Best Electric Downriggers 2024

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Scotty Electric Downrigger

Reeling in the Future: The Best Electric Downriggers

As we chart the course for today’s discussion, it’s important to understand the concept of downrigging, a method that has revolutionized fishing, both as a sport and an industry. Downrigging, in its simplest form, refers to a technique used by anglers to place their lures at precise depths, using a system that includes a weight, a cable, and a reel. This system enables the fisher to present their bait at a specific depth and maintain it there, a valuable asset when targeting specific species known to inhabit certain water depths.

Diving Deeper: The Advent of Electric Downriggers

But what happens when you fuse this traditional fishing method with modern technology? Enter the electric downrigger. This innovative tool has significantly transformed the fishing landscape, offering an easier and more efficient way to delve deeper into the waters. No longer do anglers need to manually crank weights up and down; with an electric downrigger, the task becomes as simple as pressing a button, allowing more time and energy to be focused on the actual fishing.

Electric downriggers have thus become an integral part of the modern angler’s toolkit, particularly when fishing at greater depths or targeting species that lurk in the deeper recesses of our lakes and oceans. They offer a level of precision and convenience that traditional downrigging simply cannot match. This is especially significant in today’s era of advanced fish-finding technology, where the exact depth of fish schools can be determined. With an electric downrigger, you can make sure your bait is right where the fish are.

In this article, we will embark on a deep dive into the world of electric downriggers. We will explore the factors that contribute to their effectiveness, review some of the top models on the market, share expert tips on their use, and even look into future trends in downrigger technology. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you make an informed decision on selecting the best electric downrigger to meet your unique fishing needs and preferences. So, sit back, relax, and let’s cast off into the rich waters of electric downriggers.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Electric Downrigger

Electric Downrigger

Power, Depth, and Speed: Key Considerations in Electric Downriggers

The world of electric downriggers is as vast as the waters they help you explore. Therefore, understanding the nuances of different models is critical in ensuring that you reel in the right one. Several factors influence the performance and effectiveness of an electric downrigger, the key among them being depth range, retrieval speed, and weight capacity.

🔁Depth Range: This refers to how deep your downrigger can deploy your bait. The depth range is crucial because different species of fish inhabit different depths, depending on factors like water temperature and availability of food. Thus, if you’re targeting a specific species, you’ll need an electric downrigger with a depth range that aligns with your target’s typical depth. Most electric downriggers can easily handle depths of a few hundred feet, but certain high-end models can go much deeper.

🔁Retrieval Speed: This is the speed at which the downrigger can retrieve the weight from the set depth. Speed matters when you hook a fish and need to quickly bring your weight up to avoid entanglement. It’s also a consideration when you’re changing your fishing depth frequently. Faster retrieval speeds can save you time and, more importantly, keep your lure in the water more, increasing your chances of a successful catch.

🔁Weight Capacity: This refers to the maximum weight the downrigger can lower and lift without compromising its performance or causing mechanical issues. Typically, the deeper you want to fish, the heavier the weight you’ll need to counteract the forces of water resistance and current. Therefore, an electric downrigger with a high weight capacity is crucial for deep-water fishing.

The interplay of these three factors can have a significant impact on your fishing experience. An electric downrigger with a high depth range, quick retrieval speed, and strong weight capacity will not only make your fishing more efficient but also increase your chances of landing that trophy catch. Conversely, a downrigger that falls short in these areas might leave you grappling with inefficient fishing and missed opportunities.

In the end, the ‘right’ electric downrigger is subjective and largely depends on your specific needs and fishing conditions. The key is to understand these critical factors, and how they align with your angling goals, to make an informed purchase. In the following sections, we’ll explore some of the top electric downrigger models and see how they stack up in these areas.

The Evolution of Electric Downriggers

Cannon Electric Downrigger

The journey of electric downriggers is one of innovation and progress, shaped by the evolving needs of anglers and the advancement of technology. To fully appreciate the capabilities of today’s electric downriggers, it’s important to delve into their history and the key developments that have led us to the present day.

From Manual to Electric: The Evolution of Downrigging Technology

Downriggers, in their earliest form, were manual devices. They involved a simple pulley system to lower a weight attached to a cable into the water, with a fishing line and lure trailing behind. The angler manually cranked the weight up and down, adjusting the depth of the lure as needed. While this technique revolutionized fishing, allowing anglers to target fish at specific depths with unprecedented precision, it was labor-intensive and time-consuming.

The first significant leap forward came with the introduction of electric downriggers in the late 20th century. These devices, powered by the boat’s battery, automated the task of lowering and raising the weight, thus freeing the angler’s hands and energy for other tasks. These early electric downriggers were a major improvement over their manual counterparts, but they were still relatively basic, offering little more than automated retrieval.

In the years that followed, electric downriggers underwent a series of technological advancements aimed at increasing their reliability, usability, and effectiveness. Some of the key innovations include:

Digital Controls: Modern electric downriggers feature digital controls that allow for precise settings and adjustment of the depth. Some advanced models even offer programmable ‘jigging’ functions, where the downrigger automatically varies the depth of the lure to mimic the movement of live bait.

Auto-Stop Systems: These systems automatically stop the retrieval of the weight when it reaches the surface, preventing potential damage to the downrigger or the boat.

Depth Counters: While basic depth counters have been a part of downriggers for some time, modern electric models feature highly accurate, digital depth counters that allow for precise depth control.

Positive Ion Control (PIC): This technology generates a small electric field around your lure, which has been shown to attract more fish, increasing the effectiveness of your fishing.

Telescopic Booms: To increase their versatility, many electric downriggers now feature telescopic booms that can be extended or retracted to accommodate different fishing situations.

These advancements have greatly enhanced the capabilities of electric downriggers, making them more than just a tool for depth control. They’re now sophisticated devices that can significantly improve your chances of a successful catch. As we move forward, we’ll continue to see further innovations and refinements, making the future of electric downrigging an exciting prospect indeed.

Top Electric Downrigger Models

Reel in the Best: A Close Look at the Top Electric Downriggers

The electric downrigger market is filled with a myriad of options, each with its own set of features and specifications. Let’s dive into some of the top models to consider:

Cannon Optimum 10 TS Downrigger

Cannon is a well-respected name in the fishing industry, and their Optimum 10 TS electric downrigger doesn’t disappoint.

⚙️Key Features and Specifications:

  • Depth Range: 400 feet
  • Speed: 250 feet per minute
  • Weight Capacity: 20 pounds

Additional features: Full-color LCD screen, mobile app control, one-hand operation, automatic bottom tracking, positive ion control (PIC), short-stop technology, and waterline zero technology.

  • The Cannon Optimum 10 TS is feature-rich, offering a wealth of advanced capabilities. Users rave about its user-friendly interface and the convenience of controlling the downrigger from a smartphone app.

  • It’s at the higher end of the price spectrum, and some users have mentioned occasional difficulties in connecting the app.

📊Price and Availability: The Cannon Optimum 10 TS is widely available in fishing gear stores and online platforms. It falls into the premium price range, with prices around $1500

Scotty Depthpower Electric Downrigger

The Depthpower series from Scotty is renowned for its durability and reliability.

⚙️Key Features and Specifications:

  • Depth Range: 250 feet
  • Speed: 200 feet per minute
  • Weight Capacity: 15 pounds

Additional features: 24-inch to 53-inch telescopic stainless steel boom, digital counter, tilt-up mount, and rod holder.

  • The Depthpower downrigger is lauded for its solid construction and reliability. The telescopic boom and tilt-up mount add versatility, and the downrigger is compatible with a range of Scotty accessories.

  • It lacks some of the high-end features of other models, such as smartphone control or positive ion control (PIC).

📊Price and Availability: The Scotty Depthpower Electric Downrigger offers good value for money, typically priced around $600. It is available in most fishing gear stores and online retailers.

Big Jon Sportsman Electric Downrigger

Big Jon’s Sportsman model is a compact and straightforward electric downrigger designed for smaller boats and casual anglers.

⚙️Key Features and Specifications:

  • Depth Range: 200 feet
  • Speed: 150 feet per minute
  • Weight Capacity: 12 pounds

Additional features: 24-inch boom, line counter, swivel base.

  • The Sportsman is praised for its compact design and ease of use, making it a great option for those new to downrigging.

  • It lacks advanced features like app control or auto-stop and has a somewhat slower retrieval speed than other models.

📊Price and Availability: The Big Jon Sportsman is one of the more affordable electric downriggers on the market, typically priced around $400. It’s widely available both in stores and online.

When choosing an electric downrigger, remember to consider your specific needs and fishing conditions. While all these models are excellent choices, the best one for you will depend on your target species, typical fishing depth, and budget.

Fishing for the Best: A Comparative Analysis of Top Electric Downriggers

When it comes to choosing the right electric downrigger, it often boils down to a comparison of features, usability, performance, and value for money. Let’s take a closer look at how our top picks stack up against each other.


The Cannon Optimum 10 TS is the most feature-rich of the three models, offering advanced capabilities such as mobile app control, automatic bottom tracking, and positive ion control (PIC). The Scotty Depthpower, while not as high-tech, comes with a range of useful features like a telescopic boom and tilt-up mount. The Big Jon Sportsman is the most basic in terms of features, focusing on simplicity and ease of use.


All three models are designed with usability in mind. The Cannon Optimum 10 TS stands out with its full-color LCD screen and smartphone app control, which offers a high level of convenience and flexibility. The Scotty Depthpower scores high on versatility with its adjustable boom and tilt-up mount, while the Big Jon Sportsman is praised for its straightforward and uncomplicated operation.


In terms of performance, the Cannon Optimum 10 TS leads the pack with its superior depth range, high retrieval speed, and large weight capacity. The Scotty Depthpower is not far behind, offering solid performance for most recreational fishing needs. The Big Jon Sportsman, while not as powerful as the other two, is perfectly adequate for smaller boats and lighter fishing loads.

Value for Money:

If you’re looking for high-end features and performance and don’t mind the price tag, the Cannon Optimum 10 TS offers excellent value. The Scotty Depthpower, while not as advanced, offers reliable performance at a more affordable price, making it a great mid-range option. If you’re on a budget or just starting with downrigging, the Big Jon Sportsman offers good value with its simple operation and lower price point.

Standout Aspects:

The Cannon Optimum 10 TS’s standout aspect is undoubtedly its suite of advanced features, particularly the smartphone app control. The Scotty Depthpower stands out for its versatility and range of compatible accessories, while the Big Jon Sportsman shines in its simplicity and compactness, making it an excellent choice for casual anglers or those with smaller boats.

In conclusion, the best electric downrigger for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you’re a tech-savvy angler looking for the latest features, a serious sport fisher needing reliable performance, or a weekend warrior just getting into downrigging, there’s an electric downrigger out there for you.

Downrigger Dynamics: Expert Tips and Best Practices

Using an electric downrigger can greatly enhance your fishing experience, but like any tool, its effectiveness is significantly influenced by how well you use it. Here are some expert tips to help you make the most of your electric downrigger:

Setup and Calibration

Proper setup is essential for optimal performance. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual thoroughly and follow the instructions for setting up and calibrating your downrigger. Pay particular attention to the mounting process; a securely mounted downrigger ensures safety and accuracy.

Use the Right Weight

The weight or ‘cannonball’ is a crucial component of downrigging. The size and shape of the weight can affect how well it holds depth, particularly in stronger currents. Heavier weights are generally better at maintaining depth, but they also put more strain on the downrigger. Refer to your downrigger’s weight capacity and use a weight that it can comfortably handle.

Regular Maintenance

Just like any piece of equipment, regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your downrigger and ensure it continues to perform at its best. Rinse it with fresh water after each use, especially if you’re fishing in saltwater, and periodically check all components for signs of wear or damage.


If you encounter issues with your downrigger, don’t panic. Most problems can be resolved with a bit of troubleshooting. Refer to your owner’s manual for guidance, and don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer’s customer support if you can’t resolve the issue on your own.

Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a priority when using electric downriggers. Be mindful of loose clothing or lines that could get caught in the downrigger. Always ensure your downrigger is securely mounted, and remember to disconnect it from the power source when not in use or during maintenance.

Learning and Experimenting

Lastly, remember that becoming proficient with an electric downrigger takes time and practice. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings and techniques. You may find that certain approaches work better for you based on your fishing style and the specific conditions you fish in.

By following these tips, you can maximize the benefits of your electric downrigger and elevate your fishing experience to new depths.

Beyond the Horizon: Future Trends in Electric Downrigger Technology

As we look to the horizon, it’s clear that the world of electric downriggers is far from static. With technological advancements continuously transforming the fishing industry, we can expect to see a number of exciting developments in electric downrigger technology and design. Here’s a glimpse into what the future might hold:

Enhanced Connectivity and Control

Smartphone app control, as seen in models like the Cannon Optimum 10 TS, is likely just the beginning. We may soon see downriggers that can integrate directly with your boat’s electronic systems or GPS chart plotter, allowing for even greater control and precision in setting your fishing depth.

Improved Automation

Automatic features like bottom tracking and auto-stop have already made downrigging more convenient and efficient. Future models may expand on this, with advancements in AI and machine learning potentially leading to downriggers that can automatically adjust to changing conditions or even select the optimal depth based on data from fish finders or other sensors.

Enhanced Durability and Sustainability

As materials science advances, we can expect to see downriggers made from even more durable and corrosion-resistant materials. Additionally, with growing awareness of environmental issues, we may see a push towards more sustainable design and manufacturing practices in the fishing gear industry.

More User-friendly Design

As with any technology, user-friendliness is key. Future downriggers are likely to feature even more intuitive interfaces and setup processes, making it easier for anglers of all skill levels to get the most out of their gear.

These potential developments could greatly enhance the fishing experience, making it easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable to fish at greater depths and target a wider range of species. While it’s impossible to predict exactly what the future will bring, one thing is clear: the future of electric downriggers is looking bright.

Choosing Your Catch: The Final Tackle on Electric Downriggers

As we’ve delved into the depths of electric downriggers, it’s clear that these remarkable tools play a crucial role in the modern fishing industry. They enable anglers to target fish at greater depths with more precision than ever before, and their importance cannot be overstated.

Throughout this article, we’ve highlighted the factors that can influence the performance and effectiveness of an electric downrigger, including depth range, speed, and weight capacity. We’ve also discussed the top models on the market today – the Cannon Optimum 10 TS, the Scotty Depthpower, and the Big Jon Sportsman – each offering a unique blend of features, usability, and performance.

Furthermore, we’ve explored the exciting future of electric downriggers, with potential developments in connectivity, automation, durability, and user-friendliness promising to further enhance the fishing experience.

Ultimately, the best electric downrigger for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a model out there that’s perfect for you. So, we encourage you to explore, experiment, and find the electric downrigger that will help you reel in your next big catch. After all, the joy of fishing lies in the journey as much as the destination.

FAQs: Navigating the World of Electric Downriggers

Why should I use an electric downrigger instead of a manual one?
Electric downriggers offer greater convenience and precision, especially for deep-water fishing. They can retrieve the weight more quickly and with less effort, which can be a significant advantage during long fishing trips or when you need to adjust your depth frequently.
What factors should I consider when choosing an electric downrigger?
Key factors to consider include depth range, retrieval speed, weight capacity, ease of use, durability, and, of course, price. The best model for you will depend on your specific needs and fishing conditions.
How do I maintain my electric downrigger?
Regular maintenance is crucial for prolonging the life of your downrigger. This includes rinsing it with fresh water after each use, especially if you’re fishing in saltwater, and periodically inspecting all components for signs of wear or damage.
What are some top models of electric downriggers?
Some top models include the Cannon Optimum 10 TS, the Scotty Depthpower, and the Big Jon Sportsman. Each of these models offers a unique set of features and benefits.
What are some potential future trends in electric downrigger technology?
Future trends may include enhanced connectivity and control, improved automation, more durable and sustainable materials, and more user-friendly designs.
How can I learn more about electric downriggers?
Manufacturer websites, online forums, and fishing equipment reviews are all great resources for learning more about electric downriggers. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our articles for more in-depth information and tips!
Can I use any type of fishing rod with an electric downrigger?
While you can technically use any type of rod, certain rods are better suited for downrigger fishing. These rods, often called “downrigger rods,” are generally shorter and have a slow action, allowing them to bend all the way down to the handle.
Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Veronyre Balgran
Veronyre Balgran
7 months ago

As a fishing enthusiast, I found this article very enlightening. It effectively introduces the concept of downrigging, a method that has revolutionized fishing by allowing anglers to present their bait at precise depths. In doing so, the article brings to light the transformative potential of technology, as evidenced by the development and adoption of electric downriggers.

Cowper Wingleis
Cowper Wingleis
7 months ago

The integration of technology into this traditional practice has undeniably improved the experience of fishing. Personally, I’ve seen a significant difference in my fishing expeditions since transitioning to an electric downrigger. The added convenience of simply pressing a button to lower or raise my line, rather than manually cranking weights up and down, has allowed me to focus more on the thrill of fishing itself.

Lachlus Khaan
Lachlus Khaan
7 months ago

The exploration of the factors that contribute to an effective electric downrigger – depth range, retrieval speed, and weight capacity – is very comprehensive and well-reasoned. Having fished in varying conditions and depths, I can attest to the importance of these elements. The depth range, in particular, is crucial when targeting specific species known to inhabit certain water depths, and a broad range can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch.

Vyron Facyne
Vyron Facyne
7 months ago

Similarly, I’ve found retrieval speed to be particularly important when there’s a need for quick adjustment of depth, or when a fish has been hooked. A swift retrieval speed prevents entanglement and can mean the difference between reeling in a catch or losing it.

7 months ago

I appreciate how the article underscores the fact that the ‘right’ electric downrigger is subjective and depends on individual fishing needs and conditions. This is something every angler should keep in mind when choosing their equipment. Ultimately, this piece does an excellent job of explaining the world of electric downriggers – it’s an exciting read for anyone who enjoys the sport of fishing and is interested in embracing technological advancements to enhance their angling experience.

Xanus Tryleth
Xanus Tryleth
7 months ago

The article’s promise to delve into different models and their specifications in future sections is exciting. It would be valuable for any angler, novice or experienced, to understand these nuances and make an informed decision when selecting an electric downrigger.

Timitrion Iljeon
Timitrion Iljeon
7 months ago

The weight capacity, while often overlooked, plays a significant role as well. Fishing in deeper waters often requires heavier weights to counteract water resistance and current. Having a downrigger that can handle these weights without compromising performance is vital.