IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Daytime Swordfishing and Power-assist Reels


Day Time Fishing and Power Assist Reels

Daytime swordfishing has opened up another window of opportunity for swordfishing, which traditionally is done at night. The daytime technique is different and requires fishing baits at substantial depths of over 1000ft, with heavy weights. The time it takes to pay out and retrieve line with heavy weights at deep depths is helped with the newer models of power-assist reels, which can be used to retrieve heavy rigs from substantial depths. The reels may be switched to the manual winding option in the situation where a swordfish takes the bait. The question: is a fish caught on this reel IGFA legal – when the manual option is used?


Using an electric reel at any stage would be a violation of IGFA rules. Even just using the electric option when checking the bait would give an angler an unfair advantage; this is expressly against IGFA rules.

A way of making deep-water fishing easier would be to use an electric downrigger (or an electric reel as a downrigger). It would be permissible to attach the main line (not leader or double line) to a release device/clip on the downrigger. The electric downrigger could be employed to pull up uneaten baits. Even if a bait was knocked out of the downrigger clip, but the fish not hooked, it would still be alot better for the angler to reel up 1000-plus feet of line without a heavy weight attached.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Day Time Fishing And Power Assist Reels

Answer supplied by: IGFA
This question ran in ISSUE 68 of BlueWater magazine: AUG / SEPT 2008

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