When fishing legend Buzz Ramsey first showed me the prototype of the free sliding spreader at ICAST last year it was still a crude representation of what the product would soon turn out to be. Buzz explained the benefits and uses of the spreader in terms of salmon fishing and what the design was originally developed for along with what he thought would be other uses for the trout trolling population and more toward what I do most of the time.
Buzz wanted me to take one of these first prototypes to Canada and use it for lake trout since the style of laker fishing we do is usually 60 to 80 feet deep, flat lining and a very controlled bottom drag with heavy weights.
When using them in Canada I got a little taste of the benefits of the spreader but when I got home I really started using the spreader a lot, every time I fished Pyramid Lake actually.
How I am using the Free Sliding Spreader:
When I troll flat lines I am using banana style trolling weights and usually swapping sizes back and forth. I am able to swap out weights to achieve different depths as well as changing lures and keeping the same weight that dive deeper or not as much to get the most accurate depth. An example would be changing a flatfish to a spoon. I am clipping a big swivel to the bottom portion of the spreader which allows me to switch out weights quick and easy.
The Free Sliding Spreader allows you to connect solid to each end or run the line through the unit which allows it to move up the line and out of the way when netting fish. This aspect is especially helpful for the salmon guys.
The spreader also acts a rudder in the water keeping your plugs from wondering into your other trolling lines. I have not had one single tangle on my lines since using the spreader! Another feature of the spreader is the option to add a heavy piece of fluorocarbon and a ball style weight like a dropper to the bottom connection point. This allows you to work it almost like a bottom walker, dropping until you hit bottom and reeling up, constantly staying in contact but also maintaining the strike zone.
One more benefit is the color, the spreaders come in different colors and everyone needs a little more attraction in their spread!