Downrigging seems to be one of those old school techniques that’s been forgotten about, but has its uses from small freshwater targets such as Australian bass and trout, all the way up to bluewater giants like kingfish and even marlin. Granted, it does require a bit of extra gear, but if set up and done correctly, can produce amazing results when other techniques fail. Downrigging is a means of getting baits or lures down to a chosen depth and keeping them there as you troll along.
In the fresh, anglers will attach small lures to a release clip, which is weighted by a large weight, or bomb, and is then deployed on a winch system with sturdy cable. If running a sounder, the bomb gives a strong return, and in this way the depth of your presentation can be tracked. You can also see fish rising to view the bomb, and your presentation! In the salt, the method is the same, but usually with a big live bait and scaled up gear!
To set yourself up for this technique, you’ll need a downrigger and bomb (the bomb weight will need to suit your chosen terrains, with heavier bombs often used in deeper water) and a release clip. The Viva Downrigger Line Clip Trolling Tool is a good, hard-wearing release clip that can be used for a range of different downrigging scenarios.
On the light scale of things, downrigging is an awesome way of getting small lures down deep where they wouldn’t usually swim, and this is particularly effective on trout and bass in freshwater impoundments. The Taylor Made Baby Nugget Hard Body Lure and Atomic Hardz Crank 38mm Mid Diver Hard Body Lure would be great to run off the downrigger at depths greater than 20ft where they wouldn’t usually go.
Additionally, baits and soft plastics also go well off downriggers, and being able to control the depth is something that simply couldn’t be done without a downrigger.
If you want to up your trolling game, make sure you give these strange devices a look-in - it might just become one of those little tricks up your sleeve that produces results when everything else fails!
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