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Thread: Slow Trolling Rig - No Buckets or Sea Anchors

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Slow Trolling Rig - No Buckets or Sea Anchors

    The following describes a “prototype” rig made in 1991 for slow trolling my 26’ Mackinaw, 240 hp, with swim platform. Before you laugh, it is still in use today. The rig may look odd, but has enabled trolling speeds of 1-2 knots. I find it easier than using buckets, doesn’t beat up against the hull, and is forgiving if I have to increase speed (as it just comes out of the water without damage).

    I primarily fish for Kings using menhaden (poggie). The bait looks good in the water and shows no significant signs of stress; and yes, the boat catches fish. Surprisingly, lines do not get caught in the trolling rig, though if necessary I will put the rod tip in the water to allow the line to pass under all the boat’s running gear (usually not required). My original intention was to use this prototype to develop a permanent design made of aluminum, but as the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    The trolling rig took about a ½ day to make, excluding time for paint to dry, and was relatively cheap.

    Bill Of Material:

    ¾ plywood (exterior or better)
    2 brass door hinges
    3” x 2” saddle tee (from Lowes) http://www.oatey.com/apps/catalog/sh...&prodgrpid=373
    2” x 1-1/2” reducing bushing
    Treated 2x6
    Stainless/ brass bolts and hardware
    3 - 10 lb down-rigger balls
    Brass Hooks for DR balls and small length of chain.
    2 ea. #10 x 3” SS stove bolts with lock nuts.

    Assembly:

    Cut the plywood in the same general shape and dimensions shown, rounding off the edges (not shown). The plywood must be cut long enough that the saddle tee will extend beyond the swim platform so it can be raised out of the water. The 3” x 2” saddle tee is attached using stainless bolts versus the hardware that comes with the package. Cut a 25 inch long, 1-1/2 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe. Note the 25” PVC pipe goes through the saddle tee and through the plywood for additional support. This will require reaming the reducing bushing to allow the pipe to pass through and also require cutting a circular hole in the plywood. Glue the reducer into the saddle tee. Drill holes at each end of the 25 inch pipe for #10 SS stove bolts. At one end, place a #10 x 3” SS screw between the saddle tee and the plywood after gluing the 25 inch pipe into place. This captures the pipe in the event the glue separates. The remaining #10 screw is attached at the other end to the chain for the DR balls.

    Next, attach the completed assembly to the boat by sandwiching the swim platform between the assembly and the 2nd 2x6 using SS bolts. My swim platform has slots in it thus no holes were required (remember "it’s temporary”).

    Two ropes are tied from stern cleats to the troller board near the saddle tee to prevent excess travel towards the rudder. A third line is attached to the PVC pipe/ chain to enable pulling the DR balls out of the water when through trolling and to prevent loss of DR balls if the pipe breaks.

    The purpose of the 25 inch PVC is to act as a lever to force the plywood down when trolling. The 30 lbs of downrigger balls attach to the other end of the PVC/ chain by using snap hooks. I connect two balls together and then a third separate ball for ease of attachment.

    When not in use, remove downrigger balls and attach a bungee cord to third eye bolt to keep troller out of the water.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by crhodes; 02-10-2007 at 11:06 PM.
    C Rhodes
    26' Mackinaw - 1990
    351 Indmar (1990-2006: Great Engine)
    351 PCM (2006 - Current)
    Southport, NC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca
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    19

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    Slow trolling is a wonderful technique. You spent a lot of time in your explanation and I for one thank you. My rig uses a small outboard and catches fish at slow speeds too. Think slow amigos.
    Ron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lake Superior, MN
    Posts
    69

    Default center trim tab

    I once saw a 22' Shamrock with a center trim tab modified to extend low enough to slow troll speed.
    Rudy, '81' 20' cutty cabin, 302 ford, 4 bbl Holley,RWC
    Duluth,Lake Superior,MN; Spring Hill,FL;

  4. #4
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    I like it. What prop on your Mack? May have to experiment with brake size and counterweight for diesel prop. Kinda surpised the PVC pipe has held up though.
    260 Mackinaw/Cummins

  5. #5
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    Barn.Light,N.J.
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    Looks interesting how about pics? Thanks

  6. #6
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    She swings a 16LH17 prop, idles at about 575-600 rpm, and has a 1.52:1 gear. Very interested if this can be used for a diesel. Suspect a larger lever (PVC pipe) and possible a fourth downrigger ball may be required. Though I lucked up on dimensions the first try, plywood was chosen for the prototype as it could be cut down later or easily replaced at low cost. A permanent version can be developed once optimal dimensions are determined.

    Will try to post a picture; however, this posting was originally delayed to computer crash. Haven’t yet loaded software that will allow me upload and resize pictures. As most of the troller is under the swim platform about all you see in the stored position is the 25 inch PVC pipe.
    C Rhodes
    26' Mackinaw - 1990
    351 Indmar (1990-2006: Great Engine)
    351 PCM (2006 - Current)
    Southport, NC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, Wa.
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    crhodes,
    An idea worth trying. What if the 25" pipe is metal and has the weight/lead inside? Also, what happens to the rig when you put the motor in reverse? I also has slots in my swim platform and made plywood plates that were shaped to but up against the transom and slip down between the slots. Worked great untill I forgot to bring them up one day. Your idea would auto raise at higher rpm.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2003
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    Jacksonville, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajadan2000
    What if the 25" pipe is metal and has the weight/lead inside?
    If you try something like that, and have the teak platform, be very carefull about making it extremely heavy... the load moments of that pipe in heavy seas, may not be good for the wood structure, while running with it in the up position. My all glass platform would probably handle it but if you don't reinforce a teak slatted one, it might have adverse effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajadan2000
    Also, what happens to the rig when you put the motor in reverse?
    Bet it slows your backing down. Just threw that in for fun. Let Crhodes fill that one in... he's been using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajadan2000
    I also has slots in my swim platform and made plywood plates that were shaped to but up against the transom and slip down between the slots. Worked great untill I forgot to bring them up one day. Your idea would auto raise at higher rpm.
    Sounds like a pretty good feature to me. I know I would forget to raise it, for sure... heck, I leave the swim ladder down fairly often.

    I believe this is a good option, with a lot of potential for adding some sophistocation if someone should have access to more advanced machine and tooling assets. If I were doing any live menhaden trolling, I would do something very much like this. It's all I can do to get my boat back into the water again... ain't there yet.
    Charles
    1981 14' Fisher john boat with 30 hp Mariner
    http://flickr.com/photos/71806267@N00/

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
    Frederick Douglass

  9. #9
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    Southport, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajadan2000
    What if the 25" pipe is metal and has the weight/lead inside?
    Could work but it moves the center of gravity closer to the troller plywood which will require more weight as the effective lever effect (moment arm) is reduced. May also prematurely wear the ropes that hold the troller in the up position (in addition to preventing more than 90 degrees downward travel). The weight isn’t more than a loaded cooler or bait well on the swim platform but it may challenge the hinge connections into the wood. Truthfully, the DR balls are relatively easy to attach. Please post results if you use lead in the pipes. Always room for improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajadan2000
    Also, what happens to the rig when you put the motor in reverse?
    It doesn’t damage the boat or troller; however, instead of backing down hard on a fish I will chase it. Chasing is not an issue as the troller comes out of the water with increased rpm/ speed. I do back down to stop forward motion but again, not to chase fish. If you were to back hard and the retaining lines broke, the troller would either rest against the rudder or the fiberglass hull with no damage other than scratched bottom paint. Bottom line, backing has not been an issue to date. If you use a hard material versus plywood, you might consider installing a "bumper pad" where the troller would meet fiberglass if the retaining lines broke.
    C Rhodes
    26' Mackinaw - 1990
    351 Indmar (1990-2006: Great Engine)
    351 PCM (2006 - Current)
    Southport, NC

  10. #10
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    So how much of that brake is actually in the water? What was your idle speed before the brake?

    Do you feel the majority of effectiveness is the brake effect or inhibiting/redirecting the propwash?
    260 Mackinaw/Cummins

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