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  1. #13
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    I'll add to this thread by saying the Shuttlehawk is the way to go for stacking two rods on one DR. Why?.. If your top line (shuttlehawk) gets hit or false release, the hawk returns and can be sent back down while your bottom line (at the ball) is still in the water at the strike zone. I have caught many fish on that bottom line while resetting the Shuttlehawk. Including many doubles. With the conventional way of stacking, this cannot be achieved since you must bring up the ball to reset both lines. This to me is a no brainer. Obviously if your bottom line gets hit, you'll have to bring up the ball and reset both. Some days my top line gets hit more often and my bottom line gets to keep on fishing.

    As mentioned by Snowtrout. The shuttlehawk puts off a crisp return so you can see it on the sonar. I will put a bead stopper on my cable about 10 feet up from the ball and that's where the Shuttlehawk will come to rest. With 10 feet of separation, when one line is in the strike zone, so is the other. I have used setbacks from 30 to 200 feet without ever tangling as long as you keep forward motion.

    As far as the wire cutting a groove in the Shuttlehawk tab? This will render it useless and won't retrieve well.. if at all. Sometimes will even break off. I have remedied that by taking a small washer that fits into the recess in the tab, cut a small notch in it and epoxy in place. Some shuttlehawks have a ring installed already.. which is nice, but most that I see on the shelves don't have it.

    Another thing is the Shuttlehawk has flash tape applied so it acts as an attractor. Kinda like a flasher off the ball. I'll even add my own tape using different UV colors. My top line does get hit more often. Could it be the flash that draws them in? Maybe. It certainly hasn't deterred them.

    So that's my reasons for using the Shuttlehawk. Once you get used to this method of stacking, I highly doubt you'll go back to the conventional way. You're increasing your chances to put more fish in the box.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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  3. #12
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    Just want to repeat what another already said: go electric downriggers. Manuals will get old pretty quick, especially if fishing +50'.

    I stack using a shuttlehawk. Drop the first line down with the release off the ball, then attach the shuttlehawk to the wire, then line and slowly allow the shuttlehawk to descend into the depths. I stop letting line out off the reel when I get to my desired depth, according to what my sonar says (the hawk and release will put off a good return your sonar can pick up if set right).

    Great thing about this system, your downrigger rod can be used as the first or second rod.

    One major negative about the shuttlehawk, heavy use will cause the plastic to groove and ultimately break.

  4. #11
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    I run 4 downriggers with my 18í Alumaweld. The forward two are out from the sides extended about 6Ē The rear two are off the corners of the transom. If you keep all the lures the same distance from the boat and stagger the depths, they will all move together on turns, and you can make quite a sharp turn without tangling lines. (Donít let the wind spin the boat however.) Whenever I have tried to mix lead core and downriggers I have tangled lines due to them not moving together on a turn. When I fish with my brothers we are all right handed, so we just set up an order as to who gets the next fish. The person next in line is the netter. When I fish with my friend who is left handed, he runs two reels ďwith the handle on the wrong sideĒ and I run two right handed reels and whoever gets the fish the other guy nets. (I have TR-1 Gold autopilot, so both of us can leave the helm.) When we get a fish usually donít bring up the lines unless it is really big, just go to idle speed until the fish is landed. The lines are down with the balls so they are not in the way. Occasionally a fish will wrap the line around a downrigger cable, but rarely.

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  6. #10
    Senior Member Seon's Avatar
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    I don't stack.

    I run 4 Downriggers, two at the transom and one on each side.



    I instruct the crew that each has a job when fish is hooked. The two on each side are partners so when one hooks a fish the other will raise both weights and bring them in the boat then he'll rotate the side downrigger boom aft to clear the area forward of the downrigger to land the fish.



    The two on the other side also has a job...one mans the net while the fourth mans the helm and turns gradually to which side the fish is on.



    BTW I place a decal number on each downrigger to identify which one has the fish on. Much easier to call the number rather yelling, ďFish OnĒ while pointing at the rod dancing.

    Here's an old picture that shows three of the four DR that was on the FV Reel Kahuna.




  7. #9
    aka sschefer
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    One of the more difficult things about having multiple fisherman on a boat, each wanting their own rod and lure in the water, is to put a hault to that crap right off the bat. You're gonna get nasty feedback but its your boat and you're responsible.

    When your on the hunt it's o.k. to have several rods out but once you find them and find what's working, shift to that on two rods and then give each fisherman a number and rotate. This will prevent the cluster F at the transom when everybody rushes to get their lines clear which often only results in a lost fish. When the next person in line hooks up, he takes the rod and everybody else sits tight. If he calls for the net, the designated net guy does the honors. If the person needs help, the person in charge (aka the capt) does the honors or designates a person.

    Rotation fisherman typically catch more fish than the one stubborn guy that insists on having his own rod and lure in the water.

  8. #8
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingtrout View Post
    Stacking downriggers is an excellent way to accelerate locating the fish both in depth and presentations. When fish are spread out I might fish 4 rods on 2 downriggers all day. Other times it becomes clear that itís one depth thatís producing so Iíll simplify and fish just the two rods, depth and presentations that are producing. Have the other rods in ready reserve with that presentation/color that works ready to go. With 2 lines you can make
    Tighter turns and longer setbacks if needed. Long setbacks okay with 4 lines but youíve got to watch the speed and radius in turns.

    Iíve not used the shuttlehawk, looks interesting. My technique is to have the freespool tensions on my reels so that it takes some tension to pull line in free spool. This way I can set the lower line, leave the reel in freespool without it rat nesting or pulling line, rig up the second line, free spool, lower it and engage each reel and take out the belly in line. Till I learned this the double line dance was a mess. Iíd suggest depths of 10í or greater between lines on same downrigger otherwise tangle city. And a system for which rod is which. For me the forward outboar rod is the shallow. This way if shallow hits you keep the deep in. If deep hits you are bringing it all up anyway so sometimes better to have another angler pull the shallow.

    Vanceís clips and a light release helps keep things clear albeit at cost of some premature releases. IMO better than not being able to get any line released quick.

    Leadcore, dipsy divers, lead, also good tricks- downriggers are not the end all. In the case where itís one depth producing I probably should blow the dust off my tackle like that and the technique. 4 rods one depth Might fill the box sooner. I used to do downriggers and leadcore at pardee for rainbows. The dynamic in water between the two is such that tangles were rare.

    I agree with all above. One trick I've learned is to use reels with clickers. You can turn on the clicker, put the reel in free spool, put it in the rod holder and drop the downrigger without backlashing. Works better for me than adjusting the spool tension, but mostly because I'm lazy and / or forget to reset them. Either method works, but I can backlash a reel by looking at it, and unless you drop your weight way too fast, the clicker is almost fool-proof.

    Just food for thought....

  9. #7
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    Stacking downriggers is an excellent way to accelerate locating the fish both in depth and presentations. When fish are spread out I might fish 4 rods on 2 downriggers all day. Other times it becomes clear that itís one depth thatís producing so Iíll simplify and fish just the two rods, depth and presentations that are producing. Have the other rods in ready reserve with that presentation/color that works ready to go. With 2 lines you can make
    Tighter turns and longer setbacks if needed. Long setbacks okay with 4 lines but youíve got to watch the speed and radius in turns.

    Iíve not used the shuttlehawk, looks interesting. My technique is to have the freespool tensions on my reels so that it takes some tension to pull line in free spool. This way I can set the lower line, leave the reel in freespool without it rat nesting or pulling line, rig up the second line, free spool, lower it and engage each reel and take out the belly in line. Till I learned this the double line dance was a mess. Iíd suggest depths of 10í or greater between lines on same downrigger otherwise tangle city. And a system for which rod is which. For me the forward outboar rod is the shallow. This way if shallow hits you keep the deep in. If deep hits you are bringing it all up anyway so sometimes better to have another angler pull the shallow.

    Vanceís clips and a light release helps keep things clear albeit at cost of some premature releases. IMO better than not being able to get any line released quick.

    Leadcore, dipsy divers, lead, also good tricks- downriggers are not the end all. In the case where itís one depth producing I probably should blow the dust off my tackle like that and the technique. 4 rods one depth Might fill the box sooner. I used to do downriggers and leadcore at pardee for rainbows. The dynamic in water between the two is such that tangles were rare.

  10. #6
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I look forward to getting back on the water for some future experimenting.

  11. #5
    aka sschefer
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    That's 4 rods out the back, two swooper top lines and two lead core out the sides.

  12. #4
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Trolling with a third and fourth rod

    First if you do much trolling I think you will want to trade the manual downriggers in for electric. Especially if you are running multiple rods.
    As far as stacking check out Shuttle Hawks. Do a google search and you can find videos of how they work. They work great and are easy to use once you get the hang of it.
    The key to minimizing tangles when using multiple rods is for everyone in the boat to know what to do when you get a fish on. For example when you get a fish on while you are handling your rod other people may need to reel in the other lines or retrieve the downrigger or what ever. You need a plan and everyone in the boat needs to know what to do and do quickly.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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