How a Downrigger Works – [Exclusive Information 2023]

Do you have any idea about the downrigger? As a fishermen, you should must know what it is and how a downrigger works. We usually use the downrigger while fishing in the deep sea. It is one of the most important devices for the fishermen. 

You can get more catches by using a downrigger. It helps to keep the bait at a specific depth below the surface of the water. It also keeps your line tangle-free and makes the bait more effective.

In this content, I’m going to share with about the downrigger, it’s benefits,  and how it works. So, without furthermore discussion, let’s get started!

What is a Downrigger and How does it Work?

What is a Downrigger and How does it Work

If you are a new fishermen who is first time heared about the downrigger, don’t worry, we will try to explain it as simple as possible. A downrigger is a device that is used to help lower and raise baits or lures to specific depths while fishing. 

How does it Work?

It consists of a winch, line, release clip and weight. The winch is mounted on the boat and the line runs through it. The release clip attaches the line to the weight. This is usually made of lead. The weight is also connected to the lure or bait. 

When you lower the device into the water, the weight pulls the fishing line and bait down to the desired depth. This is work well for trolling as you can target specific depths where fish are known to congregate. 

It also allows you to keep your bait in the strike zone for longer periods of time. The bait is constantly moving, it is more likely to attract fish. Downriggers are a great way to increase your chances of success when fishing.

Types of Downriggers

You have almost know what is a downrigger & how it works. It’s time to know about the different types of downriggers that are available in the market. There are basically 2 types of downriggers. Let’s have a look:

1) Manual Downrigger

If you love to fish in the old-fashioned way & want to do things manually. Then manual downrigger is the best choice for you. These downriggers are quite inexpensive & easy to operate. You just need to crank the handle in order to lower or raise the weight.

Can i use a Manual Downrigger for controlled depth fishing rods? There is a simple answer “No”. The main reason is that you can not control the speed at which the weight is lowered. So, it is not possible to maintain a consistent depth. To do that you must use Six to eight pounds weight & you have to be extremely careful while lowering the weight.

2) Electric Downrigger

Nowadays, most of the anglers prefer to use electric downriggers. They are quite easy to operate. You just need to push a button in order to lower or raise the weight. If you haven’t any budget problem, then we will highly recommend you to buy an electric downrigger. Electric downriggers are available in two different types. 

Portable Electric Downriggers

These downriggers are quite light in weight & easy to carry. So, you can easily take them from one place to another. You can use them in your boat or on the shore. Portable electric downriggers are the best choice for those anglers who love to fish in different types of water bodies. 

Fixed Mount Electric Downriggers

As the name suggests, these downriggers are fixed in one position. So, you can not carry them from one place to another.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Downriggers

Everything has it’s own pros and cons. If you are a beginner then it’s quite important to know. As a beginner, these will help you determine if downriggers are the best option for you. So, let’s check it’s useful side and drawback:


1) The first advantage of downriggers is that they help you to fish in deep waters. If you want to catch fish that are in deep waters, then you need a downrigger.

2) Downriggers also help you to fish in areas where there is a lot of currents. The downrigger will help you to keep your bait in one place so that you can catch the fish.

3) Downriggers also assist you in fishing in locations where there are a lot of waves. If you are using a downrigger, the waves will not affect your bait as much and you will be able to catch more fish.

4) Another great advantage is that downriggers help you to catch bigger fish. Use the downrigger to target the bigger fish and you will be able to catch them with ease.

5) This is also great for people who want to catch fish for their dinner table. With the help of a downrigger, you will be able to catch bigger fish. You can also sell the fish that you catch with the downrigger.


1) The first disadvantage of using a downrigger is that it is quite expensive. If you are a beginner, then you might not want to spend so much money on a downrigger.

2)  Another disadvantage of using a downrigger is that it is quite heavy. You might find it quite difficult to carry the downrigger, if you tried to carry it before.

How to Use a Downrigger?

How to Use a Downrigger

If you haven’t minimum knowledge about the downrigger, then this section is for you. In order to use a downrigger, first of all, you need to attach it to the fishing line. After that, you need to lower the sinker into the water. And finally, you need to bring up the fish. Now let’s discuss each step in detail:

Step 01: Attach the downrigger to the fishing line

In order to attach the downrigger to the fishing line, you need to first find the release clip on the downrigger. After that, you need to open the release clip and then thread the fishing line through it. Once you have done that, you need to close the release clip.

Step 02: Lower the sinker into the water

After attaching the downrigger to the fishing line, you need to lower the sinker into the water. In order to do that, you need to find the crank on the downrigger. To find the crank, turn it in a clockwise direction. As you turn the crank, the sinker will be lowered into the water.

Step 03: Bring up the fish

Once you have lowered the sinker into the water, you need to wait for some time so that the fish can get attracted to it. Then, after that, pull the fish out of the aquarium by turning the handle counter-clockwise. By turning the crank, you will bring the fish up to the surface of the water.

These are the three steps that you need to follow in order to use a downrigger. Now let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a downrigger.


Downrigger Maintenance

To keep your Downrigger smooth, you should keep it under maintenance. We will reveal some maintenance that can help you keep your Downrigger greased. Let’s have a look:

1) First off, you should check the cables often. Make sure that they are not wearing out or cracking. If you find any of these problems, replace them immediately.

2) You should also check the handles for any wear and tear. If you find anything wrong, replace them immediately.

3) You should always clean your Downrigger after fishing. This will prevent rust from forming on it.

4) Don’t forget to keep your lines in good condition. Replace them when they break or become worn out.

5) If you don’t want your Downrigger to rust, spray it with a protective coating. If you do this regularly, it will keep the metal from oxidizing.


Finally, I want to say for the beginner that if you don’t have a good understanding of how a downrigger works, you are going to have a hard time catching fish. If you want to become an expert fisherman, then it’s essential to understand how a downrigger works.

“Learn First and then Earn”. Don’t skip over the basics. Get a good understanding of how to use a downrigger, and then go out there and catch fish!

So, guys, now we are at the last paragraph of this article. I hope you found it useful and helpful. If there is any question, please ask me in the comments section below.

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