|Frequently Asked Questions|
|1. Dredge Weight:How much weight do I need for my Dredge and from what position should I pull it?|
|There is no hard and fast rule in regards to weight, but there are a few things to take into consideration when deciding.
For example, the amount of weight needed for a Dredge Teaser depends on several factors. How large is the dredge and what is it rigged with? At what speed will it be trolled and from what position? And finally, where do you want to position the dredge in the spread?
First of all the most important thing to remember about a dredge teaser is that it’s designed to be trolled below the surface of the water. It must not have any part of it above the surface or it will just not be effective as it will look to erratic and unnatural. What it is supposed to look like is a school of baitfish.
Another important reason to have plenty of weight is so you can get the dredge below the surface and keep it as close to the boat as possible. As with any teaser, it must be clearly seen at all times. There is no sense having a teaser positioned so far back or under the surface that you are unable to see something when it comes up on it. This is very important and a big mistake that a lot of crews make.
It’s not important how deep a dredge is as long as it’s below the surface and can be easily seen at all times.
With the above in mind you now have to factor in how fast you will be trolling and what the dredge is rigged with. It’s fair to say that the heavier the baits on the dredge the less weight needed. For instance, a dredge rigged with natural split-tail mullet, each with a 2oz egg sinker, will not need as much weight as one rigged with all Ballyhoo.
The speed you will be trolling is another big factor to consider. Regardless of how the dredge is rigged, if you’re slow trolling for Sails at around 4 knots not much weight is needed. On the other hand if you’re moving along at 6 knots plus, you’re going to have to put some extra lead ahead of the dredge to keep it where it should be. Some crews are using upwards of 96 ounces.
Trolled from the outrigger or from a stern cleat is another thing to consider. Most of the larger dredges with a lot of weight are connected to a stern cleat, simply because most riggers and teaser reels can take the tremendous amount of drag these large umbrellas create. From the outriggers you will see mostly smaller arrangements with little weight.
The heaviest of dredges are pulled from a stern cleat, especially when at the higher speeds. Using a heavy towline you can put just about any size weight that’s needed. Keep in mind that fished from this position you are going to have to hand-line the dredge whenever it has to be let in or out. Using light mono or the like can cause some serious damage to the hands if not careful.
Too light of weight and the dredge will have to be too far back in the spread in order to get it down, if you can get it down at all. Too much weight and the dredge will dive too soon and again it will be so far below the surface you can’t see it. A dredge will be effective where ever it’s positioned, but if it’s too far back or down too deep that you can’t see it you don’t know when to react.
Trolling weights come in a wide variety of sizes and since I have pointed out so many variables to consider it’s going to take some trial and error. It won’t take long to find out what works well for you’re individual style of fishing.