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Thread: Downrigger weights

  1. #1
    New member Sockeye Salm's Avatar
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    Default Downrigger weights

    I'm going to install Two Scotty Downriggers on my boat and have no experience with this. Question: What size and type of cannonball do you guys recommend? I'll be fishing all the standard off shore spots...Seward...Homer...Whittier...Kodiak.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sockeye Salm View Post
    I'm going to install Two Scotty Downriggers on my boat and have no experience with this. Question: What size and type of cannonball do you guys recommend? I'll be fishing all the standard off shore spots...Seward...Homer...Whittier...Kodiak.

    Thanks
    6-10 pounders should be enough for most places. Cook Inlet has powerful tides, you may want to go heavier there.

  3. #3
    Charterboat Operator
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    I run 10 pounders on my Scottys, all in Cook Inlet, cant see a need to go much heavier.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    I've heard that the 'pancake' style flat ones are good because they offer less resistance to the water and therefore run closer to the depth that you want. They cost more than the round ones and I am cheap so I run the regular.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    I've heard that the 'pancake' style flat ones are good because they offer less resistance to the water and therefore run closer to the depth that you want. They cost more than the round ones and I am cheap so I run the regular.

    The fish shaped ones cut throught the water better too.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default 8's & 10's

    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    The fish shaped ones cut throught the water better too.
    Simultaneously, I ran a pancake, a fish and a cannon ball during the derby. I couldn't tell any difference in any of them, as far as drag goes.

    I thought the fish one looked cool.
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  8. #8
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    Simultaneously, I ran a pancake, a fish and a cannon ball during the derby. I couldn't tell any difference in any of them, as far as drag goes.

    I thought the fish one looked cool.

    If you run a 10# ball beside either the 10# pancake or 10# fish you will see the difference.

  9. #9
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I run the 10#

    Will get either the fish or pancake this year.
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  10. #10
    Member barleydog's Avatar
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    I'd go with a couple 10's and a couple 12's. I had some bad experiences with line wobble and turning with pancakes in strong current. "I'M" not a big fan of pancakes and I don't use them unless I'm fishing on the lake, (another opinion to ponder eh!) If your not running braided "superline" downrigger cord, stick with the heavier wieghts for tidal flow. If your running superbraid, you'll probably stray away from the heavier wieghts and migrate to an 8 pounder. You're probably going to get some blowout from your line which always hinders your rod loading capability. Heavier wieghts are much easier to load with a good clip, (I like Pro Clips because they don't pop off as easy.)
    You made a great purchase with your Scotties Sockeye Salm! Lifetime warranty and made to haul up a 12 lb. wieght with ease!!!!! I have fished 200+ ft. quite easily with 12 pounders for halibut and Puget Sound blackmouth with ease in years past. I'd never go back to Cannons again.

  11. #11

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    I use ball tens. They work really well and the scottie will get them up in a hurry.

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    Old Charlie White the salmon guru from down in BC did some tests with all the different types of weights. He towed them all at the same depth toward a gradual slope and determined that the round ball always hit bottom first. He determined that surface area is the key and a round ball has the least surface area exposed to the water of any shape. I use 12 pound round with the small tab off the back, what ever you chose, stick with it, learn it, and you will get good with it. Don't mix and match it will just confuse the issue.

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    Show me a commercial troller towing anything beside a ball-shaped weight.

    Balls always run straight, and that's vastly more important than which one runs deepest. Fish or pancakes may or may not run straight.

    Run as heavy a ball as you can afford and your downrigger can run.

  14. #14
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Big Round Balls

    I personally have Big Heavy Round Balls. 12 pounds. The Scotty's can handle the weight and if you need to get down deep for kings or are fishing in current; the heavier the better.
    Commercial trollers use 60 pound balls( or heavier) for a reason. The can control the depth their gear is at and minimize "blow back".

    The lighter the ball the higher it will "float": for example: You may mark fish at 90 feet and are trolling at 2 knots with a 90 feet of wire out. Your terminal tackle ( lure) might only be a 75 feet. With heavier balls your cable will be closer to straight down so that when you want your lure at 90 feet you can put out 90 - 95 feet of wire and be relitively sure that your lure is in the feeding zone.

    Pancake weights tend to flag way out when you turn. They act like a wing. Again this changes your depth. Sometimes I mark Kings and make a turn to get back over the fish. The last thing I want is my gear flagged out twenty feet higher than when I put it.

    Remember salmon are looking up so you want your lure above the fish in order to catch their interest.

  15. #15
    Member fishnngrinn's Avatar
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    Default Downrigger weights

    I have a "Herby" fish mold, and can make 10lb fish weights. If anyone is interested let me know. One good thing about them is they are easy to handle and they don't roll around on deck
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