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We are in Charlotte, NC getting ready to head north to Fairhaven Beach State Park and Lake Ontario for our annual family vacation which is our 52nd straight years making the voyage. This year we are bringing my sons Yamaha 190 FSH and want to take on some bigger water fishing this year with down riggers. We need to purchase at least one maybe 2 DR if the price is right so we've been looking here locally on CL and there isn't much since our lakes aren't real deep. There is a guy who is selling a Sears DR with 150 SS line, snap clip, gimbal rod holder mount, and 10lb cannon flash weight new in the box for $150. I think the Cannon 10lb Flash weight is worth $40, the gimbal mount is worth $60 and I don't know what the DR is worth says it works great. I wish I could share a picture but cant figure out how to attach one.   

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I would check out ebay for some used electric riggers for not that much more money. I used manual for some 30 odd yrs. but as I got older the balls got heavier. so I finally invested in electric. now I still kick my behind for not having them long ago. but even if you justify not getting electric I would check out ebay for name brand manual riggers. I have never seen or heard of a sears rigger. so I checked ebay and those look like cheap headaches to me. cannon makes a easy troll manual rigger that serves its purpose. but big jon. penn, walker, scotty, just to name a few all make manual riggers. penn being my favorite manual. but I like big jon electrics for the money.

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For the cost of the equipment involved.. with your limited time and lack of experience ( no disrespect) with this type of fishing, I really recommend one of the local charters. 

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Shakemsam is right on- take a charter.  Buying the downriggers is just part of what you need to troll Lake Ontario and the learning curve for having success is pretty long and steep.  Regarding the Sears downrigger that is likely 40 years old- I chuckled at the description “works great”- probably it did the only time it was used in 1978.  Even if you get it for free, you are still money ahead taking a charter.  Enjoy your vacation.

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i'm with the others. take a charter out and see if you like it. then you can decide if you want to start investing money in doing it on your own.

 

when I started fishing the central basin of erie I didnt know anything about running dipsy divers. went out on a charter 2 days and was running 3 divers per side on my own. what I learned on the charter was priceless. I learned more in those 2 days than I would have learned in yrs going out without knowing anything. 

 

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Thanks Sherman and I agree whole heartedly about taking a charter they are a game changer. I thought I included this in my original post but we have taken 3 charters out of little Sodus bay over the years 2 with Billy V which were amazingly and 1 with some other guy that was a bad trip. I just want to start learning more about trolling and it’s a great place to start. If we have no luck and don’t catch anything that’s OK. Being in LO with my 2 boys figuring this out will be worth it all. Time on the water with the family is priceless so might as well do some fishing while we’re at it. We will probably wait till we get up there to purchase a DR set up. There are way more available up north then here in NC.


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Check craigslist near sodus for some used manual crank downriggers, you can pick up while you’re here. No need to wire your boat for electric riggers for just a single trip a year. Get yourself a couple  dipsey divers and a couple reels with braid for them. I fished my first two years on the lake running just two riggers and two dipsey setups. Caught plenty of fish running just 4 lines.

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I would skip riggers and just buy 2 braid dipsey setups and a couple copper reels and in-line boards and fish. Won’t need all the wholes in the boat for what little you’re going to do with it and most of the time catch darn near as many fish


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Thanks BuckMaster, we weren't going to drill holes in the boat since they make several types of slide in gimbal rod mounts for all the different makes of DR. Plus were only a couple hours from the NC coast and want to have the ability to do some deeper fishing there when we go. The concept of trolling in general is super interesting to me from the perspective of being able to take more people fishing with us and more people have fun since we can choose who grabs the rod next. What your suggesting sounds like what might be easier and quicker answer to our situation. Can you give us a little more insight possibly even a picture of what that setup looks like to use the braid dipsey with copper reels and in line boards? Do you live in the Fairhaven NY area?  

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Ditto on the 2 manual and 2 dipsy 

 

Get a 2x 10 across the gunnels and figure out how to clamp it down good and mount them  on that 

 

Or take a charter 

 

If you like to catch fish , buy the riggers and dipsys 

 

If you like to reel fish in , take the charter . 

 

 

You will get more on the charter 

 

But what you get on your own will be more satisfying . 

 

No offense to the charter guys 

 

 

 

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This was a us a couple years ago on Billy V's charter boat. He took us straight out of the Fairhaven beach state park pier about 5-7 miles and he put us on some fish. 

Fairhaven fishing.JPG

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I would avoid copper and planer boards until you had the basics down. The basics are riggers and braid dipsey divers imo. Copper can tricky to work with sometimes with its tendency to kink, not to mention a copper setup is only good for 1 specific depth. The two easiest to learn and most versatile techniques are downriggers and dipsey divers. Braid dipsey setups can easily pull double duty as flat lines in spring  and allow you to fish pretty much anytime of year.

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I agree with FishingFool as far as how to start deep water trolling. My mentor told me to start with 2 riggers and 2 dipsys (I use wire on mine), master that program and add from there. I had my fair share of tangles and issues with just that... After a couple seasons I added more.


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What is the difference between using dipsey divers and down riggers? Seems like both are techniques used to fish deep water. Is it mainly a cost issue in that DR's are just more expensive?

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They give you a different presentation. Riggers are closer to the boat, dispys are further away and can also be adjusted to pull down and to the side away from the boat. Sometimes riggers are getting fish, other times dipsys. It’s differentiation. Both will get you deep, just in a different way.

 

 

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GBrad I understand your want to do it on your own. I am the same way. Took a couple of charters. Now I’m hooked and  into it way more than I wanted to be. You can go on YouTube. Lots of videos and guys in here will help alot

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To answer original question ... I have a couple “sears” manual riggers in my garage attic . All they are is manual big jons,, solid machined aluminum , except these have fiberglass booms .. I’ve actually stole parts off them for my big job captains pak electric riggers (end pulley , one of the backup handles) ... so I wouldn’t run from them if the price is cheap enough . They may be a little crude but they haven’t changed design much at all . 

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Interesting thread.  Looks to me like a Yamaha 190 FSH is a jet drive.  Anyone have any experience big water trolling with a jet drive?  Curious how they are to steer at low speed and ability to control speed for trolling?  I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone trolling with one.  IMO drifting in shore for bass or fishing in the bay would be a better option with this style boat than as an off shore trolling boat 5 to 10 miles out in Lake Ontario.  Hate to see somebody buy a bunch of gear only to find they can’t hold a course or proper speed.  Lots of pieces to being successful on big water.  Might be worth some additional research before jumping in.  Best wishes.

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On 6/23/2019 at 12:53 PM, GBrad said:

This was a us a couple years ago on Billy V's charter boat. He took us straight out of the Fairhaven beach state park pier about 5-7 miles and he put us on some fish. 

Fairhaven fishing.JPG

 

you should already know the basics after going out on a charter a few times. get some of the lures that caught fish on the charter. you can check out all the riggers on ebay. I would check out penn if you want manual riggers they have one for sale with a gimble mount. or you can but new gimble mounts for around 80.00 then get a nice rigger to mount on it. good luck with your adventure.

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check out screwy louies. right in Fair Haven He rebuilds canon dr. and runs an awesome charter service

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Sorry SNSH, I would love to support Screwy Louie but we have been in his store every year for over 20 years thinking this year will be different looking for some fishing item we forgot back in NC and the guy is a complete RICHARD. He never greets anyone who comes in the store, always finds something to yell at the kids about (by the way my youngest child is 16) and he gives no fishing help or advice on anything. I don't know how he stays in business. I would drive back to Charlotte to get something before I would buy anything from him. God forbid you ask about using his precious bathroom. Thats what my son got lit up last year by him for when he asked to use his restroom. You would of thought he asked for one of his kidney's. We support every store in that town for the whole week except his which is funny because the main thing we do while we are there is fish. I bet we make at least 6-10 trips to Wallmart during the week just for fishing stuff. We get gas and donuts from the little gas station/grocery store every morning, we get ice cream from the Ice cream store every night after dinner, we get t-shirts and hoodies from gift store, and some mornings we go get breakfast in town so we try to do our part. Sorry for the rant but you struck a nerve with me about Screwy Louie. He might be a great guy to to others and I'm sure there are a ton of locals that like him and will rip me a new one for talking trash about him and that's OK. If he is a friend of any of your I'm sorry but that's been our experience every time we walk in his store.    

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This is the DR the guy has here in NC on CL. He says its a Sears unit but it looks to me like a Big Jon DR. It comes with 150 feet of SS line, the gimbal mount that its attached to the DR in the picture. and a brand new 10lb Cannon Flash for $150.  

Sears Down rigger .jpg

Cannon .jpg

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