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For a downrigger I like medium. Its more flexible and you can tighten it down to get a good bow in the rod.

For a dipsy, I like medium heavy. The rod is stiffer so it doesn’t bow back too much.


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Lot of personal preference involved are you fishing for meat sport or tournament do you have experienced anglers or newbies how big is your boat how long is your net. Do want the joy of a fight or do you want it in quick. Lighter makes more of a fight but harder to control.longer allows more control especially with experience but needs more space if just starting out ugly stiks are very versatile and budget friendly all the other major brands have good introductory models as well and of course the classifieds here are a good place to keep an eye on

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The guys have given you a good summary of the issues to ponder. Another initial consideration relates to whether you intend to use the rods for both uses at different times. Having downrigger rods that double as dipsy rods when needed can make sense but as with  other things like boats and vehicles some do a better job than others at specific things. In that case dedicated rods make sense if your budget allows for it. In the first instance you want something versatile in action (e.g. strong butt but flexible near tip yet stout enough that it isn't too flexible if a dipsy is used on it. Some inexpensive rods (e.g. Okuma Classic Pro medium, Diawa Wilderness medium etc.) can serve this purpose but may or may not do it as well as one selected for the specific purpose. Length of the rod can play a role as well; especially if intending to run multiple dipsies where one rod runs inside of the other and as has been said this is another case of "personal preference" too. Some of the selection process can be a "crap shoot" if done online because you can't actually feel the way the rod acts so if you are able to check them out firsthand in a store (questionable right now with covid) it can help with the "feel" issue:smile: I have friends that are happy with the Okuma Blue Diamond rods and I like the Okuma Classic Pro 8ft 6 mediums for outside rods (can double as downrigger rods) and 6 1/2 ft. roller tip Shakespeare Tidewaters (medium action) for the insides. again it is a matter of personal preference and there is generally no right or wrong answer. Although you may experience more fight with lighter rods if you are intending to release the fish at the end it may take more time to get them in with less leverage and that may not be a good thing.

Edited by Sk8man
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Thanks for the answers I guess what I should really have asked is does a stiffer rod help with hook set.  Last season I ran lighter action rods because I wanted more fight but seemed to lose a lot more fish with them and most where within the first30-45 seconds so was sort of thinking maybe the light action was not getting a good hook set especially on the dipsy hits

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Stiffer may help (like a lot of things:lol:) but the drag setting of the reel may also be the culprit. With dipsies I use 50 MONO for the leader from the attractor to the fly as it has a slight amount of give to it where the wire has none because fluoro has less give and seems less forgiving. The drag should be set a bit tighter than say for coppers or leadcores so that the dipsy releases and the hook sets. This means that you also have to set the dipsy release tension accordingly in conjunction with the drag.

Edited by Sk8man
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Medium light or medium power and moderate action are best for riggers, and a technique specific diver rod for pulling divers.

 

The reel drag necessary to pull a full size diver (with a flasher and bait) at salmon trolling speeds is generally a little bit more than you want to fight a fish with, especially soft mouthed trout. Once you set your diver, adjust the drag so it just barely holds the line. A surge in speed should cause line to creep out off the spool. When a fish hits the first thing I do before removing the rod from the holder is to back off the drag a good bit. Only then do I remove the rod from the holder, reset the drag for fighting the fish, and hand the rod off for someone to fight and land the fish.

 

Some people attach a pinch pad release to the rod in front of the grip to help hold the line so they can use a lighter fish fighting drag setting on their diver reels. Other people use a heavy rubber band half hitched and snugged down on the line with the free loop hooked over the reel handle to accomplish the same thing. Still other people rely on snubbers behind the diver or fashion a slide diver style setup on a longer section of mono to give some stretch to braid or wire diver lines. If you pay attention to diver reel drag details, and come up with a way to manage it that works for you, your landing percentage of hooked fish will be better than if you do nothing and fight fish at the reel’s drag towing setting.

 

 

 

 

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When fishing Salmon on Downriggers we like to run a Medium action rod and 20lb test for pulling spoons. This will also work for running flasher/flies or flasher/meat, but I'd recommend bumping your line size up to 25-30lb. If you can afford it a Medium Heavy action rod would be better for pulling the flasher rigs especially as you fish deeper. A rod we run a lot of is the Daiwa Great Lakes 8' M (GL802MF). Again this will work for most of your downrigging needs.

 

Fishing divers we run the same brand, but a different model. For divers we run a MH rod. We have 9' and 9'6" rods on board, but on smaller boats you may want a longer rod to create a better spread and avoid tangles at the back of the boat when fish are coming to the net. You can find them to 10'6" below at FishUSA.

 

Daiwa Great Lakes Rods

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On 1/2/2021 at 9:53 AM, Reel Chaos said:

Thanks for the answers I guess what I should really have asked is does a stiffer rod help with hook set.  Last season I ran lighter action rods because I wanted more fight but seemed to lose a lot more fish with them and most where within the first30-45 seconds so was sort of thinking maybe the light action was not getting a good hook set especially on the dipsy hits


rod action has less to do with your problem of losing fish early. More important is the tightness of the dipsy/downrigger release and drag setting. 

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On 1/5/2021 at 1:43 PM, Yankee Troller said:

When fishing Salmon on Downriggers we like to run a Medium action rod and 20lb test for pulling spoons. This will also work for running flasher/flies or flasher/meat, but I'd recommend bumping your line size up to 25-30lb. If you can afford it a Medium Heavy action rod would be better for pulling the flasher rigs especially as you fish deeper. A rod we run a lot of is the Daiwa Great Lakes 8' M (GL802MF). Again this will work for most of your downrigging needs.

 

Fishing divers we run the same brand, but a different model. For divers we run a MH rod. We have 9' and 9'6" rods on board, but on smaller boats you may want a longer rod to create a better spread and avoid tangles at the back of the boat when fish are coming to the net. You can find them to 10'6" below at FishUSA.

 

Daiwa Great Lakes Rods

I’m also a fan of the Daiwa rods. The medium action rod we use for Spring Salmon and Walleye on Erie. 

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:28 AM, orangediablo said:

I switched from some OOOLLLDDD Shimano Triton rods that were getting a little beat up to Okuma Blue Diamonds (medium/moderate) and couldn't be happier.

I've got some Triton rods and reels that are still doing their thing! Purchased in the late 80's.......... They've mostly been committed to walleye fishing on Erie.

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