So you’re thinking about heading out to do some deep water trolling for lake trout, walleye, steelhead, or salmon, but you don’t own downriggers and you really don’t want to spend all that money for downriggers. Guess what? You don’t need to spend all that money for downriggers you can get down there using divers like Luhr Jensen’s Dipsy Divers or their Jet Divers. Divers like the Dipsy Divers allow you reach depths up to around 70 feet just by having the correct trolling rods and reels with line counters to count out your line to reach those depths. Got your attention now?
If you plan to fish with Dipsy Divers you’re going to need some rods and reels that are specifically designed for fishing with Divers. Dipsy Diver rods are 9 and 10-foot rods and the reels are level wind line counter reels. The rods and reels combos can cost around $80 to $200 depending on what you want to spend, I always go the cheap route for my Dipsy Diver combos and have had no real major problems yet. (Knock on Wood) The combo I use is the Okuma Classic GLT trolling rods, which cost around $34 bucks, and the reel I use is the Okuma Magda 30DX line counter, which costs around $40 bucks. So here’s the break down on the rods and reels I use.
Dipsy Diver – Rods & Reels
2 – 9 Foot Okuma Classic GLT Dipsy Diver Rods
2 – 10 Foot Okuma Classic GLT Dipsy Diver Rods
4 – Okuma Magda 30DX Line Counter reels
One of the big tricks you can do to increase your depth and fish catching using Dipsy Divers are to use braid. I wouldn’t use anything but braid when fishing with Dipsy Divers and the braid I prefer is 30lb PowerPro. I get the spools with 150 yards on them then use 30lb Stren Big Game for backing. To connect the 30lb backing to the 30lb PowerPro I use an Improved Albright knot to link the two lines together.
30lb Power Pro – Moss Green
30lb Stren Big Game – For Backing connected with an Improved Albright Knot
Since you’ll be fishing with braid and this stuff doesn’t stretch at all you’ll need to use Luhr Jensen 8 inch snubber to relive some of the stress when a fish hits your lure or you’ll be loosing spoons or crawler harnesses when a steelhead or lake trout takes a whack at your lure. The snubber is a 8 inch piece of surgical tube with a swivel on one end and a snap on the other which is connected behind the Dipsy Diver to your leader.
Dipsy Diver then Snubber then 6 to 7 foot of 17lb test fluorocarbon to snap swivel to Spoon, Crawler Harness, or Floating Rapala.
One of the great things about Dipsy Divers is the ability to set them to swing out out away from the boat using the setscrew and weight underneath the Dipsy. Just loosen the setscrew and move the weight to the left or right depending on which way you want the Dipsy to swing. Here are my settings for fishing 4 rods.
Dipsy 1 – Setting 1 to the Right (Dives almost under the boat) ** 9 Foot Rod towards rear of boat **
Dipsy 2 – Setting 3.5 to the Right (Swings way out away from the first Dipsy) ** 10 Foot Rod in front of 9 foot rod towards front of boat **
Dipsy 3 – Setting 1 to the Left ** 9 Foot Rod **
Dipsy 4 – Setting 3.5 to the Left ** 10 Foot Rod **
The divers with the lower number setting will dive almost straight down but a little away from each other and the ones with the 3.5 setting swing far away from the boat. If fishing with the smaller Dipsy Divers you can use similar settings, I use the larger divers to get down deeper when fishing Lake Erie and the Chesapeake Bay.
You need to have 4-rod holders set on your boat, two on each side. The rod holders I prefer is the Tite-Lok tube rod holders, which are adjustable up and down. The rod holders have to be able to be set out so the rod is straight out from the boat and not up in the air at all. Another great rod holder, which allows you to do this, is the Bert’s Ratcheting rod holders, but they are a little more expensive than the Tite-Lok’s. Here are the positions and locations the rod holders we use when fishing with Dipsy Divers.
Once you’re all ready to fish you need to figure out how deep you want to fish often it seems I’m always targeting fish down 50 feet so I always seem to be using the same settings. My settings for getting down 50 feet are the number 1 setting Dipsy’s out 90 feet and the 3.5 Dipsy’s out 140 feet, which puts me down about 50 to 53 feet. The great thing about Dipsy Divers is that they come with a depth chart which shows you the depth and how much line to let out to get to that depth. When fishing with braid you will get to those depths on the chart with a little less line out due to the smaller diameter and lack of line stretch.
When letting out the Dipsy Divers go SLOW a little at a time, don’t be in a big hurry and just let the line out. Keep your thumb on the spool and let out a little at a time keeping the line tight to the dipsy. This will save you a headache untangling your Dipsy Divers. I always let out the 3.5 10 foot Dipsy Rods first then set them in the back rod holder then put out the 9 foot 1 setting Dipsy Diver in the rod holder towards the back of the boat.
Trolling speed is important depending on what type of fish your targeting. If you’re targeting walleye and lake trout 2.0 to 2.5 mph is going to be your speed. If you’re looking to catch steelhead or salmon bump that speed up to 2.5 to 3.0 mph.
I think that pretty much covers fishing with Dipsy Divers and should get you started getting out there and fishing deep for walleye, steelhead and lakers. Dipsy Divers are a blast to fish with and they won’t break your bank to get out there and do some deep water trolling and are an excellent alternative to downriggers. If anyone has any questions as always feel free to contact me using the link on the top of the page and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
FishingMOZ - Dave