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Trolling Spinners for Salmon


Over the years more and more anglers are catching on to the effectiveness of using inline spinners when trolling for salmon. Unlike the cast and retrieve style spinners used by bank anglers for centuries trolling spinners require the use of weight or a diver to get the spinner down to the desired depth. They’re also designed to work effectively when trailed behind a flasher. This requires a lighter spinner with a spinner blade the rotates consistently at slow or varying speeds. Among the most effective blades for exactly that, are the Colorado blade and the Cascade blade which is what we at Stone Cold Beads use on our Dirty Troll and Dirty Troll Elite lines of trolling spinners.


Trolling spinners for salmon is not only very effective it’s actually much simpler to do than you might think. The example salmon trolling rigs below are among the most utilized setups by anglers around the world. Best of all even someone with little experience who’s new to trolling spinners can tie them fairly easy.


The first and most basic trolling rig consists of a 4-6 oz trolling sinker or banana weight a few feet of leader with the spinner at the end.


Most basic spinner trolling setup


Another simple yet effective basic spinner trolling set up incorporates a three-way swivel with a lead dropper and 3′-6′ of leader with a spinner attached to the end.


Example of another basic trolling spinner setup


Here’s a common salmon trolling set up that incorporates a diver in front of a flasher and a trolling spinner trailing behind. This setup is not only effective for catching salmon but works great for trout and steelhead as well.


Example trolling setup using a diver and flasher


Here is a somewhat more advanced setup is trolling spinners using a downrigger. This setup basic allows the angler the greatest control over the depth or the setup in the water. Generally with a downrigger you’d run a 10lb-15lb rigger ball with the fishing line attached to a release clip with a flasher and trolling spinner trailing behind.


More advanced spinner trolling setup


Another thing to consider when trolling spinners is the application of bait or scent. For example putting a chunk of herring or shrimp on the end of the spinners hook or applying scents like herring oil, krill oil, or anise you can greatly increase your chances of enticing the fish to bite. One other very important element that is generally not mentioned is trolling speed.  It’s amazing how the speed of the troll can have different effects for different species. This is why it’s important to vary or change up your trolling speed based on the species of salmon you are targeting.

For example, when fishing for chinook trolling at slow speeds tends to produce the best results. In contrast when targeting coho speed your troll up a bit and you’ll find that your hookups with coho will become more frequent.

These are just a few effective techniques that can be used when trolling our Dirty Troll spinners. Next time your on the water we recommend you give them a try, you won’t regret that you did.











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