Using Stackers with Downrigger Trolling to Increase Catch Rate

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Action StackerHere is a video about a stacker… a device that I use on my boats when trolling with down-riggers or dipsy divers for salmon and lake trout.

The video covers most of it, but here are some key points to review: (see the video below first.)

  • If the bite is good, these are not worth the time to set out. I mainly use them when the fishing is slow and I need to set out more baits.
  • The dual-lock snaps that I use are for the size of lake trout and salmon that we typically catch. If you are catching 20 lb + king salmon, a number 4 snap would be recommended. I use 20 to 25 lb fluorocarbon leader line, but heavier may be better depending on the size fish.
  • A ball-bearing swivel may be used instead of the 6 bead chain.
  • A ball-bearing swivel may be used instead of the dual lock snap, then tie the other end of your leader directly to the stacker device, just make sure it’s small enough so it doesn’t dampen the lures action.
  • When lowering your set-up, with the stacker line, you need to go more slowly than with only one line, so they don’t tangle. If they DO tangle, you won’t know until you pull your lines up, then it’s too late and you’ve wasted your time dragging useless baits.
  • The stacker line WILL wrap around the main line when you catch a fish on the lower downrigger bait… BUT, is pretty easy to unwrap when you use a short lead. I suggest a 3 foot leader. To unwrap, I just quickly unsnap the lure, then pull the main line tight and “flip” the stacker line around to unwind it.
  • I use these for deep trolling on Lake Superior, but they could be used on inland lakes for any kind of fish that may be suspended.
  • These stackers are made to be clipped on to monofiliment lines… not braid or steel. They will wear out a stacker in one use because they are made to slide down the main line which cuts them up. If your dipsy rods have steel or mono then use a different method of stacking baits.

I hope these tips help, now get out there and “Go Get ‘Em!”

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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