Wireline Dipsy Diver Use

This section will explain what a wireline Dipsy Diver is and how I use it to take Lake Ontario Salmonoids. It's the ultimate way to get a Dipsy Diver down deep without putting it on a downrigger. This setup will go far deeper than a Dipsy with mono line on it.

First, let's talk about what is needed as far as equipment. The first thing you will need is a good Dipsy rod. I use a OkumaClassic Mooching rod that is 10ft. long with heavy action. Next, I put a Okuma Covector CV 30 D or CV 45 D linecounter reel on it because it has the capacity and the drag system needed to handle 1000ft. of the 30lb 7 strand coffee color or silver wire(Malin wire is the best) that we will be using. On the rod you will need to replace the tip top eye with a Twilli Tip because the wire will cut through the tip that comes with the rod. Once you have this setup,(I'm sure there are others that will work fine, but I chose this system) you will be ready to start using a wire Dipsy.


Once you have the rod ready to go, simply choose a size and color Lhur-Jensen Dipsy Diver you like and connect it to the wire using the snap that comes with the wire. I use the size 0 Dipsy with the ring for early Kings and Browns in close or shallow water or in the shallower water column , which is 3-1/4in. in diameter. If you want to achieve even deeper depths for Summer of fall Kings, try the size 1 Dipsy that is 4-1/8in. in diameter (this is the most used dipsy size for Kings by far). Behind the Dipsy, as always, attach a snubber (a clear ball bearing 12 inch snubber made by Opti- Tackle) which will save a lot of break-offs as the strike will be quite brutal.

From the snubber, depending on the species I'm fishing for, I will use a 10ft. to 15ft leader of 10-30lb fluorocarbon in the spring for Browns, Kings or Coho's, and also in the summer and fall for the King's. Generally for Spring Browns and Coho, I use 10 or 12lb. and spring Kings I use 15 or 20lb. The summer or fall Kings I use 30 lb. flora carbon from 10 to 15 feet long. (YES, this is long but very effective, and YES, it is harder to land fish especially on a smaller boat but well worth the effort). Attach a high quality ball bearing swivel and tie on your favorite lure and get ready. Dodgers, Flashers, spoons, lures and cut-bait all can be used on a Dipsy. Now that we know how we are going to rig it, it's time to go fishing.

First, determine how deep the fish are running so you know where you want the Dipsy to begin in the water column. Now, the trick is to get the Dipsy at that depth. This is harder than you think because without doing some homework you have no way of knowing how deep it is. The best way I know of to figure out how deep your Dipsy is running is to start in shallow water on a slow day when nothing is going on and play around with it. Start at 25ft. and let out enough line on the desired Dipsy setting,(I usually use the #3 or 3 1/2 setting for shallow water or the shallower water column, unless I need to get down to a 100ft plus where I will switch to a #2 or 2 1/2 setting for deeper water or sometimes even a #1.)and let out enough wire so it hits the bottom and write it in a notebook. Do this for all depths and you will have a good idea of where your Dipsy is running. This can be affected by trolling speed and lure selection, so it will need to be fine-tuned once you start fishing.

What I do when I setup is let out the desired amount of wire and if I get no response, I either let more line out or pull some in and wait. No fish, move it again until something happens. Once it does, make a note of it and put the Dipsy back at that same amount of line. Once you've done it enough, you'll know about how much line to let out. One last thing, set the drag loose, because the strike will be brutal and this will help stop break-offs. Wire doesn't stretch so break-offs can sometimes be a problem if you're not setup right.

Also, watch the way you reel the fish in on the wire and don't rush it. Smooth pumps and reels are needed so the wire does not twist or jump the rod. One last quick note when using a dipsey in rough water you will need to use a downrigger release or rubber bands attached to the wire so the waves do not trip the release or pull out extra wire as your keeping the drag loose. Hope this helps clear up some of the problems you have with wireline Dipsy's. Good luck.