If you troll for game fish such as dolphin, marlin, tuna or wahoo, a pair of outriggers can help you present a more expansive selection of lures or baits. Essentially, an outrigger is a pole (aluminum is the most common) ranging from 15 to more than 40 feet in length that swings out to the side; each one lets you run one or more lines from release clips, increasing the spread beyond the limited number of “flat lines” and minimizing tangles. Adjustable bases let you swivel the poles in and out, while ratchets let you change the vertical angle.
Outrigger kits are available from companies such as Pompanette, Rupp Marine, Taco Marine and Tigress. Here’s how to install a pair using Taco’s popular Grand Slam 170 outrigger kit featuring 15-foot telescoping aluminum poles (that retract to 6 feet and are easy to remove for storage or trailering) on a 24-foot center-console fishing boat with a hardtop (minimum quarter-inch thickness is required on the hardtop).
Skill Level: 3/5
Time to Complete: 5 Hours
Tools and Supplies
Taco Marine Grand Slam GS-170 outrigger kit with 15-foot poles ($1,005.95; starmarinedepot.com)
Taco Marine wedge plates for sloping hardtops ($92.33/pair; pbsboatstore.com)
Taco Marine backing plate for cored tops ($62.77; usaboatstore.com)
Taco Marine spacer tube kit for cored tops
Electric drill and drill bit set
1/2-inch box wrench
3/16-inch Allen wrench
Clean rags (for cleaning up sealant)
Swaging tool for rigging the lines
Quick Tip: On sloping hardtops, use Taco Marine’s wedge plate. Featuring a 7½-degree angle, this optional accessory helps level the outrigger bases to improve the aesthetics of the installation.