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Scotter96

Trolling plate or bags ?

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I have a small 16’ boat and I need to slow my speed down when trolling . Right now I’m tilting my engine without auto tilt . Big pain ! Anyone know if trolling plate is worth the investment? Or should I stick with buying bags ? . I have stabilizers on my 50hp Mercury. Is it even possible to put both on ( stabilizers and plate ) . Any input would help thx

 

 

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It may be better to go with the bag route and leave the engine alone. A pair of small (18") bags like  those in the link below should slow you down to trolling speed.  I use 24"s on my 19' because I wanted to run my kicker at a higher RPM for better thrust/control in the wind.

https://www.amazon.com/Danielson-24in-Drift-Sock-Anchor/dp/B006L10Z2A/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Danielson%2BDrift%2BSock%2BAnchor&qid=1570803638&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-4&th=1&psc=1

Edited by stinger

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Just to be contrary.....A trolling plate doesn't need to be stored, and you don't have anything hanging off the stern when you bring a fish in to be netted.  It will last the life of your boat, won't dry rot or rip.

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We had o e on our old trophy it worked great


I have a small 16’ boat and I need to slow my speed down when trolling . Right now I’m tilting my engine without auto tilt . Big pain ! Anyone know if trolling plate is worth the investment? Or should I stick with buying bags ? . I have stabilizers on my 50hp Mercury. Is it even possible to put both on ( stabilizers and plate ) . Any input would help thx
 
 
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Like I said I don’t want to take off my two stabilizers that I have on there . I noticed that they sell ones with those on the side . I’ll have to give it thought , reason being is I have a up lifted Downrigger plate that goes on the back of my boat so I bet from the sides so that makes sense


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trolling plate , forget to release it, can’t steer, BAGS all the way

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trolling plate , forget to release it, can’t steer, BAGS all the way


He is correct. Bags all the way. I had a trolling plate, they make it harder to steer in the wind with some chop. And if you don’t trip it when you go to leave the spot to head in you’ll shear the pin. I bought bags and have never regretted it.


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Trust me many years of trolling never ever do a plate ...they suck you loose your steering and they are not good for your motor.. buy 2 small bags and run them all the time..you can keep the rpms up makes steering in wind easier and your motor will run better.. make sure you hook them to the from of the boat if you have cleats in the front use those or use the front eye you use to trailer it. Then run them about 3/4 way back the boat with a rope on the back tied off to the back of the boat..does 2 things makes them easy to pull..grab the back rope and they dump out the larger front ...and keep the rear rope kinda tight it keeps them right on the sides out of the way and makes the boat control so much better .. and always run them both ..better buying 2 small ones and run them both..if you run one the boat will pull to that side all the time..

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Oh and forgot ...the rear rope is a savior if you ever forget and take off running with them out. The front rope breaks and the bags just skim across the water behind.. trust me ...I been there .

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One other thing about bags... they help to stabilize the boat in chop. The rocking and rolling can be diminished (to a degree) when they go in the water. I’ve been using the small Amish bags on my 18’ trophy in the back 3/4 (like mentioned) off the sides for years.


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I’m going to order them this week. Thx . I have a lot to do this off season . Plan on getting rid of that Downrigger platform and mounting everything to the boat . Taking over the garage !! My wife’s going to love that . Lol .


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I have ran both over the years... trolling plate works very nice and nothing left in the water. but if you don't want to spend the money the cheapest option is 5 gallon buckets... you can toss one, and if you still need to go slower you can toss a second bucket. bags I wouldn't spend the money. buckets work awesome.. we trolled for walleye in Canada an would usually run one bucket. slowed us down very nicely. easily get down to 1.8 I think 2 buckets I was at 1.2 mph with a 18 ft 150 hp...

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actually no I didn't, just tied to rope and threw out.. worked great for me.. I would try one before you spend any money... might do exactly what u want, and I would bet u probably have some lying around every one does...lol, I wouldn't even drill any holes...  I just used my rope I use to tie to dock.. 

 

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if you decide to go to trolling plate, use the easy troller trolling plate cabellas, it has a spring on plate so if you throttle up u wont bend the plate like the older ones did. and yes every one sooner or later would forget it and bend the plate. I used the new one with spring its perfect cause if u throttle up u wont bend it and u know its down.... u can buy wings for it to for getting up on plain quickly. really nice set up....  on the one I had I cut a slot at 45 degrees because it slowed me down to much at 90 degrees.... the hydro foil option is really nice to because you don't get that high lift on take off, u go right on to plain... but expensive.... 

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I have run buckets before they suck ..they bang on the sides of the boat and drive you crazy . Also they are not as easy to store they take up a lot more room than bags. But if you do use buckets drill holes for 2 reasons they actually slow you alot more with holes bc it let's water flow though them not just around them . And second it makes it alot easier to pull them out of the water a bucket full of water is heavy and if it's rough at all it's hard to reach over it dump them..all and all for the few dollars bags coat it's well worth it ..just get the small ones no need to go to big. They slow you alot .. on my boat it's over 2mph slower when I dump the bags in.. I run mine all the time even when I can get slow enough. It moves the boat handle so much better and let's you get your motor rpms up so they run so much smoother

 

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I work in a restaurant so I have access to many buckets of all sizes . I’m going to try that out first thx


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Walmart has new clean no label buckets in their paint dept for a couple bucks. I drilled holes near top to put the pull rope through but not in bottom. Why poke holes in a bucket making it worthless for anything else. Out the back they may be in the way. Off the front I don’t know if they may markup the boat side? So I never tried that. Will slow you down for$5 though.


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I use 2 5 gallon buckets on my 17 foot boat. I like them because they are easy to use. Just toss them over. With bags you have more lines in the water to tangle. I do use a large bag when I drift for perch and its a little more difficult to get it deployed.

Yes, they do bang on the side of the boat and take up more room.

If you go with buckets, drill a hole on the side towards the bottom of the bucket and put a rope through it. When you bring it in pull on that rope and it will empty the bucket. Makes it easy to bring them in without having to stop the boat.

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It is possible to tie the buckets to the back cleat and not have them bang into the boat. Ran buckets for years with no problem. I drilled alot of holes in the bottom and was able to get a 50 2 stroke down to 1.5. Good luck,   Matt

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On 10/12/2019 at 10:35 AM, Pete Collin said:

and you don't have anything hanging off the stern when you bring a fish in to be netted.

Never put them out the stern.  Attach to side or bow of your boat.  They will keep the boat slow and level in the water.  

 

Matt

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