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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up 2 Cannon downriggers and have some questions about the type of tackle that can be use with them. Is it possible to use lighter tackle gear on the downrigger instead of the typical heavier rods when trolling? I have some 6' 1pc Penn Mariner rods I use for trolling stacked with Penn 750ss and 7500ss. I wanted to know could I switch down to a like a 7' Ugly with a 4000 Penn Wrath on the downrigger? Also does the type of lure your pulling determine the type of rod you would use on the downrigger?
 

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The rod, reel and line have to be capable of handling the species sought after of course.
Now keep in mind, if you are pulling the DR and have a lighter line attached, once you hookup, depending on the size of the fish, direction of boat (with, against or across the current/tide) you may need to put it in neutral or even reverse to stop the boat.
If pulling a second DR, someone may need to crank in that one depending on depth and possible tangles and or snags.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The type of lure determines the gear you would use. The down rigger just gets that gear down to where you want it. The lighter the lure you are pulling the lighter the rod........Gary
Got it, I was thinking the ball would be holding the weight of the lure but its not, thanks!
 

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Down rigger is nothing more than an out rigger or planer board. Nothing more. I’ve used them occasionally but never had much luck with them. I just assumed the cannon ball coming through the water before my bait, deterred the bite
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The rod, reel and line have to be capable of handling the species sought after of course.
Yes indeed.

Now keep in mind, if you are pulling the DR and have a lighter line attached, once you hookup, depending on the size of the fish, direction of boat (with, against or across the current/tide) you may need to put it in neutral or even reverse to stop the boat.
My 4000 have 15lb braid and my trolling rods 7500 40lb braid. I normally go into neutral when I hook up because I am mostly alone so I am still trying to figure things out. Also depends on what lures I have in the water and how much traffic is out. I only use 3 rods, 2 out on the gunnels and one off the transom. I will go to a 4 rod spread one day but 3 works right now.

If pulling a second DR, someone may need to crank in that one depending on depth and possible tangles and or snags..
Ouch that sound like a pain. Hook up on one and have to reel in both and reset... I would run at different depth and lengths depends on what I see under me. Hopefully that will avoid the tangles. I know tangles are possible getting close to the boat if the DR is down. Let me lose some fish and then I will deal with that problem:D. Right now that sounds like a good problem to have rather than me setting here typing about it:D.
 

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I generally troll by myself with a 5 rod spread. 4 of the rods are 6'6'' Ugly Sticks, and 2 of them are on the downriggers. All rods are loaded with 30 lb monofilament. I keep the 2 downrigger lines closer to the boat (40 to 60 feet back) than the other 3 lines (85 to 125 feet back) to minimize the chance of a tangle up. Don't do anything special when the hookup is on the downrigger. I leave all the other rods alone and just pull in the fish. Haven't noted any higher incidence of tangle ups when the fish is caught off the downrigger vs the other inline weighted lines.

I like the fact that it much easier to adjust the lure depth using the downrigger to match what I am seeing on the fish finder. Maybe that is why I generally get more fish off the downrigger than I do of inline weighted lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I generally troll by myself with a 5 rod spread. 4 of the rods are 6'6'' Ugly Sticks, and 2 of them are on the downriggers. All rods are loaded with 30 lb monofilament. I keep the 2 downrigger lines closer to the boat (40 to 60 feet back) than the other 3 lines (85 to 125 feet back) to minimize the chance of a tangle up. Don't do anything special when the hookup is on the downrigger. I leave all the other rods alone and just pull in the fish. Haven't noted any higher incidence of tangle ups when the fish is caught off the downrigger vs the other inline weighted lines.
I will just fish the 2 DR to get learn the new equipment on the boat. So when you hook up on the DR just start to reel the whale :) in or pull up the DR ball?

I am still in the learning phase, I have a hell of a time trying to keep the boat straight to let the lines out. It might be my boat or my steering as I am in the market to replacing it. I may need to get an auto pilot to help with this or put in some more time first. I normally let the port side out first about 120' then the starboard about 90' and the the transom rod just under the prop wash about 60' back. I use the multi color line so I would know how much line I have out. It just bugs me that I don't know my true depth of my lures ( I know this comes with time and practice). Event trolling my inline planners its a guess how deep they unless you let hit the bottom and go from there. Port side is the hardiest for me to let out because I am back and forth at the helm and trying to let the line out off the side of the boat. My transom rod always seems to get in the way if I hook up so I purchased a rod rack to mount rods out of the way. I have not mounted it all yet this was a test fit.

I like the fact that it much easier to adjust the lure depth using the downrigger to match what I am seeing on the fish finder. Maybe that is why I generally get more fish off the downrigger than I do of inline weighted lines.
Nice, are you seeing your DR ball on sonar?


Sky Cloud Watercraft Boat Vehicle
 

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Some folks on here have posted a depth chart for trolling weights in the past.
Just because you are putting out port side rods you can still let them out from starboard side near your steering then after correct distance walk it over to put in port side holder. Just have to deploy furthest lines first and do starboard side last.

Some boats dont track very straight when wheel is not attended, specially in chop. Your outboard has an adjustable skeg in front of your prop which may reduce steering pull from prop torque but not much help at slow speeds. I have used a bungi cord to hold my wheel in place for a bit but that wont stop boat from drifting off course for very long. When trolling alone, more separation of lures in depth and distance is helpfull. Putting a boat in nuetral when trolling can lead to a mess. Better to keep going if possible but with only a few lines out your mess wont be too bad
 

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I have my downriggers on the boats gunnels, about a foot or so in front of the transom, so I don't see the downrigger balls on my sonar (transducer is mounted on the transom).

As already mentioned, some boats don't track very straight when the wheel is not attended. I have a Trophy 2052 and when idling in forward gear the boat tracks from side to side about 10-15 degrees off straight ahead. I’ve learned to just let the boat do its thing and put the lines out. I’ve also put my lines out while going with, not against, the tide or wind. Seems to help keep the boat relatively straight while setting the lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some folks on here have posted a depth chart for trolling weights in the past.
Just because you are putting out port side rods you can still let them out from starboard side near your steering then after correct distance walk it over to put in port side holder. Just have to deploy furthest lines first and do starboard side last.
I have seen some depth charts they are very useful at times but its still a guess game as to where your lures are. I will try to put that port side out from the helm and walk it over and I will remember the furthest line goes out first.

Some boats dont track very straight when wheel is not attended, specially in chop. Your outboard has an adjustable skeg in front of your prop which may reduce steering pull from prop torque but not much help at slow speeds. I have used a bungi cord to hold my wheel in place for a bit but that wont stop boat from drifting off course for very long. When trolling alone, more separation of lures in depth and distance is helpfull. Putting a boat in nuetral when trolling can lead to a mess. Better to keep going if possible but with only a few lines out your mess wont be too bad
Before the last time I went out, I made an adjustment to the trim fin as it is hard to steering under load turning to the left, easy to the right. Well apparently I did not tighten it up fully and realized when i went to flush the motor that it had come off. I don't know when and where trailering or in the water. What I do know is when I drop the boat into the water and tried to back out I lost the bow at the ramp, it could have been wind because it was rough at the bridge that day winds blowing east 15-25. The same thing coming back, I had a friend with me not paying attention as I pulled up to the dock, he was talking about cooking and looking at me instead of hoping onto the dock. I lost the bow again, I am better off doing alone because sometimes passengers do not know what to do.

I try to pick my ledge and look at my bearing and try to stay on that track, man a few seconds away and off like 40 50 degrees. Something holding the wheel will keep it straight but maybe not the boat:).

Thanks for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have my downriggers on the boats gunnels, about a foot or so in front of the transom, so I don't see the downrigger balls on my sonar (transducer is mounted on the transom).

As already mentioned, some boats don't track very straight when the wheel is not attended. I have a Trophy 2052 and when idling in forward gear the boat tracks from side to side about 10-15 degrees off straight ahead. I’ve learned to just let the boat do its thing and put the lines out. I’ve also put my lines out while going with, not against, the tide or wind. Seems to help keep the boat relatively straight while setting the lines.
We have similar style builds, I have Sea Fox 230 I would need to mount mines in the same place. It would be nice to see the DR ball line on the sonar. I will see if my boom will reach back that far.

Trolling with the current will speed the boat up a bit and save on some gas. I have done this also, it allow you to drop in and out of gear will keeping the vessel in motion.

Thanks!
 

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My downriggers have a mechanical counter so I just rely on that to give me an estimate of the ball's depth.

I go with the current or wind when I'm setting the lines. Once the lines are out I generally try to follow a zig zag pattern if possible, depending on where I'm trolling.

This time of year I'm trolling for strippers. I just keep my engine at idle (~750 RPM) and don't take it out of gear. That RPM gives me a speed of around 3 MPH with no current. Found that is slow enough for stripper trolling. If you want to go slower than that just tie a rope to a 5 gal bucket and tow it behind the boat. Will slow the boat speed some.

Once you get accustom to the downriggers I think you will find them fairly effective at setting lure depth, just keep in mind that depending on the length of line back from the ball and the weight of the lure itself the lure will be lower than the downrigger ball.
 

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I have seen some depth charts they are very useful at times but its still a guess game as to where your lures are. I will try to put that port side out from the helm and walk it over and I will remember the furthest line goes out first.



Before the last time I went out, I made an adjustment to the trim fin as it is hard to steering under load turning to the left, easy to the right. Well apparently I did not tighten it up fully and realized when i went to flush the motor that it had come off. I don't know when and where trailering or in the water. What I do know is when I drop the boat into the water and tried to back out I lost the bow at the ramp, it could have been wind because it was rough at the bridge that day winds blowing east 15-25. The same thing coming back, I had a friend with me not paying attention as I pulled up to the dock, he was talking about cooking and looking at me instead of hoping onto the dock. I lost the bow again, I am better off doing alone because sometimes passengers do not know what to do.

I try to pick my ledge and look at my bearing and try to stay on that track, man a few seconds away and off like 40 50 degrees. Something holding the wheel will keep it straight but maybe not the boat:).

Thanks for your input!
If you have not replaced the trim fin yet they sell them at West Marine. Also works as a zinc for electrolysis.
 

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I run #15 down riggers balls on my riggers.
Minimal if any blow back...25 ft. on dial = 24.9".....keeps the rigger pretty much straight down and out of the way.

Pretty hard to beat a Spoonbrella rig this time of the year.
Try to hit the fish in the head with the DR ball
I run 5 to 10' of separation between the two DR
One bait 7.5 bars off the ball
The other bait 5 bars off the ball
 

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I run #15 down riggers balls on my riggers.
Minimal if any blow back...25 ft. on dial = 24.9".....keeps the rigger pretty much straight down and out of the way.

Pretty hard to beat a Spoonbrella rig this time of the year.
Try to hit the fish in the head with the DR ball
I run 5 to 10' of separation between the two DR
One bait 7.5 bars off the ball
The other bait 5 bars off the ball
 

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I ran 2 Walker down riggers for years. Some very good suggestions have already been made on this thread. I would get the longest arms possible for your Cannons. Also Think it was Cabelas that had down rigger balls with fins that helped keep the ball and lure a little further out. I also ran another lure off a stacker clip about 6 to 8 feet above the main line off the ball. Good luck with your new tackle.
 

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If you have other rods out - best to use a heavy rig for downrigger so you can get fish to boat fast. A lighter rod / reel might let fish run and tangle lines farther out.

I've used spinning rods off my downriggers with #32 rubber bands and 1 to 2 oz bucktails. Hooked up and go slower.

I like to use umbrellas off my downriggers 90% of time. Easy to get these rigs down 20 to 45 feet with downrigger. I set back about 30 feet of line from release clip. I've caught Rock up to 48 inches with down riggers.

I have not switched yet but some use 200 lb braid in place of cable to get rid of the " hum " noise.
 
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