Jump to content

What size rigger balls you guys use

Recommended Posts

A note for newbies - You'll notice these responses differ considerably but they do have something in common - the weights they are using reflects the way they are being used and perhaps even the particular boats that they are fishing from. The weight needs to be enough to get you down to where you wish or need to be. On a small boat you can sometimes get away with less weight than on larger boats because there is less weight drag (hull design can also be a factor). The main problem is when you want to fish deep and/or at faster trolling speeds. The specific type of weight you are using is also a significant factor (e.g. the design or shape of it torpedo style or some shark-like fish shaped have less blowback and water resistance). The less hydrodynamic the weight is because of its shape the more drag in the water and the more it forces the cable to go back (and your lure upward) often referred to as "blowback". The less weight it has at depth the more blowback.  Trolling speed is also directly related to blowback because of the increased water resistance pushing the weight and cable. Another important factor is the current underwater and the direction trolled because this affects both blowback and even the side to side movement of the weight in the water and the shape of the weight makes a difference. There are also some limitations  of downriggers as some like the older ones may be 10 pounds maximum or so because of the strain on motors which can be substantial when raising the weights up from depth. You also may want to really think it over if using manual downriggers as you will be cranking them up and down a lot and with a 16-20 lb weight it is a guarantee of Popeye arms:lol:. A lot of the fishing I do is for silver fish on the Finger Lakes and most of the time I am running riggers at or above 85 ft or so trying to avoid lakers and my boat is 18 1/2 ft with little surface in the water so it doesn't have a lot of drag and 10 lb shark fish type weights work just fine. In the Spring 8 lb weights work well in the shallow water trolling applications. Fishing Lake Ontario is a bit of a different matter in terms of weights and especially because of the strong underwater currents encountered (often only indirectly detected by the changing angle of the downrigger cable or line). If you mainly intend to fish there and especially 100 ft or more depths)you should consider the heavier weights suggested in line with maximums of what your specific downriggers can handle. More weight usually equals reduced blowback given the  particular boat at the same speed with the same lure (not factoring changing currents under the water:)) and this gives you a closer approximation of where your lure is actually running at depth.

Edited by Sk8man
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Yankee Troller said:

6lb for 30' of water or less in the Spring Trout fishing

15lb A-TOM-MIK Torpedos when Salmon fishing down to 125'

20lb Sharks when fishing below 125'

16lb Balls when bouncing bottom for Lake Trout


Wow and I thought I was the only one over thinking this!


For me

8# Cannon downrigger balls for Spring fishing

15# Sharks for every day Salmon/ trout fishing

15# Cannon downrigger balls for Lake Trout fishing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rob, your talking about Les, the retired psychologist, he has dissected the brain of every salmon and trout he has ever kept in the hope of unlocking the secrets of their DNA. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Seriously, fish with what you can afford and remember to have fun doing it and the mistakes you make create the best stories - just enjoy!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use 10 pound round balls for fishing anywhere from 10-180 feet down between 1.5-3.8 mph for various species. I've found they're very versatile and work well for speed trolling up high for Steelhead as well as bottom bouncing the deep at slower speeds for Lake Trout. I don't do much Salmon fishing but can imagine they'd probably work pretty well for mid-water column trolling as well, thought you'd probably be better off with sharks or torpedos if you're primarily Salmon fishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...