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Outriggers and Center Riggers For Fishing

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First The Facts

What species are you fishing for?

The average size of the fish you are pursuing will dictate the size of your gear. You wouldn't fish for shark with an ultra light rod reel combo.

What are you fishing from, beach, dock, pier, personal boat or party boat?

Each location could require a different rod reel combination.

What type of water are you fishing?

Are you in salt or fresh water? Is it in back country where long but low casts are necessary? Are you on the beach were you need to cast long or on a pier were you need to lift heavy fish from the water or are you trolling on a boat. All these factors play a roll in the "perfect Choice" of a rod reel combo.

Rod Reel Choices

There are many, but they can be broken down into 6 classifications.

* Ultralight Spinning

This kind of outfit is ideal for small fish in confined areas. Line from two to six pound test provides a unique fighting experience, and requires some angling skill. Landing even a small fish on this tackle is exciting and fulfilling for all levels of experience.

* Light and Medium Spinning

These are the staples of the spinning category. Line sizes can range from six to as much as seventeen pound test, and the bulk of inshore saltwater fish can be caught using this tackle. They are ideal from an inshore boat, a pier, or the shore, but not in the surf.

* Heavy Spinning

These are the big boys, and this is the tackle you will use in an offshore trolling scenario. These reels are also used in combination with surf rods for surf fishing. Line sizes are twenty pound test and above. Lines larger than thirty pound test are about the largest that can be efficiently used on a spinning outfit. Surf fishing requires a longer rod for the long casts into the surf. Rods of 10' to 12' are best.

* Bait Casting

These outfits are conventional reels, sometimes equipped with a level wind mechanism. Some are equipped with magnets to prevent back lash. They are used for casting artificial lures, live bait and plugs mainly for inshore fishing. Line weights can range from six lb to as large as twenty pound test. Line weights lighter than twelve pound test tend to bury themselves in the spool, and are extremely difficult to clear in a backlash situation. The new braid line such as Power Pro should be used for lighter line casting. Heavier lines are more difficult to cast long distances.

* Bottom Fishing

These are what most party boats offshore fishing boats and head boats use as their mainstay. A five to six and a half foot boat rod with a conventional reel and line from thirty to one hundred pound test makes this an outfit that can take a beating and haul big fish off the bottom. These outfits are not designed for casting, rather straight drop to the bottom from a boat.

* Trolling

This is where you can get into some serious discussions about price and size. Similar to Bottom Fishing Tackle they are a rod and conventional reel and these outfits can sell for well over $1200 each. They are very specialized, and you should not buy one without professional advise.

Our Advice

* On all these combo choices you need to be price conscious. A high price is no assurance that you have the best combo for the job. Try a medium to low cost combo before putting $300 or more into something you don't like or use.

* Reels: Try to find a combo with a reel that has at least 3 ball bearings. Although all reels will feel smooth at first and work just fine for a while, reels with ball bearings rather than brass or plastic bushing will stay smooth and last longer.

* If you fish only occasionally, a cheaper reel may last for you. If you fish a lot, I would buy a reel that has at least five or more ball bearings. Some have as many as ten bearings and their price reflects the higher number.

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* Determine how much fishing you plan to do and spend accordingly.

* Determine where are you planning on fishing.

* What kind and size of fish are you fishing for.

* Then choose the combo that fits with these questions and your budget at the same time.

Fishing From a Boat Is Fun

Fishing is a sport that can be done cheaply by people who do not have a big budget. Really, someone who has never fished before can outfit himself completely for less than one hundred dollars. Now, this may seem like a large about at first, but considering that this initial outlay of cash will keep this fisherman set for quite a few years, it suddenly does not seem so bad. You do not have to stop there with fishing, however. You can spend as much money as you like. You can even make the largest investment there is in fishing: a boat.

Sure, it is cheap to fish from a pier or from the shore, and you can do very well fishing this way. Nevertheless, you are severely limited. You can only move laterally along the shoreline in hopes of finding the fish. However, once you have a boat, you can go practically anywhere the fish can go. This means no more sitting on the shoreline hoping the fish come within casting distance.

When you are going to purchase a boat, you will want to make note of a few details. Since you will primarily be fishing with it, you will want to be sure that it has a live well. Also, make sure it has plenty of storage capacity for your rods and fishing tackle. When you buy your boat, it is always a good idea to get a trolling motor with it. This will enable you to move the boat around with precision in small spaces.

Trolling - The Correct Equipment Is Essential!

Often the fisherman fails to correctly set the rod holders before venturing out to the fishing grounds. Overlooking this small detail can lead to disaster or worse, losing a record breaking salmon. Having rod holders on your boat allows you a hands free environment, to check lines, reset rods, grab the net etc. All are easier when you have this specialized equipment, preferably stainless marine hardware.

First and foremost check each unit to ensure it is secure to either the bulkhead, gunwale or railing. Vibrations from the boat, strain from the constant pressure while trolling and general abuse can lead to a loose mount. A large fish could easily dislodge a holder that is not properly secured. Stainless marine hardware is can withstand the harsh environment of constant trolling.

What is important about the correct set up of a rod holder, Everything!! It starts with the question; where do you want your lines to run? Do you want your lines behind the boat, slightly off the side of the boat or as far as possible away from the side of the boat? For example, Muskies often chase a lure in the wash of the prop. In this situation, you will want to set your holders just either side of the prop wash. When Salmon fishing you want to cover as much water as possible. In this scenario, the rods are set up behind the boat, slightly to the outside and as far as possible away from the side of the boat. The point is, the type of fish you are after could influence where the equipment is staged on your watercraft.

Next the fisherman must consider the angle. Many Muskie fishermen angle their rods down as near to the water as practical, careful not to drag a one in the water. Typical salmon poles are angled about 15 to 30 degrees off the gunwale, pitching toward the back of the boat. Other rod holders are near level with the gunwale when trying to achieve maximum distance from the side of the boat. Dippsy rods are used in this case and the rod holders are generally pointed outward and positioned perpendicular to the gunwale.

Flexible designs such as Whitecap 360/180 adjustable or CE Smith two-way clamp-on allow significantly more options on trolling angles and mounting locations. On the other hand, the flush mount gunwale units are out of the way, unobtrusive, extremely strong and can serve as a means of transporting rods during the run to the fishing site. Bulkhead rod holders are a semi-permanent type which are fixed to a specific spot on the boat. When choosing this style give considerable thought to the location prior to mounting.

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