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Gimbal mounts vs track mounts for downriggers


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Can I get some pros and cons from people who have gimbal mounts for down riggers as well as those who have track mounts. I'm looking to install downriggers and want to weigh the pros and cons of both. Thanks for the info in advance.

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We have Gimbal mounted tracks. I got them at BassPro, they are Bert's 17" track. They work great, downriggers as well as a rod holder or two fit on them. The best part is, when we are done fishing, pull them out, and you cannot even tell we fish with the boat. Plus you can store them somewhere secure and out of the weather.

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If you have heavy duty gimbal flush mount rod holders with very strong gimbal pins the gimbal tube mounts can work. The flush mount rod holders also need to be through bolted to take the force a downrigger -- especially one rigged as a side rigger -- can exert on the gunnels. For occasional use they will work. I wouldn't put a heavy electric downrigger on a gimbal mount.

Personally I would go with the track system. I have the tracks directly mounted to the boat and it is good. If I had to do it over, I'd go with the raised track that only has a couple of the 6" tracks mounted to the boat to put the risers in. Same versatility as all tracks but very clean if you want to take the whole system off.

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I'm looking at a very narrow footprint on my boat. I'm going to have the work done at a marina. I've used big jon riggers in the past and personally like them vs the cannons I had as well. I'm looking at more than likely a side rigger from where I can mount the riggers in between the mounts for the back canvas supports. I'm not sure if I swiveled them to the stern if they will clear the swim platform. I still want to keep the boat as "cruiser like" as possible with a hint of fishing to it. That's my goal anyway. Thanks forthr info

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I have Big Jon Brutes running 15 and 20# balls on gimbal mounts, and I use them a lot. No issues. You definitely need heavy duty flush mount holders with backing plates. Look at CE Smith or Lee. Coincidentally, I have 2 brand new CE Smith holders and a pair of gimbal mounts for Big Jon that I'd sell, PM me if you're interested. Long story but it's the same stuff I run.

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We run 14 lines off our boat using two Big Jon Brute Electric riggers and the rest rod holders all on gimbal mounts. We do not use the boat for just fishing so everything can be removed in a few minutes. If I fished only I would not do it this way. When we take the family for a cruise it is nice not having the fishing stuff on the boat. So it really depends on what the boat will be used for.

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I run two manual Big Jon downriggers on gimbal mounts, and have two triple rod holders on another gimbal. With 12# balls there is some flex in the downrigger gimbal. They are not in heavy-duty holders though, so I would recommend using heavy-duty holders. I really like the ability to pull them and store everything inside. As someone said, if my boat was strictly fishing I don't think I would work it that way.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gimbal mounts are the only way to go. Cleanest look and easiest to remove. I never understood why anyone would put a bunch of plates down the side of their boat. All the big boats Ive been on use the gimbal system. You can still mount tracks to the gimbal plate. Remove everything and have a clean boat in less than 5 minutes.

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Gimbal mounts are the only way to go. Cleanest look and easiest to remove. I never understood why anyone would put a bunch of plates down the side of their boat. All the big boats Ive been on use the gimbal system. You can still mount tracks to the gimbal plate. Remove everything and have a clean boat in less than 5 minutes.

i have to say the reverse is true for me. i have never saw a big boat with gimbal mounted riggers. i agree with ryan put them on tracks! riggers are way too expensive to take a chance with. what i dont understand is why all the folks that use the boat for fishing and playing need to have no trace of fishing stuff on it when doing the other things.if i take someone out for a cruise and they are turned off by the fishing "stuff" they dont need to come back. :lol: i can see if some stuff gets in the way but everything ? as far as the weather if it cant take the weather the company president needs to be beat over the head with it ! :lol:

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what i dont understand is why all the folks that use the boat for fishing and playing need to have no trace of fishing stuff on it when doing the other things.if i take someone out for a cruise and they are turned off by the fishing "stuff" they dont need to come back.

When I cruise, I don't fish much. If I do fish, it's usually from the dinghy. I travel with weighted line and diver rods and do have rod holders on quick release mounts in case I do have an occasion to drag a line from the cruiser. I've never done that in 15 years of vacation cruising. My boat is much more than just a fishing platform to me. There's no reason to drag all that gear around.

BTW, it's a thrill to fight a salmon or steelhead from a 10' inflatable boat and quite a sense of accomplishment to do that without the benefit of thousands of dollars worth of gear and technology.

Dinghy trolling east shore Mackinac Island on 8/9/14

080921_zpsa826c9b1.jpg

The result...

080924_zps8187a739.jpg

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i have to say the reverse is true for me. i have never saw a big boat with gimbal mounted riggers. i agree with ryan put them on tracks! riggers are way too expensive to take a chance with. what i dont understand is why all the folks that use the boat for fishing and playing need to have no trace of fishing stuff on it when doing the other things.if i take someone out for a cruise and they are turned off by the fishing "stuff" they dont need to come back. :lol: i can see if some stuff gets in the way but everything ? as far as the weather if it cant take the weather the company president needs to be beat over the head with it ! :lol:

We fish a 37' boat and use gimbal mounts. Went and talked to a friend that charters Saturday, gimbal mounts. They work perfect, when we are done, pull em out, canvas goes on as it should with nothing in the way. When we go swimming there is not fishing equipment in the way, the kids can jump off anywhere and there is no worry of them hurting themselves on it, or messing the equipment up

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