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This week's Feature Blog

How To Use The Precision Trolling Data App

Ever wonder how deep your favorite crankbaits and trolling gear dive? Of course, how deep trolling lures and gear run is a fundamental question that every avid troller needs to know. The problem is that the manufacturers of said lures and trolling hardware have no clue how deep their products dive.

Fishing tackle manufacturers do a great job of designing, building and marketing their products, but they simply aren’t equipped to test their products in real life environments to determine diving depths.


The Precision Trolling Data apps for Android and IOS phone platforms was released in 2013. Based on data collected each year since 1989 This simple to use app provides the diving depths of over 850 crankbaits, diving devices, sinking lines and in-line trolling weights. Scuba gear is used to visually confirm the depth of crankbaits and diving devices based on specific lead lengths, line types, line diameters and trolling speeds.

The process of using scuba gear to document the diving depth of trolling lures and gear is time consuming and expensive, but it is also the only practical way of confirming that each lure or device is tuned properly, running free of foreign debris and reaching it’s natural diving depth.

The apps are sold at the Google Play and Apple App stores respectively. Each lure or device included in the app library can be purchased individually for $1.99 and that data includes Dive Curves for 10 pound test monofilament line (40 pound test super braid is the same diameter of 10# monofilament) and also 10/4 Fireline Super Braid line. Select salmon lures are tested on 20 pound test monofilament.

Select lures also include data for the two ounce Off Shore Tackle Snap Weight. This data can be purchased as individual lures for $2.99. Currently a list of 16 popular baits include Snap Weight data and this list of lures is published at

The LifeTime purchase option costs $109.99 and includes all the data currently available from Precision Trolling Data, LLC and all subsequent freshwater data to be published in the future.


Downloading the PTD app to your phone is a simple process. Cell phone data or wifi is required to download the free base app that comes with one sample lure. (Berkley Flicker Shad 7) Wifi is also required to download additional data from the PTD library of lures, diving devices and sinking line options.

Once the PTD data has been purchased and downloaded into the phone memory, anglers can access the data without the luxury of cell phone coverage. The PTD data can also be loaded onto multiple devices such as an Android phone and tablet or an iPhone and iPad as long as that devices shares the same Google ID or Apple ID. The PTD app can not be loaded onto laptop or desk top computers.


As is true of most apps, the PTD app can be transferred from one device to another within the same phone platform. For example, if an angler has an Android phone and purchases a new Android phone, the PTD app can be uploaded to the new phone at no charge by simply using the same Google Play identification.

The same is true of iPhones, by simply using the appropriate Apple ID anglers can transfer the PTD data from phone to phone.


The PTD data can not however be transferred between phone platforms. If an angler owns the Android version of PTD, that data can not be transferred to an IOS device and vice versa. This is consistent with all apps. The reason for this is that Precision Trolling Data is not selling the app, but rather the app is sold through the Google Play or Apple App Store respectively.


For the angler who changes phone platforms, there are some creative ways they can keep their PTD data and investment current. The easiest means is to simply keep the phone or device the data was originally loaded to and use that device to access the app, purchase new data or to receive data updates. The Google Play or Apple ID established when an app is purchased stays with that device. In this situation the angler will use WiFi to purchase new data or receive new data updates.

If the phone the data was originally loaded to is sold or lost, the PTD data can be loaded to a different phone within the same phone platform or another device such as a tablet or in the case of Apple an iPad. Simply log in to your device with the same Apple or Google ID, open app and restore purchase.


When an angler opens his or her phone the PTD icon will appear. Touch the PTD icon to open the app revealing a alphabetical list of lure manufacturers and the individual lures and devices currently included in the PTD app.

Simply touch the specific lure or device of interest and a picture of the lure or device will appear. On this same page anglers will have the option of picking the line type by simply touching either the 10 pound test monofilament or 10/4 braided line option. Some lures will also include data for lead core line and also two ounce Snap Weight data for that lure. (A full table with contents and line sizes can be found on the website at

Once the line type has been selected, the angler can determine the diving depth of that specific lure by setting the “Feet Down” or “Feet Back” picker wheels. This system allows the angler to pick a target depth “Feet Down” and let the app determine the appropriate amount of lead length that must be deployed “Feet Back” to achieve that goal.

It’s important to note that on some shallow diving lures, adjusting the “Feet Back” picker wheel may not change the “Feet Down” number. This occurs because on shallow diving lures it often takes a considerable amount of additional lead length to change the diving depth of that particular lure.

Some devices such as diving planers, sinking lines and in-line weights feature a third option for trolling speed. These devices are speed dependent or in other words, trolling speed influences the overall trolling depth. Depending on the device one or more trolling speeds can be selected.


The Off Shore Tackle Snap Weight is a popular in-line trolling weight. The sizes 1/2, 1 ounce, 1.5 ounce and 2.0 ounce are currently included in the PTD app with one speed option of 1.5 MPH.

Because anglers use a host of lead lengths when fishing with Snap Weights, the data is based on the running depth of the Snap Weight. For example, with the two ounce Snap Weight, when the “Feet Down” picker wheel is selected to say 15 feet, the “Feet Back” picker wheel will indicate the Snap Weight is running 15 feet down when 30 feet of leader is deployed at a trolling speed of 1.5 MPH.

When a Snap Weight is used with a spinner, shallow diving crankbait or spoon that do not dive on their own, the Snap Weight and the lure will be running at the same depth. When a diving crankbait is used in combination with a Snap Weight, the total depth is determined by looking up the diving depth of the lure at the selected lead length and then adding that number to the diving depth of the Snap Weight based on the secondary or “dropper” lead length. The cumulative depth is achieved by adding the diving depth of the lure and the Snap Weight.


Currently the PTD app includes data for specific lure and Snap Weight combinations. Known as the “50 Plus 2 Method”, in this case one of the 16 currently available Snap Weight and Crankbait combinations is selected. The crankbait is let out 50 feet and then a two ounce Snap Weight is added to the line. An additional “dropper lead” is then deployed to achieve target depths.

The 50 Plus 2 Method includes two popular trolling speeds including 1.5 and 2.5 MPH. For a complete list of the crankbaits included in the “50 Plus 2 Method” consult


Select lures in the PTD app also include data based on using a specific lure in combination with 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 colors of 18 pound test lead core line. This data is based on using Dacron 18 pound test lead core line with a 15 foot leader of 10/4 Fireline at 2.0 MPH.

Additional lead core data for trolling either a spoon, crawler harness, shallow diving stickbait or in-line spinner is available under the Wolverine heading. This lead core data includes 12 and 18 pound test Suffix Spectra Braid Lead Core and also 18 pound test Dacron lead core line with a 50 foot leader of 20 pound test fluorocarbon line.

This lead core data is available at one trolling speed, 2.5 MPH. The amount of lead core and leader deployed is determined by the “Feet Back” picker wheel. The designation 1C, 2C, 3C, etc., designates that one, two or three colors of lead core, plus the 50 foot leader has been deployed. This lead core data extends out to 10 colors of lead core, plus a 50 foot leader of fluorocarbon line or a total line out of 350 feet.


The data produced by Precision Trolling Data is constantly being updated as new lures and trolling devices are tested. LifeTime app owners are the first to be notified of these data updates.

Data updates appear as a “pop up” when the app is opened. To achieve these free data updates, simply click on “store tab” and the data will automatically update your app. These data updates occur numerous time during the year.


A number of different situations can cause the PTD data to not appear when the phone is opened. Both Apple and Android devices have a tendency to log apps out of their ID’s. In this case simply open your device and re-log into your ID with password. Close settings and relaunch the PTD app.

Software updates on phones will also cause the PTD data to disappear. In this case go to your phone settings and resign back in to your Apple or Google ID. Close settings and relaunch the PTD app. Your previous purchases will automatically download. If these purchases do not appear immediately, click restore purchases. Remember your PTD data is tied to your Apple or Google ID and occasionally your device logs you out of these apps. This is a security measure designed by your phone providers software.

All data transfers, reloads or updates require the app purchaser to use the same Apple or Google ID. When purchasing new phones or devices, it’s important to retain the same ID to make it easy to restore data.


Mark Romanack, the founder of Precision Trolling Data, LLC, is an avid troller targeting a wealth of species found near his Michigan home. Most of the crankbaits featured in the PTD app are tested on 10 pound test Berkley XT line and also Berkley 10/4 Fireline. Select lures like this Mag Lip 3.5 commonly used for salmon trolling are also tested on 20# test Berkley XT.

Precision Trolling Data, LLC has been collecting invaluable trolling data and publishing this information since 1987 when the first of many publications was published as Crankbaits In-Depth. This publication was later re-named Precision Trolling when other trolling hardware was added to the book.

Approximately every other year a new edition of the Precision Trolling books were published to update the publication with new data. In 2013 the creation of the first Precision Trolling Data phone app made the books obsolete.

A limited amount of printed data for select lures is still available for sale at Known as PTD “Stickers”, the Dive Curve data is printed as an XY Graph on waterproof vinyl suitable for adhering to the utility boxes most anglers use to store their crankbaits. Each PTD “Sticker” is $1.99 and approximately 100 different lures and popular trolling devices are available in sticker format.

The Precision Trolling apps are widely considered the authority regarding the trolling depths of popular crankbaits, sinking lines, diving planers and other trolling hardware. Known simply as the “Troller’s Bible”, the PTD apps and Dive Curve Stickers provide anglers the information they need to get the most from their favorite trolling lures and gear.

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