Trolling Rods

At a Glance: Trolling Rods

Trolling rods are the highly specialized rods for use in trolling open water from a boat. They are engineered to accommodate the various types of lines, baits and lures dragged behind a moving boat, targeting a multitude of freshwater or saltwater species. Trolling rods are typically constructed of fiberglass or graphite and feature long cork or foam handles designed to fit into rod holders mounted to the boat. Trolling rods are typically one or two-piece rods, or telescoping models which shorten the rod and make storage and transporting easier. The rod blanks are typically much thicker and heavier than other fishing rods to be able to withstand the tremendous force put on them by the pull of terminal tackle with the movement of the boat. They also need to have a significant backbone to fight and land large, stubborn fish. Most trolling rods are designed to accommodate trolling reels or conventional reels which mount to the top of the blank, while a few models are designed for use with large spinning reels. Trolling rods for use with planers and divers are strong and flexible, but have fast actions. Rods designed for use with downriggers have softer, more flexible blanks that are able to bend significantly more than other rods and snap up when the line is tripped off the downrigger release. Some trolling rods feature specialized guides, like roller guides, and tips which are needed for the various types of wire trolling lines. Trolling rods for use with braided lines and wire should have stainless steel guides to withstand the abrasion that would damage other guides. In addition to being designed for specific types of line, trolling rods can be designed for specific species as well, with the most popular being steelhead/salmon and walleye. Panfish trolling is becoming popular in some areas and calls for rods designed for that purpose.