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Hooked on Kings

smart troll vs fish hawk

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last season I wanted to buy a probe, Fish Hawk or Smart Troll couldn't decide so waiting one more year to get more feedback on the smart troll system. I would appreciate any advice as to which one to buy or pros and cons on each. Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Have not had the pleasure to try a smart troll but can tell you after running an 840 for years I am a big fan of the x4. I get a full season out of a set of  aa's and it just plain works in all types of wave action....Having the x4 I'd be hard pressed to move to a smart troll given the x4's ease of operation.  

my two cents

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Nice to know that the Fish Hawk is durable and trustworthy, thanks for the info. Could someone share info on the smart troll system, again I appreciate your help. 

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Well, I know even less about the Depth raider but I would like to know more about any product available. Does the raider require coated cable and what's the total cost for the system. I'm just looking to get the biggest bang for the buck. thanks for the reply.

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yes I believe it does need a coated cable. I dont have any of the above mentioned and most likely wont for awhile. This was my first year on the bigwater. I will probably get a simple thermometer that  I can lower down on the rigger ball before  I start trolling to check the temps at whatever depth the ball gets too. forget what those are called.

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I use a depth raider and it does require a coated cable.  I works well but the guys I fish with beat up my cable so I've been through a couple (cables) in the past few years.  The depth raider is a fine temp/speed probe which alot of guys run, but it does use the coated cable, some guys get many seasons out of a cable, I unfortunately do not.  The unit runs $430+ with everything you need.  The other mentioned units are at least $100 more if you shop around.  Replacement cables for the depth raider run around $50.  Uses the same cable as the sub troll unit.  Another downside of the coated cable is you can only run the unit on that rigger which also has the antenna.  If your cable or antenna goes bad you can't just move the probe to another rigger and keep fishing.  Also creates problem for auto stop, at least with my big jon riggers, the hole in the antenna is too small for the autostop bead.  Other units mentioned don't have those issues.

 

Adk1, I use my probe for speed at the lure ALL the time.  Temp is important, but many times the current/wind will be so bad you can never get the speed right if you only go by gps or ff speed.  IMO speed at the lure is as/or more important than the down temp.  I think the unit you're refering to is the fish hawk td which gives you temp at 5ft intervals.  Good info to have, but IMO down speed is more important.

 

Hope this helps.

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thanks yes it does. Unfortunatly I cant justify that kind of coin at the moment as I still need more pretinent things like some new electronics..

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Adk1,

 

Honestly, I'd reorganize my electronics priorities if I were you.  I'd fish without a graph before I'd fish without downspeed and temp.  You can get by with a second rate or even 3rd rate graph, but if you don't know where the temps are and what the currents are doing down where your baits are running, you might as well stay on shore, IMO.

 

Tim

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Adk1,

Honestly, I'd reorganize my electronics priorities if I were you. I'd fish without a graph before I'd fish without downspeed and temp. You can get by with a second rate or even 3rd rate graph, but if you don't know where the temps are and what the currents are doing down where your baits are running, you might as well stay on shore, IMO.

Tim

yes yes yes

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Hmmm. Thats allot of $ for only getting to fish Lake O once or twice a year...

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I run a depth raider, brand new out of the box the unit was 1/2 a mph off. While chatting with a charter captain who also uses a depth raider. He mentioned his unit was also 1/2 a mph off ! I'd go with a Moors speed n temp

Sent from my XT907 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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ADK - Tim has a good point.  The temp/depth speed at ball/lure issue isn't just related to Lake O either....most of the deep water  lakes stratify e.g Great Sacandaga included- (creating a thermocline layer ) significantly in the summer months/early Fall and temp at depth becomes very important .... Spring and winter ...not much...you can mark all kinds of fish on a depth finder without knowing what they are, why they are where they are, or if they may be actively seeking food but the temp information can give you some strong "clues" or "leads" about what may be happening there and whether your probabilities are increased for catching fish. Speed at the ball/lure lets you know what your lure might be doing (or not doing) and whether adjustments might be required (speed of boat, length of leader etc.) If the screen of the temp device is watched diligently you will know exactly what "state" to return to after a fish hits that particular set-up which saves a lot of time and screwing around. With that said a Fishawk TD is much better than nothing.....but it has limitations. It gives you a static (one time) picture of the temperature profile every 5 ft. down say a hundred feet so you can see where the most radical change in temps occur and then run your stuff in that range (e..g downriggers or Seth Green rigs). The main problem there is that the stratification layers are not consistent throughout the lake or the water column (e.g. wavy up and down or laterally with currents or spring inputs etc.) so while you're trolling along the thermocline changes depth significantly and you aren't aware of the changes and keep trolling on without results. For many if not most folks it comes down to economics though and it is a lot of money to lay out if you don't fish often or don't do a whole lot of summer/early Fall trolling....not everyone actually NEEDS half the stuff they have Including me (acording to my wife) :lol:

Edited by Sk8man

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Can't tell you how many thousands of fish I've taken out of temp.

I see them on the graph, I catch them.

I don't see them on the graph, I move.

Down speed and temp is a good tool absolutely.

I much prefer a quality FF.

 

Fish Hawk, Depth Raider or Sub Troll.

They all work and it's all about personal preference.

I run a Sub troll and it does what I want it to do.

 

Good luck.

 

Glen

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Hammer down: a half mile off compared to what? The different units read different. DR and Subtroll are usually pretty close, which makes sense considering they use the same technology. The Fish Hawk reads a half mile faster at the same speed than the DR/Moor. Who's to say which is correct? The actual number is irrelevent anyway, the value in a probe is repeatability. If you find that you normally catch most of your fish at 1.8 - 2.2 down speed like I do on my DR, as long as you can replicate that, it really doesn't matter what the actual speed is.

Edited by Tim Bromund

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Glen, can't tell you how many thousands of fish I've taken on a blank screen over the years either. Just sayin'

Tim

 

Sounds like you need a new FF Tim

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Nope, works just fine. We mark a ton of fish, just saying it's not at all uncommon to get bit on a blank screen.

Edited by Tim Bromund

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Moor subtroll uses a coated cable to relay info to unit. Used one battery all season Worked great with no problems. Also got bites with no marks on ff screen. Amazing how surface speed and down speed varies at times due to currents. Absolutely a valuable tool for your trolling arsenal.

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I think most will agree once you fish with down temp and speed you won't want to be without it .On lake O every time I turn I have to adjust speed and every time the wind blows down temp changes . All the units today work well and if money isn't an object I would buy the the Fish Hawk . I myself am a weekend warrior and found a Depth Raider refurb on Ebay for $330. This will be my 4th season on the coated cable and see no real sign of wear.(you can reverse ends of the cable to extend it's life ) I have Scotty electric riggers and bought their antenna adapter that works great with the stop beads on the coated cable. Good Luck !!

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I also have the Moore sub troll, I had one of the first units, they were called a "Penguin" analog speed digital temp. had a few issues which Morre took care off. Loved for a few years then started to see the digital speed & temp so I upgraded to that. I HATED the digital speed, it flips around so it hard to pinpoint your exact spped, so I switced back to analog speed. With a simple needle to show the speed you can at a quick glance pin point your speed when you get hit. I also found that mounting it on my downrigger board at teh back of the boat is the best location. It has worked great on the coated cable for many years.

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Cheapest place I found for the new Fish Hawk X4d and where I got mine. They even included a nice fish hawk probe storage case and the fowl weather cover for free!!

http://northwoodsoutlet.net/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=76_93_94&product_id=2103

If u call them it's $649

It's also the cheapest place I found for the Bert's ratcheting rod holders. $59.99ea

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To help answer original posters question, I have the smart troll and it is a good system. Easy to use, versatile and reliable.

What I like is I can have a probe on my downrigger ND another on my dipsey line to know exactly where my lines are and temp. You can also move the probes to another boat with the transducer installed.

Smart troll is coming out with the speed probe this year which will close the gap on all other systems. It will be a superior option once this probe is available.

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I am sure that I will pull the trigger on a fish hawk at some point.

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