Home > Questions and Answers > Pro Weights
Disclaimer: Our products may change over the years and therefore some questions may reflect past and/or current product changes. Instructions sheets are available on this site under the Instruction Sheets tab.

When new Questions and Answers are loaded onto this site, the newer ones will be placed directly below each category heading, which means that products may have changed during the years and older questions and answers that appear farther down, may not reflect the current versions of the product.

Question and Answer Categories are:

PRO WEIGHTS (Also Known As Snap Weights)

Q. 061113. I am looking for some replacement weights and components for the older snap weight systems. It looks like these products are discontinued and replaced by your current OR20 Pro Weight Systems. I assume the OR16 Clips and split rings will work with any weight? I just liked the older system better than the new product.

A. We went to the Guppy Weights because they are 99.9% lead free and we found during our testing that lead weights can be as much as 10% above or below the advertised weight. The guppy runs the same and is environmentally safe, so we went with it. We no longer have any lead products in our inventory. The Guppy can be used as a keel in line weight as well as a snap weight so you're getting more for your money with the Guppy.

Q. 021913. OR36 Tadpoles were recently recommended to me for use fishing for deep walleye. I have the dive charts and have looked at much of the information, but one thing I'm not sure of. Do you add the depth of the tadpole to the depth of the crank bait you're using? I use a lot of flicker shads and they dive around 13 feet on 10 pound line. So if I add a tadpole I can reach depths to 30 feet or more by letting the tadpole out to 17 feet?

A. The Tadpole is designed for stick baits, harnesses and spoons. Lures that are deep diving may over power the way the tadpole sets itself and just turn it into an in line weight. To get deeper with the flicker shads, I would recommend the OR20 guppy weight we make and use it as a snap weight 20-30 feet ahead of the lure and experiment with different links until you get the depth you need.

Q. 061912. I got the 7th edition of the "Precision Trolling" and it has a dive curve for the 50/50 method of snap weights. There is quite a variance in depth depending on speed. I like to just put them 15 or 20' ahead of lure and use heavier than 1 oz. weights though. Here's what I do, I let the line out until it hits bottom like you would a bouncer, pause 5 or 10 seconds, and let out again. This gives you bottom. If its 60 feet back and I want to fish halfway down, I now have a number to go by. I just let out 30'. If I want to fish 3/4 of the way down, then I let out 45'. It doesn't matter the weight, just put the first one to bottom to get your starting point. Simple, yes, exact, no.

A. Unfortunately the only information we have on the (OR20 Series) Pro Snap Weight and (OR36 Series) Tadpole is published on our website. We feel that covers 90+% of the fishing situations.

Q. 061912. I am looking for more specific data for your OR20 series snap weight and OR36 series tadpole products than what I find published on your site. I have your published information, but I am wondering if you have the following:

1. Information on the effect of more or less feet of line out for the snap weights. For example, if I let out 75 or 100 feet of line out (instead of 50) when using a 2 oz. snap weight it goes deeper than 19' at 1.5 mph, correct? Do you have specifics on this?

2. Do you have any data for your tadpole products, rather than the published graphs?

A. This is the best way of having some geometric method of determining depth, especially since it is so speed conscious. The other way (and how I do it) is to use either the same weight and vary the line lengths on each board or to keep the same line length and vary the weights and let the fish tell you what they want. Repeat the one they like on the other rods and have fun.

Q. 031212. Do you have a dive charts for your pro weights similar to the chart you provide for the Tadpole divers? I have your 50/50 chart for pro weights but would prefer to use them as in line weights with the crawler harness connected to the weight. Or are you advising against this? I would prefer to treat the in line weights similar to my other divers and very the length of line to adjust depth with the same weights

A. The OR20 series pro snap weights follow the same curve that your in line weights do at the same weight. We put the hole in the back of all pro weights so you could attach your harness or leader directly to the pro weight. They also will catch weeds on them and give you a little more time with a clean lure in the water. Their design functions as a keel sinker as well. You should just have to carry the 99.9% lead free, OR20 Pro Weight System and leave all the varieties of lead products home. It is easier to look in one box for all your weight needs.

Q. 091311. I bought the OR20 Pro Weight System. When running 3 OR12 boards on each side of the boat, what is the best way to set up the weight system? Do I have to use identical weights on all three lines? If not, what weight is placed where? IE, heaviest weight closest to the boat and lightest weight farthest away? What is the largest variance I can use in the weights; meaning, can I use a 3 oz. farthest away, a 2 oz. in the middle, and a 1 oz. in close?

A. There is no answer. I usually run the same weights, but vary the distance from the weight to the lure or weight to the board. There is no rule. The methods you described will all work and it is really a matter of you trying several and deciding which is your preference. The 50/50 method with any weight will always be a good starting point and remember when you make a turn, the heavier weights will fall faster so they might be best on the inside in snaggy waters. It doesn't matter on sand bottoms. Again, no rules. The key to any method you decide on is to remember it and be able to repeat it. That is the most important factor in fishing, repeatability.

Q. 083111. I usually am fishing 30 ft. or less for walleye and using a #5 wally diver. I am very interested in starting to use your snap weights. Is the 3 oz. weight going to get me to 30 ft. at 2 miles per hour? Should I use fire line or mono?

A. I usually run my snap weight about 20' ahead of a crank bait and rule of thumb is about 5' of additional depth for each ounce of weight. I am a mono fan, but you will get deeper with the super lines. Mark Romanack's book on Precision Depth Control explains more on using snap weights for more depth.

Q. Can I troll for muskie with a 3 ounce Guppy weight 6' in front of large baits to get them down deeper? The concern is if the fish would be able to break the hole in the tail or fin of the Guppy.

A. The Guppy material is very hard and strong, if anything, you would probably have a failure of a swivel or the knot in the line before the Guppy would fail.

Q. I am just starting to use snap weights for trolling for muskie and I am wondering how much weight I can use on the releases to get the lures down to 20'-30.' I know it matters how much line I let out, but I would like to do this with as little line out as possible since the lakes I fish receive a lot of boat traffic and courtesy does not always apply. I do not want to go to a downrigger system; your thoughts would be appreciated.

A. You can run very heavy weights of off the OR16 Pro Snap Weight Clip. I have used 1 lb balls for salmon and I have heard of guys using even heavier. The recommendation for that is to put a snap swivel on the split ring that goes through the red OR16 clip. Then by placing the line through the snap swivel, it will not fall off if a big fish shakes it off the line. You have to put something above the lure so as not to let the weight go all the way down to the lure. I use a big swivel and then tie a leader to my lure.

Q. Do snap weights have any saltwater functions? Also I am going to Lake Lanier in September for stripers. What would be a good set up? I will be trolling with 15 lb test and line counter reels using snap weights.

A. I have used snap weights in salt water, but their primary use is in fresh water.

In Lake Lanier, I fish a 1 ounce weight about 20' ahead of a live blue runner or shad off of my planer board. Your equipment would be fine for most of Lanier's striper, but you may have second thoughts if you hook one over 30 pounds.

Q. What rod and reel combo would you recommend for the following conditions? I'm trolling Oklahoma lakes for walleye, striper and hybrid using 12 to 14 pound monofilament line usually trolling no deeper than 20 feet. Only using snap weights occasionally off of your side planers. I've been using spinning reels with 6 1/2 foot ugly stick with medium action. My line twists too much with the spinning reel and the rod seems to be a little limber. What do you suggest?

A. I would recommend a good level wind reel so you can keep track of how much line you have out. Of course a line counter reel would be the best and you will go to them eventually. You can count passes to know your line length in the meantime.

Rods are not real important. I use a downrigger type rod; however, there are rods specifically for planer boards. Anything in the 7 to 8 1/2 foot range with a fairly stiff backbone would be fine.
The line test you are using of 12 to 14 pounds is perfect. Remember, the key to trolling is being able to repeat the exact setup you caught the first fish on. Anything you can do to help there will get you more fish in the boat.

Q. I'm getting started on snap weights and have several pairs of OR16's. I'm trying to target the fish according to the Precision Trolling book latest edition and with your snap weights I'm using a loop around the snap on and an 8 ounce weight. Several questions arise. How much water drag is on my sinker with 10# monofilament or 10/4 FireLine? I can tell on my graph that 1mph will raise my weight up from 28' to 24' but, I don't know what happens at a faster speed such as 2 mph. Also when I put a lure on such as shad rap or rip stick how does that affect the trolling zone? Are there any charts or a place to check on this? I'm trying to get consistent in 30 to 40 feet of water.

A. I seldom use the snap weights the way you are. I normally send out several different combinations and let the fish tell me what is the proper presentation. With 8 ounces, you're nearly vertical at 1 and will probably go up quite a bit at 2 or 2.5.

With stick baits or harnesses you would search a lot of water with the raising and lowering of the weight in turns, but with bigger lipped baits you're not getting that much action.

When I run deep divers, I put 3 ounces up about 20' from the lure and let it out until it hits bottom. That would be about 5 feet up at 1.5. I let it out again after a few minutes until it hits bottom again and that gets me pretty close. I have never run 8 ounces other than with harnesses so I am not much help there. I know it can be done (your doing it!).

Q. I'll be trolling a 4'' spoon @ 2 mph with a 3 oz snap weight with 14 pound mono; could you tell me the approx. depth this spoon will run?

. It is hard to get a concrete depth from a snap weight. My best guess would be that with 100' of line you would be in the 15' range. The big fish catching secret of the snap weight is the depth you will cover on turns. That is what makes it so effective. If you want to reach a specific depth, one of the divers on the market set at "0" would be better. The searching of the water column of the snap weight will catch you a lot of fish though.

Q. I am interested in your snap weight system and have a few questions:

1. Is the OR20 sufficient or is the heavy duty clip (OR16) required for salmon?

2. Can these be used instead of downriggers for salmon/lakers and how deep will they go?

3. Are there any stores in the thumb area (Fort Gratiot, Lexington, and Port Sanilac area's in Michigan) that sell your products?

4. Are they secure to the line or do they have a tendency to fall off when you get a strike?

. The OR20 comes with 4 of the OR16 clips. It is not designed to replace downriggers and is merely used to get lures deeper than they normally will go. The Precision in Depth book by Mark Romanack has a dive curve chart for different combinations of snap weights with lead core, FireLine and monofilament you can reach depths of 40 or so feet with the right combinations.

The OR16 has a pin in the center of the pad which greatly reduces the chance of them coming off while fighting a fish. Most Gander Mountain stores carry the kit and any place selling Off Shore products can get them for you. You can also order them online from us if you can not get them locally.

Q. Can I use your boards for offshore salt water trolling? How about snap weights?

A. You can use both the snap weights and the boards in salt water. We use them for the FLW striper tour and when fishing in the Gulf. As with anything in salt water, care must be taken to wash all the salt water from the snap weights and the boards. I would recommend the OR31 Side Planer for your application.

Q. I'm interested in using your snap weight system for flat line trolling for trout. I use monofilament, firewire and braid. As I reside in Australia, I was wondering if I could minimize postage costs by ordering snap weight clips and use bomb type sinkers rather your lead weights? Is this ok? If so, what clips do you recommend? What are the correct replacement pads?

A. The clips are all you need if you have access to various weights. The correct clip is the red OR16 and the replacement pads are product number ORRP16HL. The OR16's have a pin protruding through the middle of the pad which you put the line behind this pin to minimize their falling off the line. If you can catch trout just flat lining behind the boat, you would double your catch with a side planer. They are awesome for fishing high in the water column.

Q. I have been using your snap weight system while trolling in the spring on the Chesapeake Bay. The 8 oz. weights are enough in the spring but I'd like to use them in the fall when I might use up to a 24 oz. in line trolling weight. How much weight can I put on the snaps in the snap weight system?

A. Are you fishing striper? What speeds are you trying to run while fishing? You can use heavier weights. I would recommend placing a snap swivel over the line and not totally rely on the pin in the OR16 to keep that much weight on. We have had some anglers using 24 oz. weights for salmon here in the Great Lakes with success. Whew! That is really taking the snap weight system to extremes.

Q. How deep can the snap weight system go? I fish a lake where I only need to troll about 20-30 feet down at most, and I don't want to buy a downrigger for that. Also, what equipment is necessary with the snap weight system besides the system itself?

Is there another method for getting down to 20-30 feet besides a downrigger or a snap weight system?

A. You can easily get down to the 20-30 foot range with snap weights. Depending on what speed you're going, you should be able to reach those depths with a 3 ounce weight and 40 to 60 feet of line after you put the weight on. I would recommend the weight to be 20 to 50 feet ahead of the lure.

Nothing additional is needed with the snap weight system and you can learn more about fishing with the OR20 Snap Weight System from some of the articles posted on this site.

Q. Does the snap weight system work when trolling without planer board systems?

A. The snap weight system will work without boards. Place a different weight on each road and let it out the same distance. The 50/50 system is a good start but don't be afraid to vary that to get to different depths. It is a trial and error method that lets you develop the combination that works best for you in the water you fish.