BWCA Purpledescent Deep Tail Dancer 11 Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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member (28)member
06/14/2022 05:03PM  
I've seen quite a few posts in history about the usage of the purple descent deep tail dancer 11. I finally found one and am bringing it up with me next week. It has a depth of 30, with more line out, I'm guessing it can go deeper. Otherwise 3qay swivel should work with a bell weight on the bottom. Anyone ever try it on that rig or just run it plain? I'll be on Moose, Mountain and Pine for Lakers
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06/15/2022 09:08AM  
Purpledescent is a great color.

One thing to be mindful of that can sometimes happen when using a 3-way swivel with a weight is that you have to go slow for it to be effective. I have found that if you troll to fast with a 3-way and a weight that it will actually adversely effect your trolling depth because the weight will create drag against the water.

I have used the 3-way a lot with Flicker Shads to maintain a smaller profile bait but still get it down to the strike zone in 20-25 ft of water. Key as I said above is going very slow to allow that weight to take it down that deep.
distinguished member (154)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/15/2022 11:21AM  
Have always caught lakers even in hot weather simply by trolling this lure. Never fooled around with adding weight, swivels, etc.
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/15/2022 12:08PM  
SummerSkin: "Have always caught lakers even in hot weather simply by trolling this lure. Never fooled around with adding weight, swivels, etc."

Same here.
06/15/2022 12:58PM  
I’ve just trolled it with no extra weight and always? catch lakers. I’d start without the extra weight and put if you’re not catching anything.
member (28)member
06/15/2022 01:08PM  
Great to hear! Thanks everyone!
06/15/2022 02:11PM  
I’ve only added a weight at the end of one hot August. I wouldn’t think it needed in June. Just let out a lot of line.
member (32)member
06/16/2022 09:04PM  
What size is a good bet on the tail dancer?
06/17/2022 03:19PM  
Wispaddler: "What size is a good bet on the tail dancer?"

The TDD11 is the Rapala Deep Tail Dancer and it will dive 30 ft with optimum line and 100-150 ft. of line out.

If I'm targeting lakers and I'm trolling I will actually attach a line counter to my rod so I know how much I have let out.
distinguished member(2621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/17/2022 07:15PM  
A taildancer will wear out 8lb line. Go 10 pound test mono or else braided. There are a couple ways to measure how much line you have out. One is to put a bobber stop 150 or 200 feet up the line. They also make metered fishing line that works great. Or a line counter. Pick a way, in my opinion, because it's better than guessing.
distinguished member(1305)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/17/2022 08:27PM  
Usually no weight needed. If I need to get super deep or am fishing for larger lakers I use a 13 deep tail dancer. They can be hard to find and are expensive because Rapala only markets them outside the US, no idea why. I have found them on Ebay and a couple other places. They run 40 ft. but pull pretty hard, large lakers love them!
distinguished member(14047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
06/19/2022 12:15AM  
No extra weight necessary they will come up to hit it !
member (26)member
06/20/2022 12:52AM  
As others have said, no extra weight is necessary with the Deep Tail Dancer 11.

On my last trip to NW Ontario (mid August of 2019), I was fishing some of the lake trout / smallmouth bass lakes in the Rushing River Provincial Park area just south of Kenora, Ontario. I was using my square back canoe with a Minn Kota electric trolling motor.

I remember one lake in particular, which we were just using as a travel route to get to the next lake. So I traveled right down the middle of the lake in about 110 feet of water, just looking to get from point A to point B (the portage to the next lake).

But I figured, "Hey, as long as I'm out here in the middle of nowhere, I may as well troll for some lakers." So I put on a Purpledescent Deep Tail Dancer (11 cm) which I ran approximately 30 feet down going right down the center of the lake. Over the course of the next hour, just killing time while trying to get to the next lake, I managed to catch 4 lake trout on the Tail Dancer.

Keep in mind that this was mid August, when the water temps at their warmest, which theoretically should push the lakers down as deep as possible.

But the lakers still had no trouble at all coming up to hit the Tail Dancers.

Lake Trout are capable of making very large vertical movements in a short amount of time without suffering any barotrauma. In fact, we've even caught some accidental Lake Trout on Rapala Shad Raps, which were only running 15 feet below the surface in deep water while trolling for suspended smallmouth bass and walleyes.

So don't worry about your bait running "too shallow" to catch a laker. If they'll hit the shad raps that are running only 15 feet down in 100+ feet of water, they will certainly hit the Tail Dancers that are running 30 feet down.

If you feel you absolutely MUST get down deeper than 30 feet, you may want to try to obtain the size 13 cm Tail Dancer as somebody else suggested (I personally don't own any of these yet), or you may want to try the Salmo Free Diver in the 12 cm size. I think the Salmo Free Diver gets down to 45 + feet, and I've experimented with it for about 10 to 15 minutes without catching anything. Then I quickly switched back to the Tail Dancer, because the Free Diver was putting a bit too much strain on my forearms as I was hand holding the rod.

In my experience, 30 feet down with a purpledescent Tail Dancer is an absolutely fabulous way to catch summertime lakers, and no additional weight is needed in my opinion.

"Jackpot" John Schroeder

member (21)member
06/21/2022 11:34AM  
What sort of line setup do you guys run with these?
member (26)member
06/21/2022 12:53PM  
SideSwipe: "What sort of line setup do you guys run with these?"

I use 15 lb superbraid, like Power Pro or Cabela's Rip Cord. I think you get better depth with a superbraid than with monofilament, due to the thinner diameter of the braid.

"Jackpot" John Schroeder
senior member (93)senior membersenior member
07/05/2022 02:43PM  
The way I count my line on my trolling setups is to use a bait caster and count how many passes the line takes. I tend to use a braid because it has a smaller diameter and cuts the water tension better allowing for the lure to get deeper. Then I count how much line goes out on each pass, meaning when the line goes from left to right on the spool and back. Once I know how much line goes out on a pass then I can simply count the passes for a poor man's line counter. I've done that for decades and it really keeps me consistent.

Over the years I've developed a chart and will troll my baits (I usually only troll a couple of baits) over a sandy shore that gradually drops and watch my portable locator. I go from shallow to deep and then start to establish how deep my lure goes at each pass and it also lets me know when it doesn't pay to let anymore line out because the lure will quit going deeper and more line is just a waste of most cases.

Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
07/05/2022 03:51PM  
No extra weight needed, just let out more line. A Deep Tail Dancer 11 will get down to 30’ deep.

Lundojam, I really like the bobber stop line marker trick. That could be used in many applications.
07/06/2022 07:08AM  

I get down 60' with 120' of line out on this rig with 2oz weight.
Sometimes the bait drops very deep in Fall and you have to go down 50-70'.
The nice thing about inline weights is that you can very the depth quickly by changing your speed.
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