How to Install Downriggers on Boats

by Luther Blissett
Fishermen can bring home a tasty meal when they use downriggers and trolling.

Fishermen can bring home a tasty meal when they use downriggers and trolling.

Instead of simply casting fishing line out the hope of attracting a day's catch, many fisherman turn to trolling. Trolling involves moving one or more lines through the water. Because certain fish species feed at specifics depths, downriggers are frequently used when trolling to keep the lines at a consistent depth. Downriggers allow a fishing line to be set to a particular depth using weights. When a fish is caught, the downrigger's weight is released from the line and allows the fisherman to remove the fish from the water.

Examine the boat to find an appropriate location for the downrigger. Ensure that there will be enough room to access and remove any fishing rods used with the downrigger. Verify that the boom of the downrigger will be long enough to clear the side of the boat, and that room will remain for netting a fish if necessary. If the downrigger is designed to swivel, ensure that nothing on the boat will be obstructed or damaged by the swiveling downrigger. Carefully consider the placement of the downrigger, because the installation of a downrigger is not practical on all boats.

Check the boat's manuals and wiring diagrams to ensure that no cables or wires run beneath where the downrigger will be installed. Carefully drill the holes for the installation of the downrigger mounting base. Drill the holes so that they correspond to the exact hole pattern on the mounting base.

Position the holes in the mounting base over the drilled holes. Secure the base using the bolts included with the downrigger. Tighten the bolts securely, because the weight of the downrigger's boom places a large amount of stress on the mounting base.

Attach the downrigger by sliding it on the base. Always ensure that the downrigger is securely mounted before using.

Items you will need

  • Downrigger
  • Mounting base
  • Mounting bolts
  • Wrench
  • Drill

About the Author

Luther Blissett has written for a variety of online publications, blogs and newspapers on topics ranging from technology to politics. He runs his own small business. Blissett holds a B.A. in history and a J.D.

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