IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Electric Reel For Downrigger/deep-dropping


Electric reel for downrigger/deep-dropping

When daytime deep-dropping for swordfish I’d like to use a reel that can operate both manually and electronically. With the click of a button it can toggle between manual cranking and having a motor do the winding. Generally, we only use the electric setting to retrieve and check our bait, then immediately switch to manual for the actual fishing. I know that electric reels are not permitted under IGFA rules, but would this particular reel be an exception due to its ability to operate manually?


In short, the answer is no. Reels that toggle between manual and power-driven settings are still not permitted by the IGFA – even if the fish is caught completely on the manual setting.

For an easier way to check your baits without having to reel up a heavy weight, try a two-rod set-up, utilizing your electric reel as a downrigger. The line from the fishing rod is then attached to the downrigger (electric reel set-up) via a release clip. That way, in the event of a strike, or when the bait needs to be checked, the fishing line can be released from the weight. Check out this helpful how-to video on the IGFA’s website: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7lv7XmI91M

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Electric Reel For Downrigger/deep-dropping

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 119 of BlueWater magazine: SEPT / OCT 2016

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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