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Thread: Downrigger Clip Setting?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Anchorage, AK

    Default Downrigger Clip Setting?

    I am curious as to how tight a guy wants to set the line in the clips? Do most people set extremely tight so that the fish hooks itself? This seems like the easiest way to keep the bait fishing. Thanks

  2. #2
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward


    Good question..lots of guys new to trolling have to figure this out. I will add my 2 cents worth..but there are definently more experienced guys on here and sure they will add some more tips.

    I have used the green scotty ones and red cannon ones..about all I do use. I have found that the red cannon work a little better in hoding the line..not sure why maybe the material they use.

    Allot of variables in clip new or old, dry rotted etc, type of line used and strength of line..10-40lb etc, are you trolling deep say..60-100ft or shallow around 30?

    I use 30lb mono and I usually place the line 2/3rd back or just about half way or a littl deeper toward the back of the pad. If I am using the spider wire or braided line, I have to go all the way back as the diameter is less and it has a tendancy to slip out at greater depths.

    For trolling for salmon, stay with 20-40 and half way or a little back will work. Occasionally it will slip out...trial and error and eventually you will figure out what works for you and your rig. With the green scotty ones.. I put the mono about half way..thinner line has to be placed almost all the way back.

    Be careful when lowering your line and watch the drag when releasing it down. Tendancy to lower to fast with a tight drag or not letting line out smooth enough can cause it to slip out as well. Almost an art to it..but you will get it.

    When the fish hits..the rod will dance..(man I miss that..come on summer..) The idea is for the fish to release it with the fight and drag..if you get a small pink or even silver sometimes they will not trip it and just troll along..especially at deeper levels..just watch your rod and eventually you will get a feel for when something is on it..even kelp will drag differently if you cross it.

    Good luck man..have fun.

    Nothing like trolling..I prefer that over any other style
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  3. #3


    I like the green clips better by far. all I have used for years. I put the line behind the little line on the clip, and that is with 25# maxima which is pretty thick. If it pops too easy you have to scrub it, and this is usually from too much jellyfish slime. Err on the harder to pop free in my experience, ie put a good bend in the rod. I like at least 15 feet back to the flasher. If the guys from southeast way in on this, it seems like they have way better insights on trolling for salmon.

  4. #4
    Member bkbaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    I love the green clips. I use the clips that come with a longline snap and a section of 200# mono. I also clip the snap to my downrigger line just above the cannon ball so that i can clip the fishing line in while the cannon ball stays just in the water. I'm able to set gear a little easier that way without the ball swinging around. I clip in as deep as I have to depending on the fishing line i use. I love braid and all my rods are rigged with it. But buddies always have their own rods with different line. Its trial and error with different lines, but I think the important thing is to have a major bend in your rod while trolling. I want the line to pop when the fish, silver or king, hits. Then I want the rod to help set the hook with its bend. When the downrigger snap pops it introduces a bunch of slack in the system. If you don't have the rod "loaded", or "bent" enough, the fish will have a bunch of slack to work with and you may not get a good hook set.
    I will from time to time not clip in deep enough and have to reset. I tend to fish around 100-120 ft for kings, and a shallower for coho. I also use lighter rods than most for the thrill of the fight. That being said I HATE when I clip in too deep and can't pop the line to check bait, etc. I have really enjoyed much better fishing by using the downriggers and getting away from banana weights and divers. I feel like I can control depth and hit my target depth much better.

    good fishing


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