My biggest pet peeve when out on the water is wind. Calm breezes I can handle. It is the gale force blows that push your boat haphazardly past favorite spots — with nary a cast being made — that truly red line the frustration levels.
I have tried all kinds of tricks in the past: Trolling motor on full; big motor running; and anchors down below. Most proved futile. Only several years ago did I finally find my answer.
The Lindy Drift Control Original Series Drift Sock is an inexpensive and easily utilized fix to end wind woes. For those not familiar with drift socks, they are basically a large "balloon-style" contraption that is dragged behind or to the side of the boat, to aid and control your drift and trolling speed. Think of them as a big parachute.
The first thing that struck me about the Original Series was the construction. These socks are extremely lightweight and the ripstop nylon material feels more substantial than some of the "plastic" varieties out on the market. This material also dries extremely fast, and when rolled and folded, takes up very little room when placed back in the clear zippered storage pouch.
An upper cylinder float and bottom weight ensures that the sock opens quickly and refrains from rotating. My first time use was an exercise in simplicity. For some reason I had in my mind that it might be difficult to work. It definitely wasn't.
One point that needs to be made. Although the sock is constructed with one-inch nylon straps, you will need to utilize two ropes (not included) for the sock to work. One of these ropes is attached to a loop at the large opening — this is the tow line — while a longer rope is attached to the small opening. Both of these ropes are then tied off to the boat. The longer rope is used to retrieve the sock, small opening first. Believe me, I tried pulling the sock back in the boat with the large opening facing forward - not an easy task!
When used correctly, your Drift Control Sock should run just under the surface of the water. How long a tow rope you utilize is a personal preference, but I find eight- to 10-feet to be about right.
The Lindy sock comes in four sizes (25, 40, 50 and 60 inches) and are matched to the length of your boat. I went with the 40-inch model to pair up with my 15-foot boat. I have had no complaints so far. I would suggest going with the larger model if your boat length is applicable for both sizes.
Utilizing two drift socks is a common practice, especially when your drift is really fast. I recently picked up a second sock for just this use. Think of it is as an extra break for the boat, and with the small storage size, you can't go wrong keeping an additional one onboard.
I have tried various placements of my drift sock, and have found depending on the area I am fishing, whether I am solo in the boat, and wind direction will usually dictate my choice. Off the stern generally gets the nod, but tying up to the side also has its advantages. Try both under varying conditions to see which works best.
Wind can play havoc with the boat but it doesn't have to put an end to your fishing day. Toss out a Lindy Drift Control Original Series Drift Sock and show the wind who's boss - and catch plenty more fish in the process.