A few years ago, I noticed at a kokanee derby that some of the guys from California were using a different style of weight on their downriggers. At first glance, one of the cool features was that the weights could be stored in the rod holder on the downrigger. One of my pet peeves in the past had been the weights rolling around while relocating from one spot to another. With the downrigger stuck in the rod holder it solved that problem without having to add any more hardware to my boat.
The second issue that these long tubular weights solve is that they do not become hung up as easily as the traditional downrigger weight or ball. Rock climbers have for years used a method of tying off their safety line called chalking. The idea is that an irregular sized item is placed in a crack of the rock and wedged there allowing them to climb higher repeating the step once again higher up. Now with that in mind, picture your downrigger weight coming up against a stump or a couple of big boulders down on the bottom of your favorite lake. The cable will fit through a crack or between a couple of roots but when the ball touches the crack or a roots, the ball turns sideways making it even wider and wedging it’s self tightly in the crack or in the root wad of a long submerged stump. By the time you figure out that you have hooked the bottom, the forward movement of the boat wedges the weight firmly in what ever object it has come up against.
The tubular weights have a tendency to pull straight through instead of becoming wedged due to their design. I have seen a variety of different models, some made from a section of heavy rebar or a section of shaft from a hydraulic ram with an eye welded on top. Last year a friend of mine; Richard Kennedy made up some of these weights out of galvanized tubing and lead. We fished these weights all over Oregon and parts of Washington last season without loosing one to a stump or rock outcrop. Richard has made up quite a few of these and is offering them for sale through my online store; they come in 8 pound, 10 pound and 12 pound with a swivel attachment point.
You simply snap your release into the ring at the top or use a stacker clip and a release to run your line out. When fishing at 25′ or more in depth, I recommend that you use a setback of no more than four feet to your dodger.
Once these are gone, he tells me that he is not interested in making any more since there is little money to be made for the effort and also because he is retired and not looking to get a real job. If you are interested in purchasing one of Richard’s weights, check these out! Click here
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