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Really?
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This has been bothering me for years.........ok, say I have a fish finder and find that I'm fishing in 100' of dark water........my fish finder tells me there's a school of a fish at 45'.........so I drop my line right there .........how do I know when I've let out 45' of line? Short of putting a meter on my reel that tells me how much line is going out, I don't have a clue.........any ideas?
 

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Yeah there is this thing called a Bobber Stop. Put one on your line and slide it up to 45 feet, reel your line back in attach a lure and drop it down until the bobber stop is just above the water and you should be close enough for government work. This is how I make sure my jig is at the proper depth when Jigging for Crappie in 12-16 ft of water here in my area.
 

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Maximus
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You can even use a permanent marker. At 50 feet color a section of it black. Do it again at 100 and 150. That way you you see that small black section, you know 50 feet has been pulled. You can also do it every 10 or 25 feet if you want. But remember to use a leader. That way you arent slowly eatting away at your first 50 foot mark.
 

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I was going to suggest using Magic Marker every 10M but there is another method...You know that your rod is X feet from the reel mouth to the rod tip, let's say 5', just pinch the line in front of the reel, move the line to the tip and repeat until you have the proper length needed and then just drop it over the side of the boat...This only applies to vertical fishing--trolling you'll need an additional +/- 25%.
 

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Proverbs 26:4
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As LuniticFringeInc said, bobber stops work well for this. They are little rubber football shaped and slide on the line and come in different colors. You could use different colors for different depths. This would need to be set in advance.

Depending on the weight of your lure you can try a count down, about one to two second per foot.

An FYI with braided lines, they tend to float and are more buoyant.
 
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