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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had bought a Penn 620 downrigger w/12lb ball this spring from the flea market. Cost me $40 total including rigger, base, mounting hardware and I just installed it the other day. Problem is, I dont know much about them.

Question 1: The downrigger ball has a release built into it......it has a stainless steel pintle that has a spring on top of it and then a set screw.......I can snap fishing line into it and then snap it back out.......is this a good release mechanism??? Would it be ok to use on mono or braid??? My other concern is how the fishing line snaps in there horizontally. Should I purchase some other kind of release??? Also, what loop should I attach the downrigger cable onto....the front or the back....or does it matter???

Question 2:I understand where to run the downrigger in the water column(and I have a 50htz trans. so I can see my downrigger ball) but what lures do you guys like to run on downriggers??? Umbrella, Daisey, Tandem, Single, Spoon, ect

Thanks a bunch. Bill

 

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Bill,

That was a great buy!!
On your first question, if you are going to use the built in release you have to buy some flat plastic pieces that you put your line through, twist it a couple of times so the line doesn't slide freely then slide the plastic piece on the ball. I found it much better to remove it from the ball and buy a scotty clip and hook that to the ball.

I would not put a spoon on the down rigger, but you can really us any lure.

Ken
 

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I would replace the cable with 200Lb mono. This will eleiminate the "Humm" that cable gives you. When you get ready to deploy the ball to the desired depth, make sure the indicator is set to "zero". you should only need to do this once. Release the tension on the brake SLOWLY while holding one hand on the drum. Allow the ball to fall slowly so it doesn't pull the fishing line back towards it and cause a tangle. ALWAYS set your ball for a depth about 5-8 feet above where you are marking fish. Fish strike at bait above them, not below. If you not getting any hits, adjust the ball up or down in 5 ft incrments. Make sure the boom is set out to the side far enough that the boat can turn without allowing the line for the ball to reach the prop. We usually keep a small plastic bucket in the stern so once the downrigger gets a hit and you wind the ball up. the ball can be put in the bucket and doesn't scar up the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have 1 Scotty clip at the house so I took a Sampo 165# ball bearing swivel and snapped it underneath the release pintle on the downrigger ball. I then tightened the pressure set screw all the way down and the pintle will not release the swivel. I was now going to use 150# mono and crimp a leader from the swivel to the Scotty clip..............question is, how long of a leader??? 6".....foot....ect. Does this plan sound OK?

Bill
 

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Bill; First, where did you mount it? at the rear of your gunwale or are you using a rod holder. Is the pole 2' or 4'. I ask because you have to be careful when making turns if your are mounted at the rear, that you don't put the rigger line near your prop.

I use 200lb. braid as my rigger line. 12lb. ball is a lot to struggle with over the side. you have to let that one down gently. I would change the clip. I don't know what the name of mine is called... kind of two flat 1/2" wide rubber pancakes that you compress the line in.

When I let the line out, I press my stomach to the spool and release the tension knob, with my other hand, I release the drag and hold the spool on the rod ( in the holder. I bought the Penn rodholder and mounted them on the side of the rigger). Then I grab the downrigger spool with my hand and let them go down at the same time, reading the depth on the marker on the rigger, then I lean against the spool again and tighten the knob. Then I crank on the rod ( a lighter rod that you can bend) to take the slack out of the line and put a bend in the rod. That bend will take some of the slack out of the line when a fish hits and pulls the line out of the clip. you'll love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had done some searching on the Net of mounting locations......I decided on mid-ship right where the topside of my WA meets the gunnel.......so basicly, the downrigger is right behing me when I'm at the captains chair. The downrigger did not come with a rod holder but I mounted a rod holder at the bottom of the hardtop support which puts the rodholder right behind the downrigger pretty close.........The downrigger, and the rod in its holder are pointed out 45 degrees towards the stern....The downrigger has a 4' boom. I do not have a swivel base. How far off the ball, should I run the Scotty clip?

Thanks Bill
 

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My 8 lb. ball has a fat fin at the rear with an eyelet. I hook my clip to that. It comes with a large snap swivel and 6" of wire attached. You could drill a hole at the fin and attach it through there. You need it close to the ball in order to set the clip and not lean too far out. Go see the alltackle people they have different kinds of clips. So does Boatersworld, but no one in there knows about downriggers. Or meet Skip up at the BW in Severna Park.
 

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I rig my downrigger release slightly different then most.
I use a Black release clip on the cable itself- about 24 inches above the weight.This way I can reset the line with the weight still in the water on rough days.Nothing like a 12 lb ball hitting the side of your boat.

Be sure to set the release clip fairly tight- you want the hook driven in before the line releases.If the cable angle changes alot- you might have a small fish on :D but that means the tension is perfect for big fish.

Downriggers are great on the bay - somedays they catch most of my fish.
 

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Great to see so many people using 'riggers; I thought I was the only one when I began to troll with them in the early '90s. A 12# ball is awfully heavy, I've found I do fine with a 6#ball (I use Canon downriggers). I mount them right on the transom so the arm sticks over the back of the boat. Cabela's sells the balls, as does Angler's on Route 50, maybe other places as well. I agree with the choice of Black's downrigger clips, they work fine. The advice you got to lower the ball slowly is excellent advice, do take it seriously. And make sure you've tightened up the line after you set it, and don't go racing off with the riggers in the water (yes, I did that--once). I've caught fish on hoses, parachutes, even spoons. The only way I ever could catch Spanish mackerel trolling in the bay was with a downrigger and a Clark spoon; caught a couple rockfish to close to 30" doing that, and it gets your attention! Probably got the rock's attention, too. The other advice I have is if you fish more than one downrigger, set them at different depths to see which is catching fish better. If you use heavy lures on the downrigger, they will swim lower than you've set the rigger, so keep that in mind. Spoons and hoses probably won't. The faster you go, the higher in the water column the ball will be. Don't even think of using a wildly swimming lure like a Stretch on a downrigger.

I can't help you with the details of your particular downrigger, but you've got good advice. Good luck.

FF
 

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I love my downrigger and really do well with it.

with that said , I use the clip recommended by Baldzilla. I tried the clip which came with the downrigger which is a newer version of the clip in your picture and I could not get it to work appropriatly or consistantly. I use the wire line the rigger came with, and an 8lb ball (I think). I use braid on the line I am fishing, mostly for the simple reason that I want the line deeper and mono floats. I dont have much of a leader from the ball to the clip though although maybe I should.

I use umbrellas and tandems mostly on the rigger. You can certainly use spoons on and I do in the summer and even have used small Clark spoons with higher speed looking for spanish mackerel off the beaches in N. Carolina.

One funny thing some charter guys in British Colombia practice. They use Downriggers a lot during the salmon seasons in the sound. The troll 2 lines off each rigger which I want to learn possibly. They use wire line but hook a batter cable to the line to "keep the electrical current from building up" They believe that the metal wire in the slatwater causes an "electrical buildup" that the the low voltage battery balances out. I have no idea scientifically how this could happen or how their solution worked. We did catch a ton of salmon trolloing though.

Jim
 

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--I'm diffrent as Usual , I use a Out rigger " ROLLER TROLLER " release clip --That way I can lenthen the line or shorten it as I Dertermine --Also i use A regular Line set up so I may add small Additional weights in line --DO NOT use as A Bottom Bouncing Tool , or even as a 10 foot from the bottom tool --Reef Balls , wrecks , rock piles etc. will claim your Weight & Cable --Use it like A "Dummy" & add the additional weight Ness INLINE --I seldom fish Mine , but if party is Elderly & cant us the Broomsticks , Troll Spinning Tackle with Usual lures --Even 21 Tony's --geo.
 
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