Poorman's Downrigger Sinker
This is a deepwater trolling rig which suspends the angler's spoon, plug or bait.
Designed by Dan Gapen Sr., the Poorman's Downrigger could be called a close cousin to Gapen's now-famous original Bait-Walker Sinker. Most of the patented features of the Bait-Walker apply to this new trolling rig. Besides having the composition of a Bait-Walker, the Poorman's Downrigger has several additional designs which make it even more effective as a trolling rig for light rods. Two years of depth testing via trolling on four specific species: walleye, salmon, striped bass and lake trout, proved this new rig nearly invaluable to the small open boat angler. Poorman's Downriggers can be run behind nearly any type of standard bait casting or trolling rods and reels.
The main purpose for Gapen's new rig is the suspended fishery which recently came to light when working species such as walleye and striped bass. The Poorman's Downrigger is built to hold a level plane once it reaches the proper depth. Thus, once suspended and noted on the graph, this rig will maintain the proper depth each and every time it is lowered. Even boat speed will have little effect on it. Line weight and length, however, must remain the same.
Like Gapen's Bait-Walker, this new rig creates forward thrust on its patented flat back, causing a lessening of pressure at rod tip. But, unlike the Bait-Walker's rounded snag-free design, this new rig is thin in nature, a design feature which allows it to slip even more softly through deep trolling waters. Imagine, this sinker rig, for the first time in fishing history, allowing an angler using casting equipment to work 16 ounces of lead at depths reaching 140 feet or more.
The Poorman's Downrigger's twin side plates, or fins, work as stabilizers in holding this rig at a given depth. Boat trolling speeds can vary by a mile to half-mile an hour while the outward protruding fins help maintain rig depth.
Charter boat captains prefer this rig when flat lining, due to the Poorman's ability to hold depth and run easily through water. The Poorman's Downrigger will hold the "snag-free" ability of its cousin the Bait-Walker sinker within 85% of performance. It is an excellent rig to use flashy spoons on for salmon. It is a rig that can be used behind an outrigger without tangling on the turn.