Saltwater Fishing Home PageTM


Tackle Shops
Charters & Guides
SW Reports
Surf Fishing
SW Flyfishing
SW Fishing
SW Boats for Sale
Striped Bass
Boat Ramp
Texas SWF
Florida SWF
Fishing Access
Fishing Cats


SUBJECT: # 36246: Need help in stringing up an outrigger

Submitted by Anthony M from TEXAS on 10/22/01 10:51:00 PM

I am installing a pair of 18 foot aluminum outrigger poles. The bases are being mounted on the sides of my radar arch. Can you describe for me the correct method of stringing up the outrigger line, fishing rod line snap, and the tension cord for the line. If there is a website which pictures such a set up that would also be helpful. I plan to fish one, maybe two lines on the outrigger. One to begin with until I get practiced with it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. Anthony

  1. 10/23/01 9:33:00 AM Submitted by Capt Ron ( from MASSACHUSETTS says outriggers

    You can use either heavy black mono or cord. I prefer to use outrigger cord (I think is its 1/4” Dacron) with a barrel swivel attached on one end. The barrel swivel must be just big enough to lace the cord back through the other open ring on the barrel swivel, but pass the cord through a snap swivel before running the cord back through barrel swivel. This allows you to use the barrel swivel like an adjustable belt buckle to make the outrigger line tighter or looser. Run the cord through a glass eye or pulley and then up the rigger. Pass the cord through a cork float or plastic outrigger stop and then tie another snap swivel on the other end. The snaps will allow you to change outrigger releases with ease.

    You didn’t mention if you wanted tag lines or not. If so, you’ll need to get some tag line returns. I hope this helps.

  2. 10/23/01 9:39:00 AM Submitted by Capt Ron ( from MASSACHUSETTS says one more thing
    as far as tension goes, just make them tight enough so the cord is tight and the release clip won't twist or flip around as the boat is bouncing. You don't want to put a real bend in the rigger.

  3. 10/23/01 3:09:00 PM Submitted by Captain Buddy ( from FLORIDA says Rigging the rigger
    Good advice from Capt. Ron.

    My rig is similar, but I use a elastic "snubber" made by Tigress to keep the line tight. Try West Marine catalog or web site.

    Also, since the snubber has a block and pulley built in, I use a Ronstan Series 19 block on the outboard end of the pole. Don't overlook the cork ball. It will prevent the whole thing from jamming.

  4. 10/23/01 6:13:00 PM Submitted by Thom ( from WEST VIRGINIA says Lots
    There are so many ways to do it and you'll just have to figure out what works for your boat, style of fishing, rigger mounting location, and every other varialbe you can immagine.

    I use mono on mine rather than the Dacron. I like it better myself. I use 300 or 400 pound Ande and crip it. I prefer this to knots in Dacron. I also use large Sampo and clips at each end of the line for connection to the release clips. I use glass eyes held in place by simple bunji cords with stainless ends. Out on the riggers themselves I've found that additional guide rings help and they are readily available in any size you might need through the catalog folks. I also use roller ends, made by Perko, at the rigger tips. These things are worth their weight in gold in my opnion - even though a set only costs a couple of bucks. Our poles are also 18' and we run two lines off of each. The short rigger line is run through a very small Block (Harken model 224 - $5.99 each from Boat US) held in place out on the rigger via the eye on a regular guide. The roller here is even better than the roller out on the tip. As for clips, I am adamat that Trip-Ese are the only ones worth having on the riggers but others prefer AFTCOs and some prefer clips by either Rupp or Blacks. I would avoid any of the clothes pin type clips if I were you simply because they are more prone to abrading line. As to the actual rigging - nothing to it. After a year or two of constantly changing the way you have them set up you'll finally stumble on exactly the right combination for your rig ......


  5. 10/23/01 6:55:00 PM Submitted by Anthony M ( from TEXAS says Thanks to all ........ One more question??
    I think the next step is to take and place the outrigger poles on the boat, and then work with all the suggested parts and see how it all works. May I review with you the stringing up procedure of the parts, and ask that you correct or make some suggestions for improving the setup.

    1. Run the outrigger line, in my case, a 1/4" black nylon line, through the eyes with the pole stretched out in its normal functional position. 2. On the upper end of the string and pole, place the cork ball first on the string, then a swivel and clip tied on the line. To the clip, place the line release clip on the upper eye of the clip. Then place another swivel and clip to the lower eye of the line clip and before tying on the lower end of the rigger line place the roller attached to the stretch cord. 3. Attach the clip on the stretch cord to a fixed point on the boat, then tighten up the nylon rigger line through the lower swivel clip for enough tension, then cut and tie the rigger line.

    Does this procedure appear correct? Thank you for your assistance and patience with me. Anthony

  6. 10/23/01 7:22:00 PM Submitted by willg ( from ALABAMA says You got it Anthony
    But before cutting, remember that the line tension will be different when the outriggers are extended than when they are upright. Alot of boats use two different places on the boat to attach the bungee clip to compensate. Others use a small cleat underneath the gunnel with a small hole in the gunnel to compensate for the difference (the bungee clip attaches to a line that goes through the gunnel). A select few are able to get the proper tension in the the running and extended positions (the bungee itself makes up the difference). My point is don't cut the tag end, until you've measured both ways.


    P.S. You're right in your rigging, that is if you don't want glass rings/metal barrels with automatic retrieval and drop back lines (with the snap swivel on the end of the drop back). The advantage of drop back lines is that some people don't like the extended drop back when the line pops from the tip of the rigger. The drop back line compensates for that time. I've only seen drop backs used with #64 rubber bands wrapped around your line 4-7x as your line release "clip." After the drop back, the weight of the glass ring/barrel runs the drop back line back to you (so the mate doesn't have to manually bring the outrigger clip back from the extended position to the gunnel). One disadvantage is that you loose some of your spread width with drop backs.

    The way you will rig also has its advantages. You can adjust the height of the line pull (farther out the rigger is higher). As you switch from downwind to upwind, etc., your baits will run differently. Sometimes the effect you are trying to get with your baits is better with a higher angle of pull, and somethimes it's better with a lower angle, depends on the conditions and the baits.

    Hope this helps.

  7. 10/23/01 7:37:00 PM Submitted by Thom ( from WEST VIRGINIA says Yep

    that's how I'd do it. On those stops, I use hard foam floats of the type you'll find on bluefish rigs. I put red ones on the Port side and green ones on the Starboard side. The reason is that it identifys which pole is which when I remove them from time to time, so I can stick them back in the right holes. Also, using the foam stops you can push them down so they partially cover the swivel (while still letting it do its job) which allows you the fullest extension of the line. Oh, I didn't mention this but I use separate glass eyes for the long and the short rigger (carry spares if you use glass eyes, they break from time to time). That allows me to attach the long rigger's line up high and the short rigger down at the gunwale. This works for me, might not for you. Anyway I was going to suggest to you that you just take a long walk around a couple of marinas and just look at all the possibilities, and look and look and look. I'll guarantee you that you get some good ideas that way.


  8. 10/24/01 10:47:00 AM Submitted by Anthony M ( from TEXAS says Thanks Gentlemen for your assistance.
    My gratitude for your generosity in sharing your insights; I will begin by a "looking" trip to some marinas, then set about the rigging of my poles.

  9. 10/26/01 12:51:00 AM Submitted by capt_dalton from ALABAMA says Know it's a late response but...
    Thom has a great suggestion, walk around a well inhabitted dock and look at the different variations. I ended up using the Barrel swivels to terminate through. 1) They allow for adjustment between running and trolling tension on the rigger lines. 2) You can adjust tension during trolling with heavier baits.

    One draw back to using the barrel swivels. At some point, some Yahoo is gonna crimp down the barrel swivels with pliers to keep it from slipping because he can't figure out how to tighten/loosen it while trolling and when you go to put it back up, there will be no slack to let out, unless you left some spare tag line, when you go to put it in the upright position. Using this method, use bowline knots (with nylon or cotton lines) and leave a tag line unitl your crew understands how it works.

    I use this on 22' Rupp riggers with two release clips on each. Pulley on bottom and eyes in the middle and top of the rigger. Don't forget the cork on top.

Go to next message
Go to previous message


To post a followup to this subject use the following form:

(Sponsors/Supporters only)

Email Address (mandatory for non-subscribers and non-registered users!):



Advertising/Sponsor Information

Copyright © WMI, Inc. 1995-2017. All rights reserved.
This message board created and maintained by: WebMasters International, Inc. (WMI) address mail to

WMI disclaimer
Privacy Statement