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Best Downriggers 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated February 1, 2018
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Edwin GarrettLet’s get started. After putting in 42+ hours of research and testing, I made a list of the best downriggers of 2018 and explained their differences and advantages.

Eventually, I found something that would suit my needs but it occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who might be having the same problems I did. Like most products, some outdo others, so use my top three list below to get started on your search for the best downriggers of 2018.

Best Downriggers of 2018

Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 downriggers on the market. Simply review and buy them. I want to find something that’s designed well (both for aesthetic purposes and efficiency). Many brands have introduced downriggers on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Product
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Style
5 points
5 points
4 points
Materials
4 points
4 points
4 points
Durability
5 points
5 points
5 points
Value
5 points
4 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

 

 

№1 – Walker Downriggers LR-400 Stacker Double Pad Style Reel with Cable and Snap

 
Walker Downriggers LR-400 Stacker Double Pad Style Reel with Cable and Snap

Pros
Double Stacker Release
Stainless Cable
Heavy Duty Built to Last
Cons
Nothing, except that I wasted too much time making my choice.
 
Total:
4.8

Why did this downriggers win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!

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Style
5

5star

Materials
4

4star

Durability
5

5star

Value
5

5star

 

 

№2 – Walker Downriggers LR Adjustable Line Release

 
Walker Downriggers LR Adjustable Line Release

Pros
Anodized Aluminum
Adjustable Heavy Duty
Stainless Steel Clips
Cons
Insufficient storage capacity.
It is pretty expensive.
 
Total:
4.5

Why did this downriggers come in second place?

Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.

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Style
5

5star

Materials
4

4star

Durability
5

5star

Value
4

4star

 

 

№3 – Walker Downriggers Lake Master Manual Downrigger

 
Walker Downriggers Lake Master Manual Downrigger

Pros
Fresh or Salt Water
1 foot per turn retrieve with 6 lb. weight capacity
24″ Anodized Boom
Cons
The front panel is moving back and forth.
The large size.
 
Total:
4.3

Why did this downriggers take third place?

I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.

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Style
4

4star

Materials
4

4star

Durability
5

5star

Value
4

4star

 

 

Downriggers Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy downriggers, right? No!

Weight Loss

Trolling snubber with sampo trolling snap only Simply connect your downrigger terminal end directly to the snubber top loop Scotty no. 371

Scotty …

Great helper and safety precaution for the downrigger fisherman Brings weights in for rigging lines and releases without having to lean out over a …

Mounting bracket permits mounting on a flat deck surface or on the side of a gunnel or transom Each Scotty Downrigger comes with the Scotty limited …

Photography

Premium braided downrigger line offers the ultimate in strength, consistency and durability. Made with Low Stretch Dyneema Fiber. Use of braided …

Scotty Stainless Steel Downrigger Cable – W/Terminal Kit

One strand wrapped and reinforced with surrounding strands, to provide the ultimate in strength and consistency.

Mounting bracket For 101050 & 1060 Scotty downriggers Includes hardware

Scotty mounting bracket for 101050 & 1060 Scotty downriggers, includes …

Compact, manual Depthking is rigged with an adjustable boom-mounted Rod Master II, Spray protected, positive drive depth counter 23¿ long, 3/4¿ …

Ultra flexible oil, water and UV resistant sheathing. 100% Tin plated copper conductor resists corrosion from salt and moisture. Solid rubber-filled …

Mounting bracket permits mounting on a flat deck surface or on the side of a gunnel or transom Each Scotty Downrigger comes with the Scotty limited …

Easy, effective way to mount your downrigger system. Gives full 360 Degree rotation with 1locking positions. Quick fastening stainless steel …

Scotty Electric Downriggers have reached the highest performance and reliability standards ever. These all-new designs feature illuminated digital …

Place between your downrigger cable and weight.The Scotty Trolling Snubber absorbs shock, provides electrical insulation and helps prevent snags. …

Home Improvement

18″ Leader w/Cable Snap 1/4″ in length Line release is attached to either the weight or the cable. Tension adjuster doubles the holding power. …

Scotty Rod Holder Mount – Combination Deck Or Side Mount

Can be mounted on top or side of gunnel Works with all Scotty post mount rod holders Dimensions: 4″ x 2″ x 2″ Bolting dimensions: 5/16″ x 3/16″ …

Finding fish down deep

There’s no secrets. The best way to locate when and where they’re biting is by checking the online forums, social media, talking to the bloke at your local tackle store and even stopping by the boat ramp on a Sunday afternoon to see what fish frames are in the bin. When hordes of small kings arrive on the inshore reefs they usually stick around. The bigger fish, 1kilos and up, travel in small pods. Often the first blokes to know they’re around are the spearos. Don’t be afraid to just head to an aea you have heard they are congregating and start sounding around. A fisherman that can only fish a “mark” or a certain location is a limited fisherman. Learn how to use your sounder and GPS effectively and you will find fish.

Setting up for downrigging

Hook selection and set up depends on target species. For live yellowtail, slimey mackerel and the like a short shank 70 is the go. Use a bait needle and a size 1rubber band to bridle the live bait. Braid has no stretch and every movement of the boat is transmitted down the line to the baits’ nose, with the leader and the rod tip being the only agents of shock absorption. A rubber band will keep your bait fresher and stronger so much longer.

Never pin the hook directly across the nose or vertically through the jaws. Through the jaws will interfere with the flow of water across the baits’ gills. Through the nose means your bait is already unstable because the hook itself is out of balance. The shank side is heavier than the point side, and that will show up if your troll speed starts to max out your bait’s stability limit.

For live squid you will need a s lider rig. To make one, crimp a treble on the end of three metres of 80-pound mono or fluoro leader. Then cut a 20mm piece of tube – the sort used to attract whiting is okay. Run a 7/0 hook onto the line so that the tube passes through the ring and along the shank. Bind the tube to the hook shank using an old piece of light braid., and finish off the binding with a couple of half hitches. Your 7/0 hook will now slide – not too easily – up and down the leader, making the distance between that hook and the treble adjustable. When you’re about to use a live squid for bait, slide the hook so that the bottom of the gape goes through the top of the hood, and the treble and one barb on the treble goes lightly under the skin between the squids’ eyes. The benefit of this rig is that squid is quite a soft bait and the head can be torn away from the hood during a strike – particularly if heavy drag settings are used.

Another usage for downriggers is rapidly growing in popularity, particularly in Victoria. That is, mooring the boat up in a fast tidal run, connecting a burley bag to the downrigger weight, and setting a pilchard bait behind it. As the run picks up fish can be attracted from hundreds of metres away, depending on current flow. As they follow their nose to investigate, their first encounter is with your bait streaming from the downrigger clip. Clients tell me this is a devastating technique on snapper.

Make sure you tie the burley bag on to your weight with light line, or you could find your downrigger connected to an angry mako or a great white – ruining not only your gear, but your whole day.

Downrigger Rods for Salmon Fishing

There are many ways to catch a salmon, although if you ask most seasoned open-water salmon anglers, their top-performing method will be downrigger trolling. Downriggers allow you to quickly and accurately target salmon holding at any depth without requiring excessive amounts of weight. A well tuned downrigger with a accurate fishfinder will give you an incredible competitive edge while salmon trolling.

The requirements of a downrigger trolling rod are much different from other types of fishing rods. In fact, in many ways they are the complete opposite of what you would be shopping for if you were looking for a rod for casting or jigging.

Let’s first take a look at the function and requirements of a effective salmon downrigger rod.

Rod Loading on a Downrigger

When loading your rig onto the downrigger, the downrigger rod is ideally bent in a very severe curve. Simple put, fiberglass is more forgiving than graphite at being held in a full bend for hours of consistent trolling. Graphite rods, with their typically much faster action, cannot achieve a full downrigger bend without breaking.

Line Pick-up and Hook Set

One of the primary reasons for selecting a fiberglass rod which can achieve a full bend is to assist in the initial hook set. Since your rod will be in a rod holder when the salmon strikes, you will not be able to manually set the hook immediately after the strike. Rather, if you have a full bend loaded in the rod as it is set on the downrigger, the rod achieves a preliminary hook set as it whips back on the clip release, increasing the chances that the salmon will still be on the line once you have the rod in your hand.

Toughness

This one is only anecdotal from my years spent at the fishing shop, and talking to salmon fisherman around town. I’ve heard stories of graphite rods breaking when releasing off a downrigger. Chances are these fisherman were trying to place a graphite rod in too heavy of a bend while trolling, causing initial damage, which led to the rod breaking on the release. While I’ve never witnessed a rod break on a clip release, I have certainly seen many salmon fisherman snap a graphite rod while loading it on to a downrigger.

Fast action graphite rods, like the type you would use for casting, do not belong loaded onto a downrigger.

So again, select an all-fiberglass or graphite-fiberglass blend construction fishing rod.

You’ll want to select a downrigger rod that is at least 8’6″ in length. Longer rods allow faster line pick-up when the clip releases, aiding hookset. Anywhere in the 8’6″ to 10’6″ seems to be a pretty popular sweet spot for downrigger trolling for salmon.

One exception to this rule is if you happen to be trolling from a very small boat or kayak, which I often do. From experience, rods over 9′ make it incredibly hard to get the fish close enough to the kayak while trying to slip a landing net under the fish. When trolling from a kayak I use an 8′ rod.

Rod Power

There are plenty of specialty downrigger rods for species other than salmon, so we should probably discuss rod power briefly. Head out salmon fishing with a trout or kokanee downrigger rod and you’re going to have a hell of a time wrestling a fish in.

Look for a rod in the medium-heavy to heavy power range, or, in terms of line weight, look at rods starting in the 1- 30lb line test range. If you are trolling for big deep water Kings, consider sizing up to a stiffer rod. For smaller more acrobatic Coho, a slightly softer rod will be more forgiving and keep the hook pinned throughout the battle.

Another Trophy Chinook Salmon

Best Entry-Level Salmon Downrigger Rod–Okuma Classic Pro

Year after year, this was the top selling downrigger rod at the fishing shop during salmon seasons. We would order them by the truck load and still sell out. They were a consistent favorite of entry level and experienced salmon fishermen alike.

The truth is, fiberglass rods are pretty cheap to manufacture, so don’t feel like you need to spend an arm and a leg on every one. You can find solid performing rods at an affordable price.

The Classic Glass is a prime example. Two-piece, durable E-Glass construction, titanium-oxide-coated eyelets, and a stainless-steel rod seat make this a quality purchase for the price. I’ve caught many salmon on these rods.

Now, thats not to say that the Okuma Classic Glass isn’t without flaws. I’ve seen plenty of them come back into the shop broken or needing repairs. They’re a little short. They have no warranty to speak of.

The other rod we couldn’t keep enough of on the shelves was the Lamiglas Classic Glass.

Designed in Woodland, WA, these rods were created specifically with salmon fishermen in mind. If you want to hit all the check boxes for a great salmon downrigger rod without spending any more than you need to, these rods are the perfect compromise.

Grippy cork handles, full fiberglass construction, incredibly smooth moderate action, solid power, and durable construction make for a rod perfectly designed for downrigger fishing. Oh, and they’ll throw in a generous warranty with each rod purchase.

If you get on a boat and see Classic Glass rods in the holders, you know the captain means business. These rods are a staple of Northwest salmon fishing, and the workhorse of the downrigger fishing rod market.

And if you’re a kayak angler, the slightly shorter 8’6″ model is a go-to favorite of mine for landing fish solo. The forgiving moderate action helps keep salmon pinned even with barbless hooks, giving me more time and more chances to get the fish in the net.

If you’re looking for the best combination of top end performance and value, it doesn’t get any better than the Lamiglas Classic Glass.

A Northwest Salmon Fishing Legend– Lamiglas Classic Glass

Lamiglas Classic Glass Downrigger and Trolling Rod (8’6-Inch, Medium/Heavy, 2-Piece) “Everything you could want in a downrigger rod without putting a hole in your wallet. For this price, you won’t find another rod at this exceptional quality.”

Best-of-the-Best Downrigger Salmon Rod: Lamiglas XCC Kwik Series

I’ll be honest, we didn’t sell nearly as many of these rods as the two previous mentions. For a downrigger rod, these things are definitely expensive, and that turned away a lot of anglers. Nevertheless, if you want the absolute highest level of performance out of your downrigger rods, these are as good as it gets.

The XCC Kwik series takes many of the attributes of their Classic Glass rods, and revs them up to create the highest-performing downrigger rod around. With a primarily fiberglass blank you’ll still get the same smooth moderate action of an all-glass rod. However, Lamiglas has also added graphite reinforcement to these rods, increasing their power for deeper hook sets and more leverage and control when fighting fish. This hybrid construction also allows the rods to be more versatile, meaning you can also cast, drift, troll planers or divers, the list goes on. You’ll be hard pressed to find another rod that functions so perfectly on a downrigger and can still multitask for other fishing presentations.

Troll or drift plug-cut herring at first light, then switch to spoons on a downrigger after sunrise without needing to switch rods. The 12’6″ models can provide needed additional separation when surface trolling multiple rigs.

They come in sizes ranging for 8′ to 12’6″, and powers from light to extra-heavy, so whatever your style, the XCC series has you covered. For salmon though, I would suggest the XCC 106GH.

If you’re looking for a downrigger rod that makes no concessions in quality and performance, the Lamiglas Kwik Series is at the top of the game. You won’t find a better ‘rigger rod.

Getting

To The Bottom With Downriggers – Salt & Freshwater Options

Downriggers. A time tested tactic used and trusted by fishermen all around the globe. The equipment involved makes use of either a manual or electric winch that drops and retrieves a heavy weight. These weights drop over the side or stern of a vessel as it slowly trolls hopeful waters. The main attraction anglers have with downriggers reflects in their ability to target fish that would otherwise remain unreachable.

Downriggers vary widely in selection using many different styles, sizes, materials, and uses. Great choices in electric models exist with each having different capabilities while other models concentrate on anti corrosive saltwater makeup. Fishermen put downriggers to work on large commercial boats or small narrow kayaks. The point is to get your bait or lure down deep while keeping it underneath the moving vessel.

Electric Vs Manual Downriggers

Electric downriggers make things easy on the fisherman but they do cost much more. Manual reel winches take a lot of effort and boat fishing already takes hard work. They can be obtained for a much cheaper price though.

Downrigger In Action

Downriggers work by dropping a weighted line or wire off a waterborne craft. They can be dropped from the sides or the stern, but not typically off the bow because the craft will be traveling forward and the line would hit.

The angler can choose to attach his release clip to the ball up top and drop them both down together. He can also opt to drop the downrigger first, then let the release clip slide down the line using a smaller weight. Either way the fisherman has to worry about his rod line wrapping around the dowrigger line. Downrigger fishing works better with these techniques when the vessel is in motion.

Many Angles For Downrigging

Pinpointing Your Placement To Catch More Downrigger Fish

What kinds Of Species Do Anglers Target With Downriggers?

Nik Biebighauser of Minneapolis holds a lake trout he estimated to weigh 4pounds. He caught the fish near Isle Royale in Lake Superior. The fish was 4inches long. Photo courtesy Nik Biebighauser.

Downrigger fishermen surely have their favorite target species. These could be kingfish in the ocean or giant lake trout in deep freshwater fathoms. Common species of fish caught by downriggers include in no particular order: trout, lake trout, walleye, salmon, grouper, halibut, stripers, and swordfish.

 

 

 

 

How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the Downriggers by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Downriggers wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Downriggers

 

 

Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about Downriggers is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!



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