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Even if you are not shopping for a boat checking the for sale adds you will see different setups and they will give you ideas. Like here on the classifieds there is a 17' for sale that I looked at (not to buy) but the setup gave me an idea for putting a couple more rod holders in.

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dukhnter makes a great point here. I know over the years when I have been at Cape Cod  and Maine I have also frequented the marinas and eyeballed the charters and sport fishing boats for ideas too and sometimes you'll find very creative solutions to your own situations.

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Cfindlay, FYI, go to "Madsdocks.com" site & check out their outdoor products poor man tree rod holders. They look good for the money, not to pricey, maybe fit your budget. Disclaimer; I have nothing to do with these products!

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OK So I picked up some rod holders for the boat and I really dont want to have to drill. ( Clap ons are not an option) any suggestions for rigging or am I drilling holes in the new boat?  Also Looking to grab a few dipsy rods for fishing Walleye on Oneida. Eyes are smaller so I was'nt sure what to do with. I've got my setup for Ontario. 

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One way is to use gimbal mounts if you have recessed rod holders in the gunnels already. If not consider having them installed. I have four and have used them since day one. The only hole  drilled in the boat  is for the wires for depth finder etc. in the dash and mounting bracket for my kicker.  During the heat of the summer it becomes a recreational (swimming) boat so the downriggers and rod holders lift right out and slip back in when I go fishing or just leave them in :)

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Edited by Sk8man
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  • 2 weeks later...

OK SO I figured out my setup for the boat. It's aluminum so I have another question. I'm going to run 48" tracks on each side with a rigger on each end. Should I use a backing plate?  The only issue I have is I dont have access to the gunwall on the one end.

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18 footers specially aluminum ones tend to change direction when you walk around in them, because you shift the weight around. I would definitely recommend using a pair of boards even when you don't have lines on them. They act as stabilizers and help you go straight.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I think you'll be ok without them. You'll see the aluminum is pretty heavy gauge. I mounted my rod holders with just stainless screws. No backers or backing plate. They haven't moved in 5 years. I ruined 2 carbide drill bits drilling 24 holes. With the tracks you'll have 20 screws in each track spreading out the weight.

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The more I think about it your riggers will be putting some serious strain on the tracks. The way the gunnels are you would have to run some really long bolts to use backing plates. You should really consider using the factory Lowe down rigger plates. They are machined with a tongue that goes into the groove on the inside of the gunnel. Which takes most of the strain off the screws. I wouldn't mount your riggers in the back of the boat. In even a strong 1 ft chop you don't want to be back there hanging over the edge setting lines. Put your DR's even where the back casting deck drops off to the main floor. And run them off the side. Put a 6 in track between the rear clear and the DR. And a 24 in track between the DR and the windshield. You'll be able to run 3-4 lines off each side.

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