downrigger extending arms

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by Fisherf, May 22, 2016.

  1. Fisherf

    Fisherf Active Member

    so i have been using extendable manuale DW's for the last three years and never bothered since recently to extend them.
    Is it good to extend them?
    when we went fishing with blue wolf he had his electric DW's extended for coho and spring fishing so after that we try'd extending ours and we did not notice much of a difference.

    thanks, fisherf
  2. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    I can't remember how big your boat is. I find on my small boat that if I extend them too far, when I bring one up, the boat will turn hard toward the one still in the water.
    People extend them to avoid tangling the other side on turns, and to keep the line out of the propeller on turns or in a current. If you have never tangled your two balls, or got your downrigger in the propeller, I would leave them where they are. Having them closer in is safer because you don't have to reach out so far to clip on to the downrigger line. The fish won't care.
  3. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    I have always had the arms fully extended & pointing out at 90 degrees from the sides - your 2 lures will be farther apart giving less chance of a tangle.
    Major downside to this is that if you are short like me, working with the release clips is a pain. I rig my own release clips using 200b mono (easier on the hands) & long enough that I can clip-in the line; usually around 6 ft long.
  4. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Myself, I like a shorter arm. I've actually replaced an extended arm with a shorter arm on one downrigger. a longer arm ended up turning into a pretzel once on a hang up. I think it's generally what a person is comfortable with. on a smaller boat I think it may be safer to go with a shorter arm as if a ball becomes hung up on the bottom it can actually turn a small boat sideways in current and with low freeboard dip the boat into the ocean causing the boat to fill up. I imagine this can also happen with a shorter arm but maybe not as easily as you wouldn't have quite as much lever (leverage) effect? so it's pretty important to have the drag on the downrigger setup fairly loose to compensate for that situation and allow you to recover when everything happens so quickly. I like the shorter arm so it's easier to reach the scotty clip. but just be careful making sharp turns... best to have the downrigger mounted a bit closer to the back of the boat if possible to help it from staying away from the prop also I believe....
  5. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Hey Fishperf - great advice from bigdogeh - forgot you had a small boat. If a hang-up does occur, you will have just a few seconds to react.

    Id' use braid versus wire so you can cut it quicker. Consider a low strength braid & small ball. Use a rubber snubber on the ball & it will stretch & maybe pop out if hung-up.

    Try & fish shallow in really deep water when learning
    Fisherf and bigdogeh like this.
  6. Fisherf

    Fisherf Active Member

    thank you, ericl, bigdogeh and tubber. i have never had a problem while trolling so i will keep the arms in.
    thanks, fisherf
  7. Fixit

    Fixit Well-Known Member

    your downrigger should be adjusted to 45 lbs (if I remember correctly) tension in case you get hung up.
    Fisherf likes this.
  8. Canso

    Canso Well-Known Member

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