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May 31, 2012

High-Tech Outriggers for Center Consoles

Carbon-fiber technology advances the art of offshore trolling.

Sleek and Racy
The CX Carbon poles have no external guide rings, a departure from traditional aluminum riggers. Instead, there are internal halyards and rollers for double-rigging. That is, two baits can be fished off the 16- to 20-foot-long poles. Pre-rigged with 400-pound-test black mono, the double pulley at the base of the pole is where both the long and short outrigger lines enter. There’s an opening with a roller at the top of the pole for the longer line, and a second opening with a roller 80 inches beneath the top one, for the short line. The rollers permit smooth and effortless line retrieval and deployment. The 12- and 15-foot versions come with a single halyard.

Their standard clear-coat finish lends a classy, deep and glossy charcoal hue, and with the external rigging, the poles take on a sleek, refined appearance.

The poles can also be custom-painted to match any boat’s color scheme. CX Carbon poles with external rings will soon be available, per some customers’ requests.

On the Water
Jeffrey Liederman, a noted South Florida and Bahamas offshore angler, has been thrilled with his Lee’s 20-foot CX Carbon outriggers, which he ordered for his new 35-foot Contender. “I’m a big fan,” says Liederman. “They’re longer and therefore elevate the baits more. They make it easy to organize a better spread of trolling baits. The outriggers are light and easy to deploy.”

When trolling for marlin in the Bahamas, Liederman and his crew can deploy teasers and large baits without risk to the poles, he points out. “They easily handle heavy clip settings and hard strikes from fish, like when we’re using rubber bands to help set the hooks on a strike. On aluminum poles, you always worry about that, unless they are full-blown spreader-equipped models.

“We do a lot of kite-fishing in tournaments here off Miami, and throughout South Florida and the Keys, and run our kites from our outriggers,” Liederman continues. “When it’s blowing hard, now we don’t worry about all that pressure on the outriggers. When we’re running, the outriggers retract nicely and really complement the look of our boat. They’re cutting-edge.”

Rigger Logic
Lee says the CX Carbon-series poles are seeing a lot of use on the T-tops of midsize and large center consoles, and also on more and more tower boats. “Basically, they are an attractive option wherever a 20-foot pole is desired, and they fit our Sidewinder and other T-top holders,” he says. “Keep in mind, we offer them in 16- and 20-foot lengths, and also in 12- and 15-foot versions, which usually serve as center riggers. We are also developing longer CX-series poles for large sport-fishing boats.”

Lee contends the CX Carbon series, though more expensive than traditional aluminum poles, are a good value when an offshore troller is looking for extra length, minus the extra weight and stress on the boat’s top.

Like everything else in the fishing and boating industry, even outriggers have gone high-tech. But that’s a good thing, especially if it helps you create and master an even more effective bait spread. And what offshore troller worth their salt wouldn’t want to do that?

Outrigger Sources

Lee’s Tackle

PipeWelders Marine


TACO Metals