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mounting downriggers

Sled guy

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Hi, new guy here, just bought a 20 foot starweld and looking to add 2 cannon electric downriggers with pivot mounts/telescopic 4 ft. extensions.

I have seen post on line where guys are running boards across the back, but I have a 9.9 kicker that I will need to access on the rear platform and I prefer not to step over a board.

I see the track systems available and like the idea of removing everything for summer pleasure boating, boat has a flip up rear bench seat.

I have seen posts also where modern boat being thin aluminum have weak gunwales that flex with downriggers attached.

I usually troll with the riggers to the side so I don't tangle on turns.

I also plan to run pole holders in the spring for topwater trolling so the idea of a track is appealing, as well as using a longer track to hold poles while underway while having the riggers undeployed out back of the boat. 

for the guys running this size boat do you mount your riggers near the transom or part way up?

I usually sit in the driver seat while trolling while steering at the helm so my thought is to have them about 4 feet ahead of the transom .

prefer to do this once the right way.

Usually fish Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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Bob - Just a suggestion it may help to include a pic of the back of the boat (if possible). It is a lot easier to make suggestions when someone can actually see what the situation is (e.g. where other things are placed on the gunwales and transom)..

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Hi sled Guy,  as far as mounting riggers { and this is my opinion and the way both my boats are set up } on my 18 ft starcraft  I ran a track down the gunwales and my riggers are 3 feet up from the back of the boat, this helps keep the back corners and back of the boat open for netting and less chance for fish swimming into the gear, in front of that I have a my diver rod holder then my tree for boards { Great lakes planer has trees that you can add a diver rod holder }  for a smaller foot print on the rail. so on my 18 foot starcraft I have a rigger then a diver rod holder and then my tree for boards on each side. KEEP THIS IN MIND if you fish with the top up check to see if you can get to the rods and how much room you will have in the back of the boat. hope this helps.

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Sled Guy,

  17ft. Starcraft here... my setup is the same as Norm, riggers are 3ft. forward of the transom. The photo shows my starboard  rear corner, boat moving to the left.  Wire diver, then 2 rods stacked on the rigger.


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If you have inset rod holders in the gunwales near where pictured on this boat  use gimbal mounts with swivel bases attached to them and mount them in those. A lot of pros and few cons for that approach as there is no drilling, easy portability, etc. I have four of the internal mounts  so if fishing solo I can use the two nearest the seats for riggers without too much traveling toward the back. If need be I can run 4 riggers. I also have dual rod holders mounted  that I can switch out two riggers for running wires or inlines. Again, no extra holes in the boat, flexibility, and portability. The riggers can be positioned 90 degrees 180 and and 45 degrees  and booms extended as desired. The electric hookups are internally wired with 4 connections. (This is the only pic that had a fairly clear shot of the back of the boat)


Edited by Sk8man
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