How Fishing Boat Outriggers Work
Fishing boat outriggers are essentially long poles, also referred to as antennas, that are installed on both sides of your boat to hold fishing lines. With a system involving pulleys and clips, they allow you to operate your fishing lines, reeling them in and releasing them as and when necessary.
What Materials Are Outriggers Made From?
Most fishing boat outriggers are made from one of two different materials, carbon fiber, and aluminum. While aluminum has been a long-time staple, carbon fiber outriggers are gaining popularity. Carbon fiber outriggers are preferred by many experienced and professional sport fishermen because they are incredibly lightweight, strong, and durable. The other advantage of carbon fiber outriggers is they offer greater protection against rust and corrosion.
Benefits of Using Outriggers on Your Fishing Boat
Outriggers are used when you are utilizing the trolling method of fishing. Although this form of fishing is possible without them, many fishermen use them because of the distinct benefits they offer.
Prevent tangled fishing lines: Ask anyone, if you don’t have the experience yourself and they will tell you that one of the most annoying and frustrating things that can happen during deep-sea fishing runs is tangled lines. When you use outriggers, you can set up several lines at the same time, covering a wider area of the water without nasty knots and tangles.
Cover more water: Outriggers are designed to extend out from either side of your fishing boat, you are naturally covering a larger area of the water at the same time.
Keep bait out of whitewater: While your boat is moving, it creates whitewater, often referred to as a wake. You will find that fish are clever and avoid swimming too close to fishing boats because of these streams of very turbulent water. When you use outriggers, though, you can place your bait further away from where the water is still and clear.
A better view of the fish: Whitewater is also known to make it trickier to see the fish you are trying to hook. Again, because outriggers enable you to place the bait further away, you have a better and clearer view of a tracking fish. This often results in a greater number of successful catches.
Tips for Choosing the Best Outrigger Mount for Your Boat
As there are many outriggers out there to choose from, if you are new to this piece of fishing equipment, it can be overwhelming. To help make things a little easier, we are going to highlight four tips for choosing the best and right outrigger for your vessel.
T-Top and Hardtop Hand Clearance Can Make a Difference
It depends on what you prefer – if you are looking for an outrigger to adjust from underneath the top, you need to think about the design, shape, and mold of the top and how much hand clearance is necessary when you need to adjust the base.
Does your hardtop feature a unique and custom mold? This may mean standard rotation handles are not going to work. You may be better investing in a mount that has a 30-degrees offset handle as this will provide more hand clearance underneath the surface of the top to make it easier and safer to adjust.
Make sure you can rotate the handle outwards: You may find it hard to believe, but some boats have tops that make it virtually impossible to turn the outward rotation handle of outriggers. If you have such a boat, you may need to invest in an outrigger mount that has a 180-degrees handle facing fore rather than aft.
Gunnel options: If you can’t install outriggers on your boat top, or you are looking to avoid drilling into the hardtop, there are alternative options that may work. Outrigger rod holders are a cost-effective alternative. Outrigger rod holders, also known as outrodders, fit into gunwale rod holders and allow the rod to sit out wider and offer the same benefits as standard outriggers.
Location is vital: Before you even choose and install the mount for your outrigger, you need to look at the hardware that is already installed on the top of your boat to make sure you will have enough room. You also need to think about whether or not the other top-mounted equipment and accessories you have will interfere with the poles of the outrigger.
More Questions? Check Out This Video on Outriggers
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