Big Game Trolling Secrets #1: Selecting Lure Head Shape and Trolling Position

Much has been written on this topic by legends Bart Miller and Peter Pakula, but honestly, only part of the story has been told. Here are some high level guidelines for lure shape selection and trolling position.

  1. Short heads run short, long heads run long. This general rule fits many of the big game trolling lures, but not all.
  1. The degree of forward and rear tapering of the head can make a huge difference. Rear taper allows and lure to “stay in” better under faster trolling or rougher conditions be creating a download flow of water against the back of the head. The same is true with forward taper at the nose, it causes the lure to dive better and not “ski” on the surface. Many of the Legendary Lures use slight rear tapering which ensures they troll effectively under a wide range of conditions.
  1. Line height increases action. The height of the line is a great way to tune some lures to optimize performance in their trolling position. Ideally, the short rigger should have a higher line attack angle which creates greater resistance and subsequent explosion when the lure breaks the surface. This can be achieved by raising the line to the top of the rigger or trolling it on a closer wave. On flat calm days you will also need to create greater resistance by raising the line angle to prevent lures from looking “lazy”.
  1. Conventional offset swimmer (Kona) head lures can troll very well. Sorry to all those who have used various custom Hawaiian made or inexpensive production versions of the convention offset swimmer head – your experiences were probably mixed. However, at Legendary Lures we are producing versions of this head style that troll terrifically under a wide range of conditions up to 9 knots (Slash Bait). By optimizing head design and incorporating keel weighting, along with precise reproduction using polyurethane, we are able to create a consistent performing swimmer head that is a big fish killer!

Most big game trolling lures are made as either slant cut face, flat cut face, or concave face with or without jets. Concave faced lures are considered “no brainers” since they troll well, but in fact require correct positioning to really produce. The Legendary Lures Monster is ideal at the short corner and short rigger position (most ideal). The swimmer head “Slash Bait” is at home in the long corner and long rigger positions. Plungers can often be run in almost any position depending on the head shape. For example, a Superplunger can go long corner or short rigger depending on the conditions.

Please do email (link) us with any questions, we would be delighted to help.