Great Lakes Fishing

Electric Downriggers

1/12/23 @ 10:49 AM
User since 7/20/09

I'm debating going from manual to electric downriggers.  I'm curious if people use an additional battery for them or do you just hookup to your main starting battery?  I can't really use my trolling motor batteries since that's not a 12 volt system.  I do run a kicker so it would be charging a little bit from that.

My other question is that I would stack lines on one rigger.  Is that easier to do with a slower retrieve vs a quick retrieve of the ball?  I saw quite a difference in speeds between Big Jon and Cannon for instance.  I was thinking I'd like it to be a little slower, but I have no experience with a downrigger that comes up very quickly either.

Displaying 1 to 12 of 12 posts
1/29/23 @ 8:55 AM
User since 7/19/03

I enjoy my electric Big Jon's.  They go up and down at a nice controlled speed.  Fast enough for me.  If I stack a rigger I always use the rigger opposite the kicker motor.  I feel like I should get the  extra line away from kicker motor propeller.

I have an 18.5 foot boat.  3 people is a nice number for room and number of baits for my fishing pattern.  3 people in Wisconsin allows for 3 baits per person or a total of 9 baits for trolling on lake Michigan.   I would normally run 2 riggers, 2 dipseys, 4 boards for a total of 8 baits.  I like symmetry and balance.  But...if fish are hitting riggers I will stack on 1 rigger for my max total of 9 baits for 3 people.  I never use sliders.  I want to know what depth I have my bait at.  With sliders, its just an approximate of the depth of your bait and a little more hassle when retrieving or resetting your pole.

1/16/23 @ 5:55 PM
User since 7/20/09

I have an AGM 31 starting battery and 9.9 Pro kicker, so it sounds like I'm fine with the battery.  Kind of figured, but I like to be safe out there.  I like the idea of a jumper pack, I actually just got one for my snowmobiles recently because they didn't have pull start on them.

I'm basically starting fresh.  I fished Lake Michigan when I was a kid through early 20's, then I moved to the northwoods.  Now I'm looking to get back again.  Last summer I took my boat out of Algoma and we let my son catch all the fish.  He never did it before and had a blast, so it got the bug going.  I didn't stack lines last year, but bought 2 rods to do so this year.  I updated most of my rods and reels as they were pretty old, down riggers are next in line.  Pretty sure they are late 80's/early 90's.  They were my dads and were collecting dust the past 20 years.

Thanks for all the input, I'm going to start checking out the different brands.

1/16/23 @ 11:03 AM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02

That's why they make so many different types, I've run them all and Scotty is at the complete bottom of my list. Free fall the weight to set the depth and the belt driven retrieve are things I don't care for.

1/15/23 @ 12:52 PM
User since 2/23/16

Look into the Scotty downrigger.. I have ran all the manufacturers out there I liked the Scotty the best..I ran one separate battery just for the riggers.. 

1/13/23 @ 7:07 PM
User since 4/12/03

All the standard speed downriggers are fine. I really would not go with the high speed ones. Unless you get the downriggers that have slow stop and start. You can have enough jolting around when the ball stops at the depth you are fishing. Or at the surface. With the high speed ones. 

1/13/23 @ 6:59 PM
User since 4/12/03

I Always use the starting battery. Make sure you use a resettable breaker right by the battery. The other thing is what size is your starting battery. With the electroni load on boats today. I use Agm size 31 multipurpose battery’s. If you are using a size 24 battery. I would upgrade to a bigger size. Plus like someone else posted. Does your kicker output power. If it does not And you do not use your electronic motor to steer. You can hook up downriggers to the trolling battery’s. If you have a multiple24 volt or 36 system. If you only hook up the positive and negative wires to one battery. You will only get 12 volts. Unless you are using a lithium 24 or 36 one battery setup. I do like the tip up boom magnum metals downriggers. I have one traxtech soft stop and start downrigger. It is really nice. But the prices have gotten way up there.

1/13/23 @ 1:11 PM
User since 3/26/19

I run 2 Big Jon electrics on my ranger. powered off my main battery. no issues ever. 9.9 pro kicker

1/13/23 @ 12:42 PM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02

There will be times when a stacker gets to the tip of the rigger even when you are trying to pay attention. What are you running for stackers? A rigger with an ultra smooth clutch will take some of that concern away for you, it will just slip rather than damaging gear. That's one of the reason I mention Magnum Metalz, amazing clutch.

They also have two different speed motors, get the slower of the two and they are still plenty fast and easy to control.

What year, make, model of kicker do you have to see how many amps it outputs? I've run then off my main battery before and never had an issue with T8 kicker or 9.9 Mercury. Does it have pull start or electric only? Buying a $70-$80 jump pack can be great insurance against a dead battery and take up almost no room. All my boats have always had one onboard in season.

1/13/23 @ 9:43 AM
User since 7/20/09

Thanks guys.  Yeah I understand line counts and all that.  I'll be checking out different brands for sure.  I stack now on manual riggers when fish are deep, but I guess I was a little worried about hitting the button on an electric and jamming the stacker release into the pulley if I'm not paying attention or it comes up faster than I realize.  Maybe I'm overthinking it though.

You guys all run them off your main battery?

1/12/23 @ 9:13 PM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02

Magnum Metalz, made right in Illinois. Simple and customisable quality.

Magnum Metalz

1/12/23 @ 5:10 PM
User since 4/10/15

Lakeshiner, Not sure where you are going out of but if in Wisconsin, running a slider or stacker on a rigger, it counts as a second line. Some states allow that but not Wisconsin. When pulling the riggers up you typically pop the rod off the release and reel it in prior to pulling the ball up, I would give my vote for Cannons vs Big Jon. 

Displaying 1 to 12 of 12 posts

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