Setting The Small Boat Marlin Trolling Spread

In this video, Captain Jimmy Decker shares how he sets the marlin trolling spread on his 24-foot Everglades center console. While you don’t need outriggers or specialized rods and reels to troll for marlin, having the right gear goes a long way. Here is a breakdown of what Decker runs.

If you want to troll with four rods on a small boat, you’re going to need outriggers. Decker uses Precision Econoline outriggers that can be laid flat against the rail of the boat while not being used. When stowed, these outriggers are completely out of the way so you don’t have to fish around them as you do with regular outriggers.

small boat marlin

When it comes to trolling rods, Decker runs a set of four Rainshadow SWB70M cut down to 6-foot, built with  ALPS Aluminum Trolling Butts and wrapped with ALPS 20-50 pound Roller Guides. These rods are matched with 5.4:1 Penn Fathom 40N single speed reels full of 30-pound monofilament. These rods may sound a little light for marlin fishing but they are well suited for 30# test and can also be fished with 16# test during tournaments. These rods are rigged with a 120# wind on leader that is connected to the 30# mono via Bimini Twist. Decker’s live bait rod, that does double duty as a caster and a drop back rod, is a Rainshadow Judge 810L with 3-inches cut off the tip. This rod is matched with a Penn 25N lever drag full of 30# mono that is rigged with an 80# wind on leader, again joined via Bimini Twist.

small boat marlin

Decker rigs his trolling jigs with 80# AFTCO Saiko fluorocarbon and a 7/0 Owner Long Shank Hook. The squid chain is rigged with a small bird in front of it. The key to the placement of the squid chain is to run it far enough back that the short corner jig rides a foot or so behind the end of the chain.