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Author Topic:   Downriggers
alan posted 07-18-2001 08:38 AM ET (US)   Profile for alan   Send Email to alan  
I'm finally going to break down a buy a downrigger for my 18ft. Whaler. Any suggestions on which type to buy for a small boat? Also considering a rodholder mount for easy on and off and no mounting plates on the teak gunwales. Any experience with them and are they any good?
Whaletosh posted 07-18-2001 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Scotty makes rail mounts, as does Cannon.

Whatever you get get swivel bases as well; OR slide mount bases. You want to be able to quickly swivel or remove the riggers out of the way without fumbling with thumb screws. This isn't an issue if your riggers are setup to stick straight out over the transom. After years of running riggers on several boats, I prefer swivel bases. It so much easier to just turn thin inboard when done and not have to worry about the arm sticking out. slide mounts are quick as well, but then one has to sttore the riggers, and there is the risk of dropping one if the seas are a little rough.


Dick posted 07-18-2001 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I have the Scotty manual longarms on my Montauk with swivel bases and rail mounts. Scotty also makes a very good rod holder mount.
Chesapeake posted 07-18-2001 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
I have had great luck with four BigJon's downriggers. They have endless options and adjustable beam lengths. I like them just as well as my old Cannon's, but like the all metal look of the Big Jon's better. They also have a great variety of mounts.

Bob (Chesapeake)

Vicar posted 07-18-2001 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Vicar  Send Email to Vicar     
I have a set of Penn with swivel bases. I found some universal rail mounts to mount the base to. Not sure where I got the mounts. They are really slick.. they clamp to the T where the rail meets the upright.. has a small ...apx 6x6 inch aluminium base to drill into to mount standard downrigger base to. they mount with three clamp type screw on holders ...takes a minute to mount. I wish i could tell you where I got them but I have had them for over ten years. They are mounted on the railing in front of my engins on a '73 21 outrage......
yankee posted 07-18-2001 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for yankee  Send Email to yankee     
Penn or nothing
Tsuriki BW posted 07-18-2001 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
I run 2 dual rod holder electric Scotty rail mounted downriggers on my Dauntless 14. IMO electrics are the only way to go. Fishing by yourself or with others they are so convienent. Have had mine for about 5 years with no problems.

I understand that Cannon has some that will interface with your FF and can be programmed for various operation, up/down depth above bottom etc.

Take a good look, talk to a lot of local dealers, fishermen, get brochures from makers. It's important you get ones that fit your needs.


lhg posted 07-18-2001 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Choice of downrigger is like choice of engine, electronics, etc. Everybody has their preference.

Since you like Big Johns, I can say that so do I, and have used them for over 20 years. I like the smaller profile and less obtrusive components. Big John (a real person) actually invented the downrigger and offered the first ones for sale. He is in Traverse City Michigan, and he invented them as a way of eliminating wire lines, and still getting to the deep swimming salmon in the Great Lakes.

You can see a photo of 2 Big Johns in Cetacea page 11. They will work nicely on the stern gunwales of an 18. Use 2' boom configuration. If you want to install 4, buy 2 with 4' booms, and swivel bases, for deploying perpendicular to the hull, and install on the gunwales about 5' forward of the stern downriggers. When not on the boat, all that is permanently attached to the gunwales is a 4" x 4" aluminum base plate, or the swivel base plate.

Tsuriki BW posted 07-18-2001 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

Got to

It lists 8 sites, I think, check those out (Including Penn, Big Jon, and Scotty. Then check "Go to Web Sites" at the bottom. Others are listed.

Check out: Downrigger Techniques also. Forget about the Scotty sponsorship, good info no matter what unit you get.

Good Luck


Tsuriki BW posted 07-18-2001 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

Got to

It lists 8 sites, I think, check those out (Including Penn, Big Jon, and Scotty. Then check "Go to Web Sites" at the bottom. Others are listed.

Check out: Downrigger Techniques also. Forget about the Scotty sponsorship, good info no matter what unit you get.

Good Luck


Tsuriki BW posted 07-18-2001 06:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Alan, sorry

Go to:

This will get you the 8 sites..


Was on the Dell laptop (Windooze) rather than my Mac...

OutrageMan posted 07-18-2001 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I have been uning Cannon HP Uni-Troll with swivel bases that are attached to a gimbal mount that slides into my rod holders mounted in the gunwale. This allos me to take the 'riggers with me, and to not have to mount any hardware to the deck. It works so good, that I added two more Lee's rod holders farther aft.

All of these products can bee had from Cabella's.


Tom W Clark posted 07-19-2001 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I like things simple, durable and strong. I also like aesthetically well designed things. My strong preference if for the Scotty. In particular I vote for the Scotty "Strong Arm" 30 inch model for the Outrage 18. They are almost perfectly thought out and work superbly. I wouldn't own anything else.

I prefer them without the optional swivel base. They simply fold up and lock into the straight up and down position. The Scotty has the spool mounted horizontally which is ergonomically preferable in my opinion as well as presenting a much lower and thus cleaner looking profile. By avoiding the swivel bases they stay low to the gunwale board and exert less torque on their mountings which I think is a good thing.

The Scotty is made of plastic and stainless steel. Simple, durable.

The 30" model "Strong Arm" has a one piece stainless are (1" diameter) and plenty of length for an 18 OR given its 7' beam. With the Outrages with teak gunwale boards there is one glitch when mounting the Scotty. They require the base to be mounted within 1/4" of the inside edge of the gunwale if you are to be able to tilt the downrigger into its upright, stowed position. The teak gunwale boards have a lip of about 3/4" height which prevents this. I worked around this with a custom set up that was both simple to fabricate and looked like it was a Whaler factory detail. I won't go into it here but if anybody wants the details I'd be happy to go into it further.

My Scotty's were mounted on the gunwale just in front of the standard Lee flush mount rod holders. This allowed the Lee rod holders to be used with the downriggers. In addition to this I had side grab rails which each had a Lee clamp-on rod holder. These clamp-on rod holders are simply the best and were a Whaler factory option for years. The clamp-on rod holders were mounted so they pointed almost straight out and provide maximum rod tip separation when trolling or mooching and also worked great for the times when two lines were fished off one downrigger. I could easily fish four lines from my Outrage without resorting to the Scotty downrigger mounted rod holder which clamps onto the boom itself. This rod holder actually comes standard on many of the Scotty models now. It does work well and is inexpensive. You cab also avoid drilling more holes in your gunwale boards by using these but I don't care for the way they look nor the additional strain they may put on the gunwale via the boom and downrigger.

bigz posted 07-19-2001 07:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Alan, if interested have a used pair of Penn 625's, these are mounted on swivel bases which are mounted on a gimbal fitting which then slides and locks into your stern gunwale rod holders. Both have a rod holder mounted on the units.

Only sell as a pair at $350 plus shipping, they are in good shape only cosmetic thing wrong is the "tape" used on the crank to measure feet is starting to come off.

Anyway thought I'd throw this out since I have a pair of Cannon Mag 10's and these Penns are collecting dust.


PS would have posted in Marketplace but since the topic is about purchasing and these aren't directly related to Whales -- well --

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