Far Out Outriggers
By Ric Burnley
No other implement plays a bigger part in the function and form of a modern sportfishing boat. Not only are outriggers the key to a successful trolling pattern, they are also key to a good-looking rig. Whether installing a set of outriggers on a new boat or replacing a pair of grizzled aluminum veterans, choosing the correct set of riggers is complicated by a long list of choices.
Captain Pat Brogan on the Texas Tea was recently faced with the choice of replacing the outriggers on the 62-foot Spencer. “There was nothing wrong with the old set,” he says, “we just wanted to do something different.” And in this case, different ended up being better. Pipewelders in Ft. Lauderdale outfitted the Texas Tea with new outriggers that are longer and lighter without changing the mounting points on the boat’s hull and house. “And they came to the boat to do the install,” Brogan adds.
Texas Tea’s new riggers are lighter and longer. Pipewelder’s Super Light Riggers are 20 percent lighter than their standard model. To accomplish this, the engineers use aluminum tubing that’s both wider and thinner. “There’s a noticeable difference when I am raising and lowering the outriggers,” Brogan says. Even on rough days, he can operate the outriggers without assistance. “I’ve seen too many guys break cables and bend poles when the outrigger falls,” he reports.
In addition to the weight savings, Brogan added four feet to his outriggers, moving from 38-footers out to 42 feet. “I like my outriggers to lie flat,” Brogan says, “to keep the lines closer to the water.” The longer outriggers also allowed him to move his dredge inside his squid-chain teaser. “We’re using the new dredge collar that’s adjustable to fit anywhere on the outrigger,” Brogan explains.
The new riggers also come with new halyard pulleys that won’t allow the lines to spin. Since Texas Tea spends part of the season targeting tuna and part of the year chasing billfish, Brogan has rigged both clips and pins on each halyard. He runs a third halyard for the teaser. “The new pulleys allow us to run a variety of spreads and keep the lines and halyards tight,” he says. And the replacement only took a few hours. “The guys at …………………………(To continue reading this article click here) You can also subscribe to InTheBite The Magazine to enjoy more industry leading editorial.