How to Catch Salmon
Flashers and Dodgers
Flashers and dodgers are big time salmon catchers. More salmon are caught on flashers every year than on any other rigging setup. If you know the principles of flashers and dodgers and how to rig them you will have a big advantage over those who don't. Lets start by explaining the difference. between them. A flasher shown on the right in the photo is a large colored plastic blade with silver or colored tape on both sides. The most common saltwater salmon flashers are eleven inches long although the new mini eight inch flashers like the Pro-Troll ProChip 8 are coming on strong. The flasher is made to rotate as it is trolled. The narrow tapered end in the front. A bait or lure is connected to the back of the flasher by a tail leader. A dodger is metal and the size 0 salmon size is about nine inches long as shown in the photo. The dodger is uniform at both ends and is not made to spin. Its action is like a pendulum swinging back and forth as it is trolled. If you troll too fast and the dodger spins you have lost its strong fish attracting ability. Dodgers and flashers do the same thing in attracting salmon. Their action puts out strong vibrations in the water that can be detected by salmon thirty or forty yards away. The salmon are attracted to these vibrations because they are the same as the vibrations made by the tail of a salmon on the attack. Other fish will charge the flasher or dodger hoping to get in on the feed.
There is a major difference in the way flashers and dodgers are rigged. Rig them wrong and you may catch a few fish. Rig them right and you will catch ten times as many fish. Flashers are made to ride twenty to thirty feet behind your downrigger release. The size 0 dodger is made to ride twenty six inches behind your release. With a flasher you want your bait or lure three or four feet behind the flasher and with the dodger you want the bait about twenty inches behind. The rigging dimensions for both these devices is critical particularly the tail leader length. For a complete description on how to properly rig the flashers go the the section on "Rigging the Pro-Troll Flashers". It will give you all the specifics.
The author uses both dodgers and flashers but in recent years has moved more to flashers. Flashers are more speed insensitive than dodgers. In other words they will work over a wider range of trolling speeds than a dodger. Dodgers tend to have one speed where they work best. If this speed is exceeded the dodger spins and you lose its attraction to salmon.