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Downrigger Masters, Please help

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  • Downrigger Masters, Please help

    Been using downriggers trolling for 5 years now. Been on boats fishing all my life. I feel I have a pretty good grip on fundamentals of dropping the weights, setting the releases, etc. The magic of speed, type of lures, and locations I'm still working on.

    That said, I tangled my f****** cannonballs up yesterday while trolling in a relatively straight line. Almost lost one cannonball, and straightened out the snap holding the ball to the wire. It was a new trick to me and I did not like it.

    I stepped up and bought 13# cannonballs this year. I bought the pancake shaped weights and I was real excited to use them. I think my wires are hanging a little straighter, but I have had a few more gear tangles this year and yesterday I tangled the cannonballs.

    The tides were huge yesterday and the cross currents could have been a little crazy. Can someone tell me if they have had any issues with this type of cannonball? Any insight as to how the heck I tangled up? Thank you in advance for any advice.:topjob:

  • #2
    With the pancake canon balls you can tune the fins on them to help spread the set.
    Using a mallet give the fin a couple of whacks to bend it in the direction you want it to track.
    I.E. slightly bend the fin to port on the port side and starboard on the starboard side and the balls will pull to the outboard side of the boat giving more separation to them. It's possible they are slightly bent from the factory so first reverse the sides you currently run them on.
    Remember to mark the balls once you have them running properly. If you put them on the wrong sides you will know pretty quickly.

    Also you don't need to make much of a tweak to them to get the desired track so don't go nuts.
    sigpic
    www.arcticangler.ca
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_7mPiqoqw&t=11s

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    • #3
      I do like DRIFTER says. I have mine marked and no problems now.

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      • #4
        Yup. Tune em. We use them at speeds up to 9mph or so when trolling tuna on my trips back east. I also spread my booms as much as possible when using regular balls. Use whatever trick it takes.

        Lots of weirdness can happen underwater when the tides and currents are strong. Trouble is, the places the currents swirl and eddy are best for fishing even as they're worst for tangles.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard

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        • #5
          I use 12-15lb danielsons pancakes and round ones. The cheaper pancakes you have to keep the fin strait or "tune" it. the trick with rigging is to have the same amount of drag on each rigger. No bent fins especially when you boost your speed to turn or avoid rocks or debris(why i like danielsons pancakes they are strait and usually stay strait) "tuned" fins stray off coarse when sped up. If you have bent fins go to round danielsons.
          Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
          www.kodiakcombos.com

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          • #6
            rough, windy, strong currents?

            When hitting a productive spot with adverse conditions, I troll one downrigger and make a couple of passes. If the spot is producing I only use the one rigger.
            Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
            www.kodiakcombos.com

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            • #7
              I'm with Jeff. Pancakes are a pain, I ran them and they casued more issues than ever. I run 4 riggers, all day everyday, 12lb rounds with the short fins, I can't tell you the last time I had a tangled the rigger balls, no matter the current.
              Life's too short for an ugly boat

              Blaze N Abel Charters
              Kodiak, AK
              www.alaska-fish.com
              https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

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              • #8
                I call this skidding when it happens. You can also try speeding up about half a mile an hour, and add some drag to pancakes like a 11" flasher or my favorite, the Swarm. If its a really good spot I'll go into and with current, even if its perpendicular to the shore I'm trolling.
                qf

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                • #9
                  15 lb round balls. I've found fins and odd shapes only cause problems.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kodiakcombo View Post
                    When hitting a productive spot with adverse conditions, I troll one downrigger and make a couple of passes. If the spot is producing I only use the one rigger.
                    Agreed. I've got a few spots that require a tighter turn than 2 rods will allow or the wind makes 2 rods a nightmare. 1 rod does just fine. I'd rather fish 1 rod in the right spot, than 4 rods in the wrong spot.
                    Alaska Wide Open Charters
                    www.alaskawideopen.com
                    907-965-0130

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 270ti View Post
                      ...or the wind makes 2 rods a nightmare....
                      Ain't that the truth! Get the boat to crabbing and twisting one way on the wind and chop while the current goes another. Talk about a rodeo!
                      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                      Merle Haggard

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the help/advice so far guys!! I want to try to use these things, they cost too much to not use. Keep it coming. There are a few Jedi trollers yet to sound in.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bkbaker View Post
                          Thanks for all the help/advice so far guys!! I want to try to use these things, they cost too much to not use. Keep it coming. There are a few Jedi trollers yet to sound in.
                          +1, this thread has some great information!

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