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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have downriggers on my boat, 21ft whaler. I am normally jigging but am going to try mixing it up this season. I have never used downriggers before and my question is what size weight to use with them to lower to desired position. Also how much line to you normally let out per sides? And what do most people run off of the DR's?I just dont want to get anythign crossed up with the other boat roads. Tight lines, Colin
 

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You can run any lure really. I run big umbrella's in the spring and small tandems in the summer. Put the lures about 50' behind the ball. The weight of the ball can depend on your lure. I use 10lb year round. you can go less but big umbrellas will pull 8lb or less balls back so if it reads 25' you may only be 17' deep.

Lastly the depth you run them depends on your spread and depth of water you are fishing. As well as where you are marking fish. In the spring I cover the upper column with my other rods so fish the down riggers 20 and 25' or 25 and 30' normally. I know Skip runs them as deep as 40' in the fall. summer I sometimes go shallower water and bring them up to 15 and 20.
 

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I use downriggers in spring and fall/winter.They work great :yes:. I use a 10-12 lb ball.The pancake weights tend to track funny if you troll across the curent (east/west).

My normal set up is one at 35 and one at 25 feet - on the counter.They run abour 30 and 21 feet down , most times.

You can use any lure on a downrigger.I let back 30-35 feet of line-then attach it to the clip.I favor Black's downrigger releases.They seem to be the most reliable.

I like daisy chains or umbrella rigs but will run spoons also.The umbrellas are good to use on downriggers.You get the lure deep with only 70 feet of line out.Once a fish hits-the umbrella rig pulls the fish towards the surface :thumbup:.

I will adjust if I see fish deeper.Some years I'll let out 80 feet of cable to reach fish at 60 feet down.If you have a dual feq. transducer-switch it to 50 KHZ and you should be able to see the downrigger ball.Best to be 1-3 feet ABOVE the fish.
 

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I agree 100% with skip. I have a 21 ft CC and have one downrigger nearest to the steering wheel. If you place one remember to put near where you will be. I use a 10 lb ball also.

I have had very good success the last 2 years with the downrigger trolling any time of the year. In the fall and spring I have used an umbrella rig mostly. I like to put heavy drag rigs for the reason skip said. Also it makes fighting the fish nicer b/c you dont fight the fish, the drag , and the weight as compared to a weighted umbrella rig.

I put it down from 20-45ft. It depends on where I see bait of fish on the fishfinder. I tens to try to be 5ft above or so. Dont go to far b/c remember the depth of line out is not the depth down b/c of boat drag. A couple of times out and you will get the hang of it though. I also find fishing around a temperature gradient/ current change as seen on the fishfinder can really be productive. This spring off Breezy we found a gradient at about 35ft down. Even though we only saw scattered fish/ bait on the FF, we put the rigger at that depth and really scored well. As well as the planer boards that day.

One last thing. I know you know this, but when a fish hits, reel up that rigger line ASAP. If the fish cuts over it you just cut your line. That is why keeping the downrigger near you is important. In our depth of water I dont think you need and electric DR. Just get a crank one. Literally you can get it up from 40+ft down in a few seconds.

Good luck
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK thanks. What if I try to run a stretch 25(like them Virginia boys, I used to live in va) off of the rigger, will it go 25 feet down from my set rigger depth?:rolleyes:
 

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You need alot of line out for a Stretch to dive 25 feet - I would guess about 75' from the release clip.

I ran a Stretch 30 back about 50 feet and with the ball set down 45 feet- it did not foul bottom in 65 feet of water.

Be careful using the Stretches - they tend to track tighter then the rest of your lures and can cause tangles if you run alot of lines.

Old joke: Stretches are OK if you only run one rod- most times it will not tangle :D.That's how bad they can be.
 

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I have had a stretch tangle my 2 lines out... That was w/o the Downrigger. Spoons like Tonys and CA do work well on the rigger for me though.

Jim
 

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I do the same as others but use a Cannon stacker release and run 2 rods off the same down rigger with tandems. I use a 10-12 lb ball and set the riggers at 33’ & 23’ to start. I clip the stacker 5-7 feet above the cannon ball. Adjust depths as required.

I start about 30 feet behind the ball or the stacker but change frequently until we find the trick. There have been days, especially when rough, 3-5’ behind the clip is the ticket. I think a shorter lead has better bait action than a longer lead. I’ve had tangle problems with the stretches or spoons. The bottom rod will loop up and catch the top rod from time to time if your speed is too fast or slow.
 

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#8 planer

Any one ever try a large planer, I have a Couple #8s I use off shore. I was thinking later in the fall I might put one on a 50w with tandem bucktails or even a spoon. I might feel funny with a 50w on the bay?
 

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Whose downriggers do y'all use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No stretches for me then. I use Penn riggers
 

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I use an electric Scotty...with a ten pound ball. I wouldn't try to use two without a good crew. Even though rockfish typically surface a decent distance from the boat, getting the wire(s) out of the water is a damn good idea when you have a fish on. I use a Penn Liveliner as the downrigger reel. You can put the drag on the run mode for lowering the bait, then switch it over to full drag once the bait is in position. I run the baits 40' back on leader material which I tie to the running line with a uni-knot, and I put the knot in the release clip. Its bulk helps the clip hold baits that have a lot of drag, like an umbrella or a Stretch. If I use a Stretch, I'll use one of the magnum Stretch 8's. I have a green translucent one that has caught some nice fish. I use the 8 rather than the 30 because it doesn't pull that hard and runs about the depth shown on the outrigger guage, as the lure's dive compensates for the depth loss from the slope in the downrigger wire. When the water goes slack, change the lure out for a red 12 inch hose with a piece of pork rind and run it right on the bottom in the deepest nearby water. Even fish that are not feeding will strike at eels or their imitations. Anyway, that's been my experience.
 
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