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Thread: Ideal downrigger and mooching pole/reel combo

  1. #1
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Ideal downrigger and mooching pole/reel combo

    I am looking to upgrade my trolling and mooching setups on my boat. After a trip out with fellow ODD member Ulflyfish this summer, I became convinced that line counters would be a worthwhile upgrade over the spinning reels I am currently using. While making this change, I would like to get it right and have a really good reel for both the downriggers as well as when we stop and mooch. I went into B&Jís and got a Diawa SG27LCA at their recommendation. One feature I like about this is that it has a freespool drag setting, so hopefully I can set this so that I just release the drag for going down on the downriggers and I am not having to always loosen and tighten the drag. Has anyone tried this? Does it work like I am thinking?

    Also, what is a good pole for this dual use? Seems like a medium weight pole, but I am not sure f the benefits of a shorter or longer length pole (7-9ft range?). As for like, I am planning on using 25lb mono, as a good compromise between kings and slivers. It seems like this may be a bit light for lingcod, but as a backup I can always use the halibut gear. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Ideally I will end up with 4 matched poles and reels for the downriggers, and then I may keep a couple of the spinning reels onboard when more people are fishing. I really like one type of reel and pole across all of the downriggers, since I usually run 2 poles stacked on each downrigger.

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  2. #2

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    I use exclusively for myself and my charters Shimano TR-100 reels and Ugly Stik 7 ft. med./heavy rods. I know I'm not going to get many people that agree with me as it being the best setup you can use, but I have experimented with many, many reels and many, many rods over the last 19 years and this is what works best for me. You can see on my website what I have caught on that combo in the last year or so and it has been very productive for me.

    The TR-100's have a freespool drag setting as do most reels like that. So I just set them so they won't backlash when I drop my downriggers.

    If you're using downriggers there really isn't much of any reason to have linecounters. You'll always know how much line you've got out and when you mooch you can just strip line out in measured lengths or figure out how much line goes out with every width of the reel as it runs out and just count. Why spend the extra money for something that you don't really need and that is just another thing to go wrong on a reel?

    I also run 50 lb. Spectra on all my reels as main line. It is bullet proof, lasts forever and you don't have to worry about it breaking unless you abuse it. It is the same diameter as 12 lb. test mono, so it runs through the water much better and you get instant hookset with it. And you can spool up a lot more of it than you can of larger diameter mono.
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  3. #3
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Dave,

    Thanks for the information. I agree that the line counters don't make sense on the downriggers, but I plan on using them on both the downrigger as well as mooching, where the line counters make it where you know how deep you are.

    Keeping with the theme of mooching as well as using them with downriggers, does the spectra line make sense? It seems to me that it tangles easier than mono line when mooching/jigging. As you said the advantage of the spectra is the smaller diameter and higher test.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Dave,

    Thanks for the information. I agree that the line counters don't make sense on the downriggers, but I plan on using them on both the downrigger as well as mooching, where the line counters make it where you know how deep you are.

    Keeping with the theme of mooching as well as using them with downriggers, does the spectra line make sense? It seems to me that it tangles easier than mono line when mooching/jigging. As you said the advantage of the spectra is the smaller diameter and higher test.
    I guess it depends on how many lines you have out. I don't mooch much because I just prefer using downriggers, but I've never had any problems with lines tangling while trolling. Sometimes you'll get lines twisted, but if you just are aware of it happening it really doesn't get to be a big problem.

    If I am mooching and want to figure out how deep I am I just strip off line and watch it go across the reel. If it makes one pass across the reel and 10 ft. of line has gone out, then to mooch 50 ft. down you just let the line go across the reel 5 times. It's pretty simple. Or figure out how much line gets taken in each time you make one crank of your handle. That way if you just drop your line to the bottom you can reel up a certain distance and know within a foot or so at the most how far up you are from the bottom. I have NEVER had any need for linecounters since it's just way too easy to figure out how much line you've got out if you just use your brain. Like I said, it's just another "gadget" that can break or give you problems. Why bother?
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  5. #5

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    I have to agree with using an Ugly Stick Tiger med/heavy rod for trolling. It has the backbone and strength to pull anything out of the water. I use a Penn 320 GT2 reel with 80lb PowerPro. It's the same diameter as 20lb mono, and you can use the same combo to jig bottom fish with. No need for a reel counter. I have gotten plenty of halibut, rockfish and octopus! I just got done fishing Saturday and caught three kings trolling with spoons. It's a great combo, and costs a little less than $200. Good luck.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by stats View Post
    I have to agree with using an Ugly Stick Tiger med/heavy rod for trolling. It has the backbone and strength to pull anything out of the water. I use a Penn 320 GT2 reel with 80lb PowerPro. It's the same diameter as 20lb mono, and you can use the same combo to jig bottom fish with. No need for a reel counter. I have gotten plenty of halibut, rockfish and octopus! I just got done fishing Saturday and caught three kings trolling with spoons. It's a great combo, and costs a little less than $200. Good luck.
    I don't use the Ugly Stik Tiger. I use just plain ol' Ugly Stik "Original" 7 ft. med/heavy. Costs $29.99 at Cabela's. And the Shimano TR-100 goes for $69.99. Excellent combo for $100. And it has all the backbone you'd ever need to pull anything out of the water that you'd be trolling or mooching for.

    Stats---what are you trolling for that you use a Penn 320 and 80 lb. PowerPro!? That's what I use for big halibut and lings! I guess you could use it to troll for salmon, and I suppose if you wanted to you could catch grayling with a combo like that, but that's a lot of overkill.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  7. #7

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    For a mooching rod, it's pretty tough to beat a Shimano Tekota 600 LC reel, 30lb test maxima, and a high quality graphite (Loomis/Lamiglass) 8'6"-9' rod. I like the line capacity of the Tekota 600 for when we double and triple up on big kings and we can't chase them all. (I can fit 600ish feet of 30lb test maxima on it) A high quality graphite rod is excellent for handling 4-6oz mooching weights, and allow you to still detect subtle bites when mooching and back bouncing in deeper water. $350-500 is what you'll spend on a good mooching set up.

    You can get away without using a line counter. I do prefer a line counter though, and most of the people I guided really liked the line counters.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I don't use the Ugly Stik Tiger. I use just plain ol' Ugly Stik "Original" 7 ft. med/heavy. Costs $29.99 at Cabela's. And the Shimano TR-100 goes for $69.99. Excellent combo for $100. And it has all the backbone you'd ever need to pull anything out of the water that you'd be trolling or mooching for.

    Stats---what are you trolling for that you use a Penn 320 and 80 lb. PowerPro!? That's what I use for big halibut and lings! I guess you could use it to troll for salmon, and I suppose if you wanted to you could catch grayling with a combo like that, but that's a lot of overkill.
    I had issues with lighter pound braid. Line digging in spool, clip not holding line without popping out, and not playing with drag properly. It was just easier to pull them in without problems adjusting. I use downriggers for salmon and tie a uni-to-uni knot with 25lb mono leader. I've had better success with this combo. I'd rather not lose the big one if it bites!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by stats View Post
    I had issues with lighter pound braid. Line digging in spool, clip not holding line without popping out, and not playing with drag properly. It was just easier to pull them in without problems adjusting. I use downriggers for salmon and tie a uni-to-uni knot with 25lb mono leader. I've had better success with this combo. I'd rather not lose the big one if it bites!
    Hmmmm....I've never had problems with PowerPro digging into itself on the reel. Are you spooling it up properly?

    And I also NEVER have trouble with keeping even 50 lb. Spectra in the clips as long as I put it deep enough in the clip. I use the "Offshore" downrigger clips (also available at Cabela's) and they are the best IMO. I just bury the line as deep in the clip as possible and it always stays put. In fact when I catch a small fish or something like a black bass they can't even pull the line out of the clip.

    And I've never lost a "big one" from line breakage on my 50 lb. Spectra. I'd say it would take a pretty big fish to break it.

    Another suggestion if you're interested in how I do it. I always put a ball bearing swivel between my leader and my main line. It adds another spot where the leader can spin without causing any line problems. It works wonders.

    If you feel like spending $350 to $500 on a mooching setup go for it. Or you can spend $100 and get a combo that works every time and is more than adequate. I"m not sure about you but I prefer to only spend as much as is necessary to spend to get the job done. I'd love to buy a Ferrari to drive the 5 miles from my house down to the boat harbor, but my old '97 F-250 seems to do the job and I can use the bucks for things that matter.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  10. #10
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    Ugly Stiks are outstanding mooching and downrigger rods. For the money you just cant go wrong. I also use an Ugly Stik for halibut and would not trade it for anything!

  11. #11

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    The problem you run into with the cheaper, fiberglass mooching rods is the amount of flex you get in normal mooching operations. It's not fun to have a big bend in your rod while mooching with a 4oz weight all day. If I could get away with $30 rods, I'd be all over it.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    The problem you run into with the cheaper, fiberglass mooching rods is the amount of flex you get in normal mooching operations. It's not fun to have a big bend in your rod while mooching with a 4oz weight all day. If I could get away with $30 rods, I'd be all over it.
    LOL! If you think you get more flex from a 7 ft. med/heavy Ugly Stik than a 9 ft. graphite rod you are living in a realm of reality that very few people get to visit without the help of "recreational" substances.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  13. #13

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    his subject has been beat to death already last month...here you go. There`s even some good info.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-long-or-short

    My .02...

    I fish 8-8.5' medium rods for trolling/mooching. 6-6.5' for serious bottom fishing and 8' heavies for bottom fish sport. Long/soft rods keep fish on the hook especially around the boat. If you are a well versed fisherman you can get away with anything but most people have a novice or two onboard and could use the extra help. BTW, drag quality IMO is much more important than line strength. I fish 14-17# to 300' and don`t have a problem but some friends wouldn`t be able to pull that off.

    Buy something that impresses you in the store (B&Js will rig so you can play a bit first) and you`ll likely be happy.


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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    LOL! If you think you get more flex from a 7 ft. med/heavy Ugly Stik than a 9 ft. graphite rod you are living in a realm of reality that very few people get to visit without the help of "recreational" substances.

    We know mooching down here. Out of the 80 or so charter boats working the west coast of POW, you won't find one single one of them with a Ugly Stick on board for Mooching. A high quality graphite rod is standard.

    If a $30 Ugly Stick makes you and your clients happy... well, go ahead and run with it. We must have higher standards for our gear down here.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    We know mooching down here.
    LOL! "We know mooching down here." You are a laugh a minute 270!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  16. #16
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    his subject has been beat to death already last month...here you go. There`s even some good info.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-long-or-short
    Thanks for the other thread reference. I think I stopped reading this one when it got ugly and must have fogotten it, but there was some good info in there. The thing the disagreement shows is that it may not be that critical of a decision. I did get out today and tried the new reel, and it is nicer eing able to set the drag once and then just use the release and not have to loosen and tighten the drag each time I put a rod back down.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I did get out today and tried the new reel, and it is nicer eing able to set the drag once and then just use the release and not have to loosen and tighten the drag each time I put a rod back down.
    That is a very nice option and one that the TR-100's have, too, which is one of the things I really like about them. I also use Ambassadeur 6500 C3's and they have the same "free spool drag" option. They are another good reel to consider because they are relatively inexpensive and are great reels. Easy to fix, too, if anything goes wrong with them. I use them for my own personal fishing, but find them to be a bit "sensitive" when it comes to clients that don't know them very well. The TR-100's are a lot easier to manage.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  18. #18

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    As stated in the other thread, I use Lami "Kenai King" models with Ambass 7000's. I used to fish the lower Kenai for many, many years, and I had a half a dozen of these. They work really well for trolling with downriggers. I always thought they were a little (lot) overkill for feeder kings, but even the most inexperienced could control a fish near the boat. The past few days I tried a G-Loomis and a Lami "Kenai Special", both much lighter rods, with Ambass 6500's. We ended up with three kings with two more spitting the hook. It was a lot more fun than the heavier rods.

    I have always just used free spool with my thumb on the line while going down to depth. I've never even thought about using the freespool drag. I must be an idiot.

  19. #19

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    Daiwa has a new saltist reel w/ line counter, 6.4 to 1 gear ratio. Is the bomb for fishing salmon..... I make my own rods.... ideal downrigger rod doesn't make a good mooching rod.

  20. #20
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    A shimano charter special is a nice reel for downrigging - with the lever drag barely engaged the line stays snug the whole way down. One handed operation.

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