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Thread: Downrigger Fishing Question

  1. #1
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    Downrigger Fishing Question

    Hi guys,

    Heading up to Canada in 12 days for some musky and lake trout trolling. Here's the question... (mostly for the trout fishing on downriggers)

    I'll be using the Chamberlain release clips (similar to blacks...i.e. release pin requires 5 or 6 loops in the line).

    What type of line would be best? Mono or superbraid? I would prefer superbraid in order to get a good hookset and avoid line stretch (especially with anywhere from 85 to 120 feet of line out). But my concern is that the superbraid might be to slippery and the line / lure might slide forward too much when I try to load the rod. Does that make sense?

    Any info or suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    "Jackpot" John Schroeder

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    St. Cloud, MN.
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    RE: Downrigger Fishing Question

    I make several trips over to Wisconsin to fish salmon, and we catch most of our fish on down riggers. I used braid on all my reels with approx. 20' of flurocarbon for a leader. We also wrap line approx 5-6 times on the release and rarely have a problem with line slip. You can easily test your set-up's in your driveway, it will be much easier to get everything figured out and trouble shoot in your driveway, vs. up in canada on a lake with no stores around.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Ludington, MI, USA.
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    RE: Downrigger Fishing Question

    I know what you're saying but I fished with some guys using Black's releases and superbraid. Just 5 or 6 wraps had enough tension to hold. I would avoid the teflon-coated superlines if you could, but I think even those will work.

  4. #4
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA.
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    RE: Downrigger Fishing Question

    I have used downriggers trolling for muskies on Detroit River, Lake St Clair, and Lake of the Woods. I have used large body baits and Double Cowgirls on spectron line. I have used a couple of techinques, either use two releases or get some O rings that will slip over the release to keep it closed.

    BOB

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Cedarburg, Wisconsin, USA.
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    RE: Downrigger Fishing Question

    For trout, mono on riggers works great. The fish are already hooked when the release fires, no hookset is nescessary. 20# mono is more than enough to withstand the abrasion of line on cables. If you are going extremely deep line test isn't a factor as the cable and weights will be the critical parts of the setup. If you are going down over 100 feet, you probably need heavier than the standard 8# balls most riggers are used with. I had good luck with a big dodger and a squid stuffed with a small minnow. It worked great for eaters. I quit using riggers years ago. To much work and to much extra crap for the same fish I caught other ways.

    Personally I prefer to troll flutter spoons or original #18 or #13 Rapalas on three way rigs using 20# braid for Lakers. I can fish down to 80 feet easily with 5-6 oz. weight. and can hit 100+ with a little work. Tie the Rapala very tight with a clinch knot, NO SNAP! Force the knot down to the bottom of the line tie next to the bill. This will give the Rapala an exaggerated wobble so you can slow down and still have action on the lure. That way you can fish deeper with less weight. Same with the spoon, just play with the cupping to get a better wiggle at slower speeds.

    Another way to fish trout that's fun is jig them with crankbaits. Put a diving floating crank on about a four foot leader with a 2 to 3 oz. weight inline. Lower it to the bottom and then crank like hell for forty feet and then let it down again. Less weight, more fight, more fun if you are so inclined. My friend that lives in Canada is a god working lures this way. I'm not nearly as good but still catch fish without too much problem. Location is more important than presentation.

    I used riggers for muskies with bucktails and cranks in Canada. Tried them many times, and came to the conclusion it just didn't pay. There are so many better ways to present lures than on riggers. Too easy to fish under the fish with riggers. For fishing higher, why use them at all unless you are running a huge spread and want to anchor the lures in formation?

    You will catch fish with the riggers, but nothing you couldn't have caught with less equipment. Trust me on this one, I've been there and done that 25 years ago and tried every which way I could think of to make those riggers work better than other methods, but I couldn't do it.

  6. #6
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    Buffalo, NY.
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    RE: Downrigger Fishing Question

    Had both downriggers and outriggers on my boat back in the day. Tried all the fancy releases. Save your money and buy a bag of #33 rubber bands. They're fool proof. Put a 6" leader off the tail of the canon ball and have a snap on the end of the leader. Loop the rubber band around the part of the fishing line you want to attach to the ball, snug it tight, then just take the loop and put it in the snap. Let the ball down and that's it. You don't even have to close the snap because the pull of the lure keeps the rubber band in the snap.

    As for line, I haven't fished in ten years so I can't help you there. We always used Trilene XT. Not sure if they still make it. The XT worked good off the riggers because it didn't stretch and it could take a beating.

    For the trout you may try a little thinner rubber bands. The 33s worked great for muskys. We used diving baits off the outriggers (Depth Raiders). They pull pretty hard but the rubber bands held. Plus we trolled pretty fast at certain times - up to 5 MPH.

    Mike Bordonaro

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