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Thread: What type of line for downrigger rod?

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Question What type of line for downrigger rod?

    I bought a couple cabelas line counter rod/reel combos. They will hold 310yards of 25 pound test (I assume this is mono). I sometimes like to jig rockfish in 200 foot with these rod/reels, but they are 8'-6" downrigger rods.

    I was thinking of backing them with some 30 pound mono and then finishing them off with a three hundred yards of braid (power pro) or similiar in 30 pound test.

    Will I experience problems with the braid digging into the mono? On my butt rods, I use dacron for backing - it stops the braid from slipping too.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I bought a couple cabelas line counter rod/reel combos. They will hold 310yards of 25 pound test (I assume this is mono). I sometimes like to jig rockfish in 200 foot with these rod/reels, but they are 8'-6" downrigger rods.

    I was thinking of backing them with some 30 pound mono and then finishing them off with a three hundred yards of braid (power pro) or similiar in 30 pound test.

    Will I experience problems with the braid digging into the mono? On my butt rods, I use dacron for backing - it stops the braid from slipping too.
    I prefer mono on my downrigger rods, but for jigging, i go with braided, especially if jigging deeper tha 80 feet or so. I wouldnt worry too much about the braid digging into the mono unless you are fishing 900 feet deep!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used both dacron and mono for backing braid on a reel. The key is you have to spool the reel under tension, or the braid will dig in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I bought a couple cabelas line counter rod/reel combos. They will hold 310yards of 25 pound test (I assume this is mono). I sometimes like to jig rockfish in 200 foot with these rod/reels, but they are 8'-6" downrigger rods.

    I was thinking of backing them with some 30 pound mono and then finishing them off with a three hundred yards of braid (power pro) or similiar in 30 pound test.

    Will I experience problems with the braid digging into the mono? On my butt rods, I use dacron for backing - it stops the braid from slipping too.
    I use braid (50 lb. Power Pro) for all of my salmon rods and back it with about 20 or so yards of mono using a "nail knot". I have NEVER had any problem with it digging into the mono. BTW---I would probably go with 30 lb. braid myself if it was for my own personal fishing, but with clients on board I prefer having the extra added security of a heavier line.

    And I can't even imagine trying to jig with an 8'-6" rod. I use 7' Ugly Stiks for all my trolling, and jigging with even a shorter rod like that isn't a lot of fun. I can't imagine using a long rod like you're using to try jigging.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    It's a lot of fun catching big yelloweye and medium sized black rockfish on a light flimsy long trolling rod. One guy I fish with uses his all of the time for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    It's a lot of fun catching big yelloweye and medium sized black rockfish on a light flimsy long trolling rod. One guy I fish with uses his all of the time for it.
    Yeah, I might do that if I'm fishing for myself with people I know (in fact I use a 6' spinning rod to fish for black rockfish in my rockfish spots, but that's in only about 50 to 70 ft. of water), but where I usually fish for yelloweye it's not unusual to hook into some BIG lings AND some big halibut. Last summer we brought one halibut in that was 150 lbs. according to the chart (66"). Yeah, that might be an interesting thing to try if it's just me and some experienced friends and I didn't care if I ended up losing a fish, but I sure wouldn't try it with inexperienced clients on board that are expecting to get the fish they just hooked into the boat.
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    I'm a fan of mono for use with downriggers. Mono works great with all of the different clips and provides very good stretch near the boat when a salmon freaks out. Obviously the drag on the reel can be set to work with braid so it's kind of a user preference kinda thing. For fishing deeper I don't experience any issues at all with my 8' 6" rods. Most of my larger fish have come on that combo. I do usually keep one long rod with 55# braid for anything over 200'. Btw, my mono of choice is Sufix in 17#.


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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    jigging with a flimsy rod sucks, I prefer a heavy jigging rod it's all about feeling the bite and setting the hook and both are harder with a flimsy rod, downriggers are the only thing they are good for.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    jigging with a flimsy rod sucks, I prefer a heavy jigging rod it's all about feeling the bite and setting the hook and both are harder with a flimsy rod, downriggers are the only thing they are good for.
    ...and especially when fishing with mono. Most mono line will stretch anywhere from 10% or more (I've heard reports as much as 35%). So if you've got 200 ft. of line out it can stretch 20 ft. or more. With a flimsy rod and 20 ft. of stretch you might as well try using a big rubber band.

    And I don't even like long rods for downrigger fishing.
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    Member danmiotke's Avatar
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    Default What type of line for downrigger rod?

    Longer rods and mono are they way to go, the meat rod with braid is an Alaskan thing, the guys from BC really know how to do with fly rods and arbor spools. The more flex the more forgiving the fight is, like posted earlier a long rod is nice when around the boat. 30 or 35 maxim is what I use 35 when when respooling for driftboat Mondays on kenai, didn't have to worry about that this year!

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    i am using 20# maxim ultra green with a 10'6" knuckle duster..... i have run charters since 2004 and i cant stand using super lines in downriggers, dont stay in the clip at all when you get an algae bloom. on my charter boat i run 25# hi viz ande, with a 8'6" ugly stick tiger rods with shimano tr200, fish anywhere from the surface to 200' on the rigger

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I put 60 yards of 30lb Pline mono on spool. Then 300 yards of 30 pound pline braid, topped that with 80 foot of 30lb pline mono. The knots were slipping on me so I ended up joinging them with a Slim Beauty Knot - kind of a pain, but it looks like it will hold. http://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/slim-beauty-knot/

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    The knots were slipping on me so I ended up joinging them with a Slim Beauty Knot - kind of a pain, but it looks like it will hold. http://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/slim-beauty-knot/
    I use a "double" nail knot and it works great. It may actually have a name, but I just know it as a double nail. I just tie a "nail knot" with both pieces of line (http://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/nail-knot/ ). It's really easy to do and works great for joining mono and braid. Instead of a nail I use a "coffee stirring" straw and just put the tag ends of the lines through it and then pull the straw out of the knot. Works like a charm.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by danmiotke View Post
    ...the meat rod with braid is an Alaskan thing...
    I'm sorry, but you're wrong there. The "meat rod with braid" thing was something developed back around the turn of the century on the east coast of Labrador in a very select few coastal towns and was a coveted secret for many years. The secret slowly leaked out and was passed on to Great Lakes fishermen as a way to produce meat for the table and slowly worked its way across Canada, and finally to a few native communities along SE Alaska. There it was employed by missionaries, first for its novel appeal, but then when they found how effective it was, and the "secret" appeal wore off, people that passed through those areas carried the "message" far and wide. So it's really an "east coast of Labrador" thing. I think.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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