With a host of brands on the market and different types of downriggers, we have compiled a list of our top five downrigger that all boast of great features.
The Cannon uni-troll is a manual downrigger that comes with a telescopic boom that extends between 24’’ and 53’’ and a universal mounting base. It comes with an ergonomic crank that delivers a 2:1 retrieval speed, a uni-line release, and rear-mounted dual axis rod holder. It is very easy to use with its one-hand clutch deployment and boasts of excellent depth control.
- Manual operation.
- Quick retrieve speed, easy to mount.
- Telescopic boom design.
The Scotty 1101 Depthpower downrigger is an electric downrigger that features a 30’’ stainless steel boom and a 16-position universal mount. It comes with 250 ft. of 150 lb. cable, easy to use controls including a one-push line release, and boasts of low power consumption. It also includes a Rodmaster II rod holder mounted on the boom, can generate retrieve speeds between 203 to 235 ft. per minute at 15lbs. and 7 lbs. respectively, and comes with an ergonomic non-slip grip for easy adjustments.
- Convenient electric operation.
- Includes cable among other accessories.
- Low power consumption.
The Cannon Magnum 10 TS is an electric downrigger that comes with a telescopic boom adjustable between 24’’ and 53’’ lengths and boasts of a powerful 250 ft. per minute retrieval at 20 lbs. weight. It comes with easy to use controls, boasts of the unique positive ION control for effective luring, and comes with IP68 rated connections. It also comes with a 360º rotatable swivel base and a universal mounting base for easy setup.
- Superior retrieve power.
- Comes with positive ION control.
- Waterproof and easy to set up.
The Scotty 2106 downrigger is a tournament-grade electric downrigger that comes with a 36’’ to 60’’ telescopic boom and is pre-spooled with 300 ft. of 180 lbs. stainless steel cable. It comes with a digital line counter, a high-performance clutch brake, and a steel-reinforced rod holder. It also comes with a line release button, a swivel mount, and delivers unbeatable retrieving power.
- High performance, includes heavy-duty line.
- Very versatile to different boats.
- Excellent controls, quick-retrieve.
The Cannon min-troll is a manual downrigger especially suited to small boats and is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It comes with a unique horizontal reeling action, 100 ft. of 120 lbs. stainless steel cable, and a direct 1:1 retrieve speed. It also comes with a C-clamp base, a swivel head depth indicator, and 4 lbs. weight capacity.
- Compact and very easy to mount.
- Great for small boats.
- Easy to use, highly durable.
Fishing Downriggers Buying Guide
When trolling with a lure, the forward motion creates a lift on the lure which without a weight, will bring it back up to the surface. With a downrigger, however, the attached weight ensures your lure stays below at depths normally inaccessible and offers a great variety of target fish you can catch.
Our buying guide reviews the best downriggers on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in a fishing downrigger before you make a purchase.
Manual vs. Electric
The first factor you want to consider when choosing a downrigger is the type you want to go for. Fishing downriggers come as either manual or electric models, each with its pros and cons. Manual downriggers give a more hands-on feel of the trolling experience and are generally great for shallow to mid-depth trolling. They are also very affordable and don’t require any power source. Electric downriggers offer the advantage of very convenient operation, high retrieval speeds, and are great for trolling at great depths. They are, however, more expensive, need an external power source, and need more frequent maintenance than manual models.
Size and Boom Length
Another important factor to consider is the size of the downrigger you are going for. This will depend on factors like the size of your boat and the depths at which you want to troll. The smaller your boat and the shallower you want to troll, the smaller the downrigger you want to go for. The size directly reflects the weight, and a heavier downrigger will add to the overall weight of your boat, and if excessive can affect the balance of your boat.
Another important factor to consider is the length of your downrigger’s boom. Like the weight, the smaller your boat, and the shallower you want to troll, the shorter the boom should be. If the boom is too long, the weight of the cable and pull of a large fish can give enough leverage to tilt your boat or in the worst case, cause it to capsize.
The mounting options of the downrigger is another important factor to consider. Downriggers come with anything from basic clamp mounts in smaller models to larger swivel mounts. The ideal downrigger should grant as much freedom as possible and should be easy to dismantle when needed. It should also be tough enough to handle high stress without wobbling.
Another important criterion to consider when choosing downriggers are the included accessories. Your downrigger should come with a universal rod holder. Ideally, it should also come with a line counter to allow you to know the depth at which you are trolling. It should also come with a clutch brake to slow down the release of the cable and should include a highly sensitive release clip that will open when a fish takes the bait.