View Full Version : Using chain to slow-trolling

01-22-2007, 08:00 PM
Some of you us a chain while slow trolling. What is the procedure in using a chain? Do you tie something on to it? What about a drift sock? How effective are they slow trolling? Using a chain or a drift sock at what point do you say it’s too windy [15,20,25 mph] and just give up?
Thanks for the response

01-22-2007, 08:11 PM
I use a drift sock on my pontoon. The wind has little to do with it for me, just depends on how rough the lake gets. I tend to troll directly into the wind or directly with it. The drift sock really works on the down wind leg.

01-22-2007, 09:13 PM
The drift socks work wonderful, but only if you have one big enough to hold your boat. Some people use two, one on each side of the motor, and some use two drift socks and the chain. With the chain, you tie it to a rope and drop it in the water, let it set on the bottom, if you feel you are moving too slow you need to take up some of the rope so that it lifts part of the chain off of the bottom. Allowing you to move a little more freely. You may consider tying the drift socks on the back and dropping the chain off the front(if thats where you are fishing from) this way you can adjust it as needed without having to go to the back of the boat.
If you have two drift socks and use the chain with it, you can almost completely stop the boat from drifting. As for how much wind, I guess that depends on how rough your lake gets in the wind.
There are other alternatives to the chain, some people use the mushroom anchors to drag behind the boat, some use the old window weights, I even heard of someone using a barbell weight from walmart because it was cheaper than the mushroom anchors.

01-22-2007, 09:25 PM
CEB and I used a 4 ft lenght of chain at the Larto gathering in Louisiana with no problems. His boat is a 14ft but it's wide. The wind was blowing somewhere arround 10+ mph. We were drifting at about .3 to .7 mph on the gps.

You might shoot Bama Fan a PM and ask him what the exact diammeter and length then chain was, as it was his we used. In addititon he had 3 peices of it and you can add and take off as needed to get the speed you want. I liked it as being able to add or take off depending on the wind gave us more control of our speed vs just having the drift sock.

Beware this was our first time to try this so I am no expert on the subject. I can see where the chain may not work as well on waters with structure in it as the chain may hang and not provide that constant speed it did for us.

Good luck and keep us posted on your success.

01-22-2007, 09:36 PM
I use the socks. I have four, two small and two large. I use them according to the wind. I have fished 35mph winds and was able to slow down to a presentable speed, the problem is keeping baits in the water at that speed.

01-22-2007, 10:22 PM
Very interesting thread. I have never heard of using a "chain". Interested in finding out more about this.

01-23-2007, 12:13 AM
I use the socks. I have four, two small and two large. I use them according to the wind. I have fished 35mph winds and was able to slow down to a presentable speed, the problem is keeping baits in the water at that speed.

When you are having trouble keeping the baits in the water, you may want to try the multiple jig rigs. This is what worked for me at the Larto gathering when the wind was trying to blow us across the lake. I made up a 2 jig rig, using two 3 way swivels with 2 jigs on it, and half ounce sinker on the bottom with a 13 foot pole. Let enough string out so that the weight sits on the bottom and when the waves are bouncing you around the long pole will give to compensate for it, and the jigs stay the same from the bottom.

01-23-2007, 01:06 AM
I use a chain, well a few times i tried using it. Works great when you get the hang of it. How does a windsock work. it moves with the boat/current
I wouldn't want to use my mushroom to troll. It would tear up some cover. I like to drag the chain off the back. You can run the rope up front where I fish. I want to keep it as far behind me as i can without it stopping the boat.the more rope you let out the more it will hold you to a certain point.
I use my mushroom around my condos in the wind. I just get up wind from it about 25 yards. Drop the anchor. Then I let out rope until my long rods are over my condos. I can move my baits back and forth or just fish'em vertical and not have to fight the wind.

01-23-2007, 01:12 AM
I read a report by Brad Whitehead online somewhere..anyway he was fighting strong winds and catching nothing. He dropped anchor near a causeway where the wind was being partialy blocked. The action from the wind against the ancher made the boat go left then back right kinda in a pattern. Everytime he passed over a certain spot he would catch fish where the bait was being blown around that bridgeway with the current

01-23-2007, 09:22 AM
One thing about chain............ saw this allot on the White River in AK......... it screws up the bottom. Up there it knocked off all the moss from the rocks, you'd see long white lines when you looked down in the water. I think they pretty much stopped the use of it.

Something to think about.......... might tear up your natural cover or the condos/stake beds you put out. :eek:

Seems to me the drift sock..........would be the way to go. Less damage to the habitat;)

01-23-2007, 09:29 AM
Wher I'm at there ain't nothing but mud and sandy bottoms with millfoil in the summer time. They won't hurt in some areas. Just be aware of what your bottom consists of. CF

01-23-2007, 10:03 AM
I couldn't imagine using a chain on the lakes I fish. So many fallen trees that I'm sure it would get hung up.

01-23-2007, 10:50 AM
Chains are super popular at Reelfoot, I don't use them because of the dragging through cover, but alot of others do. The thing I've noticed is that if you get behind a boat pulling a chain, your fishing is done. The chain spooks everything it goes over. I use the socks and yes have to get them unhung occasionally, but at the ramp I have normally caught more than the ones with chains.

01-23-2007, 11:34 AM
I grew up seeing chains used on the old oxbows of eastern AR. The chain really shines in these situations...Fairly clean bottom; stump fields; no major change in the depth for the drift that you want to make.

A drift sock is a good tool to have, but just like anything else, there's a time and a place for it. For example, Lake Conway in AR, there are loads upon loads of stumps. That place would be a drift sock's worst nightmare, but a chain will snake right through those stumps.

The chains have been used for years on the tailwaters of major lakes in AR. I have seen chains used on the White, Norfork, and Little Red. I agree that using a chain in these rivers is not a good idea, simply because of the extremely sensitive microenvironment of these rivers. This is a completely different scenario than using it at your local lake...