Ive only used my downriggers for salmon that are DEEP...+40 feet. I use divers for depths shallower than that. The reason is I am more successful with the divers. By successful I mean strikes, not hook ups. Do you normally run your bait right from the downrigger ball, or come up the cable a ways? How far do you trail the bait behind the release? Only reason I can figure on my poor downrigger success rate is the ball or cable noise frightens the fish.