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Old 02-18-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
Valco
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Default Trolling Speed Indicator

Has anyone used or using a trolling speed indicator? I saw one put out by Luhr Jensen and wanted to know if they are accurate or just another gadget that takes up room. I don't have any means to correctly gauge my speed. My finder is.pretty antiquated, do any of the newer finders measure trolling speed?

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

If you get a FF with a GPS they work real good for speed. Some of the Hummingbirds are not good at low trolling speeds on the GPS. That's been my experience on the 500 series.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

I use a handheld gps unit designed for hikers, it let's me log waypoints and give me speed, plus other things. I got mine at bi-mart for under $100. Brand name is Magellen.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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Originally Posted by Valco View Post
Has anyone used or using a trolling speed indicator? I saw one put out by Luhr Jensen and wanted to know if they are accurate or just another gadget that takes up room. I don't have any means to correctly gauge my speed. My finder is.pretty antiquated, do any of the newer finders measure trolling speed?
Those indicators are a very good investment if you don't have GPS. They are very accurate and will let you know just how fast you are really going.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

I go by the gps on the Huminbird 777c2. I also use the Luhr Jenson speed indicator once in a while just to double check...the readings have been pretty much the same.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

For the money the Luhr Jensen indicator is a very good unit. I fish a lot from a small open skiff and I have my indicator mounted right in line with my downrigger/rodholder and can see both at the same time. It is not quite as accurate as my hand held GPS but is a bit easier to use in a small open boat.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

Where the Luhr Jensen Troll Speed indicator really shines in in current. A GPS gives an accurate "speed over ground". In theory, in a lake with no current (calm day without wind) the troll speed indicator should give you the same speed reading as a GPS.

If there is a surface current on the lake because of wind, would there be current 20 or 60 feet below the surface? Probably not. So even with a surface current, if I am downrigger fishing, the GPS still gives the correct speed. With that realization, I haven't been using my troll speed indicator anymore when downrigger fishing in lakes or reserviors with no current.

Trolling for spring Chinook on the the Columbia or Willamette rivers is a different story though. Most people have the best results trolling herring going downsteam with the current. The current speed changes throughout the day as the tides ebb and flow. A good rule-of-thumb speed to get a cut-plug herring to spin, is to be going around 0.8 to 1.0 mph faster than the current is going. So if the river was flowing at a speed of 3.0 mph, you should be trolling at 4.0 mph. That sounds fast, but if you just drift at 3.0 mph with the current, your herring (or spinner) won't be spinning. A GPS in this case doesn't help you get to the right trolling speed, but the troll speed indicator does. In order for the troll speed indicator to register any speed, your boat has to be going faster than the current. Continuing with this example, if the current of the river was flowing at 3.0 mph; just watch the troll speed indicator and when it says you are going 1.0 mph, you will be a the ideal troll speed. The GPS will read 4.0 mph, while at the same time the troll speed indicator is reading 1.0 mph. For me, this is the beauty of the troll speed indicator; regardless of the speed of the current, you can always maintain the troll speed that you want.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

Thank you everyone for your great insights. I've been asking quite a few questions in this forum and hopefully not to the point of nausea. This will be my first true season trolling for anything and I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row. Thanks Waterfish for the well written scenario. If I'm understanding correctly using the speed indicator, the boat in relation to the current speed would be static? I would need to be traveling faster than the current to get an accurate measurement of trollling speed ( moving with.the current )? A GPS would register my.speed based on the movement of my device, correct?
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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Originally Posted by Valco View Post
Thank you everyone for your great insights. I've been asking quite a few questions in this forum and hopefully not to the point of nausea. This will be my first true season trolling for anything and I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row. Thanks Waterfish for the well written scenario. If I'm understanding correctly using the speed indicator, the boat in relation to the current speed would be static? I would need to be traveling faster than the current to get an accurate measurement of trollling speed ( moving with.the current )? A GPS would register my.speed based on the movement of my device, correct?
That's right. Another way to think about it is like this: If your boat was drifting downstream in a river with a 4.0 mph current, and you put a spinner out a few feet behind the boat so that you could see it, you would find out that even though you were travelling at 4.0 mph, the spinner would be hanging limp, not spinning - even though your GPS tells you that you are moving at 4.0 mph. You would have to go faster than the current to get your spinner (or other lure) to spin. Likewise, you have to go faster than the current to get the troll speed indicator to register any speed. So you increase the speed on your trolling motor so that now you are going 5.0 mph. Now the GPS will be reading 5.0 mph, while the troll speed indicator will read 1.0 mph.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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That's right. Another way to think about it is like this: If your boat was drifting downstream in a river with a 4.0 mph current, and you put a spinner out a few feet behind the boat so that you could see it, you would find out that even though you were travelling at 4.0 mph, the spinner would be hanging limp, not spinning - even though your GPS tells you that you are moving at 4.0 mph. You would have to go faster than the current to get your spinner (or other lure) to spin. Likewise, you have to go faster than the current to get the troll speed indicator to register any speed. So you increase the speed on your trolling motor so that now you are going 5.0 mph. Now the GPS will be reading 5.0 mph, while the troll speed indicator will read 1.0 mph.
Can I assume then that if I was moving against the current, a GPS would be what I would want to use since the indicator would be measuring the speed of the current in relation to my boat? If current was say 3.0 mph and I'm maintaining a trolling speed 1.0 mph faster, the indicator would read 4.0 mph. This may be a moot point unless there is a species out there that requires I troll against the current. What make and year is your boat? It looks like a very sturdy vintage vessel and the cause of my drooling ... oop, never mind, 1964 Glasspar Seafair Sedan ... very, very nice.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

TSI + GPS = MAI*

*Most Accurate Information

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

What Jzell said. Nice explanation waterfish

Valco, I always hang my setup over the side and make sure that it's working just how it's intended and/or how i want it too. Then I listen VERY closely to the tune of the motors, direction in the wind, current, etc. because this is what I did before speedometers. Too me they just ensure repetition during a hot bite and a good starting point. Very handy to have though if you have the cash
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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Originally Posted by fishin-rn View Post
What Jzell said. Nice explanation waterfish

Valco, I always hang my setup over the side and make sure that it's working just how it's intended and/or how i want it too. Then I listen VERY closely to the tune of the motors, direction in the wind, current, etc. because this is what I did before speedometers. Too me they just ensure repetition during a hot bite and a good starting point. Very handy to have though if you have the cash
That's another great tip, match the action of my dodger/lure to the tune of the motor. That sounds old school and I like it!
Thanks Fishin-RN
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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Can I assume then that if I was moving against the current, a GPS would be what I would want to use since the indicator would be measuring the speed of the current in relation to my boat? If current was say 3.0 mph and I'm maintaining a trolling speed 1.0 mph faster, the indicator would read 4.0 mph. This may be a moot point unless there is a species out there that requires I troll against the current. What make and year is your boat? It looks like a very sturdy vintage vessel and the cause of my drooling ... oop, never mind, 1964 Glasspar Seafair Sedan ... very, very nice.
Even going upstream against current, you would still go by the troll speed indicator, because it is what gives you the relative speed of the lure. In your example, if you went by the GPS, you would assume that the lure was spinning at 1.0 mph, when it's really going the same speed as it would be at 4.0 miles per hour in a lake with no current. That's one reason why you wouldn't want to troll upstream against a 3.0 mph current (unless you were fishing for barracuda or tuna).

Some more examples: If you anchored in the Columbia in a 3.0 mph current, the GPS would read 0.0 mph, and the troll speed indicator would show 3.0 mph. Now if you pulled anchor and started trolling upstream against that current at 1.0 mph, the GPS would read 1.0 mph and the troll speed indicator would read 4.0 mph. When I am fishing in a current, the GPS doesn’t tell me what I need to know, but the troll speed indicator always does, whether going upstream or downstream, and in water where the current speed is constantly changing.

Add a Trollmaster Pro-Troll II to your trolling motor (it is basically like a cruise control that keeps the trolling motor at a precise speed); combined with a GPS and the troll speed indicator, and you can master your trolling speed in any water. A Trollmaster costs around $250.00 last time I checked. It’s one of the best things I’ve added to my boat. The Luhr Jensen troll speed indicators sell for $45.00 at Wholesale Sports.

Here’s a few photos of my ’64 Glasspar Seafair Sedan. Moknots, one of our Ifish kokanee gurus, also has a ’64 just like mine.





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Old 02-20-2011, 07:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

I came to the same conclusion or at least I think I did. I wasn't considering the lure action at the moment but glad you brought that up.
Just to clarify, if ( and no reason I would, there's no barricuda or tuna nearby) I was trolling upstream, traveling at 1 mph over the current speed of 3 mph, the indicator would have me at 4 mph. If I'm moving against the current and using the GPS, it would indicate I was traveling at 1 mph, correct?
Fortunately, most of my fishing will be lake trolling for kokanee ,trout (and small mouths with my pastor) though I won't discount the possibility to go for stripers when the run is on, so the GPS sounds like the way to go. I'm only in a 12 ft so space is a premium and weight is another consideration, the electric is only a 24# thrust. WF, she is beautiful, fiberglass will never replace the refining look and appeal of mohogany, that is mohogany?. I had the good fortune of being a kid who was raised part of the time on a boat. My folks owned a 35 ft Mariner ketch. 7-9 months out of the year we were on her sailing to Catalina, the Channel Islands etc. Dad even thought about sailing her to Hawaii once but mom put her foot down hard on that idea I think.
Dad and I did a fair amount of fishing off her stern for our favorite, sand dabs. No fight to em but darn good eating and it was one of the few things my dad and I enjoyed doing together.
What I remember vividly about her, was the woodwork. Teak and mohogany topside and laquered cherry wood from the companion way and all through the galley and cabin. Your pictures brought that to memory, thanks for sharing them.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

Fishin-Rn has a very good point. When fishing for kokanee, or any other fish for that matter, it is not important what speed you are going as long as it is the one catching fish. Different rigs fish better at different speeds. By putting your rig over the side and varying your speed to get the best action for the gear you are fishing is much more important than picking a speed on a speed indication device such as GPS or other speed indicator. The beauty of having a speed indicator device (GPS is the best) you will find it much easier to maintain that optimum speed. Fishing in a lake, current is usually not an issue. Forward movement whether caused by your kicker or by the wind is an issue. If you can't slow the boat down to the speed you desire, switch your gear to accommodate the speed you are moving. Dodgers such as the Shasta Sling Blade fish well at speed. Dodgers such as Sep's, Crystal Basin, and Vances with more kick fish well at slower speeds. If you don't have the right dodger for the speed modify. Putting a bend in the Shasta or putting split shot below the others mentioned will change the action to accommodate different speeds. Play with it and learn. Depth is the one factor that requires more specialized gear but even then there are more ways than meets the eye to skin a cat.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #17
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Fishin-Rn has a very good point. When fishing for kokanee, or any other fish for that matter, it is not important what speed you are going as long as it is the one catching fish. Different rigs fish better at different speeds. By putting your rig over the side and varying your speed to get the best action for the gear you are fishing is much more important than picking a speed on a speed indication device such as GPS or other speed indicator. The beauty of having a speed indicator device (GPS is the best) you will find it much easier to maintain that optimum speed. Fishing in a lake, current is usually not an issue. Forward movement whether caused by your kicker or by the wind is an issue. If you can't slow the boat down to the speed you desire, switch your gear to accommodate the speed you are moving. Dodgers such as the Shasta Sling Blade fish well at speed. Dodgers such as Sep's, Crystal Basin, and Vances with more kick fish well at slower speeds. If you don't have the right dodger for the speed modify. Putting a bend in the Shasta or putting split shot below the others mentioned will change the action to accommodate different speeds. Play with it and learn. Depth is the one factor that requires more specialized gear but even then there are more ways than meets the eye to skin a cat.
This makes good sense and I've used it before in seeing how certain baits work while fishing for small mouths just not in a trolling situation. Never occurred to me to modify my dodger ( if need be) to get the desired action,again great tips , thanks!
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

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I came to the same conclusion or at least I think I did. I wasn't considering the lure action at the moment but glad you brought that up.
Just to clarify, if ( and no reason I would, there's no barricuda or tuna nearby) I was trolling upstream, traveling at 1 mph over the current speed of 3 mph, the indicator would have me at 4 mph. If I'm moving against the current and using the GPS, it would indicate I was traveling at 1 mph, correct?
Fortunately, most of my fishing will be lake trolling for kokanee ,trout (and small mouths with my pastor) though I won't discount the possibility to go for stripers when the run is on, so the GPS sounds like the way to go. I'm only in a 12 ft so space is a premium and weight is another consideration, the electric is only a 24# thrust. WF, she is beautiful, fiberglass will never replace the refining look and appeal of mohogany, that is mohogany?. I had the good fortune of being a kid who was raised part of the time on a boat. My folks owned a 35 ft Mariner ketch. 7-9 months out of the year we were on her sailing to Catalina, the Channel Islands etc. Dad even thought about sailing her to Hawaii once but mom put her foot down hard on that idea I think.
Dad and I did a fair amount of fishing off her stern for our favorite, sand dabs. No fight to em but darn good eating and it was one of the few things my dad and I enjoyed doing together.
What I remember vividly about her, was the woodwork. Teak and mohogany topside and laquered cherry wood from the companion way and all through the galley and cabin. Your pictures brought that to memory, thanks for sharing them.

You are correct. If travelling upstream in a 3.0 mph current at 1.0 mph, the GPS would show 1.0 mph (the true speed that you are travelling) and the troll speed indicator would show 4.0 mph because that is the relative speed that would be spinning your lure.

The woodwork in my Glasspar is mohagany, (most of the boat is fiberglass). Oddly, a previous owner had painted over all of the mohangany with several coats of thick, dark green paint! Even that brass Glasspar ID plate over the cabin door was covered by paint. When I restored the boat I stripped off the paint and refinished the mohagany.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

There is a company called Kell Outdoors. They have a product called a Depth Raider Probe. I have used them a lot on Lake Michigan and they are amazing. They give you true speed at the baits and temp at the level of the probe.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

Many of these replies / hypothetical trolling scenerios sound like a really bad grade-school math quiz.

Gonna have to reread and blend it all together into an trout forum brain freezer.

jz
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #21
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

has anyone used the the speed indicators of Lorance? I have a small one and am considering purchasing the speed indicator.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:45 PM   #22
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Many of these replies / hypothetical trolling scenerios sound like a really bad grade-school math quiz.

Gonna have to reread and blend it all together into an trout forum brain freezer.

jz
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:27 PM   #23
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Heh heh, I was wondering if someone other than I was thinking that. Ok, no more math scenarios, I think I got it. My plan was to go friday but of course the weather guy got together with Mom Nature and decided to possibly throw a snow party by the end of the week.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

Got a smart phone? I downloaded a free speedometer app onto my iPhone. Works great.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:10 AM   #25
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

what does everyone due when GPS signal is lost...ie near dam at merwin ??

that why the mechical speed indicator is always deployed when i'm fishing

ideas??
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #26
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Default Re: Trolling Speed Indicator

The area near the dam @ Merwin is a parallel universe....no cell phone service there either. My GPS goes wacko there too. That's why a mechanical devise works as a good backup.

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Old 02-25-2011, 06:24 PM   #27
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Got a smart phone? I downloaded a free speedometer app onto my iPhone. Works great.
Good idea, I'll see if something like that is available for my droid.
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