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Gimbal downrigger mounts - Pros and Cons?


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Planning to set up a new to me boat this spring...  haven't had a family fun / salmon boat in a few years!

 

Looking to potentially install flush mount rod holders and use gimbal mount systems with Cannon Uni-trolls for easy removal for a day of skiing and tubing with the family.......

 

Pro's/Cons of using the gimbal mount systems?

 

Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Make sure the flush mounts are stainless and the sturdiest you can get. With that said I've used gimbal mounts for  electric Cannons with extendable booms for 18 years and they are still like new. I had the factory Whaler ones installed when I bought the boat and they are rugged. Gimbals are made in at least two configurations and sizes; one straight down into the flush mount and another (which I have) that goes at angle (30 degrees I think)  toward the bow in the inset holder. You want the right height on the tube of the gimbal because if too short the horizontal the gimbal won't seat properly on the horizontal pin of the flush mount securing it.

I have a set of the Cannon gimbals and 5 universal gimbals which have many more possible mounting holes (already tapped for screws). The Cannon fit mine a little different than the universals which I prefer for my use.I have 6 Cannon rod holders mounted in two 18 inch Cannon tracks. Normally I run just two downriggers but I have 4 inset rod holders and sometimes run 4 riggers. It is essential therefore to have the inset rod holders spaced far enough apart to avoid conflicts when swiveling etc.The gimbals will sit a couple inches up off the gunwales in most cases - not flat so they do have some torque on them (less so with unitrolls) but it does help get the rod butts further from the gunwales too which is good. Typically I run the two downriggers off the rear of the gunwales and mount the 6 rod holders in the front recessed holders 3 per side.

 

Pros: flexibility of boat use (in summer take off fishing stuff for joy rides with family) and storage (security) as they can be taken off and on very easily. No additional holes drilled in the gunwales or transom. Can use the flush mounts for other things or other rod holders. I use mine sometimes for Seth Greens with different rod holders.

Cons: They are not as stable as those actually mounted on the gunwale and have a degree of torque but so far that hasn't been any problem with mine. Holes in the gunwales.

Edited by Sk8man
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My two rigger setup is nearly exactly as that pictured in Bill's setup above. Then two more recessed holders in front of that one on either side. As Bill said the base has to be solid. Tip: cut a hole in a tennis ball to cover the end of the tube of the gimbal to store when not in use as they have sharp edges that could accidentally gouge your boat interior.

Edited by Sk8man
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Thanks Whaler1 and Sk8man!

 

We used to run a similar rod holder set up on our uni-trolls as Whaler1's photo on our previous boats which worked good for me and how i like to rig and stack. 

 

My new boat is a 4winns 190 horizon with a little sun deck so overall installation space is limited.  Once i have the boat out of storage in spring, I am planning to install the flush mount rod holders in the gunnels (if possible).  I agree using the gimballs is based on if the gunnels are wide and stong enough to handle the flush mounts. 

 

Just dreaming planning and researching now the deer season is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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