The offshore fishing opportunities in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are endless. Deep-sea trolling is popular for anglers who have a vessel large enough to withstand rough seas and long runs. In addition, fisherman utilize outriggers for the opportunity to present more baits to fish at the surface of the water. Do you need outriggers on a fishing boat?

What Are Outriggers On A Boat

A vast majority of offshore sportfishing boats are equipped with outriggers. When asked what are outriggers on a boat, the answer is outriggers are poles that extend or retract out of the left and right sides of the vessel. In addition to the telescoping rod, a line and clips are attached, which can be pulled in to connect a fishing line before deploying it back out to the end of the extended outrigger.

 What Is The Purpose Of Outriggers

Outriggers on fishing boats have multiple purposes. First, the odds of catching more fish are increased when anglers are not limited to trolling with one or two lines. Second, outriggers spread the lines away from port and starboard sides. 

Anglers who are limited to only trolling directly behind the boat will be limited in the number of baits dragging in the water. In addition, the fishing line clips to the outrigger, thus expanding the spread of lures behind the vessel. 

The increased width will allow for six or more rods to be trolled and reduce the risk of lines becoming tangled. However, using fishing outriggers requires practice in addition to trial and error by setting the release clips to the proper release tension. When outrigger clips are set too tightly they fail to open causing someone to manually release the fishing line from the outrigger. Clips set too loosely pop free when facing resistance of a wave or small piece of weed.

How Are Outriggers Made

Outriggers are constructed out of carbon fiber, fiberglass, or aluminum. During the process of manufacturing, they are engineered to be telescoping. The total length, when extended, can exceed fifteen feet; however, they reduce down to five feet or less when retracted. 

The poles have eyes attached to them. Eyes are round hollow stainless steel hardware that is meant to guide the line holding the clips. 

Release clips are a crucial component. The release clip connects the fishing line from the rod to the outrigger. Release clips are on a pulley system which raises the line to the end of the outrigger to maximize the spread. 

The clips are adjustable to increase or decrease the pressure necessary for the line to pop free. When the fish hits the bait, the clip opens, and the angler fights the fish directly from the rod and reel. 

Do Outriggers Work

Yes, they work very well to reduce the risk of tangles and increase the number of lures trolled; therefore, your likelihood of catching more fish increases. However, trolling without outriggers is possible but the angler becomes more restricted.

Vessels as small as 16 feet in length can be equipped with outriggers. As a result, small boats will have the ability to troll equally as many lines as large sportfishing vessels.

Take it from us, we added outriggers to a 17-foot center console and found that we increased the likelihood of hooking up to fish. The odds were increased because of maximizing the number of fishing rods used at one time.

Are Outriggers Worth It

When trolling without outriggers, anglers are unable to maximize the number of lines and lures dragged behind the fishing boat. When asked are outriggers worth it, the answer is yes because you can fish more lines simultaneously.

By using boat outriggers, the fishing lines are attached and spread significant distances from the left and right sides of the vessel. The spread allows anglers to increase the number of lines trolled because the side spread is in combination with additional lines dragged directly behind the boat.

The installation of rods to expand the distance and number of fishing poles is not necessary but is beneficial. Investing in outriggers is worth the expense if you are an avid fisherman who will utilize them regularly.

How Much Does It Cost To Purchase Outriggers

The cost is highly dependent on the length of the poles. Remember, fishing vessels have an outrigger on both the port and starboard sides. The cost to purchase two poles ranges between $500 and $1,500.

Keep in mind that that are additional fees on top, the mounting hardware will come at an additional expense. The riggers are attached to T-tops on center console boats or in the gunnels of smaller vessels. Therefore, extra money will be forked out when it comes to accessories. 

When making the investment in fishing outriggers make sure to properly care for the equipment. Fishing boat outriggers require cleaning after each and every use. Improper cleaning results in the formation of corrosion and as a result causes the inability to extend or retract the fishing outriggers.

In addition to proper cleaning, don’t let your money go to waste by failing to lubricate the buttons that lock the outriggers in the extended or retracted position. When fishing boat outriggers become frozen they are rendered useless.

Should You Purchase Fishing Boat Outriggers

The answer to this question is based on how passionate you are about the sport of fishing. Anglers out on the blue water week after week chasing down pelagic fish species must purchase fishing outriggers. The occasional fishermen can get away with trolling a minimal amount of lines rather than investing large sums of money for something infrequently used.