Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: New To Downriggers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default New To Downriggers

    Hi! I've been thinking about getting a couple downriggers for my boat for a while and I've finally decided to do it. My price range and boat size (16' low sided driftboat with points cut off making it actually about 13.5') dictate that I go with a manual downrigger. Doing some googling, it looks like the Cannon lake-troll and easi-troll are good options in that area. Any thoughts on these models? From the reviews, it looks like people aren't satisfied with the line counters on these but some others say that you can just turn the wheel on the boom to reset the counter to zero. Also, what weight downrigger balls would you recommend? I fish mostly for trout so the lakes I fish usually aren't too deep (Mineral, Nahwatzel, Diamond in Oregon) but I'd like to start fishing for Kokanee more in lakes like Meridian (live 5 min away from), Stevens, and Clear (Pierce).
    Also, what would be a good release clip setup? I often troll flies for trout with no flash or other additional action. I like the idea of being able to add flashers that aren't attached to the line but to the downrigger ball. It seems like, for this to work though, the lure would have to be almost directly under the boat with not much line back.
    Thanks for any help you can give me,
    Andrew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    4

    Default EASI-TROLL

    I've got a 16" Lund set-up with 2 Easi-Troll's. I use 8 lbs. balls and Scottie "LIGHT" releases. They are the WHITE ones. Cannon ratchet releases are junk and a PITA to set-up quickly. The Scotties are simple and work. You can see the balls on the depth finder. My transducer is mounted on the transom so the depth setting is relevant. I use a factor of "100" feet. so if you are trolling 20' deep, set the line back 80'. 50' deep, 50' back. Use light rods. you will see every hit like you are holding the rod. Don't wait for the fish to pull the release. Fish hits the bait, pull the rod, jerk the line from the release, reals down fast and set the hook! Fish On.

    FYI, I have the older version of the Easi-Troll with the 20" boom. It has the digital line counter and it works great. I have heard the complaints about the new line friction counters.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Blue Mesa 2018.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	109.3 KB 
ID:	9471

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Gunnison, CO
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Kingfisher,

    I fished with Walker Lakemaster manual downriggers for lots of years and liked them a lot. I used a pair of Scotty manuals very briefly but couldn't get used to the horizontal orientation of the cranks because of shoulder problems and eventually switched to electric scotty DRs. I still have the manual scotty DRs and would sell them for $50 each plus $20 shipping if you're interested. A lot of the differences between DR brands is sort of like Chevy, Ram, Ford truck loyalties. There are differences but not as much as our loyalties seem to imply. The depth counters simply count revolutions and convert this to feet of drop based on an estimate of the circumference of the cable on the spool, so none is terribly accurate, especially if you switch from stainless cable to braided cable (the smaller diameter of the braided cable means a smaller circumference on the DR spool, and fewer feet of drop per spool revolution). I put my weight down about the depth I want to fish, look for the weight on the fish finder, and reset of the counter accordingly. If you can't see the weight on your fish finder, the transducer probably isn't pointing straight down. Why switch from SS cable to braided cable? I found the SS cables "sing" quite annoyingly at certain depths, ball weights and speeds. YMMV.

    If you aren't fishing very deep a 4 lb or 6 lb weight is OK. Deeper fishing requires heavier weights unless you're willing to tolerate blow back (a little isn't all that bad unless fishing deep; >40 ft). With manual DRs 8 and 10 pound weights start seeming like a workout bringing them up from 80 ft. I use scotty releases. Again, this is a Ram/Ford thing I suspect because it appears lots of them work well judging from comments on this site. If you plan to drag dodgers from the weights, you'll need stacker releases and you'll have to do some thinking about resetting the counters so they indicate lure depth rather than weight depth.

    I'm sure you'll get other good advice here that reflects what works well for other people.

    Regards, Kokanee64

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks!

    The Chamberlain Releases look good to me. Others seem to have very good feedback on them.

    What depth does it typically work best to use the ball trolls? It seems that at shallower depths the fish would be spooked by the boat with the short setback required. I'm resistant to using inline flashers because I have in the past and it takes too much away from the fight for me. How much impact do dodgers have on the fight?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Gunnison, CO
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I think you're likely to get a wide variety of recommendations regarding drop or setback from the release to the lure. All of it is good advice in that it is based on hard earned experience about what works well for each of the people responding. In the spring when my weights are around 20 ft, I drop back 30 to 40 ft based on the theory that the boat and motor will scare the fish away, especially when the fish are shallow. I'm not sure that theory always holds water, as I've caught several nice kokanees this summer with my weight paused at 7 ft while I stack a second line on the cable above the weight. But as one of my old professors used to say, "nothing is more practical than a good theory." Right now I'm catching fish at around 50 ft and I'm using only a 12 foot drop, the length of mono leader tied to braided line. This seems to be working well for me. I wonder if so many boats go over these fish all day long that they don't care that much, especially when the fish are deeper. I suspect that's where the 100 ft rule comes from (lots of guys use it because it works) and it makes sense to me. The deeper the fish, the less drop you need. Anyone who fishes much knows fish can be easily spooked, so why take the risk?

    But here is something to think about. When squaring up building foundation forms, wall, etc., lots of construction guys use the 3-4-5 rule. For a 90 degree triangle with legs of 3 ft and 4 ft, the length of the hypotenuse is 5 ft. The formula is (3*3) + (4*4) = 25 = (5*5). The square root of 25 is 5. You can scale this up or down. That means that if you set the lure back 40 ft and drop the weight 30 ft, the distance from the water right behind your transom directly to the fish is 50 ft. You have 70 ft (30ft + 40ft) of line out and as soon as you pop the release, the fish is only 50 ft away and you suddenly have 20 ft of line slack. The general formula for this is the Pythagorean Theorem: the hypotenuse length is the square root of the sum of the square of the legs of a right triangle. If I am fishing at 50 ft deep and drop my lure back 50 ft, I have 29 ft of line slack when I pop the release. If I am fishing at 50ft and have a 12ft drop, I have 11 ft of line slack when I pop the release. If I'm fishing 30 ft deep with a 70 ft drop, I'll have 24 ft of slack versus with a 30ft of drop I'll have 18 ft of slack. In general, you'll have more line slack when the two legs (drop and depth) are roughly equal length and less line slack if you have one loooong leg and one shorter leg. For example, when I fish at 50 ft with a 12 ft drop, the distance from the water at the back of the transom to the fish is only 51 ft and I have (50 + 12) 62 ft of line out.

    In all cases, when a fish is on I reel down as far as I can, pop the release with a quick snap, reel like crazy, extend the rod as high over my head as I can, and sometimes take a couple of steps back. I want that slack out right now. Experiment and see to what extent your fish are boat and motor shy. For me, as long as I'm getting plenty of bites with a shorter drop, I'll use it to keep the amount of line slack more manageable. I also think maybe there are so many kokes where I fish that I can get away with some pretty lame fishing techniques.

    Tight Lines.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Harrisville, Utah
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    My suggestion is get out there on other boats with different styles of downriggers to get the feel for what you will like. Your boat can be outfitted with electrics just as easy manuals. I used the same set of Scotty manual downriggers w/12" arms for over 20yrs I bought in 1986 and they served me well. However, I have gotten my fair share of work outs hand cranking those, some days getting premature releases more than others. I switched over starting out with 2 Walker Tournament Series 2' booms electric downriggers. By stacking and fishing with 2 poles on each DR that became an issue when the DR got a constant workout itself. With parts available I modified the length from 2' to 4' and bought 2 more Walker Kokanee series(same as Tournament series) electrics but with 3' booms. Having electrics I will not go back to manuals. There is a wide variety of DR's on the market to choose and what fits your budget. You can find a descent set of used manuals or electrics on eBay or just watching some of the classifieds on fishing forums.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I'm pretty sure I'm going with manual DRs. While I certainly see the appeal of the electric DRs, it's one more thing that can go wrong and that I may need to take my boat into the shop to have fixed. I also like the idea of being able to take the DRs off when I'm flyfishing so they don't get in the way. I understand this is quite a bit harder to do with electric.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
    I'm pretty sure I'm going with manual DRs. While I certainly see the appeal of the electric DRs, it's one more thing that can go wrong and that I may need to take my boat into the shop to have fixed. I also like the idea of being able to take the DRs off when I'm flyfishing so they don't get in the way. I understand this is quite a bit harder to do with electric.
    Unplug then push a button then slide back. No problem what so ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kokanee64 View Post
    I think you're likely to get a wide variety of recommendations regarding drop or setback from the release to the lure. All of it is good advice in that it is based on hard earned experience about what works well for each of the people responding. In the spring when my weights are around 20 ft, I drop back 30 to 40 ft based on the theory that the boat and motor will scare the fish away, especially when the fish are shallow. I'm not sure that theory always holds water, as I've caught several nice kokanees this summer with my weight paused at 7 ft while I stack a second line on the cable above the weight. But as one of my old professors used to say, "nothing is more practical than a good theory." Right now I'm catching fish at around 50 ft and I'm using only a 12 foot drop, the length of mono leader tied to braided line. This seems to be working well for me. I wonder if so many boats go over these fish all day long that they don't care that much, especially when the fish are deeper. I suspect that's where the 100 ft rule comes from (lots of guys use it because it works) and it makes sense to me. The deeper the fish, the less drop you need. Anyone who fishes much knows fish can be easily spooked, so why take the risk?

    But here is something to think about. When squaring up building foundation forms, wall, etc., lots of construction guys use the 3-4-5 rule. For a 90 degree triangle with legs of 3 ft and 4 ft, the length of the hypotenuse is 5 ft. The formula is (3*3) + (4*4) = 25 = (5*5). The square root of 25 is 5. You can scale this up or down. That means that if you set the lure back 40 ft and drop the weight 30 ft, the distance from the water right behind your transom directly to the fish is 50 ft. You have 70 ft (30ft + 40ft) of line out and as soon as you pop the release, the fish is only 50 ft away and you suddenly have 20 ft of line slack. The general formula for this is the Pythagorean Theorem: the hypotenuse length is the square root of the sum of the square of the legs of a right triangle. If I am fishing at 50 ft deep and drop my lure back 50 ft, I have 29 ft of line slack when I pop the release. If I am fishing at 50ft and have a 12ft drop, I have 11 ft of line slack when I pop the release. If I'm fishing 30 ft deep with a 70 ft drop, I'll have 24 ft of slack versus with a 30ft of drop I'll have 18 ft of slack. In general, you'll have more line slack when the two legs (drop and depth) are roughly equal length and less line slack if you have one loooong leg and one shorter leg. For example, when I fish at 50 ft with a 12 ft drop, the distance from the water at the back of the transom to the fish is only 51 ft and I have (50 + 12) 62 ft of line out.

    In all cases, when a fish is on I reel down as far as I can, pop the release with a quick snap, reel like crazy, extend the rod as high over my head as I can, and sometimes take a couple of steps back. I want that slack out right now. Experiment and see to what extent your fish are boat and motor shy. For me, as long as I'm getting plenty of bites with a shorter drop, I'll use it to keep the amount of line slack more manageable. I also think maybe there are so many kokes where I fish that I can get away with some pretty lame fishing techniques.

    Tight Lines.
    Thank you for explaining the line slack when using the down rigger. I never thought about that. Now I understand that you subtract the lenght of the hypotenuse from the sum of line depth and line out to figure the line slack. I'll keep in mind the line slack and the other rule of 100 when fishing for Kok.

    I fished with long line for a long time then upgrade to manual Cannon DR and really like it. I remember in mid July 2015 we caught Kokanee in Anderson reservoir at 75' deep with the DR, a lot of cranking to retrieve the 8lbs lead ball but we really catch them at that depth. That was the only time I caught Kokanee in that depth range. This year most the fish we caught from 25 ~ 50'.

    Last fall I upgraded the DR to Cannon Mag 5ST electric and so far they're working good.
    '92 Gray/Red Crestliner 130HP I/O Mercruiser, 9.9HP Honda kicker

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    McCall Idaho
    Posts
    56

    Default

    While I am a real novice (beginner) at Kokanee, I have trolled a great deal for trout. I never use flashers as they really take away the fun of playing the fish. I do use a dodger and it has little effect. You donít need a large dodger just something large enough to attract the fish and move your bait/hoochie/lure. If I am running shallow, I will run a 4-6 lb ball. So much easier to raise and lower. Below about 30 ft, I go to an 8 Lb ball and I use a sliding release with an 8 oz weight to get it down. It is so much easier than manually raising the ball each time you have a release. As for drop back, I tend to follow the rule of 100.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybersnow View Post
    While I am a real novice (beginner) at Kokanee, I have trolled a great deal for trout. I never use flashers as they really take away the fun of playing the fish. I do use a dodger and it has little effect. You donít need a large dodger just something large enough to attract the fish and move your bait/hoochie/lure. If I am running shallow, I will run a 4-6 lb ball. So much easier to raise and lower. Below about 30 ft, I go to an 8 Lb ball and I use a sliding release with an 8 oz weight to get it down. It is so much easier than manually raising the ball each time you have a release. As for drop back, I tend to follow the rule of 100.
    Why reel up a ball or use 8 oz. of weight When fishing deeper? Ever hear of a Shuttle Hawk? Just leave the damn thing down and let the hawk do the work! Bob R

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    McCall Idaho
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Just checked out the Shuttle Hawke, for $14.95, it is the way to go. Thanks, you just saved me a lot of work trying to remember how I made them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybersnow View Post
    Just checked out the Shuttle Hawke, for $14.95, it is the way to go. Thanks, you just saved me a lot of work trying to remember how I made them.
    Just remember to use a piece of stiff mono ( I use 20 lb. plastic coated wire leader with a snap swivel to fasten unit to downrigger cable, better then the elastic band deal, no-one wants to see $14.95 go down into the dark depths not attached to anything. Bob R

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •