Downrigger ball advice

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by vangoalie, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. vangoalie

    vangoalie Member

    Hi, relatively new to saltwater fishing in my own boat and looking for some advice, i have manual downriggers currently no budget to upgrade but looking ;-), also don't mind the manuals as I mostly fish summers, local to Vancouver and usually under 100 feet. I currently have 2-10lb balls and 1-15lb ball, lost one 10 last year. I am looking to get another or two to have a spare, I have really only used the 10's. My question is what do most of use around the Vancouver area, Cap, Sandheads out to RC and mile marker, I don't venture too far. Would you stick to 10's (easier to wind) or are 15's the standard, I am looking to get another one or two in the case I lose another one out on the water. I learned the mixing a 10 on one side with a 15 on the other is not good for balancing the troll speed. Will 15's increase my success or are 10's just fine?

    Thanks for the advice!!
  2. Corey_lax

    Corey_lax Well-Known Member

    18’s are the new 15’s.

    I’d say you should stick to 15’s and think of it as an arm workout
    Tydey, hippaisland and Rain City like this.
  3. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    If it were me I would go with two 12lbers.

    In rigger antiquity I did at times use 15's on the old manual Scotty blue riggers. At the beginning of the summer it was very hard work but by the end of the season it would come up fast and one arm would look like Popeye. Still I think it is overkill on a manual and keep in mind that if you get some large kelp on you are going to end up with even more combined drag on top of the 15lb and steel cable weight down up to a 100 feet.

    The best single upgrade you can make to your fishing gear would be to find a good buy on a reg speed Scotty power rigger, at least for one side of the boat and especially if you fish alone. Given the Covid thing, there should be some very good buys on used toys like riggers as some run into financial problems.
  4. Mike1266

    Mike1266 Member

    I have manual riggers and use 8lb balls on them. It catches fish and I'm not complaining
    Redfisher likes this.
  5. ab1752

    ab1752 Well-Known Member

    Well I am using 15 lb and in the areas you're fishing, particularly the Sandheads, when you catch the push of the river against the tide they almost float to the surface. Tides and currents around here, I'd not using anything lighter and make sure you're using snubbers if you like bouncing off the bottom.
  6. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    ab1752 has a point that if you fish in a high current area, especially at depth, the 15lb balls will give you an advantage. That is all the more reason for getting power riggers and they will let you fish much deeper with ease. If you are sticking with manual I think you will find that with 10 or better, 12's, that you will find them easier to work with. Especially when clearing gear while playing a big Chinook and I think you may find that you will do more weed, bait and shaker checks, and be back down and fishing faster while the bite is on, if you don't have to fight 15lb balls manually all day long. So the lighter weight may have an advantage in that regard.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  7. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    I’d go 12’s with manual riggers. And just k is you’ll have some limitations as far as fishing in heavy current. I use 20’s on my hp riggers!!
  8. vangoalie

    vangoalie Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice, looking for a couple of used Scotty’s, maybe this is the year I find a good deal on them!
  9. prodjsaig

    prodjsaig Well-Known Member

    15 pounds is what I would run. used to use 10s they work can use them as spares but in around the cap I wouldn't go back to the 10s. Also depends on the size of boat 16' boat maybe make do with the 10s.
  10. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Back in the day I had manuals, 90# wire, and 12#balls. Fished at 180ft on a fairly fast troll. Switching to braid on both your DR's & reels will reduce drag. I also use a plastic snubber to connect the balls; gives shock absorption & makes handling the gear easy on the hands.
  11. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    If you don't go much below 100ft 10-12 lbs is good on a manual. Also depends on where you fish the strength of the tide/currents. If they are stronger and you go deeper you need more weight to get down without a lot of blow back.
  12. Odin Gray

    Odin Gray Member

    Hi, I'm relatively new to saltwater fishing as well (under 100 hours). I have used my Scotty electrics and love them, but...

    Why use lead? Why not a 12# or 15# granite rock in a nylon bag with a swivel? I tend to loose the occasional ball , not 3 per day but probably 1 per day when I was learning thru trial and error, and they are more expensive than the occasional tackle escape.

    Won't anything heavy and aerodynamic work?

    I have been fishing 10#ers but rarely fish below 120'. I thought of going to 15s but wondered if they would work the Scotties to hard.

    Maybe stupid questions but I just needed to ask.
  13. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    That's all the old timers ever used, we have gotten much more sophisticated at losing much more expensive gear.
  14. nicnat

    nicnat Active Member

    15# for sure fishing the mouth of the Fraser also if you fish the Cap get the 15's. I ran 4 manuals for years before electrics were legal using 15# balls not a problem.
  15. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member

    I would run 15's as well, the amount of blowback your gonna get with the tide while running 12 and 10's wont be much fun, your arms will thank you later lol
  16. Odin Gray

    Odin Gray Member

    Thanks for answering a question that I have had since I started salmon fishing...

    I have read the thread on fishing winter springs from March.

    How deep do you guys tend to fish for springs? I know it depends on local conditions, time of year, etc.
    I tend to start one side high (50') and the other at 90 and go down if I am getting no hits or getting pinks, chum, jacks.

    With the light balls, I can only go down about 100' before the angle of the rigger line makes it pointless.

    Am I on the right track? How deep do chinook feed in deep water?
  17. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Winter Chinook generally feed right on the bottom, often you will need to be
    down 150' or more.
    15 lb balls are pretty much a necessity.
    Odin Gray likes this.
  18. Kildonan

    Kildonan Well-Known Member

    I use 10 pounders on my manuals without a problem and have success. Although, I don’t typically fish in super high current areas or greater than 130 feet, even when scraping bottom for winter springs. Most of my fishing is done in the summer where I’m fishing 35 - 80 feet so the 10’s are perfectly fine.

    I’d probably go to 15’s in higher current areas. Any bigger than 15 would probably be a bitch to crank in after a few hours on the water, but I’ve never tried.
  19. Odin Gray

    Odin Gray Member

    Thanks, I'll break down and grow a pair.
  20. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    What’s your location? I have a lady in Duncan that sells for $2 per pound
    Odin Gray likes this.

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