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Thread: Downrigger question - stacking lines

  1. #1
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    Default Downrigger question - stacking lines

    We're heading back up to Ketchikan in a couple weeks & I'm trying to refresh myself on everything I need to know. We're renting a 26' boat with two downriggers & I'm planning to stack two lines on each rigger since we'll have four to six people fishing at any given time.

    For sake of simplicity, I think of the two lines as 'inboard' and 'outboard', meaning one is closer inboard to the engine and one is farther outboard from the engine. Which line should be on the bottom of the rigger and which should be stacked above it? I'm planning on about 15' of vertical separation between lines, and also expect to run the downriggers at different depths (say 80' & 60', or 70' & 50') until we locate fish to minimize tangles. I would assume that once we 'dial in' the best depth and locate fish, it would be more sensible to run one line per downrigger.

    Ok, now fire away with everything that I ought to know on the subject! Thank you!

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Spent a lot of time trying to figure out a useful method of stacking lines ..... but it was so time consuming and high maintenance for us ... we gave up and now just fish one rig per down rigger. Probably someone out there has it figured out.

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Four riggers always better. Throw a couple slide-divers out instead, especially if you are fishing some sets in the top 50 fow or so.
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    I agree..while stacking makes sense in locating the fish. Put two rods in holders with divers down to cover the 20-30 ft range. then put one downrigger at 40-45 and one at 55-60. Try that, have a feeling most will be picked up from 30-45 ft with some shallower.

    BUT to answer your question. I always put the rod closer to the downrigger down first, then the back rod second. Remember wide turns and if you fet a hit, mark tje fish on the gps.

    Good luck
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    Bottom rig outboard for fewer tangles and line wear. Also, if your spacing is 15’, don’t drop back the bottom rig any further than 14’ or you can tangle on the way down. If the fish won’t come in that tight, send the bottom rig way back, drop it down to 50’, wait until it settles, then quickly bring it up, attach the other rig, and quickly send them back down.

    I try to avoid stacking for coho and pinks. As the other guys have said, they are usually shallow enough so you catch more fish and have fewer tangles by not stacking. Just fish 2 rods on the downriggers and 2 rods on divers. With pinks, and sometimes with coho, a small banana weight is all that is needed to get down to the fish.

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    I've always used sliders instead of stackers as it was less work and worked fine.
    We would have a 6'-8' piece of leader material with snap swivels on either end.
    Drop your canon ball down with your main line to the depth you want then clip a spoon on one end of the slider line and clip the other end over the main line you already sent down and throw the spoon out behind the boat. The slider line will settle approximately 1/2 way to the ball due to the belly in the main line.

    This way you can run 2 lures on each rod without having to play with the stacker setups.
    I usually run my outside lines longer and shallower than the inboard lines.
    For instance Starboard out side set @ 27' down and 100' back, starboard inside set at 45' down and 50' back, port inside set at 60' down and 10' back ant port outside set 35' down and 75' back.
    This will give you lures at about 60', 45, 35', 30', 27', 22', 17' and 14' on 4 rods and 4 riggers.

    For your situation I would run 2 slider setups on the 2 down riggers then on the outsides I would run dipsey divers and then I would run a flatline with a diving minnow bait 150'-200' straight down the center.
    This will give you 5 rods in the water with 7 baits working. Just rotate your crew so all 6 get a chance on the rod.

    This is the system we used to run when I was running charters on Lake Ontario. The only difference was we had 4 downriggers so sw could have a total of 7 rods and 12 lures down at once.

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    Don't know what your fishing for, but fishing silvers I would run two downriggers off the back of the boat two divers off the sides and one rod with a 4oz. bannana weight in the middle of the back.

    Rarely could I keep all the lines in the water, but when its slow you may get them all down...

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Don't know what your fishing for, but fishing silvers I would run two downriggers off the back of the boat two divers off the sides and one rod with a 4oz. bannana weight in the middle of the back.

    Rarely could I keep all the lines in the water, but when its slow you may get them all down...
    Well, the time of year we'll be there I'm kind of expecting all five species of salmon to be in. However, my primary expectation is lots of pinks with some silvers & chums mixed in. If it were my own boat, I would install four downriggers. Since it's a rental boat, I have to use whats on it - two. Your post might very well be the best solution for us, although it'll take some coordination & a bit of training for the people in my group. Thank you!

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    What kind of divers would you run and what is the set up. Is it basically the same as mooching with a banana weight except the weight is replaced by a diver? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    What kind of divers would you run and what is the set up. Is it basically the same as mooching with a banana weight except the weight is replaced by a diver? Thanks
    The same, more or less. We usually use Pink Lady divers. We either pull bait, a spoon or apex straight off the diver with 4' of leader. We have had better luck in a slow bite using 3' of leader, a small hotspot flasher or a dodger, and then a hoochie or spoon or apex, or ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    What kind of divers would you run and what is the set up. Is it basically the same as mooching with a banana weight except the weight is replaced by a diver? Thanks
    I personally use the deep six divers, I keep a couple big ones and a couple little ones around. I tend to run the small hot spot flasher about 2' behind the diver, then my bait distance behind the hotspot depends on the bait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Well, the time of year we'll be there I'm kind of expecting all five species of salmon to be in. However, my primary expectation is lots of pinks with some silvers & chums mixed in. If it were my own boat, I would install four downriggers. Since it's a rental boat, I have to use whats on it - two. Your post might very well be the best solution for us, although it'll take some coordination & a bit of training for the people in my group. Thank you!
    If there are a bunch of pinks and silvers around and you want to catch them you'll be so busy with two down riggers and a rod off the back-middle, you won't have the time or patience to run more than three rods, just pass them around.

    If there are a bunch of fish around I quit trolling and mooch, then everyone can have their own rod and you don't have to deal with orchastrating the downriggers and divers. With a bunch of rods in the water you can often keep a small school right under your boat, particularly if you don't get in a rush and let the first hooked fish dance around under the boat for a while, it will attract the attention of the others around the area and bring them over, just like a hot spot flasher.

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    I stack downriggers religiously and rarely have a problem; if you follow some of the advice above about length of leader behind the bottom release and the distance between releases you'll be fine. Scotty brand stacking releases with the gagnon clip are the best.

    If you don't want to stack, ditch the divers and role with a 4 or 6 ounce banana weight with a full length mooching leader, put one 30 strips and the other about 10 strips behind the boat.

    Or put the downriggers away and mooch, which is generally more productive this time of year and a hell of a lot more fun.

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    Do some people use flashers in the south east Alaska. My previous question raised some questions regarding the use of divers however some of the responses suggested the use of flashers. I am aware that most of the fishing is done by mooching in this area however I was curious as to the use of flashers. Are they used frequently with divers and or bait/lures and is there evidence that they are effective. Im am aware that allot of anglers don't bother with them at all around POW however I am curious as to whether this is a personnel or subjective choice.

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    Plenty of evidence.....










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    LOL LOL thanks AK enviro. Fantastic fish. What method did you use? Im assuming you were trolling with a cut plug and flasher. What size/colour flasher did you use..Them fish must be near 30lbs wow............................................... ..................

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    I don't generally troll herring for Kings, I drive a hand tied (not by me) trolling fly, as for flashers...


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    Bill,

    Great pic! Your little girl is growing up fast!
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    Indeed she is! They both are. Both mooched up their first coho this last time home, funny watching them. They were hooking more than some of the guide boats we were drifting past....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    Do some people use flashers in the south east Alaska. My previous question raised some questions regarding the use of divers however some of the responses suggested the use of flashers. I am aware that most of the fishing is done by mooching in this area however I was curious as to the use of flashers. Are they used frequently with divers and or bait/lures and is there evidence that they are effective. Im am aware that allot of anglers don't bother with them at all around POW however I am curious as to whether this is a personnel or subjective choice.
    I prefer dodgers over flashers. They seem to work better when mooching. I prefer mooching over trolling for silvers.

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