Hey sinkorswim, i got one for xmas too and am working on the same issue,of course i know Santa personally so it wasn't a huge surprise...lol
I also read some people had issues with the supplied cable so i had started thinking i would make one of my own using 2 cannon terminators (never had one fail) but as i messed around it kind of morphed into a Scotty 1155 trolling snap that i re-purposed from a snubber and kinda untwisted and slid a swivel from the cannon terminator on it. the swivel goes on the probe and the scotty snap to the ball. If anyone can see a flaw in the plan please tell me before i find out the hard way...but as it stands it seems pretty solid...water test is this weekend.
I could never warm up to the idea of a snubber...very sound theory but the extra points of failure scared me too much. I will put it on if Im intentionally bouncing bottom but other than that I dont use it hence stealing the clip from it.
Also with your breaking cables, I hope you figured it out, as there must be something happening with your setup.