Often, it's the
Great Lakes trolling
methods are constantly moving forward.
In 2015 I discovered bead chain swivel weights. This was like the
second coming for yours truly. Bead chains with a keel to stop, and I
mean completely stop any possibility of line twist!
Line weights about 5' to 6' in front of your lure accomplish 2 things:
1. Often overlooked, is the reel-fact it increases the action of the spoon.
2. They break the surface tension of the water that shows itself on flat-calm days. Allowing the spoon to grab water.
Surface Tension Issues
Surface tension will cause the spoon ride on top and never dig down into the water. The keel on the bead chain weights run interference thru suspended and floating debris that takes a lure out of your spread. Plain and simple common sense says, bead chain weights, or sinkers are one slick piece of work. Best part is? ...the each bead in the chain are swivel points to keep line twists from ruining line and fish catching opportunities! These articulated weights will make your time on the pond more successful!
Plus, keel weights do a wonderful job by acting as an automatic "bird" stopper for inline boards. Without a line stop, the inline board will slide down & smack the fish in the chops. Resulting in one pissed off fish. Plus, the extra mass/weight at the worst possible place that can assist Mr. Fish shake free of your hook. Then, fish swims away wiser for the encounter, while you stand there looking like a dummy and kicking yourself in the butt for not putting a stopper on the line in the first place. Yes, this has happened on my boat before!
Rubber core sinkers were a quick fix that don't last long, because the rubber deteriorates. Eggs sinkers do work, but you have to put a swivel and an 8mm bead if you want to get fancy. So, do the bullet worm weights Bass fishermen use. But once again, this requires the use of a inline barrel swivel. None of these other kinds of weights stop and prevent the lines twisties.
Speed Effects Depth
Any weight your line effects depth and that depends on your troll speed. Amount of weight I've used most often is 1/2 and 1 oz. 1/2 oz is more for early and late season. If you're inshore trolling browns in the spring? ...1 oz is too much. Because when you slow down to fight a fish from 2.5 to 1.5 mph, 1 oz will hit the bottom in 6' to 8' of water. Resulting in hooks fouled from flotsam and jetsam that have settled on the bottom. Weeds, leaves, roots come from all major river estuaries. Roots from shore grass were extra nasty in April 2015 from high water eroding the shoreline off my home port of Manistee, MI.
Best choices for early season shoreline trolling are 3/8s, 1/2 and 5/8s of an ounce. 1 oz is better served when you move to the deep water when temp breaks start developing offshore (late May). You just can't take the chance dragging any lure on the bottom. If you do? ...it's highly likely, the bait is going to get fouled from debris. This is the main reason behind not using the 1 ouncers for early season shoreline Brown Trout trolling.
After seeing the advantages to bead chain being part of the weight? ...I purchased a mold and went into manufacturing this nifty piece of fishing tackle for 2016. We were able to improve upon the test weights purchased online by modifying the mold to accept 45 pound test 6 ball chain. Rather than the online purchased shorter 4 ball chain weights. More stainless steel balls exposed means more swivel bearing points. More is always better!
This is a very low profit margin piece of tackle for us to manufacture. Count up the price on 2 six-bead stainless steel chains, labor, with the cost of lead and you can see there's no way to make a pile of dough from selling these. I look at these weights as a big time product enhancement for my spoons and that's what makes it worthwhile for us. There's nothing, and I repeat nothing, you can do to improve your surface trolling program ...like using bead chain keel trolling weights!
I have to head this question off at the pass. So, don't ask for as tech sheet on how much depth each size bead chain sinker is capable of. Because it's entirely related to line diameter vs. speed. Then, if your speed indicator matches up with mine.