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Rocket Launcher - Shotgun Rigger


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Hey Raiders,

So with the lockdown in effect it has given me the opportunity to tackle some of those fishing related workshop projects I have been planning for a while.  

In the past I used to troll with 4 rods and achieved a good spread and separation using side mounted rod riggers.  However, since experimenting with a 5 rod spread I have found the shotgun lure running down the middle has been the most productive.

The following picture gives you a view out the back with 5 rods in action:

image.thumb.png.7a2891f51f14b5ec0ed578d14169c1b8.png

The only problem being the 5th rod has cramped the line spread, and even though I'm running different lengths there is the increased possibility of a tangle when making turns or if fish takes a run. I didn't want to install outriggers - they just seem to create a lot of additional hassle - but I thought if I could raise the shotgun line higher it would give me the separation I was after - hence the birth of the "rocket launcher shotgun rigger" concept.

So being the DIY type guy, I used a defective 27mhz  aerial, some old spare guides, a length of 30mm PVC tube and left over flow coat resin to create this baby:

image.png.8dfc40ef2077f6db127d9c6d06eac901.png

I have a fixed length of  100lb leader that runs through the rigger which hangs within easy reach so that it can be quickly clipped to the line, before being hoisted up. The leader ends in a crimped loop to which I attach the release clip. This is what it looked like in the drive way trial test raised at half mast !.... 

image.png.bfff50700a945e07ac3356c0a8e61e40.png

The release clip itself was yet another project. I wanted the clip to be made from materials I had on hand and to allow me to release or retrieve line so that the lure could be positioned correctly on the following wave. The picture above shows an early prototype - using a 200lb leader loop - which failed miserably - 3 pulls on the braid and it had almost cut through the 200lb mono... 

But below is the clip design that I have settled on - works great in the drive way - but still needs a blue water test.

Materials: clothes peg, and a length of stainless wire rescued from a broken coffee plunger and bent to my (patent pending) design below.

The stainless wire is threaded onto the 100lb leader loop so it can slide freely, and the loop is threaded through the peg.

image.png.5005350a623a8674788065feb3512f5f.png

The stainless hook is passed around the troll line and clipped in place by the peg. Troll line can be fed in and out, but it takes quite a strong tug to release the clip and free the troll line.

image.png.73615c6fcd5234c948ae684d443ed1bc.png

Well, the Rocket Launcher Shotgun Rigger is now built. Ready for the water test. I'll post how it performs once I get back out on the water.

Cheers Zoran

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Don't waste your time with a release clip. Just use a piece of dacron and tie a simple granny smith knot to your elastic band that has been wrapped around your line 10 times. For 10 and 15kg i just tie the dacron through a single loop in the band, for 24 i go through both loops.

With the length of the tag line on your shotgun rigger have it so that it is almost directly above the rod tip or slightly behind to reduce drop back

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21 minutes ago, New Signing said:

Don't waste your time with a release clip. Just use a piece of dacron and tie a simple granny smith knot to your elastic band that has been wrapped around your line 10 times. For 10 and 15kg i just tie the dacron through a single loop in the band, for 24 i go through both loops.

With the length of the tag line on your shotgun rigger have it so that it is almost directly above the rod tip or slightly behind to reduce drop back

Thanks @New Signing,  I use the elastic band approach with my downrigger.  In the trolling case I did want to be able to feed the troll line in and out to adjust the lure position so I could not figure out how to do that with the elastic band approach.

Cheers Z

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15 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Thanks @New Signing,  I use the elastic band approach with my downrigger.  In the trolling case I did want to be able to feed the troll line in and out to adjust the lure position so I could not figure out how to do that with the elastic band approach.

Cheers Z

Thats the main issue with using the band. There is no real answer to it. Im going to swap mine over for roller trollers for that very reason. Problem is i need four of them and the good ones are about $100 each and i have many other boat things to spend cash on at present lol

Edited by New Signing
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3 hours ago, New Signing said:

Thats the main issue with using the band. There is no real answer to it. Im going to swap mine over for roller trollers for that very reason. Problem is i need four of them and the good ones are about $100 each and i have many other boat things to spend cash on at present lol

Yup $400 pays for lots .... I'm going to stick with giving my peg-clip a solid go on the water. It allowed line to be fed in and out in the drive way test. Just need to confirm it will hold the varying load of a skirt or popper making its way through the waves. 

The peg has two small holes. The lower hole (closest to peg mouth) provides lower tension, the upper provides more tension - so I have some built in adjustment. If that does not prove enough the fallback is to use an elastic band to add to the peg spring tension. Anyway, it's something to play with.

BTW, if I get it right, you're welcome to offer me way less the $100 per clip !  Bahahaha .... remember patent pending !!!

image.png.c2027b1ab44b5015859ea50ee31704af.png

Tight lines!

Zoran

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2 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Yup $400 pays for lots .... I'm going to stick with giving my peg-clip a solid go on the water. It allowed line to be fed in and out in the drive way test. Just need to confirm it will hold the varying load of a skirt or popper making its way through the waves. 

The peg has two small holes. The lower hole (closest to peg mouth) provides lower tension, the upper provides more tension - so I have some built in adjustment. If that does not prove enough the fallback is to use an elastic band to add to the peg spring tension. Anyway, it's something to play with.

BTW, if I get it right, you're welcome to offer me way less the $100 per clip !  Bahahaha .... remember patent pending !!!

image.png.c2027b1ab44b5015859ea50ee31704af.png

Tight lines!

Zoran

lol thanks for the offer mate but i finished using pegs many years ago when i used to use them to flatline lures. I actually added a stainless spring into the peg to add the tension required to troll lures with them. 

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Looking at the setup drop back is going to be a problem maybe 2 metres or more once or if the clip  releases.  The shotgun rigger May need to be stiffer and angled toward the rear of the transom to effectively activate the release clip and hook the fish  Don’t skimp on release clips could make or break your day.  Hafco roller clips work. Even though it sounds expensive we spend much more to make the adventure to happen. Need every possible advantage to get the results.

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1 hour ago, Smobaby said:

Looking at the setup drop back is going to be a problem maybe 2 metres or more once or if the clip  releases.  The shotgun rigger May need to be stiffer and angled toward the rear of the transom to effectively activate the release clip and hook the fish  Don’t skimp on release clips could make or break your day.  Hafco roller clips work. Even though it sounds expensive we spend much more to make the adventure to happen. Need every possible advantage to get the results.

Yup great feedback!  I was worried about drop back until I did the driveway test. My observation was that the rod rigger didn't release until the rod rigger tip almost touched the rod - that was a pleasant surprise !

It implied the rod rigger managed the hook up and handed over to the rod with about 30cm drop back.  I'm hopeful it worked out just right - but the ultimate test is the blue water hookup.

I'll report back positive or negative.  Worst case it's kept me busy and consumed in my hobby for a few hours in lockdown - how bad can that be?

Cheers Z

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  • 5 months later...

Quick update.  Finally got the chance to test the Rocket Launcher Rigger with @61 crusher and @kingie chaser ... here's a very short clip... it definitely helped ease the congestion in the spread....

Deployment was pretty easy. Let the lure out. Clip on the peg release. Retrieve the rigger line to hoist up the fishing line. We could let out or retrieve line to adjust the position on the wave.

(note - on hoisting the rigger bent down to almost kiss the rod tip, then slowing raised the line - this suggests that on a strike it will hold tension until the peg touches the rod tip and releases - HOPEFULLY !).

IMG_4251.thumb.JPG.dc2db7f4bc873d7adfc63e7b7e44d4d9.JPG

Unfortunately we did not get a strike ... but overall I am even more optimistic now that this will work !

Cheers Zoran

PS - Now that the basic operation principles have been validated I'll focus on a more effective way to manage/secure the retrieved rigger line.

 

 

Edited by zmk1962
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Dropback could be a problem on strike-why dont you just run the rod from the rocket launcher? 5 lures is over kill in general , by the time you position them correctly its rarely worth the trouble. Good rule of thumb in a small boat is crew +1- so 2 POB=3 lures etc. I do have outriggers on my boat but the best use for them is trolling skipbaits. Anyway to solve your return issues you need a tagline setup-this will also solve the dropback issue

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53 minutes ago, PaddyT said:

Dropback could be a problem on strike-why dont you just run the rod from the rocket launcher? 5 lures is over kill in general , by the time you position them correctly its rarely worth the trouble. Good rule of thumb in a small boat is crew +1- so 2 POB=3 lures etc. I do have outriggers on my boat but the best use for them is trolling skipbaits. Anyway to solve your return issues you need a tagline setup-this will also solve the dropback issue

Nothing like seeing an angry marlin come flying into the spread before dropping back on the shotgun only to look up and see the line around the tip.............. bad times.

Not to mention getting a loaded 15kg outfit out of the rocket launcher in my my old boat was tough enough let alone this one

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got ya on that one but as far as i can see Zoran is trying to run 5 lures with no outriggers which to me is pushing the proverbial uphill- anyway he needs a tag line return - that drop back is an issue 

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1 hour ago, New Signing said:

Not to mention getting a loaded 15kg outfit out of the rocket launcher in my my old boat was tough enough let alone this one

Exactly the issue .... for a start you need to be 6' plus just to be able to stand on the deck, reach up and touch the rod with one hand¬† (that was why Crusher and I invited KC onboard - at least one deckie had to be tall enough to place rods there !!!¬†ūü§£). But then¬†¬†to remove the rod under load with one hand - maybe the likes of Arnie in his prime would have had a shot ....¬†

1 hour ago, PaddyT said:

got ya on that one but as far as i can see Zoran is trying to run 5 lures with no outriggers

Paddy please look back at my original post, and the first picture i posted. The picture shows the two outside rods are at 90 deg to the centre line of the boat (running on rod riggers).  I get a pretty good spread with 4 rods and have not had issues. However I have run 5 for a while now with BETTER strike rates. Infact last time trolling around the FADs the dollies did not strike unless I had the shotgun out in the spread.... but even then they took the LH or RH corner  ... beats me why  the 5th got them going- but maybe the 5 look more like a school to them.

The 5th rod shotgun runs way back ... but does increase congestion on turns or in the event of a strike on the shorter running lures... by lifting the shotgun line higher out of the way I am pretty much back to my good 4 spread ... you can see how much higher the line sits above the other lines in the short video. Anyway there's no harm in playing around with this approach. I don't fish comp, there's no trophy at stake.

Drop back is a concern as with any outrigger set up ... but as I have said above the rod rigger under load holds line tension and flexes down until it nearly kisses the top of the rod - if the clip releases at this point the drop back/handover to the rod is just inches.  

BTW, the clip held up trolling a 7" skirt 9-14.7km/h and allowed us to let out and retrieve line and position the lure on the wave.

I now just need a solid strike / hookup to validate my clip release..... and I'll keep tinkering!

Cheers Zoran

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42 minutes ago, zmk1962 said:

Exactly the issue .... for a start you need to be 6' plus just to be able to stand on the deck, reach up and touch the rod with one hand¬† (that was why Crusher and I invited KC onboard - at least one deckie had to be tall enough to place rods there !!!¬†ūü§£).

Hopefully in the future I can contibute more than¬†what you could just get out of carrying a couple of yellow pages or a milk create.......ūüėü.....................ūü§£.

 

While I dont have to much experience on the spreads it was certainly doing the job in the change of direction department.

 

The way it triggers could possibly be simulated in some way??

To pre test the theory maybe & check what weight the triiger will release & how it would react??

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16 hours ago, PaddyT said:

got ya on that one but as far as i can see Zoran is trying to run 5 lures with no outriggers which to me is pushing the proverbial uphill- anyway he needs a tag line return - that drop back is an issue 

I can certainly see what you're saying. I'm not sure how much more spread we get running tag lines than what he is getting with the rod at 90 degrees. Going in a straight line would be fine but if the time comes where you are needing to turn tight thats where you really need the spread

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14 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

Hopefully in the future I can contibute more than¬†what you could just get out of carrying a couple of yellow pages or a milk create.......ūüėü.....................ūü§£.

Hahaha ... you are worth way more than a crate and a couple of yellow pages .... plus you make better conversation !  Also you are a quick study and mastered the electric reel in no time ... so no issues with your contribution - in addition to your highly valued greater reach !

14 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

The way it triggers could possibly be simulated in some way??

To pre test the theory maybe & check what weight the triiger will release & how it would react??

I did my best to simulate a pelagic strike/run in my drive way test .... it worked there. It's just going to be a trial an error thing out on the blue. 

36 minutes ago, New Signing said:

Going in a straight line would be fine but if the time comes where you are needing to turn tight thats where you really need the spread

Yup. That's the concern. Personally I try and avoid tight turns and prefer a gentler curve - I find going wider also doesn't spook the school as much ... I've had a newbie at the helm execute some tight turns out of excitement to return to the strike zone - which resulted in some shouting and prompt tuition - fortunately we have survived those -  largely because the lures all run at different lengths. Fortunately we did not have a take during the turns as well. 

Cheers Zoran

 

Edited by zmk1962
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Sometimes the turn can induce a strike as the lures action changes. You'll also be pretty safe the way you are if you run cup face and bullet style lures. If you start putting swimmers and plungers in the mix than there may be issues.

A mate of mine runs a deep diver on the shotgun and has a crazy success rate finding random yellowfin with it. When i've tried it i always find it results in tangles

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21 minutes ago, New Signing said:

You'll also be pretty safe the way you are if you run cup face and bullet style lures.

Pretty much what I typically run. Cup face and bullet style skirts. Resin heads out back and metal heads in the corners.

23 minutes ago, New Signing said:

A mate of mine runs a deep diver on the shotgun and has a crazy success rate finding random yellowfin with it. When i've tried it i always find it results in tangles

Interesting !!  I've never really run a mix of skirts and hardbodies as I was always worried about tangles from the different actions. 

But then again I am not that experienced in trolling - and I'm no expert by any measure. 

Cheers and thanks for the pointers.

Zoran

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A few things to help with trolling spreads-if you cant turn sharply and i mean sharply you are going to miss opportunities-case in point last year out on the shelf i spotted a nice blue finning down current in front of the boat- spun 90 and got the lures in front of his face and got the bite- dropped him 30 seconds later but thats another issue- i would still maintain that without riggers you are better off with less lures in the water- as for getting more bits from micro dollies on the FAD -i would say thats neither here more there- a lot of the time a " dead" running skirt like a bullet or a PAkula Uzi run way out the back in clear water will get bites from smaller fish when other lures are ignored. I would still say that to miss less fish you will need someway of eliminating the dropback on your current set up- a tag line is my suggestion. Final comment-i do often run a minnow in the spread-usually a Halco laserpro and its always in the long corner position. its their when im in wahoo or mackeral country and seems to get the bites rather than them chewing my nice skirts-they will also catch tuna.

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18 hours ago, PaddyT said:

A few things to help with trolling spreads-if you cant turn sharply and i mean sharply you are going to miss opportunities-case in point last year out on the shelf i spotted a nice blue finning down current in front of the boat- spun 90 and got the lures in front of his face and got the bite- dropped him 30 seconds later but thats another issue- i would still maintain that without riggers you are better off with less lures in the water- as for getting more bits from micro dollies on the FAD -i would say thats neither here more there- a lot of the time a " dead" running skirt like a bullet or a PAkula Uzi run way out the back in clear water will get bites from smaller fish when other lures are ignored. I would still say that to miss less fish you will need someway of eliminating the dropback on your current set up- a tag line is my suggestion. Final comment-i do often run a minnow in the spread-usually a Halco laserpro and its always in the long corner position. its their when im in wahoo or mackeral country and seems to get the bites rather than them chewing my nice skirts-they will also catch tuna.

A little off topic but last year we were running a pretty standard marlin spread on the way to the shelf we done a couple quick laps of the fad. in the Short corner I had a 14 inch pakula wombat i think, long corner was a large sprocket in evil, long rigger was a medium sprocket in lumo, short rigger a small purple cup face probably pakula to i think and then on the shotgun a smallish bullet style. We could see the dollies coming flying through the spread and grabbing the large sprocket everytime. They were cruising straight past 3 other lures that i would have thought they would be more interested in to grab an oversize lure for that particular area.

Was interesting to see

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Hey @PaddyT and @New Signing .... Thanks for all the comments and insights guys ! Much appreciated. This has not been my main form of fishing by far - so really appreciate what you guys offer here.  Maybe you guys should collaborate on an "Article - Trolling and Set ups for blue water" ???? 

Cheers Zoran

Edited by zmk1962
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Zoran-honestly no need for anyone to write anything about pelagic trolling-just go to Pakula's website and read and watch the Between the Lines stuff-its all been written before

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1 hour ago, PaddyT said:

Zoran-honestly no need for anyone to write anything about pelagic trolling-just go to Pakula's website and read and watch the Between the Lines stuff-its all been written before

ūü§Ē¬† ¬†hmmm .... if it's all been written before then why does a site like Fishraider prosper ???

Cheers Zoran

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