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Fishing Tips & Techniques




How do I reset the counter on my downrigger?

  1. Open lid. Rotate the spool slightly so that the counter star is between nibs on counter plate.
  2. Spin the counter back with your fingers.
  3. Rotate the spool again so that the counter star is again aligned with the nibs.
  4. Or, if counter is off by a lot,
  5. Cut off the downrigger weight snap and tape tag end to the spool. Turn the spool (by hand or power) until the counter is reset. Thread downrigger wire through fairlead/pulley and re-crimp weight snap to wire.
  6. Note: tight or squeaky counters can be remedied by an application of mild household cleaner (never solvents) to gear. Turn a few times with your finger and wipe clean.


How do I use the emergency crank handle on my electric downrigger?

  1. Disconnect power to the downrigger.
  2. Move the latch on the top of the downrigger to the “unlocked” position and tilt the cover open. Remove cover and set aside upside down to contain parts. Note: if your weight is light enough and there isn’t too much line out, you will be able to retrieve your line by simply turning the spool by hand).
  3. Lift the emergency crank handle off the locating shaft and pull it off the nut.
  4. Lift the drive belt off the spool gear and put it in a secure place.
  5. Slide the non-forked end of the emergency crank handle into the slot on top of the spool gear at a 45 degree angle. You will now be able to crank up the wire line using the emergency crank handle.
  6. As the lead weight is being retrieved the counter pressure plate assembly will spin with the spool. Therefore, rotate the counter pressure plate so that the star wheel on the counter does not interfere with the pins on the spool gear. Adjust the counter reading by spinning the star wheel clockwise.
  7. Reinstall the removed parts. Rotate the counter pressure plate assembly so that the arm that supports the emergency crank handle is aligned between the shaft, locating the counter under the cover window. Top nut should be left flush with top of bolt, not tightened down. Lift the emergency crank handle over the locating shaft engaging its hole onto the shaft.
  8. The emergency crank handle must always be securely in place when the downrigger is in use under power, as it assures correct alignment of the drive unit. Make sure the lid is down and locked before connecting the power.


Why doesn’t Scotty use a power down feature on electric downriggers?
We at Scotty believe that gravity does a pretty good job of taking your weight down, so why use precious power to do it? Our clutch brake system allows you full control and a smooth descent. Scotty downriggers have easy one-handed operation.

What are the little plastic beads on my cable for? Can I remove or move them?
Those are stopper beads, which trip the auto stop switch to stop the downrigger when retrieving on the auto function. They can be removed or placed in any position you choose, but always make sure there are stopper beads in place to prevent your terminal gear from hitting the pulley. Check stopper beads regularly to make sure they are holding their position on your cable and have not worn to the point that they slide.

How do I attach a self-locationg snap?
Hold the snap upright in your hand, with your thumb on the part with two wires and your fingers wrapped around the part with the single wire. Squeeze the single wire so that it moves through the loop formed by the two wires. That loop should look much like a little duckbill. Hook this duckbill loop over the downrigger cable and then release your grip. The single wire pinches the downrigger cable in the top of the duckbill loop and holds it there.


How do install a new downrigger snap/terminal tackle?

  1. Make sure cable is threaded through auto stop, fairlead/wire guide, Black Box contact sleeve (if present) and pulley assembly.
  2. Push thimble onto swivel at end of snap. Thimble is optional but provides a wear spot for the cable and prevents kinking/fraying at the snap.
  3. Thread the bumper (small hole towards swivel) and two to three crimps onto the cable (in that order).
  4. Run cable over the thimble (and through the swivel) and bend back towards the downrigger end of the cable.
  5. Slide the cable back through the crimps in the direction of the downrigger and allow about 1” of tail end beyond the thimble.
  6. Holding cable tightly over the thimble, slide one crimp up to the end of the thimble. Crimp to make a tight loop over the thimble. If not using a thimble, leave about a ½” loop before the first crimp.
  7. Crimp the second crimp at the end of the tail—about 1” from the first crimp.
  8. Slide the bumper down the cable and pull it firmly over the crimps to meet the thimble. The crimps will embed into the bumper and allow it to slide over them.


How do I respool my cable?
Remove old cable by holding back brake handle and pulling cable off. Please dispose of used cable in an environmentally safe manner. Put new spool of wire on a screwdriver shank or something similar and use a glove to hold the cable steady as you wind it back onto the spool. Use the power of an electric rigger to wind the cable on. Be sure to run the cable through the fairlead for even spooling and keep the cable controlled at all times.


What size cannonball should I use?
Your cannonball size will vary according to downrigger model, gear used and conditions. Heavier is not necessarily better. View comparison charts in our downrigger section of the website for recommended weight size.

Why does my weight come up to fast and break away from the HP Downrigger?
The Scotty High Performance Downrigger is equipped with a high speed, high torque motor. Extra caution should be observed when jogging your downrigger weight near the surface. When retrieving your weight near the surface you may want to apply the brake while pressing the jog button at the same time. This will help you retrieve the weight at a slower speed.
NOTE: This should only be done for the final few feet at the surface when you wish to lift your weight out of the water.


How do I fish two lines at once on one rigger

A Scotty downrigger allows stacking of two lines on one downrigger which is particularly convenient when fishing deep to avoid tangles from two downrigger wires. There are two ways of doing this. Two rods can fish on one downrigger wire, or two lures can be set up from one rod on one downrigger wire. Be sure to check your local regulations--in some areas it is illegal to fish multiple lines.

Two Rods:
Set up the first lure as usual in its release clip. Use extra line stops or a self-locating snap to attach a second snapper release onto your wire about 10-15' up from the first lure. You now have two lines trolling 10-15' apart, which effectively covers more area to find the fish. Keep lines from two rods on each side of the downrigger wire to avoid tangles when a fish hits.

One Rod, Two Lures:
Set up the first lure as usual in its release clip. Pull a belly into the monofilament line and clip it into another release clip about 15-20' above the first one. The second set up (conventional leader/lure) is snapped onto the belly with a stainless steel snap (not self-locating). When a fish hits, the top setup will slide down the line and the belly will disappear, leaving you to land the fish without extra gear in the way.

How does the auto stop switch work?
The auto stop switch works like a little gate. You must have stopper beads on your cable. When the stopper bead passes through the auto stop switch, it will shut off. There are two basic functions on the Scotty auto stop switch. The green momentary push button allows you to control the retrieval of the cable for short distances or jogging to adjust the depth. The auto control (by turning the ring around the green button) allows you to have hands free operation. Simply turn the ring to auto and let go. The auto stop switch will automatically shut off when the stopper beads pass through. You can set stopper beads at any location along your cable for custom stops, but remember that you will have to reset the switch after each stop to continue retrieving cable.


How do I attach the terminal tackle to braided downrigger line?
CLICK HERE for a simple step by step "how-to" on tying a Palomar knot when attaching your swivel to any of our Scotty braided downrigger lines.