I want the ability to occasionally get down 25' - 35' for landlocks, Kings and Kokes. I just sold a couple of very small downriggers that would not fit my Whaler with the idea of getting a rail mount model to use infrequently.
Now I'm really wondering if I want to mess with a downrigger again. I don't like them, they are a PITA on a small boat unless you are a dedicated troller, which I am not, plus I try to do almost 100% fly fishing. I'm thinking about some Jay Fair style lead core on a level wind mounted to a fly rod with a modified grip instead.
Maybe you have a suggestion for getting down to those depths at a slow (1-2 mph) troll. I'm pretty sure my Deep Six line won't cut it, above the speed of a slow kick in a float tube.
I haven't tried this for trolling, BUT; to fish deep 50-75 Ft for ling cod I tied a small cheesecloth bag filled with beach sand to my leader. Use 2 # test to tie to leader, so when a fish strikes the bag breaks off. The bait shops in Santa Cruz used to have these bags for 1 cent apiece. Shore casters used them in lieu of sinkers. Obviously you are not casting. But it is environmentally ok, no lead involved, and cheap. I think it might work for trolling as it stayed down when boat was windblown. I was fishing 28 ft of lead core with Amnesia shooting line, 12 # tippet to fly, 2# line to sand bag about 3 ft below fly. You want fly to ride above the bag so only lose bag,not fly, when you hit a snag.
Here is a link to various methods of trolling deep.
I have used the Luhr Jensen Jet Diver for some success in the Sac.
I also have Scotty Downriggers, I use them in the ocean on my 17 Whaler, I made custom mounts made from Starboard on my Whaler to accommodate the downriggers so they are easy to deploy or remove. PM if you want pictures.
Regards Tim C.
I've tried it and frankly, it sucks trying to use a fly rod to get beyond 10-20 ft deep with a fly line. Trolling is its own game- often times esp during the dog days, you'll need to get 50 ft down or MORE, and aside from very long lining, that's downrigger country. If you're bent on recreating the wheel, I get that, but if your gonna go level wind with lead core on a modified fly rod, what the point? Its not going to be castable so all you get it the satisfaction of very light line trolling.
Originally Posted by JAWallace
I use downrigger for deep fishing but pull flies- its as close as you can get to a fly experience. Eagle claw makes a starfire kokanee rod thats 8 ft long, pure glass, and fits a abu 4600 reel- close as you can get imo.
I have a 15' whaler and found mounts for the downriggers that fit to the rails. Easy to take on and off and not hard to fish with. Try finding a mooching single action reel to troll with. Use a glass switch rod or trolling rod without the trigger and you will be able to fight the fish just like a fly reel. Try a hardy Longstone out and troll a fly if you want to stick with the flys.
Last edited by RSK; 08-02-2020 at 04:12 PM.
I fish a compact scotty behind the drivers seat and an electric cannon on the other side. Very manageable with two fishing and easy to remove for fly fishing from the boat.
I like to bring in some meat fish to smoke and this works well for the Kokanee.
Last edited by RSK; 08-02-2020 at 09:17 PM.
I troll for trout and kokanee from my canoe and think running an ultralight rod and a small levelwind is more exciting than using a fly rod. By the time all that fly line is dragging around creating resistance, the fight is more dampened than with conventional stuff. I hate downriggers too, but I think they are the lesser of two evils (over lead core or big heavy fly line) I suppose it is is a little wierd trolling flies on conventional gear, but not any wierder than throwing a small dick nite spoon with my fly rod!
FWIW I use a glass lamiglas ultralight casting/trolling rod and an ambassaduer 4600.
Load an extra spool with nothing but mono. Any fly line will 'ride"up as you troll. You could experiment with
a versi or poly leader at the end of the mono for added depth. Tried this with some success years ago on Fishigan's
Lake Charlevoix. Never got down to the lakers at 80 feet and deeper but did get the occasional steelhead
and brown below 30-feet as measured on our graph. Hope you keep us posted.
Stay safe and keep laughing.
Best to just use a top shot of mono over backing on a fly reel. Depending on the reel the spool can deform or break apart if the mono is reeled on under load. Had a ross reel that the spool expanded and was sticking way out from the frame when the mono was reeled on under tension. 100yrds of mono over the backing would be safer.