Fishing Downrigger & Outrigger Gear

Learn More About Fishing Downrigger and Outrigger Gear

Downrigger fishing and trolling gear allow you to set bait at the desired depth in deep water for catching fish. The system works by attaching fishing line to a weighted ball, which then separates when the bait is pulled. Most setups allow you to catch fish while trolling at slow speeds without releasing the weight from the fishing line too early.

How do you rig a downrigger for catching fish?

Before you rig the outrigger, you will need to set up your fishing rod and check your depth finder. Once you have found the total depth of the lake, spotted the target species, and set up your rods, you can then begin rigging the downrigger. The procedure goes something like this:

  1. Since the outrigger is securely attached to the boat, hook up any required electrical systems to a power source.
  2. Hook a lead ball to the snap swivel that is hooked up to the outrigger.
  3. Find the desired depth, lower the ball down, and tighten the drag.
  4. Take the previously set-up line from your rod, and pull it out about 25 feet from the tip of the rod.
  5. Wrap the line into the release clip of the ball, drop the weight into the lake at the depth you want to target, and reel your rod down to create tension in the rig.
How heavy should the lead ball be for downrigging?

Outrigging balls may be anywhere from 4-10 pounds total. The heavier the ball you choose, the more accurate of depth you will set your bait at behind your boat. A heavier ball may also stay deeper in the water while you are trolling, so your bait stays at the level you want it to be.

What styles of downriggers are there?

There are a few specifications that may differ between outriggers, which include:

  • Telescoping rod - A telescoping rod allows you to move the lead ball out further from your boat.
  • Rod holder - Some outriggers may feature a rod holder if you dont have one mounted to your boat.
  • Stainless steel wire - The length and pound test of an outrigger wire may vary, allowing you to target stronger fish or hold heavier sinkers.
  • Depth adjustment - Either a crank, dial, or electronic depth setter can be used to set the sinker down in the water.