False Flashers or also called Dummy Flashers are run from the bottom of your downrigger line, with the lure or bait trolled and stacked above. You then get the attracting power of the flasher, but you don’t have a flasher in line between you and the fish you hook (the flasher stays on the downrigger).
For a false flasher, rig a flasher with a heavy test leader (or wire) to the flasher, and a clip on the other end. Any flasher will do, but we of course prefer our Sonic due to the heavy washboard beat. A short leader is best to your flasher – just long enough to work and no longer, since the greater the sweep, the more likely it will tangle with the line. We’ve found the perfect length to be three times the flasher length (so one foot flasher, use roughly 3 foot leader). Clip the flasher to your downrigger ball or just above. Lower the flasher into the water, let out a little cable, just until the flasher starts to roll over, then clip on your line with the lure. 6 feet or more should separate where the line clips to the cable and the ball where the flasher is attached. If the lure and flasher tangle, increase the distance between the flasher and line.
Try putting your lures different lengths behind your downrigger (longer leaders from the clip). Keep trying different things until you find something that works. Color of flashers can make a difference, as well as the distance between the flasher and lure.
Plugs dive down and may tangle in your flasher if it is too close. Perhaps start with the lure stacked 10 feet above, and then gradually reduce the distance, so as to get your plugs or spoons as close as possible to your flasher without tangling.
Fish vary their feeding patterns. Sometimes fish will be attracted to a flasher, yet not come very close. That’s why it is important to play with leader lengths to find what is working best at the time.