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Post Posted: 07:38am - Nov 19,10 
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Just curious who here fishes flashers and flies off of leadcore?

Last summer, I was finding my salmon down around 35ft deep which at the speed I was trolling put my 8 color lead in the strike zone. Now that was fishing with clean spoons. I hear some charter captains fish flashers and flies off of leadcore and do really well but either I would have to increase my leadcore, slow my trolling speed or switch to copper (which isn't happening anytime soon) if I wanted to run them off the leads at a similar depth.

Running the flashers/flies off of leadcore really doesn't make too much sense to me because unless the fish are pretty high in the water column you're taking a somwhat stealthy tactic (boards and leadcore) and putting a noisy aggressive presentation with it. Seems to me it's much easier to run flashers and flies off of riggers, dipsys or wire rods.

Any thoughts?

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Post Posted: 07:57am - Nov 19,10 
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I do it all the time especially on 10 and 12 color. Stealth doesn't always mean quiet in the water! Hell, rattle jplugs on lead are awesome. Stealth to me is to actually get away from the boat. Nobody knows really why dodgers and flashers look like to salmon or trout. Some say they look like a king thrashing through bait, some say it resembles a school of bait switching directions, others say it's only a device to get the fly to resemble a bait fish. I personally believe it's all three. Anyways, my best rig last year was a 10 color with a Big Weenie UV meat rig. The paddle is like 11 inches and has three uv squids about a foot apart followed by a uv meat head. I run it on the board. One thing you have to remember is that lead core doesn't stick to one depth! It rises and falls and that is usually when they strike.

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Post Posted: 08:54am - Nov 19,10 
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Hey Joel, what speed are you normally trolling when you run the flashers off the lead?

I obviously have GPS and then a Depth Raider for down speed and temp. Most times, I was running 2.6-2.8 on the Depth Raider, a bit faster on the GPS, which I surmised put my 8 and 10 color leads with clean spoons down around 35 to 40 feet deep. Until I switch over to copper, which ain't happening anytime soon, that's about the maximun depth I can hit at that speed with my 8 and 10 color leadcores. I figure, if I switch over to a flasher and fly, the increased resistence will have my rig running closer to 25 feet down instead of 35 or 40 feet deep. Again, that's running at a 2.8 speed on the Depth Raider.

Since most of my kings came out of 35 to 40 feet, that's why i thought running the flashers and flies off of lead is not a great idea.

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Post Posted: 10:44am - Nov 19,10 
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I run flasher/fly combos on leadcore pretty often. On my boat, the "hot" bait on leadcore seems to change every year. One year, it's a J-plug, the next year, it's a spoon and the next, it's a flasher/fly. In 2006 and 2007, the flasher/fly rigs were very good on the fullcore. In 2006, the #1 leadcore bait was a white/glow eChip flasher and Bluegreen Aqua Crinkle Trophy fly. In 2007, a Green Dolphin eChip flasher and Chartreuse Glitter Trophy fly was the #2 leadcore bait for me. In 2008, the flasher/flies did nothing on leadcore. In 2009, they were so-so, with no single combo standing out, but several fish were caught with several different rigs. Last year, they dropped off again, and we only caught a few on the White/Glow & Aqua combo.

Same as for Joel, they seem to do better for me on the longer cores. I tend to troll quite a bit slower than you, though. I usually try to keep my speed between 2.0 and 2.3 kts on the GPS (equivalent to 2.3 to 2.6 mph), or around 2.0 mph at the ball. Whenever I am running a fullcore, regardless of what bait is on it, I try to stay in water deeper than 40'. Especially if I have to turn toward the side with the flasher/fly on it.

Flashers and flies definitely have their time and place on the leadcore. Good Luck!

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Post Posted: 10:55am - Nov 19,10 
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Well I have to do more experimenting with speed this year.

It really depends on who you talk to, and again back to the gear they use, the boat they have and the systems that record their speed. One guy told me that if he's not hitting fish on the flashers he speed up. I can't see going much faster than I did on average last year, so I'll have to try alternating my speeds a little slower, still utilizing my S turns.

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Post Posted: 11:09am - Nov 19,10 
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I'm in with Jerry with the speed. Remember every boat trolls different and speeds do vary if not calibrated. I personally use a fish hawk x4. My speeds have varied from 1.9 at the ball to 3.1. Each day is different. I also have run dive bombers on my lead with great success. Remember to fluctuate your speed and zig zag. Once you find patterns, stick with it. It's not always about changing baits as much as speed, location, direction, and depth.

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Post Posted: 12:16pm - Nov 19,10 
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Yes I definitely agree. I liked trolling the faster speed at the ball but probably missed out on a few non-suicidal fish that would have preferred a slower presentation.

I will say surprisingly I got my biggest lake trout (12lbs) trolling a flasher and fly at 2.8 on my last full trip out. Definitely more things to toy with this coming year.

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Post Posted: 12:42pm - Nov 19,10 
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Joel and Jerry,

I want to experiment trolling at slower speeds next year and will need to drag something to get my boat below about 2.9 or 3 on the gps most days. Can either of you recommend a brand of trolling sock/bags or something similar that I could tie off the bow cleats to help with this? I don't need much reduction, but it would be nice to have the option on calm days or trolling with stong surface currents.

thx

Dave

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Post Posted: 12:58pm - Nov 19,10 
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Dave
can't trim up some or all the way down to slow boat speed? I know on our boat I can change the speed considerably by doing this

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Post Posted: 01:09pm - Nov 19,10 
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Thanks--I will mess with both the tabs and the lower unit trim in the spring and see if I can dial them in together to slow down before buying bags. I didn't have use of my tabs last year as one of the senders was out. Adjusting the lower unit trim did make some difference but I still have a pretty fast idle.

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Post Posted: 01:26pm - Nov 19,10 
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I've heard of guys using 5 gallon buckets to slow down. Jerry uses an Amish made trolling bag. He'd have to give you the site and name though. I looked at them once but figure since I would only use it for when I drift for Perches, I would stick with my lighter duty Navy surplus sea anchor.

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Post Posted: 01:47pm - Nov 19,10 
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Dave,

The bag I use is made by Amish Outfitters. They have a website and should be easy to find. I absolutely, without hesitation, recommend them. I have had mine for 11 years, having blown out 2 of the cheaper brands in the space of about 2 months. The Amish bags are just about bulletproof. When I first bought it (and before I got the lines measured correctly), I actually spun it into one of my props. It stalled the 351cid V-8 and the bag came away UNDAMAGED! They make 2 versions, the Buggy Bag and the Beefy Bag. I've got the 36" Beefy version. It slows my 28' Slickcraft from over 3+ kts to around 1.3 kts on the GPS. They are a little more expensive, but IMHO they are worth every penny. Good Luck!

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Post Posted: 02:24pm - Nov 19,10 
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All this talk gets you thinking.......you go out on the big lake thinking one thing and by talking to others come up with different ideas. I always thought I was running at a good speed, right in line with others, but actually it appears I was on the fast end most times. Hey, we did alright with a spoon setup, but maybe that explains some of my flasher issues?

Who knows? It's not even winter yet and I'm dying to get back in the boat already.

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Post Posted: 02:40pm - Nov 19,10 
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While I don't have nearly as much experience as some that have replied 5 colors with a 6" dodger and fly was a killer set up for me earlier in the season when the fish were in less than 60 FOW. In fact other than coho this combo has outfished any other way I have presented a dodger and fly. I know you posted the question in regards to flashers but I haven't tried running a flasher off lead.

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Post Posted: 04:02pm - Nov 19,10 
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So many variables....

Try and look on the web for how deep a #27 leadcore will run at different speeds. You'll find many answers.

Last summer we caught most of our fish trolling with an 6, 8 and 10 core lead. Most fish came on the 8 core, which I surmised was running close to 30-35ft down at 2.6 to 2.8 with clean spoons. My 10 core was running max 40 to 45ft deep. This makes me believe that the way I troll, my leads are maxing out, at best, to 45ft deep. If the fish stay in that range or above, my leads are effective. If the fish drop below 45ft deep, I'm looking at stacking downriggers or wire dipsys. Now throw flashers and flies into the mix and I'll be riding above that due to the water resistence on all the gear.

Now hopefully, typical summers will find salmon in the 30-50ft range. If that is the case, I'll be able to utilize my leadcores, my braid dipsys, my wire dipsys and my downriggers. If the fish drop deeper than 45ft, I think my leadcores will be less effective, leaving just the dipsys and the riggers.

So much to learn for next season.

BTW....the more I learn about copper, it seems like a good thing to have for the big lake, however, the boss (my lovely wife) stated NO copper rods for now.

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Post Posted: 04:30pm - Nov 19,10 
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You can always run more than 10 colors for more depth.

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Post Posted: 05:01pm - Nov 19,10 
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Thanks guys.

Jerry,

I did find your brand online and on several other sites they are just about unanimously recommended. Do you run just 1 bag or 1 on each side? Sounds like my boat runs the same speed as yours. If you only run 1, I assume you tie it off the bow--does it negatively impact steering or tracking. Was thinking of running one 18" on each side as that was recommended by a couple captains on another site, but if I can get away with 1 that would be great.

Dave

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Post Posted: 05:44pm - Nov 19,10 
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Popeye wrote:
I've heard of guys using 5 gallon buckets to slow down. Jerry uses an Amish made trolling bag. He'd have to give you the site and name though. I looked at them once but figure since I would only use it for when I drift for Perches, I would stick with my lighter duty Navy surplus sea anchor.


This is what I use. I can get down to 1.2mph with 2 buckets on each side.. with out bags I go 1.9-2.1mph. Just drill a 2" hole in the bottom of each bucket to make taking it out easier.

HTR

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Post Posted: 07:57am - Nov 20,10 
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Zamboati,
Run one bag on each side for balance. They also calm the boat down in rough water.
Jay
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Post Posted: 11:48am - Nov 20,10 
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Dave,

I only run one bag, but I also troll on only one motor (on a twin engine boat). When I shut down the 2nd engine, the one that is still running pushes the boat into a turn. By running the trolling bag on the same side as the motor that I'm trolling on, it sort of balances out the effect. It is not perfectly balanced, but it is close. I can still turn either way in most conditions. High winds can force me to only turn downwind, but at that point, I am probably headed back to shore anyway.

My boat doesn't have bow cleats; it has a king post in the center of the foredeck. The rope for the bag is secured over the king post and then runs to the side, thru a line-guide fitting above the rubrail. The line goes along the hull and is measured so the bag is just in front of the prop shafts (the boat is an inboard, so the props/rudders are under the boat). The bag is actually running just forward of where my dipsy rodholders are. I have a dump line tied to the back of the bag, which I have measured so that when I secure it to the pipework on my radar arch, the bag stays just below the surface and does not roll under the boat. The dump line also makes retrieval much easier, although, the best way is to slip the boat into neutral before trying to lift the bag.

With a single-screw boat, I would imagine that 2 smaller bags would be better than a single. larger bag. At least as far as steering goes. I do not have auto-pilot, either, so I cannot comment on how that would be affected. Good Luck!

Jerry
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