I have been digging around various tackle boxes and came upon some tackle I used years ago on the Columbia River in Washington in the 1970's.
Back then we utilized a rig that involved 50 lb. test line to a three way swivel much like a pump handle, but with the following changes. The main line, (back then it was mono, today I would use braid) attached to one ring on the three way swivel, a lead ball was hung on the second ring of the swivel on a dropper about 24" long, and a 3 ft. length of from 80 lb. - 200 lb. mono acting as the leader was attached to the 3rd ring of the swivel. This short length of heavy mono was attached directly to a flasher or dodger set up.
The idea behind such a rig was that the ball (10 oz. - 24 oz.) and heavy mono lead created an effect much like an extremely short drop back from a down rigger ball yet the presentation could be placed well back from the boat. The various weights of balls combined with speeds determined your depth. It is similar to a pump handle, with the biggest change being the very heavy mono lead somehow changing the action of the flasher/dodger set up.
We had down riggers on the boat but it was felt the above described rig day in and day out produced riggers.
Does or has anybody utilized anything like this on Lake Michigan????