Trolling Speed for Salmon
The speed at which you troll for salmon can have a dramatic affect on your hook up rates.
This depends mostly on the type of gear and lures that you are using and the kinds of depths that you are targeting.
Whether you are using a salmon flasher or a dodger in front of your lures will also determine how fast you troll for salmon.
If using a dodger then you might want to stay below 2.5 mph as they will end up spinning rather than darting back and forth. With salmon flashers you can go a little faster up to 3.5 mph.
Trolling Speed for Salmon
The best trolling speed for salmon will lie somewhere in the range of 1.5 to 3.5 mph depending on your exact setup.
Dodgers are designed to dart from side to side without much spinning. If you start to run at speeds above 2.5 mph you may well end up making the dodger spin.
Once a dodger spins the whole point of it becomes redundant as they are used so that they put some life and movement into the trailing lure behind it.
Flashers on the other hand are designed to run a little faster. The whole point of a flasher is to spin erratically and give off a big flash and lots of vibration through the water.
An 11 inch salmon flasher can comfortably take 3.5 mph. But can be usable from 2 mph hour upwards.
Ultimately the best way to test you flashers and dodgers is to run them along side the boat a few feet down so you can see them.
Adjust your speed so that you get the action and flash that you are most happy with. Some of the best salmon fishing lures run great at one speed but are almost useless at another.
Trolling speed for salmon will also impact the depth at which your gear will be running.
Once you hit 4 mph or more you may start to find that your downrigger ball starts to run a little higher than normal.
Drag anything from the back of a boat above a certain speed and it will start to rise naturally due to the speed.
Personally I like to troll in a range that suits the gear I am using.
Can a salmon really tell the difference or even care if you are running at 2.2 mph or 2.4 mph ?
A lot of anglers will have a preferred speed for salmon trolling rig but what is right for one may not be right for another.
Long lining without any kind of weight involved will mean matching your speed to the natural action of the lure you are using.
You can fine tune the speed just by letting the lure out a few feet and seeing how it swims. This is particularly important if you are using a lure like a Rapala as they are tuned to run at a certain speed.
Some lure can be tuned by hand like a Kwik Fish, experimenting with them can often yield the best results.
The best type of salmon fishing reel for trolling will not be a spinning reel or a baitcaster but a dedicated trolling reel.
Rod wise a if you are trolling then you need a salmon trolling rod that has a heavy power rating and is rated for line in the 20 to 40 lbs range.