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Hooked on Kings

smart troll vs fish hawk

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OK, I am trying to decide between the X4 and the X4D.  What would you choose and why?  I know the X4D shows the depth of the ball, but what other advantages does it have over the X4?  Is it worth the extra money? 

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Fishhawk has more priority than my sonar. It was the best bang for the buck to up my fish catches. I fished 10 years without it and caught lots of fish but my catches tripled with down speed and temp!

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Speed probe? Do explain? What's different then the X4D?

 

At the time, the only shortfall for smart troll is they didn't have a speed probe, which gave the X4D an edge (the gap I referred to).

 

Now that Smart Troll has a speed probe (which I have purchased and am using), it is the most versatile system out there. You can add the speed probe and up to 5 other depth/temp probes on the same system.  If you want to check where your copper is, where your leadcore is, where your divers are in terms of depth (vs. where you think they are, which could be a whole lot different), then you can do it.

 

No other system can do this.

 

How do you think bloodrun produced all of their copper depth graphs? Using smart troll.

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Well pulled the trigger and purchased the Smart Troll system, speaking with the owner via e-mail he seems to be straight up and willing to stand behind his product. Ordered the plus package that comes with two speed/temp/depth probes. The probes with speed won't be available until April but I won't need them until May anyway. He said if for some reason they are still not ready he would send the temp/depth until the probes with speed are available. I will keep you informed on company service and how the product performs.  

 

Good choice. The speed probes are now available. Did you get one?

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OK, I am trying to decide between the X4 and the X4D.  What would you choose and why?  I know the X4D shows the depth of the ball, but what other advantages does it have over the X4?  Is it worth the extra money? 

 

X4D - your ball is not at the depth you think (it isn't line out on the rigger or what's on your fish finder, due to blowback). Blowback is significant unless you are using +20 lb balls.  Even with 16 lb balls down +130 ft, there is significant blowback.

 

But consider the Smart Troll - it is a much more versatile system. A lot of guys are switching to this.

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Having an expensive probe on 250 lb test cable is risky enough. Why would you want to put it on a line that could be broken off?

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Listen, I know you guys are trying to push your product, but "a lot" of guys are switching to this? In all of my contacts, I know of 1. Anyways, I don't believe any of these depth charts unless a scuba diver was used. My junk lines run deeper than what those "popular" charts say.

silverfoxcharters.net

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Having an expensive probe on 250 lb test cable is risky enough. Why would you want to put it on a line that could be broken off?

 

I've watched the Smart Troll over the last 2 or 3 seasons. It had some issues in the beginning, but I think they are finally figured out. I fished on a boat this Spring and we used it. I was very impressed. This unit isn't for everyone, but watching how your divers fluctuate on turns, and knowing exactly where they are is impressive. Especially, if you are putting them near the floor. If you're worried about cracking these off then you should be more concerned with the equipment you're using, and the people handling it.

 

Carl is also correct when saying you need to be able to use the data effectively. For tourney fishing I think this is a great tool to make you more efficient. The average weekend warrior maybe not.

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Listen, I know you guys are trying to push your product, but "a lot" of guys are switching to this? In all of my contacts, I know of 1. Anyways, I don't believe any of these depth charts unless a scuba diver was used. My junk lines run deeper than what those "popular" charts say.

silverfoxcharters.net

 

I think you're being a little ignant Scott. It's not cheap, but a pressure sensor is a pressure sensor. Knowing where lures are at can put more fish in the boat.

 

You really need to be more open minded buddy.

Edited by Yankee Troller

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It has nothing to do with accuracy. Its that I believe they run higher than a copper run clean. Bite me

silverfoxcharters.net

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It has nothing to do with accuracy. Its that I believe they run higher than a copper run clean. Bite me

silverfoxcharters.net

 

Who cares!?!?!? You know where it's at! Even if it's a 1' or 2' higher because the probe is on there??? Copper runs different when you run a spoon, 8" paddle, 10" paddle, 11" paddle, and oh yea lets get the brand in there because some whip bigger circles than others. Now throw current in there, and let that affect your dive curve.

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I put an X4 on my boat last year, and so far have caught less fish with it than I did the previous 4 years...might be poor fishing techniques or might be poor fish population or might be I don't fish as much last year and this year so far. I still rely on my senses of sight sound and graph. Sight...the rods are bent over right

The rigger cables are deflecting right and drawing a bubble of air down, creeping on the cable to a foot or more before letting go.

The color and look of the water are right.

I see a thermocline and bait on the graph

I see my riggers on the graph

Sound...I hear the hum and whine of the riggers cable. It's right for speed.

The drag pulling on the divers...too fast!

Then drag screaming...speed just right! Look to see what it is on GPS

look to see direction on compass heading....DUPLICATE!

now with the probe...it's another gadget to narrow the possibility of a human error...CAPT CARL HAS IT NAILED!

Edited by skipper19

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I've watched the Smart Troll over the last 2 or 3 seasons. It had some issues in the beginning, but I think they are finally figured out. I fished on a boat this Spring and we used it. I was very impressed. This unit isn't for everyone, but watching how your divers fluctuate on turns, and knowing exactly where they are is impressive. Especially, if you are putting them near the floor. If you're worried about cracking these off then you should be more concerned with the equipment you're using, and the people handling it.

Carl is also correct when saying you need to be able to use the data effectively. For tourney fishing I think this is a great tool to make you more efficient. The average weekend warrior maybe not.

I run quality stuff Rick. I run the same stuff you do for the most part. Sh*t happens that is out of ANYONES control. What you are trying to tell me is you never have a rigger fish come up into a diver before you can get to the rod? I think not..... All this technology is causing us to over think the entire process.

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Back in the mid seventies we used flashers (depth finders) to locate fish and a manual fishawk thermometer on a reel to determine where the thermocline was located and tried to fish accordingly. We caught quite a few fish and also the same with manual downriggers etc. Prior to that we used markings at intervals on the anchor rope to find depth  for stillfishing for trout (which is why my arms are still sore today :) ).  When I managed to get my first Heathkit graph that had to be hand assembled by my dad  in 1976 or so I remember a woman saying "That is very unfair....those fish don't have any chance at all now and that is poor sportsmanship" :lol:  The point I am getting to is that we get increasingly dependent on the technological side of this sport and the newest and greatest "gizmo" and if you are chartering it may be very desirable to go this route but there are a lot of folks who frequent  this website that may or may not be able to afford this stuff that is being presented as  "necessary" to catching fish successfully. I would say to the newbies viewing these things learn the basics of trolling and fishing before getting all wrapped up in the technology. Learning the basic skills such as learning to troll in the most productive directions, looking for signs of currents, watching for changes in wind direction and speed, gauging the angle of your lines and position of rod tips, paying close attention to details in all that you do while out there and the results of your actions and watching other more experienced anglers closely etc. If you fail to learn these basics all the technology in the world isn't going to put you consistently on fish. The technological advancements can "fine tune" or supplement these skills......and....what do you do when the technology breaks down or doesn't function properly?

Edited by Sk8man

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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

I agree with Tim 100% We fish the Niagara Bar (LOC derby) in the Spring and Lake Champlain the rest of the season for Atlantics and dealing with currents all the time.  The Fish Hawk is the gold standard for us.  Especially identifying the upper and lower Thermocline in the Summer.  

 

I could make the case we have been fishing 32 years and we could still catch fish without a probe.  The metaphor is:  I could also say I really like my automatic transmission in my car now versus a stick shift back in the day and shifting all day.   :)  Just saying.    Shift or auto transmission?  Autopilot or steering the boat manually (that is another thread)?  I prefer improvements and technology for the sport.  Where we would be today if we were still using a flasher sonar from 1980?  :)

Edited by digitroll

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I run quality stuff Rick. I run the same stuff you do for the most part. Sh*t happens that is out of ANYONES control. What you are trying to tell me is you never have a rigger fish come up into a diver before you can get to the rod? I think not..... All this technology is causing us to over think the entire process.

 

I know you do Brian, and yes fish come up under wires all the time. Especially on my boat the way I have it rigged (different than most).

 

I'm just stating it would be a nice tool to have to figure out why your divers/coppers are dead going West vs going East. I also think the size of the probe (TINY) is nicer than the other manufacturers that are on the market. Still can't figure out why all of these probes are so big still.

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I run quality stuff Rick. I run the same stuff you do for the most part. Sh*t happens that is out of ANYONES control. What you are trying to tell me is you never have a rigger fish come up into a diver before you can get to the rod? I think not..... All this technology is causing us to over think the entire process.

Those must be some spunky Lakers to run up into the divers and crack you off Brian!

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Blah blah blah..... That's right, the escape crew can only catch lakers.

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Lol.......Make one little joke

Edited by JakeyBaby

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digitroll - good comeback with the automatic vs. manual transmission :lol:  but I'd also ask if you are stuck in mud or a snowbank which would you be glad to have to get your butt out :) ?  I can also do a lot of steering myself despite fishing solo for the two grand for an autopilot :) I too use whatever technological advancements I can afford and they certainly "help".  The case I was making is that many folks (especially those just starting out) who may be viewing things here can get the idea that this stuff is "indispensable" and "essential" to catching any fish when that is not actually the case. There are many very successful fishermen on here that don't own either device that are still "whacking" them and I just thought someone should mention that in the midst of the discussion. I'm as interested in the  info in this thread as anyone.

Edited by Sk8man

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Lol.......Make one little joke

That's ok Matt. I'm not offended. A lot of people think that. I got big shoulders. Besides, the more people you crank up, the bigger the target gets on your back for the Shootout!

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I know you can adjust the Fish Hawk and Sub troll and dial in you speed to GPS. (Screw on Back)  Not sure about DR.....

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Les makes the point of learning to put human senses ahead of "automatic" as I did here too. His summary for entry level lake fishing is spot on. Any of us who have fished everything on Lake Ontario since the 80's has learned that human deduction thinking will always be the best tool on the boat. That comes from experience. You can spend thousands on devices that give you data readings and all those can do for a seasoned Ontario Troller is help dial in a set of baits somewhat faster in a data zone. The latest stuff isn't necessary for those on a budget. As I said before I have put the probe on last year and caught less fish...especially kings...can anyone honestly say last year was the best fishing for kings they ever had! Human deduction thinking set in pretty hard end of the season. All the electronic stuff running dead on in the known data zones and I had one of the worst seasons in a long time. So the probe only helped me spend more money to tell me I was doing my fishing in the zone...same as I would have done the previous years only with a lot more head shaking.

Automatic is good for convenience. Like electric reels so ya don't have to wind. Just leave the rod in the holder and finish your beer. Auto pilot in case you're drunk or sleepy. No human experience interaction no problem right?

Makes me want to get on a plane with pilots with no manual or visual flight skills. Captain Sully..yes..experience.

Buffalo flight ...ice on the wings on autopilot until final approach? Not so much. The point is all that stuff can mask a lot of other problems including fishing where there are no fish, not knowing even how to net a fish...what's next automatic net? These probes are only as Carl said "data points"..helpful if ya know what you are looking at and apply experience to it. New guys! Get the experience first..charter with a Captain who will show you his experience. Get on with a seasoned lake fisherman on a boat equipped with downriggers and long line dipsey or coppers. That's what you need before automatic stuff.

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