Is it possible to troll for walleyes without using line counter reels?
Sure, and it’s possible to hammer a nail with a screwdriver if you work at it long enough. But it’s all about using the right tools for the job. A line counter reel is basically a medium- to large-sized level-wind reel fitted with a device for measuring the amount of line let out. What this does is allow you to more precisely set out lures in pre-determined patterns (amount of line behind the boat allowing lure to reach desired depths) and duplicate successful set-ups to more effectively fine-tune a productive trolling pattern for the day.
Here’s an example: You and a buddy head out for some trolling on a lake where you are allowed two lines per angler. In order to simplify our example, we’ll say that you’re running the same crankbait on all your lines. To start off the day, you set out two lines with the crankbaits 120 feet out which puts them at about 28 -feet deep and two more lines with the lures 75 feet back which puts them running at about 20-feet deep. Shortly into the first trolling pass, one of the 20-foot baits catches a nice walleye. Soon after that, another good fish comes on the other 20-foot bait.
Now you decide to run all your baits at 20 feet. By using line counter reels all set up with matching line, it’s a simple task to set them all with 75 feet of fishing line out putting them all in the active zone. It’s a simple matter of duplication. Find the right lure and the right depth to run it at and then duplicate the pattern to more effectively produce bites. Of course that’s a very simplified example, but it illustrates the point pretty well. Line counter reels are tools that allow you to consistently duplicate productive trolling patterns and get your next bite.
Note: If you have questions or comments on this or other articles of mine you may have read, contact me through the website www.thenextbite.com.