Lead Core and Copper off of Mast & Ski's
I have a Willie mast in the garage with 2 extensions and an Otter Boat along with a one of a kind un-tipable big board. I enjoyed them for early coho and shallow water spring browns. Storage of the boards and putting up the mast each time was a hassle. Granted small coho on in-lines not as much fun but still taste good.
Most reels used for trolling already have power handles on them and having a higher gear ratio makes it harder to pull in hard pulling lines, just ask a musky fisherman about Cow Girls! That said I still want a high gear ratio as possible for my copper lines because there's just so damn much line out there with it.
That said, in-line boards are easier. Pros and cons for both - but I find fewer tangles/issues with inline boards.
The only thing I will say in favor of skis is coho fishing. I've used them before running all coho rigs, and it can be very fun when the coho are abundant.
But, with the long lines and leadcore later in the season - it's too crazy, with too much potential for screw ups.
Yeah inline boards have draw backs but maybe adding a power handle to your reels would help the kids. Also a reel with a retrieve ratio greater than 4.2 : 1 would help too.
It's an absolute bear bringing in a ski that's gotten fouled up in a log or has twenty plus pounds of weeds stuck to the line.
Church walleye boards worked better for me than skis did. It's like anything else it take practice to know how to use them and avoid problems.