Rod Holder for Long-Range Trolling

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I got the idea for this portable party-boat trolling rig from the fishermen who troll for tuna on the long-range boats out of San Diego. I made the rig out of two 20-inch dog-collar chains with stainless-steel clips and two quick-release clips like the ones found on a fighting harness. Wrap each collar around the rail and close it with a stainless-steel clip, which is then attached to the trolling reel with a quick-release clip. The entire rig can be built for less than $20 and will last indefinitely if it's rinsed down with fresh water after use. This rig allows me to troll with a flat line at speeds of up to 20 knots on any party boat with a rail on the stern. The kit holds the trolling rod horizontally, which helps to keep the lure in the water and removes additional drag that would be created by having a rod in the holder at the customary 45-degree angle - better when a wahoo hits at high speed. When a fish hits, the rod swings forward and can be quickly disengaged and the fight begins. I've used this setup several times, and it always gets few strange looks from the bottom-bouncers. The rig will work with any reel that can be attached to a fighting harness.

- Alex Garriga, Miami, Florida