musky trolling

Saltwater kayak fishing gives fishermen lots of challenges, despite the difficulty, this kind of fishing is adventurous. The kayaks which are used in saltwater are different from freshwater kayaks, they are tougher and mostly are made up of corrosion-resistant materials. The most critical step is how to set up musky trolling rods in reels on your kayak.

Fishing in the oceans and seas gives the anglers great opportunity to get a bigger catch. One of the hard things on saltwater kayak fishing is that it’s necessary to have an advanced or an ordinary mapping tool, you need to have longer and heftier fishing rods and you should use strings with small diameter but have high density.

There are plenty of species of fish in the ocean, it just depends on your skills and ability to get the best fish in the waters. 

Kayaks are now the trend for anglers out there but kayaks have been used by hunters and for fishing for a very long time ago. 

It was tested and proven that kayaks work as the best fishing vessels provided that anglers do their best in fishing too.

Kayaks only have limited space in it, bait presentation is the most challenging part of this kind of fishing. Musky trolling is the most practical method of presenting bait in saltwater kayak fishing. 

Little mistakes in the setup would lead to failure of catching fish. You need to assure that all equipment used should be the proper ones. 

The efficiency of the trolling rods and reels rely on the right way of setting them up. To make it easy for you, here are the steps on how to set up your musky trolling rod and reel using the right gears.


Before picking any equipment, you must think of the number of people involved in this activity. For two-person fishing voyage, you need to have four rods. The four rods have two in/down rods and two out rods to be used by the two anglers.

The ideal out rods for this method are the medium to heavy dipsy diver rods with the length of 10 foot each. They are also called “ugly sticks” by the anglers. 

The length of these out rods are perfect for this style, their length lets them spread better without even using other gear. It may not be easy to get used to using these dipsy diver rods but once you do, it’s just a piece of cake for you.

Six to seven feet in rods are enough to be used for musky trolling, they are commonly medium/heavy rods. The most used ones are Browning Syloflex, soft muskie rods but they are not seen easily on the market because they are not produced anymore.

musky trolling


 After the first step, it’s time to choose the right reels, and by the meaning of proper reels, it is not really needed to get the one that cost an arm and a leg, you just need the one that can do the job properly for you.

You may use any reels available too, it is not that bad but it’s better to have the ones that suit well for musky fishing. The reels should be sturdy and can hold up for any kind of fish to be caught.


When you are done setting up the reels and rods, the next step to do is you need is lines. You can use any brands of lines, it doesn’t matter, as long as works well with you according to its purpose.

If you are targeting to get bigger catches, it’s important to use the lines that are at least 65 pounds capacity braids. And when you are up to smaller fish, 50 lbs braids is enough to do the work.

musky trolling


Braid knots is the next thing you will be working on. If you have not decided on the braid knots yet, you must learn and practice how to tie braid knots. So Braid knots are essential, they keep the braids from loosening or detaching at the ends.

For anglers to know how to tie braid knots because it would be done by them. It makes the ropes more robust. It’s better to learn a lot of braid sand knots at the end of the ropes.

Moreover, the two most used knots are the “back to back uni knot” and the “blood knot”, it’s just easy to tie these kinds of knots. To have an even knot length, you must use the same amount of lines of braids.

Back to back uni knot

musky trolling

Blood knot

musky trolling


We’re done with braid knots, now you need to choose the backing for the line braid. It costs a lot of you fill the reel with your braids, it requires a lot of lines. In addition, it will be needed to fill the reel with a range of back connected to the first.

The length should be at least 100 feet up to 200 feet, it depends on the depth you target to troll. backing does fill the reel up and give more line to secure and avoid line shortage.

But the backing line need not be pricey, cheap material is fine for a mono backing. The backing must undergo and pass the 25 to 50-pound test before using it. The backing is the first one you must fill before the braids on the reel.

Next is to fasten the braids straight to a fluorocarbon leader together with the knots you learned beforehand. Leaders make the equipment last longer, they keep you from reeling continuously the snap through the guide. A leader also prevent you from using more hardware like snaps and swivels.not seen longer fluorocarbon leader for saltwater fishing, at least 8 feet one. 

To test if it is a real fluorocarbon leader material, it must pass the 100-pound test. 

musky trolling

7. The last step is to choose your bait. For a crankbait, you better use a snap. The action of the bait would be destroyed if the snap has a ball bearing. Sometimes, the bait does not work when there is a bearing. Change the snaps from time to time, they break easily if used too many times.


In conclusion, saltwater kayak fishing is the oldest way of fishing on a vessel. It’s not that new but it is still interesting. Setting up musky trolling rod and reel for saltwater kayak fishing is a little complicated. But if you follow these steps, it will be less difficult. 

Follow these steps to get a great outcome of the setup.

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