Book's dive charts an aid for anglers who troll
Written by Booth Newspapers   
Tuesday, 25 October 2005 04:30

The problem with trolling, as it's been practiced over the decades, is that there's always a ton of guesswork associated with it. Anglers can study the data lure manufacturers offer, but any number of factors -- line diameter, trolling speed and the amount of line between the boat and the lure -- play into the equation.

Two Michigan anglers, Dr. Steve Holt and outdoor writer Mark Romanack, took a lot of the guesswork out of it when they began producing books with dive charts in them for popular lures. By using divers with scuba gear to document lure depth, Holt and Romanack produced charts for lures using 10-pound test monofilament line at various distances behind the boat.

But, there was still guess work involved. What about other size mono? What about different lead lengths? The pair devised conversion charts to help try to answer those questions, but charts are charts; they are not hard empirical evidence.

So, that inevitably led to more tests and updated editions. "Precision Trolling," now in its seventh edition, has sold more than 100,000 copies. The eighth edition is in the works and will feature 40 to 50 of the most popular crankbaits trolled on 10-pound Fireline.

But the pair has found that more questions remain. What about the methods big-water anglers -- mostly trout and salmon anglers -- employ? Where are those lures running?

Welcome to "Precision Trolling, Big Water Edition."

"We wanted to test things like diving planers, lead-core line, snap weights, things that are more suitable for salmon fishing," Romanack said. "We tested Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Mini-Disks, and Jet Divers and we tested them on three different lines -- 30-pound mono, 30-pound braid and 30-pound wire."

In addition, the pair tested three sizes of lead-core line: 18-, 27-, and 36-pound test.

"The most interesting thing we learned is about the lead-core stuff," Romanack said. "It dives deep, substantially deep, but it's very speed dependent. You can get very deep if you're willing to slow down a bit."

Of course, the new book has opened even more questions. What if you use heavier (or lighter) mono, braid or wire? What about copper wire, which is quickly becoming all the rage?

Romanack promises future research on those questions. But in the meantime, "Big Water Edition" should help beginning salmon trollers take some of the guesswork out of where their spoons and dodgers are running.

 
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