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Downriggers for dummies

1994 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sbd
I gave the new downrigger a spin on Sunday at Balmoral, but found that there is more to it than is immediately evident (to me at least). Any input from more experienced exponents would be most welcome.

Firstly, I was surprised how much hum came from the wire - probably amplified by the yak. Even at very low speeds there was a distinct buzz and a visible bubble trail from the wire, if I was a fish I'd have swum a mile. I've bought some heavy braid to replace the wire and hopefully that will sort that one out.

I had problems getting the line to stay in the supplied clip (Scotty mini Powergrip). My trolling setup has 14lb fireline as the mainline (fine and slippery), so I tried adding a longer leader (15kg mono) and fixing the clip to that but still had issues getting it to hold. The clip has a plastic slide which doubles the release force, but I still couldn't get a reliable fixing. Am I missing something here? I spoke to JT and it sounded like he was having issues getting the clip to hold as well.

Presuming that I get the clip to hold, how far behind the bomb should I run the bait (or lure)?

Has anyone tried painting the bomb a fish-pleasing colour (?), or using reflective tape on it?

As an aside, I did a search on Fishnet to see I could find any answers without much luck, but did see a suggestion that when not trolling you can use the downrigger to take a berley cage to the bottom - sounds like that could be worth a try.
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In my limited 3 outing homemade downrigger experience and lots of googling here are my tips:

* Form a small loop about 300mm above the bomb on the braid and attach a heavy duty coastlock snap and swivel. If you need to you can attach the swivel end to a split ring. The split ring attaches to the looped braid.

* Get rid of all those stupid and overpriced release clips and buy a box of #16 rubber bands for $1.75.

(I practised this about a dozen times on my loungeroom floor to get the system 100% right - When I did it on the yak, it worked a treat)

1) Put the bomb over the side in the water and release enough DR line to allow you to easily hold the coastlock snap.

2) Insert your rod in the rod holder and put it into freespool.

3) Pull out about 3 metres of line. Holding the line close to your body, gently throw your lure/ bait a couple of metres into the sea.

4) About 2.5 metres from the lure/bait, wrap the rubber band around the mainline six times and form a double loop.

5) Put the double loop in the coast lock and snap it shut. Ensure the rig is straight.

6) Do a couple of quick paddle strokes to get momentum. Release the downrigger (Your rod should still be in freespool in the holder ratchet on).

7) When released to the right depth, lock up the downrigger, click the rod out of freespool and paddle.

8) You did it!
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I'll post pics tomorrow morning but essentially it's a handline with about 20 metres of orange nylon cord and 2 x clips.

Every metre there is a knot to tell me the depth.

The bomb (Everyone has seen the bomb) is the dodgiest weight on the planet but it works.

When my proper surface mail Cannon Mini Troll arrives, the process will be almost exactly the same.
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