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Using a downrigger than flasher/lake troll

Old 07-14-2014, 10:28 AM
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Default Using a downrigger than flasher/lake troll

I'm going to be playing around with a downrigger to do some trolling for lake trout and I've never done it before. A few questions:

1) I see that you try and have tension on your line from the rod to the downrigger ball. How do you accomplish this? Do you lower the ball with the reel in free spool and then when you are at the correct depth, wind it back a little? I'm really surprised that doing this doesn't pull the line out of the release clip. Is it pretty obvious if you manage to do that (I assume the angle of the line will change a lot)?

2) I see these various products for drawing more attention to your lure down deep - like flashers and those products that involve a long series of spinning blades. I thought I had seen someone talking about attaching those things directly to the downrigger ball, and then having the release clip be on the end of the flasher rig. But, it seems to me that it wouldn't spin right because you would have the tension from the rod pulling the spinner up. is there some way to attach the release clip a bit up from the ball? You still wouldn't want the flasher looping up and tangling up the line.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:48 AM
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You put the reel in free spool and either put your thumb on the spool or use the clicker as you drop the weight. Whatever it takes to prevent a backlash. Then you put the reel in gear and take up the slack so that you have a nice bow in the rod that will let you see strikes. Some folks leave the reel in gear and use loosen the drag just enough to prevent a backlash. But that does a number on the drag washers pretty quick.

Attaching the release clip to the end of a flasher/dodger or lake troll spinner setup doesn't work very well because it tends to foul the line. But you can attach an attractor directly to the ball and use a Scottie Power Grip to attach your line with the lure or bait to the wire about 3' above the weight.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/SCOTT...3285009&rid=40

You need to use a short setback so that the lure or bait runs no more than a few feet behind the attractor. I have found over the years that a small dodger (not a rotating salmon flasher) or a single rotating spinner blade works well for lake trout. Attach the lure or bait to the attractor with a short leader and run the rig about 10 ft behind the ball. Dragging the weight on the bottom seems to stir up the bite. Some folks attach a length of chain to the downrigger weight so that it drags the bottom and reduces snags. A piece of monofilament line between the chain and the weight will provide a break away system so that you're less likely to loose you weight if you snag.

Last edited by DocStressor; 07-14-2014 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:46 PM
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Do you find yourself accidentally pulling the line out of the release clip? I'm surprised that you can wind the line down enough to get that bend in the rod without pulling out the line, and yet the tension is light enough on the clip so that a fish can pull it out.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:21 PM
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There are several different types of release clips that let you adjust the amount of force required to pull out the line. The Scottie Power Grip is probably the most versatile. There is a tight and loose setting plus you can increase the tension by placing the line deeper back in the Teflon jaws. You can set them so that you can quickly run down a bait behind an 11" salmon flasher without a release, yet an average salmon or decent lake trout will pop the line free. A small fish might not release the line from the clip. In that case, when you see the rod bouncing, just put your thumb on the reel spool and pop the line free with a sharp pull.

If you use braid line, use a mono or fluoro top shot and put that in the clip. Downrigger releases typically don't hold slippery braid very well.

It's best to go out with a guide or an experienced fisherman in order to learn how to use down riggers.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:27 AM
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Nomar, downrigger rods are long and are usually quite limber. I can bend mine over in quite an arc. What usually gives a false release (as a matter of rigging) is setting the rod in the proper arc when going 2 mph, then accidentally or purposely going up to 3 mph.
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