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MuskyMark

Viewing downrigger weights on your graph

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Hello everyone. As I read more and more postings here on the LOU and try to educate myself to become a better Lake "O" fisherman, I have a question regarding being able to see your downrigger weights on you fish finder screen. I have a Lowrance HDS-8 fish finder with down scan and side scan image capability and gps with chart overlay. The unit uses two transducers, one for the down/side scan image and a combination 200hz/85hz transducer for the regular sonar. I have never ben able to see my weights on the screen. I own 2 older Walker downriggers that I use with 10lb round weights. I plan on upgrading this winter to 2 Canon Mag 10's with 15lb Atomiks directional weights. I understand that trolling speeds and current will affect how far back your weights will run. Apparently with these lighter weights the blowback must be so great that the weights are out of the sonar cone in the water. With that being said does anyone have a ball park idea of how big of an area you are actually viewing under the boat based upon the transducers I'm using? I realize the deeper the water the larger the viewing area. I don't believe my unit numerically displays to you the size of the area your viewing based upon your water depth. I was once told that if you take a certain percentage of the overall depth that will give you your viewing area, but I don't know what that percentage is. If anyone has any info I would greatly appreciate the help. As usual, thanks to all on the site for your knowledge and help.

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I put a new HDS-8 on my boat this year as well and here's a few of my observations:

 

1.) I also cannot see my downrigger balls past 75' down, especially at speeds >2.5 sog unless I turn the sensitivity WAY UP (80+)

 

2.) Also, at higher motor RPM's (4.3 Merc I/O) I also pick up a lot of interference so I'm forced to turn down the Sensitivity

 

3.) I discovered the Fish n' Chip feature on my last trip this year (select the Fish n' Chip feature in Menu and it gives excellent contour data if you use a Navionics Card)

 

4.) After adjusting the ducer up a bit to pick up the balls, it made it impossible for the unit to pick up depth at full throttle. The transducer really needs to be parallel to the bottom

 

Just a few thoughts on the HDS-8 during my first full season with it. I don't love it, but I don't hate it.......

 

Good luck,

 

Chris

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The size of the area you are viewing is determined by the cone angle of your transducer (look at your specs), and the depth at which you desire to know the area.  Draw the cone; drop a straight vertical line down from the point to the depth of interest.  The width across the base of the cone at the depth of interest (simple trig) is the diameter of your viewing area.

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WOW it has been a long time sense high school ( 30 years goes so fast).  If I did my math correctly, and you have a 20 deg. cone, you should be scanning a 17.6 foot circle at 50 feet down and a 35.26 foot circle at 100 feet down.

 

Usually to pick up your rigger balls you just have to pitch the transducer a couple of clicks back past level with the water line (not level with the boat). Most boats sit with the bow up slightly due to engine weight. I personally do not like to see my rigger weights all the time. I think it clutters the screen too much. I have my transducer set so if I slow down slightly or take a turn the balls will show just to verify their position. 

 

Good luck and tight lines

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momay4000,

 

Give Lowrance a call. I had a similar issue with interference with my humminbird. I contacted them concerning a ferrite, which is a form of filter. I just wanted to know if they thought it was a good idea and which one to purchase.  They in return just sent me the one I needed at no cost. Basically the one they sent is a ring, you take your transducer cable and put it through the middle of the ring as many times as you can, wrapping the cable around the ring. It should come with a picture set of directions if you do not understand how I am wording it. It will not stop all the interference but it cleared my screen immensely.  I could not read anything on my screen if I had to up my RPM's on a windy day. Now I can read it with just a little clutter (not too bad).

 

Good luck and tight lines

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I have an hds 7 and pick my 12 lb torpedoes up down 100' and further on calm days. 83 kHz only. Nothing with 200khz. Stock transducer. My issue is rough days and loss of signal as well as marking bottom and fish while running over 20 mph.

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  • Thanks Momay4000, so it sounds like I'm not really doing anything wrong but it actually the unit and transducers. I really don't want to adjust my transducer angle because it seems to be right on to read the bottom and I still need to see the bottom for bass and musky fishing. This is my first season with the unit and I'm still in the learning process of using it. I'm curious about a different card as well. I believe mine is the Lowrance factory install. the detail is good but I think  I can do better. Plus there is no contour map for the Upper Niagara river between Lake Erie and Niagara falls. This is one of our primary musky haunts. So a new card is maybe in the future.

Thanks landing Zone, I knew there was a way to calculate the viewing are but couldn't remember how do figure it out.

Thanks Richard, I'm not sure if I want to see the weights on the screen or not, like you said to much clutter, but I figured that at some point  I should be able to see them. It is a good way to see were you are running your baits.

Thanks KingSlammin, I agree the 83hz transducer would be the wider cone to use to see your weights and not the 200hz. I had a similar problem to what you have going on and I had to adjust the mounting position of my transducer. It was too shallow and I was mounted slightly off level from port to starboard. It would be fine going slow but once I sped or turned the bottom picture would be gone.

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Use the 83 (some units 50) for marking the weights with downriggers and if need be switch to the 200khz when "checking out" bottom oriented features or cruising. Sometimes using the reduce Clutter function and turning up the sensitivity can give you the desired bottom signal at speed with the lower khz setting too but the transducer has to be located at the correct angle (for your particular boat hull) and positioned in a reduced turbulance area. My unit (much more basic  unit) will mark bottom fine at over 50 mph on the 83 khz setting with the standard dual beam Lowrance transducer but I had to play a bit with the transducer angle taking into consideration being on plane and looking at the way the water would pass that area of the hull (and it is on a mounting board on the transom rather than directly on the transom itself).

 

Momay - resistor spark plugs may help

Edited by Sk8man

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Make sure you go into sonar- installation then select the proper transducer you are using by model number, there will be a little silver tag on your transducer cord you will find it there, you will mark with a 83 just have to planpy with settings.

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Hey gentlemen,

 

Thanks for some great ideas - I typically use 200 kHz, so next year I'll be sure to try the 83. Also, I will switch to resitor plugs.

 

Thanks boys - have a great off season and for those that hunt, have a great season in the field,

 

Chris

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