don't like downriggers. too much hassel. i like 3 way rigs using big mojos or heavy sinkers. can use any type baits regardless of weight or size, but perfer bucktails or parachutes in tandem. only use umbrellas if the bite is slow or the fish scattered. big spoons and tomics when larger fish are in the area. may not be as sporting as downriggers, but it gets the job done
i prefer to use light or suspending lures on the downrigger. storm makes a "suspending shad" that does not sink in a turn and grass-up like a heavy lure could. light bucktails in the range of an ounce or less with shad or grub on it works well as do the storm/tsunami/calcutta weighted head shads. fairly light parachutes 1-3 oz work ok and the small umbrellas are very effective if pulled on a scotty release (yellow tipped release)
I usually stack my downriggers. On the bottom I'll run a tandem with a parachute (2 to 3 oz) and a tomic. Up 10 feet I run a tomic, light parachute/bucktail, or floating plug. I have run umbrellas off of downriggers before but cause cannonball to blowback a long ways. Much prefer downriggers and light tackle to 2 lbs of lead and a broomstick.
sorry to be tardy but i don't check in daily.
the boom tip is replaceable. we stock the assembly including the pulley wheel but it is out of stock at present. penn had stopped producing downriggers for a year or so and parts dried up. they have resumed production but haven't caught up with parts orders. it costs $44.99. if interested, give a call and we'll see if we can squeeze one out of penn. 804-725-3889. btw: we stock all the lures discussed here.
I was just informed that we received an assembly and have one in stock.
I've had the best luck on my downrigger with larger size Pet Spoons. Can cause some line twist, but it's effective. I love downriggers. I think they get a bad rap because they require some patience/getting used to. Once you figure out a system, they're great. A lot more fun than fighting a fish with a Mojo in his mouth.
Word of advice, don't forget to reel up the ball before chasing birds. [smile]