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Thread: Downriggers............?

  1. #1
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Default Downriggers............?

    I am thinking about buying a couple of downriggers for those rare ocasions I take my riverboat to Homer or Valdez (twice a year at this point).

    Mounting is no probelm, I have that all worked out, but was trying to decide if I should stick with a manual unit or spring for a power retrieve? I have two batteries and the wiring would be ez to do.

    I would be using for kings in Homer and silvers in Valdez, I have never used them so I know nothing about down riggers other than I think they will increase my success rate?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated................Thanks, John
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    unless you plan to use them quite often (it doesn't sound like it) I would just buy a couple of manuals.
    I have had a pair of Cannon Easi-Trolls on my boat for nearly 20 years and have had no issues with them. I run 10 and 12 pound cannon balls and have been out in some nasty water and never had any breakage issues. They are easy to remove when you aren't using them with their Tab-Loc bases. They just slide in and out of the base.
    Great product.

    http://store.cannondownriggers.com/p...068/Easi-Troll


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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I agree to go manual if only using them a few times a year, unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket, the electric downriggers are awfully spendy, and IMO, unless you are running a charter using them all the time with a bunch of rookies, they are not necessary.

  4. #4
    Charterboat Operator
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    i have and love my scotty electric ones would reccomend them to anyone, but for only occasional usage i have to agree w/ drifter on those manual cannons. i think for the manuals that the cannons out perform the scottys, and are definitly "affordable"
    my.02

  5. #5

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    Considering the number of people I know chasing electrical problems with theirs, that seems to be an inevitable result of saltwater baptisms. I'd only consider electric if you used them a lot and wanted saddled with the extra upkeep.

    One thing I notice, too. Guys with electric rigs in our waters tend to use them a lot more, for what that's worth. It's certainly more convenient, but the convenience tends to drive them into more open water where they're easier to use. Not always a good thing when the fish are in really tight quarters among the reefs and kelp.

  6. #6

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    You may find that after you get the hang of using a downrigger, you want to use it more often. I love trolling with them. I have Cannon Mag 10 electrics. You do have to maintain the connections, and I always clean mine with soap and water after using, (along with just about everything else on the boat). The manuals are just fine too.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    IMO, unless you are running a charter using them all the time with a bunch of rookies, they are not necessary.
    My slip neighbor (charter) changed out all his electrics to manuals, for the exact same reason. He says manuals are less problematic for the inexperienced. I don't necessarily agree. Hitting the "auto up" is easier than cranking, and makes for one less thing to do when its "fish on".

  8. #8
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, for the info.......it has been helpful........now its time to do some shoppin............!
    Any tips about mounting location? I have a good spot at the transom, in from the gunnels about 6 to 8 inches........
    What about height? I have to fab up a pedestal and can vary thr height..........should I just make it convinent for the operator or does it matter at all?
    Trying to avoid doing things twice...........unless it involves something fun....!
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  9. #9
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Just set them up where it's convienient for the operator.
    Mine are on the gunnels just forward of the console on my boat (18' Fisher bass/walleye type boat).
    I put them there for safety as there is a raised casting deck in the back and it would be pretty easy to go for a swim in rough water while leaning over the edge to set the lines. Forward there is 2' of gunnel to lean against while setting lines in the back 3".

  10. #10

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    It sure would be nice to hit a button and have the downrigger raise itself, but what happens when you've just hooked into a nice fish, you hit the button and nothing happens?

    Or you're trolling along in unfamiliar territory and you suddenly see the bottom coming up on your depth finder from 90 ft. to 25 ft. in 5 seconds and you need to get that downrigger weight up above that structure really fast? I can reel my manual up VERY quickly and you aren't going to have that option with most electrics.

    I also hate the thought of having just one more electrical device on my boat that is going to get corroded and give me problems. Manuals are very easy to maintain and I have never had any problem with my switch not working.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  11. #11

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    All valid points, "Muttley". I haven't had any of those problems with mine (5 seasons), but if I did, I'd deal with them. I don't have any issues with the manuals either. Both models have their + and -. I currently don't work my boat or equipment as hard as you do, I'm sure. Maintenance is ongoing, and I'm sure you'd agree as the weather gets colder, it gets harder and harder to keep up with.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    All valid points, "Muttley". I haven't had any of those problems with mine (5 seasons), but if I did, I'd deal with them. I don't have any issues with the manuals either. Both models have their + and -. I currently don't work my boat or equipment as hard as you do, I'm sure. Maintenance is ongoing, and I'm sure you'd agree as the weather gets colder, it gets harder and harder to keep up with.
    Yeah, I've got enough to worry about in maintenance to have to worry about another electrical connection getting corroded and not working at a critical time. Kind of hard to explain to a paying customer why that beautiful king they had up to the side of the boat wrapped itself around the downrigger cable when you weren't able to reel it up due to electrical malfunction. I have NEVER had a manual not function on me when I needed it to. I've had some manual malfunctions, but I try to let my clients know I'm not always the sharpest tack in the bunch before they go out with me. I can typically crank my downriggers up in about 7 or 8 seconds, so I've got the weights up and out of the way before the person has the fish close to the boat.

    And like I've said in other posts about manual vs. electric, next you're going to want electric fishing reels so they can do all the work for you. No sense having to reel the fish it if you can get the reel to do it. Might as well go to the store and just buy fish. Save you a lot of work!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  13. #13

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    I have run cannon electric downriggers for 10 years with only two mishaps, If you get electrics you need to buy some Corrosion X to put on connections.. While you are at it, spray some on battery terminals, and all other connections.. You can buy Corrosion X from Polar Wire on Anchorage. I seen it at the Fish House in seward too.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksportfisher View Post
    I have run cannon electric downriggers for 10 years with only two mishaps, If you get electrics you need to buy some Corrosion X to put on connections.. While you are at it, spray some on battery terminals, and all other connections.. You can buy Corrosion X from Polar Wire on Anchorage. I seen it at the Fish House in seward too.
    Call Polar Wire before you go there to make sure they have it. As of a few weeks ago, they'd lost their distributor and were looking for another one and were out of Corrosion X. The only other place in Anchorage that had it was Availl Aircraft Equipment. They're out by the airport.

  15. #15

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    Any dielectric grease will work. Available at any auto store. Comes in squeeze tube or spray can. Several manufacturers.(Permatex, Loctite, CRC) I keep a small squeeze tube and a spray can on board.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksportfisher View Post
    I have run cannon electric downriggers for 10 years with only two mishaps...
    Thus a good reason for not using them. I've run manuals for 18 years and the only mishaps I've had were from self induced stupidity. If one of those mishaps happens when one of my clients has a 30 lb. winter king on the line and it wraps itself around the downrigger cable I'd be quite unhappy and I have a feeling my client would be a LOT more unhappy than I am.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  17. #17

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    I only run electric cannons because I have fished alot with my family.. It was easiler for me to just a toogle a switch for weight to come to surface.. so I can get back to driving boat. I have never lost a fish to downrigger cable.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksportfisher View Post
    I only run electric cannons because I have fished alot with my family.. It was easiler for me to just a toogle a switch for weight to come to surface.. so I can get back to driving boat. I have never lost a fish to downrigger cable.
    Sorry. Thus MY reason for not using them. I don't want to take the chance that one of my clients will lose a nice (or even not THAT nice) fish to a downrigger cable that suddenly decides not to come up when I want it to. If I had just ONE of those mishaps you had when someone that paid me to get them a fish had one on and the fish wrapped itself around that cable I can't tell you how bad I'd feel, and I'm sure YOU can imagine how you'd feel if YOU were the one to lose that fish. Once again, my manuals have NEVER failed in 18 years of use.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  19. #19
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    I've done enough fishing with kids to know that sometimes a good fish is ready to net before the gear gets hauled, due to excitement, inattention, crowding, or general incompetence. I can usually get things in myself, but things happen. You can do a lot to keep a fish out of your rigger cable by keeping the angler in one or the other rear corner of the cockpit and maintaining your trolling speed. This helps the kid keep the line tight, and you have a bit more control of things when the kid gets it close to the boat.

    If the crew is up to it, I've left the rig that didn't get bit in the water even up to the time a fish was landed. I don't do this for fish that take line strongly (i.e. a good king), but I have delayed bringing up the opposite rig even with a king on the line, and that has resulted in a double more than once. Keep the angler in a good position to fight the fish, and if the situation allows you to drag the other line a little longer, so much the better.

    I've run penn manuals for the last three seasons, because I had them sitting around and didn't care to buy new. This year I'm switching to Scotty electrics picked up from an estate sale. I'm not sweating failure, as I know from experience that I can maneuver the boat in such a way as to keep the line out back and away from the cable on the odd chance of a downrigger failure. Helps to be controlling the boat from the cockpit, if that's possible for you.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    I've done enough fishing with kids to know that sometimes a good fish is ready to net before the gear gets hauled, due to excitement, inattention, crowding, or general incompetence. I can usually get things in myself, but things happen. You can do a lot to keep a fish out of your rigger cable by keeping the angler in one or the other rear corner of the cockpit and maintaining your trolling speed. This helps the kid keep the line tight, and you have a bit more control of things when the kid gets it close to the boat.

    If the crew is up to it, I've left the rig that didn't get bit in the water even up to the time a fish was landed. I don't do this for fish that take line strongly (i.e. a good king), but I have delayed bringing up the opposite rig even with a king on the line, and that has resulted in a double more than once. Keep the angler in a good position to fight the fish, and if the situation allows you to drag the other line a little longer, so much the better.

    I've run penn manuals for the last three seasons, because I had them sitting around and didn't care to buy new. This year I'm switching to Scotty electrics picked up from an estate sale. I'm not sweating failure, as I know from experience that I can maneuver the boat in such a way as to keep the line out back and away from the cable on the odd chance of a downrigger failure. Helps to be controlling the boat from the cockpit, if that's possible for you.
    Sorry. Some of us don't have the luxury of running the boat from the helm while clients are fighting a fish. It's just not that simple. When you have four lines in the water and you get a 28 lb. king on the line and 4 clients that have never even been fishing for salmon before, it's not just a matter of letting them deal with it while you maneuver the boat. If things aren't dealt with on the back deck while this is all happening, then clients lose fish. Clients pay me to get them fish. If I lose a fish because of my incompetence then I don't deserve what they are paying me to get them fish. It's that simple.

    Sure, there are times an electric downrigger can be a blessing (I hear you Cliffhanger), but that one-in-a-thousand chance happening of a "trophy" fish wrapping itself around the downrigger cable on MY boat because an electrical connection refused to operate is NOT an occurrence I am willing to let happen.

    Like I said, I am NOT willing to compromise what my clients are paying me for because I don't feel like spending 7 seconds reeling up a downrigger. If you don't care about whether or not you just might lose a fish to a downrigger that suddenly doesn't want to come up because of an electrical problem that's your prerogative and there are plenty of charter captains out there you can find that are willing to take that chance. I prefer to err on the safe side.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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