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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've got a rigger mount on the Crestliner now. It's an older one, manual type, with a linecounter. I have 8lb balls. What I need to know now, is the methods folks use to clip their lines to the rigger.

Do you use a shower ring and alligator clip with rubber band? DO you treat the rigger like a planer board and just keep adding a new clip when you reset the line? Or do you bring up the ball each time and set a pinch clip? I'd really like to learn the way of the rigger.
 

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i use the clip right at the ball and i set anywhere from 50-100 leader from the ball. i personally do not use rubber bands on the clip but whos to say u cant. yes the bad part is u have to bring it up each time to rest it the way i have mine rigged. On the better graphs u can track your ball and watch the fish swim up to it when running shorter leads
 

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Fare Thee Well!
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You raise the ball each time you set the line. There are pinch releases and the kind I prefer, wire releases. The wire clips into a plastic holder, like a dipsy, and when the fish hits, it pulls the wire from the clip and releases the line. I would suggest getting an electric downrigger if you want to use them a lot. Nothing better than fighting the fish without having to worry about removing anything or fighting the resistance of a dipsy diver. I would also step up to a heavier ball. 10 - 12 lbs. The heavier weight won't "blow back" as far when trolling.
 

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You normally attach a release (many styles to choose from) to the tail connection on the ball. Your rod line is clipped into the release and the lower the ball while keeping some tension on the line by thumbing the reel. Set enough pressure (bend) in the rod so it will take up the line as it releases from a strike. You can use a rubber band looped onto the line and clipped into the release also.
You can stack lines by using a stacker release at a different depth partway down the cable.
You have to raise the ball to re-rig after a strike or fish catch as well as when you want to check your bait or lure.
Like anything else, downrigger fishing requires a learning curve to become effective and proficient.
 

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Defensor Fortis
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The guys are right on. I use a downrigger snubber on mine. It looks just like a regular snubber, just super-sized. I believe it helps detect smaller fish that you may be dragging. I always use a rubber band on my line. I feel as if the line is easier to release instead of being stuck in a clip. And it cuts down on abrasions. I let out a lot of line from 30-50 feet, attach a RB to the line, and then to the release, lower the ball slowly while watching my line counter in relation to the LC on the downrigger. If you get to much tension the line will release prematurely. I like to load (tension) my rod up as possible. Sit back and wait for a bite. I would suggest buying a ball retriever. It sure beats leaning over the boat all the time. Sooner or later you'll want to upgrade to electrics.
 

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For releases I buy the off shore stacker releases. Cut the wire off and tie on a 4-5 ft pc of 30-50 lb mono. It will telegraph any hits and or trash fish to the rod tip better than any release I have seen. I have electrics on my boat and it is nice but not 100% needed. I also have not used them on Erie on at least 2 years. Just better more effective ways to fish IMHO, but if I had enough people to use 8 or 10 rods then I would def use them.
 

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The Original Hot Rod
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This is all good info...but one other point to remember. Make sure you calibrate your rigger ball so it's at the depth you want it to be. I know the cannons are easy enough to do...let the weight down to water level then disengage the counter from the drive gear and reset to zero, then re-engage counter. You should be good to go then...! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help! I'm just looking for alternative ways to troll. My dad really, really hates inline boards...and depending on who else is on the boat, I don't like fishing them either, especially when it's just me and my dad.

I'm always hearing Got One on the radio picking fish with his riggers, and since we have 2 old manual ones in the barn, I figured we'd set one up and give it a try.

I also have a mast and a set of full size planers...I might give those a go too at some point.
 

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There is an alternate way to reset your lines without bringing the ball into the boat each time.

I made 5' leaders, release at one end, heavy clip at the other with 130 lb test mono. I attach the clip end to the ball and the release (obviously) to the fishing line. I also use rubber bands to attach the release to the fishing line for a few reasons.

After we have had a release we just raise the ball to just under the surface, hook the trailing 5 ft leader with a hook I made to pull just the release into the boat. re-hook the fishing line to the release and you are good to go again.

The combination of the long lead to the release and using a rubber band to attach the release to the fishing line allows you to easily see when you have a little skippy salmon hanging on for the ride.

I tried this set up for the first time last year at Lake Ontario and it worked great!!!

No more leaning over the boat trying to pick the weights up or them swinging around with the waves
 

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Get the Walker releases. They are fully adjustable, so you can set them to trip when a smaller fish (white bass or perch) hits the bait. I started using them at GotOne's recommendation, and use them on Erie walleyes and Ontario salmon.
 

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Hi Lundy,
When you use the 5ft lead you have to compensate 5ft for your depth don't you.
 

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Hi Lundy,
When you use the 5ft lead you have to compensate 5ft for your depth don't you.
Hi Marc,

Yes and no.

The full 5 ft lead changes the depth based upon how hard you load the rod and the speed you are running. It really only makes a 2-3 ft difference.

The swing back of the ball based upon ball shape, resistance and weight adds more variance than that.

I don't use the counter on the downrigger as an absolute anyway. I use it to get in the ballpark and then for repeatability, just like a line counter reel.

I really only use this setup for salmon and steelhead as they are not ball shy species. For walleye I will run off of the ball with an in-line weight with a 50 ft lead or a spoon with a 50-75 ft lead. I try to keep the ball above the lure by 5-10ft and at least 50 ft away. This setup makes it harder to keep the ball and cable above the walleye.

I've caught walleye on Erie using this leader set-up but haven't run it enough to make any final determinations. For the salmon and steelhead I'm sold. It makes resetting lines really easy
 

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Defensor Fortis
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To hit on what Lundy said. You cannot rely on the line counters for you actual depth due to blow back. I watch my FF and I'll see the actual depth. I watch the line counter because I like to have a lot of tension on my line and I try to allocate for that by watching the line counters.
 
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