When fish are holding at specific depths, a the best downrigger is the perfect option to cover a lot of water and keep your bait drifting naturally in the feeding zone. Whether you are off the coast or trolling around your local lake, there are downrigger models that will fit the criteria you need to be more successful on the water.
In this article, we will look at several downriggers, both manual and electric, that are quality pieces of equipment and are proven to provide reliable performance on the water.
What is the best downrigger?
Here is a quick preview of a few that we will consider in this post:
- Cannon Uni-Troll 10 STX Manual Downrigger
- Cannon Magnum 5 ST
- Scotty Laketroller
- Scotty 1106 Depthpower
- Cannon Mini-Troll
Let’s take a closer look at each one…
The first to make our list is the Cannon Uni-Troll 10 STX Manual Downrigger. Because it is extremely easy to use not only is it one of the best options, but possibly the best manual downrigger. Don’t take my word for it, let’s look at some specs.
The Uni-Troll 10 STX uses a one-handed clutch deploy operations that make it incredibly easy for precise bait positioning that is further aided by a precise 3-digit line counter that is easy to adjust and reset. This downrigger is easy to mount and comes with a low-profile swivel base. It weighs in at 33lbs with dimensions of 39.4″x 15.8″x 19.7″.
It’s a durable downrigger with a heavy-duty extendable boom that can be adjusted between 24 and 53”. It also has an integrated rod holder and comes pre-spooled with 150 lb steel cable. We also like the closed pulley system at the end of the boom that helps keep the line from slipping.
This downrigger has a 2:1 retrieval speed that is incredibly fast for a manual rigger. You will also notice that the manual retrieval is smooth and almost effortless. This is a great all around manual downrigger that can handle up to a 20lb weight making it very versatile in the depths you can fish effectively.
Are you looking for the best electric downrigger? Cannon Magnum 5 ST may be just what you are looking for.
The Cannon Magnum 5 ST is an electric model that comes with a waterproof power cable connector and a saltwater resistant design. It has a 24” stainless steel boom that also uses a closed pulley system to aid in keeping the line from slipping. It is extremely easy to mount with its swivel base and also allows more versatility when fishing.
This downrigger features an incredibly fast retrieval speed with 250ft per minute. Setting the depth and switching to retrieval mode is simple with the downrigger and only takes a simple flip of a switch. The 3-digit mechanical depth counter is easy to read and set for quick adjustments when the fish are feeding at different depths.
It also features a start-stop technology that will stop the weight at the waterline during retrieval and keep is from dinging up the hull of the boat.
This model has a built-in rod holder and is pre-spooled with 250′ of 150lb test stainless steel cable. This particular model has a 20lb weight capacity, and itself weighs only 23lbs.
A great manual downrigger option for smaller water vessels is the Scotty Laketroller Manual Downrigger. It is extremely easy to use though it lacks some of the features common in other downriggers.
This Laketroller downrigger has a 10lb weight limit, but that is more than enough weight to get your bait down in lakes and rivers where smaller vessels would be used. This downrigger comes with a stationary mount that you might want to replace with a swivel base for more versatility.
Though simple and lightweight (2.3lbs), it is a durable downrigger with a 12” stainless steel boom. The spool comes with 100’ of 150lb stainless steel cable though it does not come with a line counter. You will need to attach one yourself or mark the line cable in some way so that you know how much line you are putting out.
The retrieval speeds for this model is approximately 1’ per turn that has a one-handed operation. It also has an excellent clutch on the spool, but heavier weights can sometimes cause it to strain.
For small vessel fishing where you don’t need to use heavy weights, this is a great downrigger option, and it is light on the wallet.
Could the Scotty 1106 Depthpower Downrigger be the best downrigger? Let’s take a closer look…
This Depthpower model from Scotty is a heavy-duty electric downrigger that is great for big fishing rigs and weighs only 22.2lbs. It also draws a low amperage that will conserve battery life. It features a 60” heavy duty boom that can collapse down to 36” when not in use. It also features an integrated rod holder on the boom.
A pedestal swivel base is included with the downrigger and is easy to install and gives you a lot of versatility for mounting and positioning. The swivel base allows 360-degree rotation and can lock down in 16 different positions.
The retrieval speed for this downrigger is 235ft/min for a 7lb weight and 203ft/min for a 15lb weight. Depth control is also a breeze with a positive drive depth counter that can smoothly lower weight to desired depth. Switching from depth control to retrieval is simple with a toggle switch, and retrieval can also be carefully maintained with a multi-position auto stop to keep the weights from banging against the hull of the boat.
The Depthpower comes pre-spooled with 250′ of 150lb test stainless steel cable. It’s a fine and extremely useful piece of equipment, especially when downrigging is one of your main methods of fishing
The Cannon Mini-Troll Manual Downrigger is another great option for those looking to downrig on smaller vessels. It’s extremely lightweight at only 1lb and can use up to 4lb weights without having an issue with the clutch. The downrigger uses a built-in 2 ½” C-clamp mounting base that is perfect for small water vessels.
This model uses a horizontal manual hand reel and brake that works seamlessly when used with the proper weights and you shouldn’t have an issue with line slippage. This model comes pre-spooled with 100ft of 120lb test stainless steel cable.
This model comes with an integrated swivel head depth counter that is located at the pulley system on the end of the boom. While it functions smoothly, you do need to keep an eye on it coming loose after several uses and be sure to tighten it back.
There is an accessory kit that includes a line release and rod holder, but it is sold separately. This is an affordable option for a quality downrigger to mount to your small boat.
A well-built and quality downrigger gives you a huge advantage when fish are localizing at a specific depth in the water column. They can keep your bait drifting naturally and allow you to cover large amounts of water quickly.
We have provided five models of both electric and manual downriggers of various sizes that will cover your fishing needs and are guaranteed to perform above your expectations on the water.
What do you think is the best downrigger? Please share with us your thoughts in the section below.