Basics of Using a Downrigger

A downrigger is a fishing tool used to catch fish at deeper depths. It consists of a rod holder, a counterweight, and a line with an attached lure or bait. For many anglers, using a downrigger can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before.

But understanding the basics will help make using the downrigger much easier. Let’s explore how to use this powerful tool.

Setting Up Your Downrigger

The first step when setting up a downrigger is to attach the weight to the line and release it into the water.

Once released, let out the line until you have reached your desired depth. Once that happens, secure the line in place with the locking mechanism that should be present on your downrigger rod holder.

You may also want to use a depth finder so that you can easily determine how deep your line is placed underwater.

Using Your Downrigger

Once your downrigger is set up and ready for use, you can start trolling for fish by slowly moving your vessel forward through the water while maintaining control of your fishing line with the downrigger rod holder.

As you move forward, your lure or bait should be pulled behind you at the desired depth as determined by your line length and counterweight setup. Make sure to stay alert while trolling so that when you get bites on your bait or lure, you are able to act quickly!

If necessary, adjust your speed depending on what kind of fish species you’re targeting- some species prefer faster speeds while others prefer slower speeds – and adjust accordingly based on what type of action (or lack thereof) is occurring on your line while trolling.


Using a downrigger doesn’t have to be intimidating! With just some basic knowledge about how this powerful fishing tool works, anyone can become an expert in no time!

When using one, remember to adjust both speed and depth depending on what kind of species you’re targeting, and keep an eye out for any potential bites on your bait or lure! With these tips in mind, we wish all anglers success when using their downriggers! Good luck out there!

Joshua Hickman

Joshua has a vast knowledge of different types of fish and how to catch them, and he loves sharing this information with others. When he's not writing or fishing, Joshua enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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