Downrigger Setback

One thing that is constantly up for debate is the setback to your dodger from the release clip. Old school is to set back anywhere from twenty feet to fifty feet and more. The truth is, I am seldom more than ten feet back to my dodger and more often than not, no more than three feet when fishing at a depth of twenty feet or more. Kokanee are not ball shy, in fact they are quite the opposite. Putting flashy tape on your ball will have a similar effect to running a ball troll.

I am a big proponent of using a ball troll and seldom will you find me not running one. I like Vance’s blades on the Shasta Flasher Release system. Vance’s blades are far superior to most of the blades on the market today and come in true gold plate. I wonder just how long they will be able to produce blades with true gold plate, with the price of gold these days. The added flash given off by the ball troll will greatly influence and excite the bite.

By running your dodger so close to the ball, you can make sharp turns to stay in the fish without having to spend precious fishing time untangling lines that become wrapped around downrigger cables because you are running a long set back.

Really the only time that I will run a longer set back is in the spring while long lining and even then I seldom go back more than forty of fifty feet. To me, it is much more effective to have the ability to turn quickly and go right back through a school than to have to take football field sized turns trying to avoid the tangles. An added benefit of running close is that you know exactly at what depth your presentation is at.

Here’s what I want you to do now …

  • First, in the comments section below, lets hear about your downrigger preferences… Note that I will delete links that do not pertain to the topic.
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See you in the comments!

Kent Cannon

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About Kent Cannon

My passion is fishing and hunting as well as traveling throughout the Northwest and writing about those adventures. I was separated from my job a few years ago due to the still ongoing economic downturn. I had spent years working, focusing on things that really were not near and dear to my heart all the while scrambling and climbing to what I perceived as the top. I of course did not realize what I was doing, because I was caught up in the moment, focusing on what I thought was the American dream. Crashing and pushing ever forward like a Lemming headed for a cliff, oblivious the world around me. I was more than a little bitter over loosing my job; it was a good job as far as jobs go and I was making a lot of money so I could live according to the manner in which I wanted to be accustomed. In the process of trying to find another job in an unfavorable economic climate I found something that I had left behind many years ago. I found me! That is how and why I started this website, looking for myself and sharing things that I found along the way. Even though I am older now, suffering a little from arthritis and my hair is now somewhat graying I still have fire in my belly for the next adventure. The more that I seek out my next adventure, the more excited I become!

One Response to Downrigger Setback

  1. Ron Bosmans says:

    One other factor that I consider when determining the setback length is the depth of water I am fishing over. If I am fishing over relatively shallow depths,
    10 – 15 feet, and using a kicker motor to troll, I use a 40 – 50 foot setback. A boat trolling over this water may tend to spook the fish away from the boat. The longer setback allows them to return to where my lure is trolling.

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