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Types of lines when fishing with Downriggers/ Dipsey Divers on Lake Erie

Types of lines when fishing with Downriggers/ Dipsey Divers on Lake Erie Types of lines when fishing with Downriggers/ Dipsey Divers on Lake Erie
By Dave Adams

Technology, each day, brings anglers new products, and each promises to be better than the last. Whether it's reels, poles, lures or lines, the disconcerting array can make for a difficult decision. The latter, line, is ever changing and complex. The list, available to anglers, includes: monofiliment, braided, fluorocarbon, fiber, steel, and leadcore.

Which line do I think will provide the best results? For dipsys, I recommend the use of the new lines, such as SpiderWire or Fireline. Unlike monofiliment, braided lines or the new synthetics do not stretch. This will give better hooksets and when it is time to check or change setups, the dipsy is much easier to release.

Let's look at some facts. Braided line, such as SpiderWire, will have a high strength-to-diameter ratio. Line, as thin 10-pound monofiliment, will have a breaking strength of 40-pounds. Also, you might want to consider a line such as Berkley Fireline. Although not a braided line (it is made with a new fiber called MicroDyneema), the features are similar. Conversely, when using Dipsy Divers, combine these lines with the new fluorocarbon leaders and you have an unbeatable team.

The new fluorocarbon fishing lines, such as Seaguar or Berkley Vanish, are polymers consisting of fluorine. They are chemically bonded with carbon, to create a polymer that can be formed by molding, extrusion or other heat processes. Science lesson aside, this line is nearly invisible in the water. And fluorocarbon stretches less than nylon, particularly when compared to wet nylon line (monofiliment), making it much more sensitive.

Capt. Mike Hayes of Hazy Days Charters, explains why he prefers a braided line. "I use 30-lb. test Spiderwire," says Hayes. "Braided lines, or any type of line with little stretch, will allow the dipsy to work best. The dipsy will dive deep and run true. Also, with braided lines, the dipsy releases easily and will last a minimum of two seasons or as many as five seasons."

According to Hayes, one of his favorite dipsy settings, when using SpiderWire, is with the large dipsy. Set it at 1-1/2 and use a lead of 155 feet. Or try the smaller dipsy (size 0) from the planer boards. Set the dipsy at 0, and vary leads between 100 and 200 feet. "When connecting braided line to planer boards, use a rubber band. Braided lines will fray if connected to releases," said Hayes.

When using either the Dipsy Diver or the downrigger to get a lure, such as the worm harness, into the strike zone, it is recommended that lead and depth be varied. Some days the walleyes are high in the water column (top 20 feet) and, at times, as deep as 85 feet. If your equipment allows, start with one downrigger set at 20 feet down and a harness 100 feet back. Set the other downrigger at 40 feet with the harness at the same lead. Set one dipsy (size 1) at 3-1/2 with a 150 lead. Then, with the same setting (3-1/2), set the other dipsy 100 feet back. Once a feeding pattern is found, adjust the other setups. However, have patience; I have gone three hours without a hit - only to have all the lines go off at one time.

Good Fishing,
Capt. Dave Adams

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