(1) How many boats run baited crowbars vs. just straight hardware?
>>> It really depends. There are some guys who fish straight "junk" all the time. Other factors: time of year (junk early in the year, switching to more bait later in the year); also..how good is the bite? When fishing is scratchy, bait is an advantage. But when it is really wide open (the last 5 years in the west coast have been real good), I mean thick as cement, biting anything they throw out, and a good boat is getting 200 - 400 fish a day, they are using junk since they can work the gear a lot faster. A guy might start a trip off with 2, 3, or 4 hundred baits made up... if the fishing is hot & he goes through them, he might not be able to keep up with sticking new baits for every leader, hence more junk in the water. Last, bait has been much more expensive the last few years, hence more use of junk.
(2) Should I not put a roll in 2 hook, RSK herring rigs when I run them behind a flasher?
>>> Well John I know that YOU know how several variables come together to affect how you bait runs...like the leader test, leader length, length from the flasher to the hook, trolling speed, and how you actually set the hooks in the bait. So the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" applies. Plus, our descriptions of "roll" and "wobble" might not be that different. What you definitely don't want is a bait that spins quickly on its axis.
Also, you gotta realize the different reasons for using different gear on a commercial boat, such as: (a) large single hooks are easier to store / stage / process in a trolling pit vs an RSK with short hooks, which will make a mess...(b) large single hooks are way stronger (than a thin mooching style hook) and you need this big strong hook since there is very little give between that 30 lb'er and the trolling wire, and (c) on a commercial boat, to be fast and efficient, you need to be able to remove the hook from the leaders. Re-threading a new bait on an RSK would probably take too much time.
Sorry for the long answer...but John, you deserve it