Who Invented The CruciFish?
Local Islander Glenn Sollitt began deckhanding for his father in 1972, and by the time he was in grade 11, he was a commercial gillnetter. Over his tenure, he leased boats, then finally built one to fish his way through University to become a Mechanical Engineer. He left commercial fishing in the 90’s and has been recreationally fishing ever since. For the last few years, he’s been professionally guiding on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
When asked why he invented this product, Glenn replied, “The best fights come when there is nothing but a hook on our line. Flashers work, but I felt there needed to be a new way to troll. My idea was to fasten a release clip at the back of a KoneZone so that I could clip my hook and line without having to use an in-line flasher. In January 2020, I jumbled around ideas, and started making prototypes in February. I caught my first salmon using the CruciFish (my son loves puns and named the device) in mid-February in front of French Creek on Vancouver Island. It was at 205′ deep and the rod barely jumped. I grabbed the rod and quickly reeled in the slack. As soon as I felt the absolute slightest tug, I told my wife we had one on, since there couldn’t be any drag without a flasher on the line. Of course I’ve caught bigger fish, but I’ve never been so excited as when I caught that one. It worked—that was the real moment of clarity.”
What Is The CruciFish?
This product is unique and definitely will improve your experience in trolling for fish. Basically, you will fight a fish without any flasher drag in the water while trolling. The key point is, you will have way more flash and vibration than your normal rectangular flasher setup because of two flashers. You have way more control of the fish at the end of the line without the flasher drag. This system will give anyone on your boat the ability to handle a fish on the rod like a pro. Mostly, I tested the CruciFish in the ocean targeting Chinooks, coho and bottom fish, with beginners to long time anglers, but I am sure this will also work in the lakes.
First Impression—Design Quality
It’s a well-built product, made with stainless steel. Good quality bearings are attached to it with neat Pro-Troll rotating flashers equipped with E-chips, which help attract fish by producing a voltage similar to live bait being nervous. It is heavy compared to other somewhat similar products, such as dummy flasher systems. However, this is an inline flasher system made right here on Vancouver Island (except for the Pro-Troll E-chip flashers). Just looking at it for the first time, I could see endless possibilities for applying it to sport troll fishing.
Field Testing: How To Use The CruciFish
How to attach the CruciFish to your downrigger
During the testing of this product, we found several ways to use it. First of all, we made sure the braid or steel downrigger lines were in good shape (so they couldn’t just snap and lose all the gear). In fast current, the best way to use CruciFish is to connect it to the downrigger ball fin or to the downrigger ball clip, instead of to the cable. A fast current might spin the CruciFish around the cable and get some things tangled. If you like bouncing your cannonball on the bottom when you fish, it is best to connect the CruciFish to the clip with which you attach your snubber from the downrigger cable.
How to fish with the CruciFish
You can troll at any speed you like with this system. You can use it with plugs, Rapala, spoons, flatfish, spinners, and bait. Also, you can still use it with your normal rectangular flasher setup at the end of the release clip. For fishing with plugs, you should have between 5 and 25 feet of line behind the release clip for the best result. This allows the plug to dive down a little and have free range of action while trolling. For a spoon, you want 5 to 10 feet of line, depending how heavy and big it is. You can troll fast or slow and still have good success. Bait should be 5 to 15 feet behind the release clip. This setup enables you to power mooch with your downrigger and get hammered by fish.
Where can you use the CruciFish?
You can use this in any body of water where you can use your downrigger to troll for fish, so lakes, ocean, and bigger rivers.
What type of fish can you target?
Chinook salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, sockeye (this will work the best because of the slow troll and the amount of flash you can have), chum salmon, rainbow trout, lake trout, bull trout, kokanee (just like sockeye fishing).
Opinion: Good or Bad?
This is a great, Vancouver-Island-made product that enhances your fishing experience. It can improve landing your fish into the boat because it eliminates flasher drag and sudden loss of flasher tension. You can troll at any speed, with different kinds of lures and bait. No matter the wave action or swell pattern, there’s no flasher to tangle with the clip line or downrigger line. There’s no flasher to tangle with your fishing line when trolling or dropping it down. This CruciFish is definitely a game changer for downrigger mooching with bait, and a great way to avoid fighting with the flasher drag. It does reduce the downrigger line angle a little bit, compared to the normal flasher setup, because of the reduced drag in the water. Give it a try!
Where can you get a CruciFish?
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