Add speed to your rig

Regardless of what kind of fishing boat you own, getting top performance plays an important role in your angling experience.

Boat speed is often a big topic among anglers. Of course, some anglers don’t care how fast their boats go – they’re just out for a leisurely day of fishing.

Tournament anglers, on the other hand, want to ensure they obtain the maximum performance their rig has to offer.

If you’ve noticed you’re losing speed, there could be a few reasons resolved with simple fixes.

When I was fishing professionally, I was always doing things to improve my boat performance. Speed gets you to each of your spots quicker which equates to more casts on a given day.

One of the biggest culprits for losing speed is excess weight. You’d be surprised at how much weight gets added to your boat in tackle throughout a season.  

Do we really need 24 packs of the same color of Senkos? No, we don’t.

Yet, I would discover I added unnecessary lures and rods and reels throughout the season that hampered boat performance.

My Phoenix 21XE has abundant storage compartments. As the season went along, I would toss additional packs of baits and hardbaits into compartments “just in case” I needed them. I also would have more rods and reels than I needed for a specific event.

It’s what bass anglers do.

So, about three to five times a year, I would go through every compartment looking to eliminate things I didn’t need for an upcoming tournament.

I might create a pile of unnecessary gear weighing 100 pounds or more – pounds that diminished rig performance.

The outboard’s lower unit can make a difference too. If you have a damaged prop and skeg, you are probably losing speed. You may need a new prop or at least get the one you have rebuilt.

Or maybe you’re running the wrong size of propeller — are you running the maximum RPM at top speed and getting on plane quickly?

It’s possible the prop that came on the boat from the dealer isn’t the right one for the kind of performance you desire.

Some props sacrifice hole shot for faster top end speeds while others plane off quickly but may run a little slower at top end. Discuss those needs with your dealer.

I always wanted a happy medium with a reasonably good hole shot that got me within a couple hundred RPMs of top speed.

Generally speaking, the longest run you will make is at takeoff, but after that, it’s the short runs where time can be saved by getting on plane quickly.

Another issue is the amount of accessories we’re putting on our boats. I won’t go fishing without my Humminbird 360, Raptor shallow-water anchors and my Ultrex Quest trolling motor, but it all adds weight. And if you’re putting two or three big screen graphs on the nose, you not only add weight, but also wind resistance.

If you’re an angler who adds two or three big screen graphs, three transducers and other accessories, you’re going to see a change in boat performance.

It may look cool, but it also hinders your speed. If you consider them necessities, try tilting the bow graphs down so there is less wind resistance.

Admittedly, you probably won’t gain a lot more speed by doing things differently, but a couple MPH and a quicker hole shot will get you a few more casts that could produce the biggest bag of the day.