... Maybe a electric trolling motor or "Old School" 5 gallon buckets. I have used the really small flashers from Seps and trolled as slow as 1.0 GPS. 18" leader and a Big Fat Night Crawler... Good Luck !!! Robbie

01-17-2012, 05:27 PM
Speed Speed Speed. For me 1 to 2 mph max for typical dodgers. Sling Blades you can go a little faster.

01-17-2012, 09:41 PM
Yeah, at 2-3 mph you are going way too fast for most dodgers. If the dodger spins, you are going too fast. Stock Sling Blades right out of the package may be able to keep up at those speeds. If you can't use buckets to slow you down, switch to Rapalas or spoons like Speedy Shiners or Needlefish which are designed for higher speeds with no flasher required. With the spoons you will need some weight about three feet above the lure to get down.

The cold water this time of year will make the fish slow down and they may not be willing to chase the fast moving stuff. High speeds are good in the spring or fall when the surface water temperature gets above 55 degrees.

01-17-2012, 10:18 PM
Finsane - I also have a second pole with lead core line on it if I'm using that pole but I'm only trying to get say 5 feet down then should I let out only one color then tie on a long leader maybe 70 feet. So that way I would be 5 feet down and approximately 100 feet behind the boat?[/QUOTE]

That sounds like a good starting point.

01-18-2012, 08:47 AM
bsmith, first off congrats on 2 fish out of folsom with a fouled set up. Sounds like speed was definately the big factor with flashers coming out of water. I usually pull small flashers at 1.2 - 2 mph. Some flashers have a front rudder with a hole to attach small weight this works. What i like to do is put a small sliding sinker directly in front of my flashers or dodger. It not only does it get you down 3-5ft but adds some more action. Also may wanna try 125-150' set backs. Always look at the actioin of what ever your pulling next to the boat before you send it out. My 2 cents. BTW i'm 5 minutes from brown's ravine. If ever you're lookin for a second or wanna hop in my boat pm me. Dave

01-18-2012, 07:50 PM
Finsane- I think your gonna find with a 70' leader and one color that your lure or bait rides up to the surface. My personal favorite is a full spool of 15lb big game mono backing tied to 3-4 colors of lead core tied to 30' of 12lb mono to barrel swivel to 4' of 4-6lb flourocarbon. Play around with the set back- Cal wrote an article on here not to long ago about virtually the same set up and how to use it.

01-19-2012, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the help everyone I'll let you know how I do once I get out there when it stops raining.