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downrigger terminal connectors-

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Well, this weekend I had the privilege of losing my first downrigger ball, along with the subtroll probe.... so I retied with my thimble and crimps on the same rigger/coated wire and proceeded to lose my second ball about 5 minutes later. I have been fishing for 10 years and never lost a ball.... EVER. Finally figured out that my coated cable was shot and replaced the entire spool.

There is about $250 sitting in about 30 FOW in front of the old lighthouse in sodus for any divers out there!

This brought up an important question though. Since I no longer trust the thimble/crimp method, what is best for a connection- cannon or klincher? I want to know for my temp probe (subtroll) rigger specifically... but general comments welcome.

Thanks guys

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I only have a couple of years experience, but always have had the tru-trac clinchers. We lost a torpedo and a nice Chamberlain release last weekend, due to a kink in the cable, not the termination. It only takes a couple minutes to re-terminate using the tru-trac. No tools needed.

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I run cannon terminators on all my riggers except the probe.

Your cable needs to come in contact with the metal connection on the probe in order for it to send the signal from the probe up the cable.

Best advice has already been given.

Redo the connection every season whether it needs it or not.

When you redo it, put the weight on with no probe, and before you tape it up, and bounce it around a bit to make sure its good.

Then inspect it, tape it up and you will be good to go.


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Coated cable - use a Walker Clincher release. Need to modify by drilling out the rivet that holds the ball swivel clip and install a stainless steel bolt and self locking nut. Search the archives and you will find several threads with pictures and directions. Works great and provides a great signal up the cable.

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I use Cannon terminations on everything......even the probe. For the coated cable termination, just leave a long tag end of wire, strip the coating off, and wrap the bare wire around and thru the eye of the termination swivel to complete the signal to the probe. Have never lost a ball or signal to the probe with this set-up.

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I've doubled crimped weights for many years and haven't had problems. (knock on wood)

The rules I follow:

1. Never trailer the boat with weights on.

2. Never have boat under power (except for trolling) with weight hanging from rigg'r.

3. Never pull the weight out of the water except when you're attaching a line. (when you clear the rigg'rs when you have a big fish on - leave the ball couple inches under the water)

4. Always re-terminate every year.

5. Keep an eye on the wire & pulley, re-terminate whenever you see/feel a kink, fray, or pig tail.

Crimps are cheap - probes aren't.

Tom B.


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