Can You Catch Trout Trolling With Lead Core Line?

There are many ways to catch trout in bodies of water, and one of them involves trolling with a lead core. If you haven’t heard of lead core, it’s an old-school trick that’s quite unpopular these days. But, it’s an effective way to catch trout as well as salmon in your favorite spot.

Not only is it effective but simple as well. You just have to set up your bait at the depth you think the fish are in, then drive them over a large region.

So, if you’re interested in trying trolling with lead core, this article is for you! We’ll also be answering the questions related to catching trout using a lead core. Let’s get started.

Difference Between Trout Trolling With Lead Core vs. Wire Lines

There are several types of fishing lines in the market, including lead core and wire lines. Both lines are thick and heavy fishing lines, so they’re commonly used for deepwater trolling. But, there are some differences between the two that you should know about.

Lead Core Lines

Lead core lines are made of a braided Dacron covering that changes color every 30 feet. Because of this, you don’t have to use line counter reels. What makes lead core lines unique is their single strand of unprocessed lead inside. Commonly, the strength of lead core lines is determined by how much Dacron it contains.

Additionally, lead core lines are often easier to use than wire lines. This is because they don’t have the same spool memory as wire lines. But, the upside to using lead core lines is they don’t sink as fast as wire lines.

Typically, lead core lines dive at a rate of 5 feet per 10 yards, which is equivalent to one color. It’s also multi-purpose as you can use it for fly fishing. 

Wire Lines

On the other hand, wire lines have different types. They can be single-strand or multi-strand stainless steel, but they can be made of copper, too. Generally, these types of fishing lines have an abrasive property. Because of this, you might need to buy guided rods and Twili tips.

Single-strand wire lines made of stainless steel are usually used to explore the depths using shallow and deep-diving lures. On the other hand, anglers use multi-strand lines to reach farther depths while using fewer lines.

Wire lines are popular among anglers because they’re not easily tangled. However, one downside is it needs more proper dragging and attention because wire lines are often strong and lack stretch.

Can You Catch Trout Trolling with Lead Core?

The simple answer is yes, it is possible to catch trout trolling with lead core. As mentioned earlier, trolling with a lead core line is easy and effective, especially for deepwater fishing. Also, lead core lines change color every ten yards. Due to this, it’s easier to tell how deep your lure is and how much line you’re using.

Additionally, using lead core lines is simple. You just have to let the line sink, which allows your lure to reach a deeper area of water. This is an excellent way to fish in deep water that’s at least 30 feet. This way, you can catch trout, walleye, and even salmon.

Another great thing about lead core lines is that they don’t break the bank. So, if you use lead core lines to fish, there’s no need to buy costly heavy weights or downriggers. Not only that, but you can also use lead core lines with conventional fishing reels. 

Thus, catching trout trolling with lead core is not only effective and affordable but easy, too! Given this, it should be your first option if you’re new to fishing and trolling.

How to Set Up for Trout Trolling with Lead Core?

Now that you know that you can catch trout with lead core lines, it’s time to know how to set up your equipment. If you’re ready to go trolling with your lead core lines, here are the simple steps to set it up!

Step 1: Prepare your equipment

If you’re trout trolling with lead core lines, here are the things you’ll need:

  • Single level-wind reel that has a 90-100-yard spool capacity
  • Trolling rod that’s 8-10 feet long
  • Lead core line
  • Rod holder

For the rod, you want something that allows you to fight fish with ease but is soft enough. That way, it doesn’t take the lure out of the fish’s mouth.

Then, you’ll need about 50 yards of fishing line. You also have to prepare about 25 yards of solid monofilament line for the backing. Then, spool the 50-yard lead core line for the reel. The next step is to tie your lead core line to the backing. Most anglers tie a few knots, but some suggest that the Willis Knot works best. 

Step 2: Tie your knots

The next thing you have to do is tie a loose overhand knot where the covering of the lead core is. The trick to tying the perfect Willis knot is to insert the backing into the covering. 

After this, the monofilament leader should be with the lead core in the line. Now, it’s time to slip the overhand knot over the leader line, then tighten. This connects the leader and the line. If you don’t know how to do the Willis Knot, here’s a great video that you could watch.

Step 3: Spool your line

Once you have your line tied, you can now spool the entirety of your lead core line into your leer. However, keep in mind that your reel should be large enough to hold the line. Once you’re done spooling the lead core line, you’re going to double the knot you tied for your backing. Also, never directly tie a lure on your lead lore line.

Additionally, always keep in mind to use a leader. Lead core lines are highly visible to fish, so if they’re spooked enough, they might not bite the lure. Make another Willis know and add another ten to twenty feet of leader to the pole. Once done, add a snap swivel, and you’re good to go.

Tips for Trout Trolling with Lead Core

Now that you know about trolling with lead core lines, it’s time to go fishing. However, you might get confused if you’re a beginner. Worry not because we’re here to help. Here are some tips and tricks you should know about!

Reels and Leaders

As mentioned earlier, lead core lines are highly visible to fish. With this, using long monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders is highly recommended. Also, keep in mind that lead core lines need reels that have a large capacity. 


For the lures, you can use anything you want. This includes live bait, spoons, stick bait, and even spinners. All of these work great with lead core lines. 

Trout and salmon anglers typically use spoons and flies. If you’re planning to catch walleye, you can use crankbaits. Also, don’t forget that lead core lines are versatile, so any lure you want to use will get you fish. The possibilities are not only endless but cheap, too!

How to Catch Trout Trolling With Lead Core?

As mentioned, catching trout while trolling with lead core lines is simple. There’s not a lot of steps you have to do, but there are things that you have to remember. So, if you’re ready to go on a fishing trip, here’s what you have to do to get your catch of the day.

Knowing the Correct Speed

The key to trout trolling with lead core line is knowing the appropriate speed. With this, make sure that you’re fishing at the correct speed: the slower you go, the deeper the line can get.

The rule of thumb is that at slow to average speeds (1.5 to 2 mph), your lures should go as deep as 6 to 8 feet per color. However, also know that there are external factors that can affect this, like water current.

How to Adjust Your Trolling Speed?

If you want to know what the correct speed is, here’s what you should do. First, let go of your lure just below the water’s surface. This way, you can see how your lure moves at the speed you want to troll in.

Once you’re fine with the movement of the lure, release the line’s tension. Then, let go of the line to reach your desired depth.

Final Thoughts

In summary, lead core lines should be an option for everyone who wants to try fishing. It’s versatile, affordable, and easy to use! Thus, trolling with lead core lines is straightforward.

Not only that, but it’s also a sure way to get you fish. So, if you’re looking for a great method to go trolling, your best option is to use lead core lines. It’s perfect for your first fishing trip, too!

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