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Downriggers


Chromeslayer

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You cant go wrong with either Scotty's or Cannons. Both have great reputations. I have ran both and I think if I were to buy again I would stick with the Scotty's. There are some great features on them and if you talk to any repair shop in the area they get less Scotty's in for repair.

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Had to get a plug in for Big Jon's since they are not even metioned yet... you either love or hate the flex in the boom, but it is very forgiving to your cables and cannonballs in rough seas... I'm running a pair from the mid 80's still going strong, not a single problem with them... granted they are slow as heck by today's standards, but they owe me NOTHING by now until they die.

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Another plug for Big Jons. Ive fished on other boats with Cannons,Scotties,Penns etc.

Ive rebuilt my big Johns twice now .Ive had em 20yrs and they

were used when I got them. I to think there is something to that

long flexable arm out to the side when your rockin and rollin.

New gears ,bearings ,spools bushings and switches.Parts for both

came to about $240 bucks but they are new again.

Big jon has several models Im talking about the ES 1000 model.

Top of Big Jons line. I also have a couple of the new

captains packs and they are not the rigger the ES 1000"s are.I had a spool break in half last yr bringing a 12lb ball with the temp probe hooked to it'

I didnt lose the probe but I now keep a pair of leather gloves handy.

If I was to buy new I would go with the upper model I think they are

now called a "speed rigger". With the big jons everything is out in the open and easy to get to.

I call it the" beauty of simplicity"

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I have had many different makes thru the 30 years of fishing the great lakes. I currently have the Cannon Digi-trol IV .They have performed flawlessly for me since I bought them almost 5 years ago. I would take a serious look at the new Cannon's HS. In a nut shell, you won't go wrong with any of the above mentioned riggers. I'm somewhat partial to the Cannons' however. And I have no ties to them what so ever. Just my opinion.

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I'll be the odd man and vote for Penns. I have 5 Fathom Master 835's and love them. I don't know their retrieval rate but they are ALOT faster than the Cannon Mag 10A's on my other boat. They have up to 10 programmable stops that can be set with one push of a button. This feature is really nice. If you have the rigger set for example at 50' the next time you reset you hit the button momentarily down and it takes you back to 50' and stops on its own. I usually set a stop point about 5' down so that when they are raised the cannon ball is down in the water and not above it swinging wildly around. If I had to rig up another boat I would not hesitate buying more Penns.

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Ive fished Lake Ontario since 1978, used em all fished on alot of boats and recently went to scottys for a few simple reasons.

1 their affordable

2 they are fast as lightning

3 they dont break

Ive talked to alot of guys that have them and they have nothing but good to say, very economical fast and dependable! I run my moor on them and one nice thing is you can feather it to a stop so not jerk to a hault and never lost one(I recrimp at least once a week) and that seems to help probe life! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not to be rude, but I'd like to 'hitch-hike' on this thread. I have two Scotty's, 1106 electric, and never had a major problem. I do however, have an annoyance with the weight deployment lever. It is not easy to select any certain speed and always seems jerky.

I have been thinking about changing to 2 Digi-Troll IV Cannons, but have heard bad things about the 'Bottom Tracking' feature. This feature is one thing that attracted me to the Digi's and I'm wondering if anyone can share whether it is or it isn't an issue. $2400 is a large investment for me, so I'd like to have as much info as I can get. I also like the Pos-ion control and the jigging capability.

Thanks in advance,

Edd

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Edd,

I run 6 cannon digi-troll IV HS models on my boat. Started out 29 years ago with hand crank Proos riggers and have tried most all or have fished other boats with them all. Some were better than others, BUT I love the Cannons for the reasons you stated. Jigging/digi-trolling cut bait for large tourny kings in late summer here is our main stay for the larger king salmon(not as much for quantity though) And Ion controll works best for us to MOVE FISH (set on high) rather than an attractor. Most charter guys I talk with agree the Ion deal works Way better in salt water as an attractor. We have 2 riggers for bottom tracking (master and slave) Great for lake trout fishing and smaller-temp. orientated brown trout. But we also love the bottom track feature with a second temp. probe on it to monitor bottom currents and find bottom temp. pockets. The bottom tracking feature was anywhere from average to difficult to run on the cannons over the years though. We upgrade the cannons every few years and as for up speed NO rigger is faster to change/reload lure sets. Couple tipps with the cannons is get the low profile stainless mounts (17 locking positions) ocean version, allows you to precisely keep your weights apart against deepwater blowback or side swaying of the weights.. And stick with the old style cannon booms, solid 1 piece (No telescopic booms) especially with the 6 footers. Hope that helps and if you come up with any new cannon combinations PLEASE TELL.

JERRY

REBEL

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Have to agree with Jerry. He summed it up well. I have been using the digi-trols now for going on 5 years. Best rigger on the market I.M.O. Another great feature is that of the 5 memory settings. This is an extremely keen feature when wanting to replicate the exact target depth. Also when at the back of the boat you can monitor the bottom depth as well. Short stop feature as well as 3 programmable settings for lowering and raising the rigger ball. As you mentioned, they are not cheap, but I feel that they are worth the money.

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Musky, if you are referring to when the oscillating feature is set, it comes up 5 feet from the point of your deepest set. I have mine set at 60 second intervals. Also, if you first really load the rod up to begin with, at 5 feet ascend, there is not enough so called slack to be concerned with. Not saying that a few on board on occasion, has thought that rod has fired :) Otherwise at one minute settings you would be constantly reloading that particular rod. I hope I answered your question.

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