View Full Version : Downrigger location once the best way?

07-17-2005, 08:36 AM
I am wanting your input and experience to correctly locate a mounting location for an electric downrigger on a 12 fiberglass boat.

I have not purchased the unit so I can go with any boom length or style at this point.

This is a Boston Whaler style boat, so it is very stable but also almost dangerously, very low to the water in the back, mostly from the 4-stroke and my weight.
The front of the boat could use a little more weight and does well with two or three adults onboard, which is not the case as I fish alone most of the time.

I could build my own mount most anywhere in the boat. I feel more to the front is better if the weight hangs up however, I am aware that puts the line more in line with the motor and sides.

So hopefully someone can give me some help I am new to boating and need all the help I can get.


07-17-2005, 02:23 PM
It's almost an individual thing depending on the configuration of the boat. When I had a fiberglass boat, I built a small mounting bracket of welded aluminum so that I could attach the mount to the floor rather than drill through the fiberglass (this boat was not designed for fishing) and then attached the downrigger to the top of the mount. Just a thought for what it's worth, good luck!

07-17-2005, 02:35 PM
I would mount it close to where you sit to operate the motor. Down riggers don't weight that much to be a factor in where you mount them. Up front would be convenient for a passenger but I wouldn't want to go back and forth from the rear to the front Every time the line came loose or you got a hit or maybe snagged. I have a 14' fiberglass that I fished with for many years. I mounted the dr on the opposite side from where I sat and could reach it real fast when the need arose. If you need some weight in the front you might consider mounting the batt. up front. If you do, use heavy gage wire,10 gage at least, from the dr to the batt. Hopes this helps. ---fish hawk

07-17-2005, 05:21 PM
What is your long term goal? Will this be the one and only downrigger on the boat or are you planning on eventually having 2? With more than yourself in the boat, do you typically fish 4 rods? With 2 downriggers, I like fishing 2 rods on downriggers off the back and fishing my leadcore off the sides. Also, with my particular boat, I don't have to lean out as far to put line in the clip going off the back. With a 12' boat, I imagine you'll have a pretty short boom anyway. The pig tail on the electric units is pretty long. You could always buy an extra swivel base and have 2 mounting locations. I have just mounted my 3rd and 4th downrigger on my 21' boat. The side mounts are only about 3 feet from the rear corner mounts. As part of "once the best way" tell us if there is any long term plan for additional riggers.

07-18-2005, 11:35 AM
Willbilly, just a note on the low back issue... One thing I saw on a boat I was always going to do was to mount a sheet of thick plexiglass on each side of the motor on the back to extend up about 6 inches. This will help keep alot of the water out except around the engine or at least about 80 percent more of it from coming in. My suggestion is to look at a lot of boats with downriggers and ask them. Mine are mounted right behind the first curtain drop about 4 ft from the back. I would say get telescoping booms so you can go out to say 4ft. Some mount them on the sides and some on the back. I have a swimstep and kicker that take up around three feet off the back. Sometimes the line gets close to the kicker on the one side. I dont know how some of these guys can run 4 even with extended booms etc. I would say as far back as possible is my best guess.
2Shakes ;D ;D 8)

07-18-2005, 12:38 PM
2Shakes, 4 is as easy as 2. The key is just keeping the depths staggered.

07-18-2005, 03:26 PM
:)Thanks to all,

2 shakes I am glad to get your suggestion about the Plexiglas. Thanks, I have been thinking the same thing myself and in fact have the Plexiglas already.
It will be a must for this fall and big lakes. I intend to cut out of a full sheet and have considered even raising the motor a little. I get scared about taking a wave over the back.

Well I have committed myself to a Scotty 1099 with a 24 boom, since I am only 56 wide.
I have decided to mount to the back corner, so as to be just next to me. This will let me go off the side or the back in close,and hopefully fish extended past the downrigger with lead or top line from the front of the boat should I have two passengers up front.

Knowing very little about downrigging my last question is how much will I use a swivel base ??? is it worth the $50 bucks or not? How often would I use it, if I had it would you guess.
Regards,to all,


07-19-2005, 08:18 AM
Willbilly, as you described the flexibility of out to the side or straight out the back, the swivel base allows you to make that movement by the simple slip of a pin. Other opportunities of use will be when you are in a boat slip or at the dock (turn toward the back) or even under heavy throttle from point A to point B. Your Scotty might lock in the vertical position so that might eliminate its necessity for getting the downrigger out of the way. Maybe some Scotty guys will chime in. I have Cannons and would be without the swivel base.

07-19-2005, 08:30 AM
Hindrid. Thanks,

I tkink I'll go make a swivel base now. my Father in law made a swivel base 30 yrs ago that worked good with a pin to lock in different spots. I will use a seat swivel and galvy meatel stud scraps with lock pin for mine.


O O Yea. I see a short ball to line distance is said to be good once you find a Koke school. so why not stay short until you find them? do you get a beter search patern with say a 50' legnth?