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Downrigger Weights – Sizes, Shapes and Uses

Downrigger Weights – Sizes, Shapes and Uses

Good fishermen know the importance of having high quality instruments to help ensure that they are able to not only catch fish, but locate them and bait them as well. There are many fishing techniques that fishermen use to accomplish these things, but one tried and true way of reeling in a big catch is by trolling with a downrigger. Of course, having a strong and dependable downrigging mechanism is just as important as having the right downrigger weight.

Downriggers are devices that function similar to a stationary rod and reel. First,a long cable, generally made of stainless steel, and with a weight and line release attached, is fed along an extension arm and into the water. Instead of simply holding the rod and casting the line, like you might while fishing on a lake for Pike or Bass, the actual fishing line is attached to the release mechanism on the weight. Using a footage counter attached to the reel unit, the weight is then raised and lowered to the desired depth. These devises are generally used by serious fishermen who are on the hunt for the larger, heavier fish like Salmon, Tuna, Trout and others that generally exist a bit deeper below the surface than their smaller counterparts. This is why the downrigger weight is so important to fishermen who prefer to use this method.

The downrigger weight is essentially the most important component of the whole downrigger mechanism. The downrigger weight helps to keep your fishing line at the right depth while trolling, or slowly moving through the water, so that your bait can be found and accessed by your target. As with any key component, having a variety of styles and models to choose from is essential. Not all downrigger weights are the same, and quality is of the utmost importance if you really want to reel in a good catch.

What To Look For in a Downrigger Weight

When looking for the right downrigger weight, it’s important to know what qualities are important. Most downrigger weights are made of metal, so finding a weight that is rust-proof should definitely be a priority if you’re looking for one that will last. There are also a variety of different weights available, ranging from 4 pounds, to upwards of 16 pounds. Which size you’ll need your downrigger weight to be will vary on the type of fish you’re aiming to catch as well as the type of environment you’ll be fishing in. There are numerous resources available if you’re new to downrigging, or are trying for a different species, that will tell you how heavy you need your downrigger to be in order to reach the desired depth. The heavier downrigger weights are also generally only used with electric downriggers and aren’t typically necessary for manual devices. Downrigger weights of about 4-8lbs are usually plenty sufficient when fishing in fresh bodies of water, while weights upwards of 10 pounds are more suited for saltwater fishing.

There are also a variety of different shapes, colors, and styles when it comes to downrigger weights. While it’s not as important a factor as weight and quality, you’ll be better off choosing one that will look relatively natural in the underwater environment as it will be less likely to spook your catch. Choosing a weight that is long and lean, or with a fin shape should do the trick. Colors also don’t matter as much as the weight of your downrigger weight. Though many fishermen will swear by certain colors, this is mostly attributed to personal experience and there is little evidence showing that colors make a significant difference in the end result.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional fisherman, downrigging can be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding fishing experience. With downrigger weights available at most outdoor sporting goods superstores, you can easily find a good selection, and plenty of expert advice and know-how to help make sure you select the perfect downrigger weight for your needs.

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