For trolling, just a handful of cranks can get you going. Make certain you use the highest quality stuff you can get – to handle bottom contact. Get a few shallower runners and a few deep divers. This way you can cover all the depth ranges. For trolling toughness, nothing can match Ben Clendening’s (lure molder for Musky Mania Tackle) crankbait lips and bodies. The Jakes are great for shallow to mid-range and Ernies in straight and jointed cover the deeper ranges. Trolling jerks can work well too and the Sledge is an effective trolling lure. Squirrely Burts work great for shallow ranges. Both are tough plastic baits. For line, I recommend Rapala Tough Line in 30# test for trolling with planer boards and 50# test Magibraid Spectra (from Bass Pro Shops) for flat lining. If you’re trolling in areas where you’ll contact lots of rock, then move up to 80# test Magibraid Spectra . Leaders for trolling are a little different than ones used for casting. Try a 4 foot long, seven strand leader like Musky Mania Tackle’s Trolling Leader. They feature an attractor blade and are great for keeping debris off the lure.
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