With significantly more people pursuing large gamefish from small boats, marine manufacturers are developing various types of stanchion-mounted gimbals that allow anglers to fight fish from a stand-up position. The designs vary from models that are bolted to the deck of the boat to models that are placed in rodholders. Most of these devices include some type of pin that can restrict the gimbal’s degree of vertical swing, so much so that they also serve double duty as rodholders.
IGFA has been asked recently by several people if these devices are legal. IGFA rules state that gimbals must be free-swinging and may not allow the angler to rest or reduce strain while fighting a fish. This means that fish may not be fought from these devices with the gimbal’s motion restricted.
Therefore, if a fish strikes a bait while the rod is in one of these devices with the gimbal restricted, the angler must remove the rod from the gimbal to hook the fish, and have the pin removed before the rod can be placed back in the gimbal to fight the fish.
IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained: Downrigger Slider Rigs
Answer supplied by: IGFA
This question ran in ISSUE 66 of BlueWater magazine: APRIL / MAY 2008
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