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Differences Between Downrigger And Deck Winch


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Hey all,

Been reading this site for a while but never really had to join as i didn't need to ask a question, until now. Firstly let me say (being old school) I really like the postings and general behaviour of the members of this site, refreshing to see things like that which was posted to ross re his loss (i don't even know the guy but felt for him none the less). Secondly it's refreshing to see honest posts and not simple "i don't know but i'll give it a stab", if someone doesn't know they say so and direct to someone who might be able to help". I'm impressed, well done and keep up the good work.

Now that i've loaded the shovel as it were lol, here's my question. I (well dad) has a reefmaster Alvey deck winch (17-18" diameter) and i've been reading a lot about downrigging. Putting 2 and 2 together to get 5 I have just bought my first rod and reel to attempt deep water jigging. All this combined and i thought this winch (or a downrigger) might compliment the fishing styles on board.

But what's the major differences between the two things or are they simply the same idea but a but more refined in the case of the downrigger. I'm up north at coffs so saltwater fishing is pretty much it. Fishing is usually in depths up to 80m (sometimes more when out at the FAD) out of a 18Ft Swiftcraft Explorer half cab glass hull with a 150hp yamaha salterwater series 2. Sorry about the book.

look forward to your replies :thumbup:

Cheers all


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There are major differences between downriggers and deck winches, I'll try and explain:

1) Downrigger - uses wire to lower a heavy weight to a desired depth, it has a quick release device that you attach your line to. Once the fish takes your bait / lure you fight it with your rod and reel, the downrigger at this stage is wound up to avoid the fish snagging on it.

2) Deck Winch - is basically a reel attached to a rail on the boat mainly used for drift bottom fishing. You hook and fight the fish with the winch as opposed to the downrigger where it just gets your bait / lure to the working depth then lets the rod /reel do the work.

Hope this makes it clearer.

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im no expert

but you could give it a crack, would be a cheaper option!

put some really heavy line on the alvey, obtain a weight from the tackle store, use some sort of clip . maybe a bulldog clip from work .

see how you go, not ideal but works the same

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Have just seen this post.

These things are all the same at the end of the day...

Save yourself the cash and use the winch, as CFD said you may need some sort of arm to keep the weight clear of the boat.

I have for a long time now used an alvey snapper reel mounted to a section of (bent) stainless muffler pipe with a single rigging block at the end.

Load your winch up with 200lb braid, buy yourself a bomb and away you go. No need for a release clip... you can use a rubber band as you would an outrigger. As long as your weight is heavy enough you should be able to see it on your sounder (at 50kHz, when the beam is wider), so no need for a line counter.



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