Choosing the correct Downrigger for your boat and for your fishing experience is like deciding what to put on your pizza. It could be mind boggling and confusing, the first time. But once you know all the working parts of the rig as well as your fishing goals, and your boat, then choosing a rig is a piece of cake.
I am going to start with one of the most important factors;
Do you want Electric Downrigger?The first thing that comes to my mind is comfort and money, now if you want comfort and have money, then the option is easy. But lets say you hate to spend for nothing, then think about your fishing goals; are you going to lure in deep waters, if you do, that means that you have a lot of crank to do , to bring that baby up, especially if you are using lots of weight. If you fish often and you fish deeper than let’s say 50 feet, I would suggest you bankroll an electric downrigger that would save you a lot of energy and frustration on that hot day, especially if they are striking a lot. On the same token of money, you could spring a bit more and get a depth counter; there is nothing more frustrating that finding good fish, but not being able to set the proper depth or worse, fishing when there’s no one home. If you choose to go manual instead, make sure you choose a good and big spool with good leverage, so you can pull a lot of line with minimum effort, you don’t want to be pulling those downrigger weights an inch at a time. Other important thing to take in consideration is the sensitivity of the release, they need to be sensitive enough to unhook even for smaller fish. Another important factor is the length of the arm; you can find anything from 24 to 60 inches. On this issue I prefer shorter arms, as they are easier to set and weight in the comfort of a seat, and your boat doesn’t look out of balance, with big ears. The problem with them is that on sharp turns the line can scratch you paint job or get under the propeller and also is harder to put more than one unit together as they tend to tangle. If you are going for more than 1 unit and you want to spread your lures, then you will need a long arm. If you decide to go short, I recommend you mount the unit over the stern if you can or near to the stern as possible, just a foot. Now the downrigger allows you to mount more than one fishing line on the same unit, eliminating the need for longer arms. If you are into aesthetics then you better find a rig that match your boat structure and mix naturally with the rest of your party, that’s just me, enjoy fishing.
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