Outrigger Care


Outrigger Care

By Capt. Gus Cane


Bluewater enthusiasts have long realized the benefits of outriggers. Besides increasing the number of deployable rods, it’s also advantageous to extend the baits beyond the prop wash where they can be more easily seen by the targeted species. Outrigger systems are standard in big-game circles, and more compact versions are almost as common now on outboard-powered boats trolling for dolphin, tuna, wahoo, and king mackerel.

Outrigger CareThere are several factors to consider when purchasing new or retrofitting existing outriggers. While swing-out gunwale-mount models are still available for those looking for simplicity and limited use, most set-ups are currently installed on the hardtops of outboard boats. The majority of large center consoles can be ordered with fiberglass hardtops with integrated bases and standard bolt patterns to fit a variety of outrigger makes. There are also options of fixed length versus telescoping poles and pole material. Aluminum has been popular for years, yet it requires struts and support in longer lengths. Carbon fiber is becoming increasingly popular due to enhanced weight to strength characteristics.

Bridge and slip clearance are additional considerations for fixed length poles; radiused elbows and the ability to lay nearly flat on the tops have resolved many of those concerns, Telescoping poles have more moving parts that need more maintenance. Either style, like all parts exposed to harmful salt spray, require routine cleaning. Freshwater rinsing after a trip is crucial. So is protection against the elements. The normal dark finishes of carbon Outrigger Carefiber absorb UV light so they should be protected by a barrier wax. Anodized aluminum will pit if salt deposits are not removed, and a good metal wax offers another layer of protection.

Like the hardware, the rigging components on outriggers will need replacing over time after prolonged exposure to salt spray and harmful UV light. Lanyards, pulleys, shock cords, and clips are replaceable individual parts. When one component fails, others are susceptible as well, so a more reliable approach is to purchase a complete kit like those made by Malin Marine.

In addition to the shock cords, snaps, pulleys, and halyard found in the basic kit, Malin’s Complete Rigging Kit includes a pair of QDX1-0 release clips. The company’s Top Angler Rigging Kit is designed for serious offshore anglers fishing on smaller boats. The Tournament Pro Kit is tailored for competition, while the Big Boat Kit includes the necessary parts to double rig a single outrigger as long as 45 feet. Malin outrigger kits have earned a well-deserved reputation for quality and dependability among the top crews in sport-fishing. Shop for them at local tackle shops or online through big-game websites or Malinco.com or email Duncan@malinco.com



Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com



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