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by cb
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Picture Of The Month

Rockfish on the fly with Drifter2007
by Zee

Kayak downrigger fishing just works - it works even better thanks to Scottyís Depthmaster downrigger. Itís is a well-built workhorse that has no problem handling a big weight and is really easy to operate. Iíve spent over 6 months using the Depthmaster putting it through some of the nastiest to some of the best conditions that Puget Sound and various lakes could muster up and after it all thereís no other way Iíd downrigger fish from my kayak.

The first thing you notice about this downrigger is just how big it is. It has a huge reel, hand crank, mounting base, a long arm and a depth counter. And while those are all impressive features my favorite is itís lever braking system. Deploying and retrieving the downrigger is a one-hand operation. Just pull back slightly on the brake lever and the rig deploys (You do have to thumb the spool a little so that it doesnít go too fast) and crank it up to retrieve. Reeling it in is a breeze since you can stop reeling at any time and the braking system stops it from falling back down. This comes in really handy when youíre trolling and come across submerged obstacles and need to pull your gear up ten or so feet quickly. It also is really helpful when youíre pulling up your gear from one hundred and fifty feet. Being able to just stop and take a breather is awesome.

Now before I go any further you might be asking why would you even want such a large piece of machinery on your kayak anyway? Well, the biggest reason you want to use this product is because of the max downrigger weight it can handle. And the bigger the weight the deeper you can troll, especially when thereís wind and current. Before testing the Depthmaster Iíd been using the Scotty Lake Troller and it maxes out at four pounds. While thatís fine for lakes, where adverse conditions arenít really an issue, it is pretty lightweight for saltwater applications. On the Puget Sound or the ocean you really need a heavier weight to keep you gear deep, where the fish are, and the Depthmaster has plenty of capacity. Iíve tested different weights with this downrigger and six pounds works best. Itís heavy enough to get down to the right depth but not too heavy that it affects your kayakís pedaling/paddling characteristics too much.

Because of its size one thing you do need to think about seriously is where to mount it on your kayak. It is an important decision for many reasons. So for more on that check here: http://www.northwestkayakanglers.com/index.php/page,32.html. I ended up mounting the Depthmaster on my tackle/livewell and strapped it down tightly to the kayak. Since the downrigger is behind you the boom mounted rod holder isnít effective anymore so I removed it. I mounted a Scotty rod holder in front of me so that I can see if thereís any action going on or for the quickest reaction when a salmon pops it off the downrigger clip. Essential in any barbless fishery.

So if you want to go deeper and make kayak downrigger fishing a TON easier to do, definitely check out the Scotty Depthmaster.

My rigging:
6# downrigger weight w/ fin
Replace DR wire with 60# Sufix Performance Braid
Silver Horde Snubber in between mainline and DR ball
Scotty power grip downrigger release
Remove rod holder

The Depthmaster at work

Comments *

1) Re: Product Review: Scotty Depthmaster Downrigger
Written by weimarian on January 03, 2013, 06:28:41 PM
Ya, the lake troller is as advertized.. for lakes... I use the depth master on my 14ft whaler clone. Never thought to use it on my yak. Remember! switch to braid !!!! Steel line will start to dump you as soon as your weight snags. Braid cuts easy as you start to panic. Weights are cheaper than poles and tackle
2) Re: Product Review: Scotty Depthmaster Downrigger
Written by Trident 13 on July 14, 2016, 03:49:20 PM
Getting ready to set up a scotty on a Ocean Kayak Trident 13, should be a similar setup, nice to hear it works for you.  I was a bit surprised at 6 lb. ball, although pleased to hear it.  I was going to start with a 10.
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