Jump to content

Downrigger recommendations


Recommended Posts

Getting a new to me boat. Used downriggers before but not much.  Looking for some recommendations on some decent manual riggers that will be used occasionally. Are swivel bases a must? Also are riggers better off the back of the boat or off the sides? 

Edited by troutman10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i've used a ton of manual riggers and if i was buying i would be looking at penn. but in the used market you can get a set of electric for not that much more money. i fished manual for 35 yrs before investing in a set of big jon pro tournament riggers. i spent the next year kicking my behind for waiting so long to switch. but it was getting old cranking those heavy weights up at 60 yrs old and a bad heart to boot. 

 

you'll never regret going electric . but all the major manual riggers are good. cannon, penn, scotty, walker all are good manual riggers. their is a set of penn fathom master 600 riggers on eBay priced a 324.99 but when you click on it the price is 299.00 with free shipping. if you want a good smooth set you should check eBay out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most important thing , especially with manuals , is they are mounted in a location so you can set , adjust , and crank up the rigger . I cannot emphasize this enough . Don't ask me how I know . 

 

Be carefull buying used electrics . The motors have a tendency to wear out and in some cases , they can't be replaced . And new motors are expensive . 

 

I have we a pair of Cannon easy trolls on my small boat  They are good down to about 80 ft with 10# weight . But my arms get tired . But it's a good tired if  the fish are hitting . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i like to mount my riggers if im using only 2 about a foot from the back of the gunnel making sure i can get to them to reset the lines and crank the riggers. i dont think a swivel base is mandatory but it sure comes in handy. i like to run mine at a 45 degree angel to the back side of the boat that leaves the back open for landing fish and the sides open for running dipsy type divers. something you've got to think about is pulling into a dock without swivel bases is if they are to the side or even just at a 45 degree angle you may have to remove the rigger, where if you have a swivel base you can swing it around.

 

the one thing i recommend on any rigger is ball retrievers to pull the ball in to set your lines. and the best one i've used is the traxstech pully retrievers. they have a larger roller on them. and they are quality made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have a BigJon and Scotty manuals and no comparison the Scotty wins hands down ! The bigJon cracks at the handle/spool . The Scotty is a well thought out design and support for Scotty is excellent ! Good comment on used electrics , the motor on my bigJon burned out !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2021 at 6:27 PM, troutman10 said:

Getting a new to me boat. Used downriggers before but not much.  Looking for some recommendations on some decent manual riggers that will be used occasionally. Are swivel bases a must? Also are riggers better off the back of the boat or off the sides? 

My first pair of riggers were Scotty manuals with extendable boom and swivel base. The ext boom and base gave me a lot more options as far as installation placement went as well as a lot more versatility when it came to running different rod configurations. I went with the Scottys because of the 2 ft retrieve per turn which sure was nice when fishing deep and the clutch system for dropping the weight. Turns out they were pretty much bullet proof and I was glad I went with the Scottys.

 

As happy as I was with them I sure was a lot happier when I upgraded to the electrics. LOL  Good luck with your decision.

Edited by spoonfed-1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, spoonfed-1 said:

My first pair of riggers were Scotty manuals with extendable boom and swivel base. The ext boom and base gave me a lot more options as far as installation placement went as well as a lot more versatility when it came to running different rod configurations. I went with the Scottys because of the 2 ft retrieve per turn which sure was nice when fishing deep and the clutch system for dropping the weight. Turns out they were pretty much bullet proof and I was glad I went with the Scottys.

 

As happy as I was with them I sure was a lot happier when I upgraded to the electrics. LOL  Good luck with your decision.

i've never used scotties so they may be a better option.

 

and it's true that if you get electric the motor might burn out some day. but that's not something that happens very often. just make sure they are still working good when you buy them. and a big jon heavy duty motor does cost 209.99 at big jon. but worth taking the chance to have electric. i have a set of cannon mag 10 that came on my boat that looks to be very old so they usually last for many yrs. if i was buying used i would just get ones that's working good at the time i bought them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about battery drain on the electric riggers ? My concern ! I have yet to try and start my old 70 3 cylinder OMC by rope start the engine with the rope start , maybe worth a try ? My 9 hp. Yamaha does not charge !

One of my several DUMB rescues on Lake Ontario was 3 guys in a 19ft. IO V8 ? motor 5 miles off the east pier of Port Weller with a south west wind and ONE dead car battery ! { with that wind they would probably not made it to the north shore with out being swamped ! I was able to jump start their boat with my cables { they did not have any ! 

I have two batteries deep cycle one over size for my boat !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, tuffishooker said:

What about battery drain on the electric riggers ? My concern ! I have yet to try and start my old 70 3 cylinder OMC by rope start the engine with the rope start , maybe worth a try ? My 9 hp. Yamaha does not charge !

One of my several DUMB rescues on Lake Ontario was 3 guys in a 19ft. IO V8 ? motor 5 miles off the east pier of Port Weller with a south west wind and ONE dead car battery ! { with that wind they would probably not made it to the north shore with out being swamped ! I was able to jump start their boat with my cables { they did not have any ! 

I have two batteries deep cycle one over size for my boat !

with the 2 batteries just add a perko battery switch. make sure the riggers are going to the house battery only. when your trolling with the kicker select the house battery for running the riggers. then if it runs low its no big deal. when you get ready to start your motor just switch the switch to the starting battery. i use the number 1 setting for the house battery and the number 2 battery for starting. they also make a battery isolator so when you get the motor running you can put the perko switch to both and not worry about over charging the starting battery. once the starting battery reaches something like 13.3 volts it cuts that battery off and routs the current to the discharged battery. if the starting battery gets below  12.8 it starts charging again. i have 2 like batteries in my boat but with the isolator i don't think it would hurt anything. they make a combiner that I've heard is a better option and works better. but you can read about them and check reviews on both. it sounds like a lot of trouble but its as simple as hooking up a few cables.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are not going a lot and you are new to this and you are fairly young  , the manuals are the way to go at first . Less hassle all around 

 

We used manuals for years and they work fine .  I , still have some on my small boat . 

 

I don't know where you live but there are a set of Penn's on the Rochester Craig's list .200$ . 

 

And if you keep your eyes open I see them a lot on here as guys want to upgrade .  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a pair of Cannon uni-troll 10 STX manuals. They work ok but they have had some issues I am not too crazy about. If you store them on their sides the cables will slide off the spools which makes the cable difficult to get back on without taking the hook and rubber stop off the cable and re-threading the cable, PITA. I now use a piece of tape to hold the cable to the spool when in storage.

 

Also have had the rubber grips on the handles fall off as they are only held on with a clip inside the handle, kind of a cheap design in my opinion.

 

These units can not take a dual rod holder either which was disappointing as I assumed they would, shame on me for not checking first. All in all not bad but if I was to do again I would probably invest in electrics, either Cannon's, BJ's, or Scotties especially since I tend to fish with my driver (wife) most of the time and having the auto up feature would be nice to have when I have a fish on.

 

I wished I still had my Lake Systems electric down riggers I ran back in the late 80's early 90's, I loved those units. Probably most here have never heard of them but they were good performers but unfortunately not made anymore..

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I run a pair of electric big jons because I won one in a walleye tournament. Mostly i like them alot but i run 2 batteries. one rigger hooked to each battery. My kicker is a Yamaha with the charger option so I don't worry about getting home. I really like the twin adjustable rod holders on each big jon which stay on the boat weather you install the rigger or not. Rod holders work fine with dipseys and boards if not down rigging. Big jon's also come standard with ball holders. Down side of standard big jon electric is it doesn't pull in a 12 lb weight fast enough, so 10 pounds max. That's not a big deal if you go manual.   I have long booms, so swivel base and ball retriever is a must. I rigged up cannon retro-ease retrievers to my big jon's.  I fished for many years with Cannon uni-trolls before I got my electrics and they were flawless and cheap back in the day. Uni-trolls were short booms and you don't really need retrievers with them but I still used swivel bases which come in handy when docking to keep from breaking your booms on the dock. HB2's comment about locating in the correct place is spot on. If your boat has built in rod holder holes in the gunnels like most glass boats have, I would think hard about buying the down rigger gimble mount that slips into the rod holder hole. Easy on, easy off but kinda clunky to store but no new holes in gunnels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your young and heathy and feel like cranking a 10# or a 12# or heavier weight all day then get a good set of manual riggers for your boat and you';ll be good to go. i used manual riggers for about 35 yrs and got by just fine. electric riggers are just a better way to bring the weight up. cannon and Penn both use the same method for lowering the ball. just pull back on the handle and it releases the wheel. the more you pull back on the handle the faster the ball drops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i sent you a message about a great buy on 2 manual cannon with extendable booms, swivel bases, and 12# weights for 400.00 or best offer. the weights are 100.00 the swivel bases are another 100.00 that may or may not be as good as these. now go get them. 

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...