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Downrigger Line Snapped!


ErieBuck

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My downrigger line snapped last week and I lost my fish hawk probe and 15lb shark.  This was 5 minutes into my first ever trip to Lake Ontario with my boat after big investments:  I upgraded my boat with Cannon Optimums TS, Fish Hawk X4D, Cisco rod holders etc for the mighty Kings and I was so excited... so that was a buzzkill to say the least.  Shortly after this incident, I realized the sonar on my Raymarine Axiom w/ RV-100 transducer does not work in deep water (we were fishing in the 500s).  So we were flying completely blind despite all my fancy technology!  Luckily. I had an experienced mate on board who has been coming to Lake Ontario for many years so we still managed to catch quite a few Kings, Coho, and Steelhead.  

 

I know now to always use a snubber, especially with the heavier weights, and especially in rough seas.  

 

In addition to adding snubbers, I was thinking about adding stronger line to my Optimums than the 150lb test wire that comes with them.  

 

Have any of you done this successfully?  Cannon says it will throw the line counter off, but I don't really care about a few feet of depth accuracy to prevent losing another $400 in gear!

 

I was thinking about putting Malin 49 (7x7) strand on which would be 270lb test.  Diameter would go from 0.033 with the Cannon line to 0.049 with the Malin.  

 

What would you all recommend?  

 

BTW, I've adjusted my transom mount transducer to hopefully work better in the 500 ft water (but I don't think it has the power) and also have replaced the old non-working thru-hull Airmar B60 transducer with a new one and will hook up to the Axiom with their $100 Y cable.  Cha Ching.  Cha Ching. The story of fishing on the Great Lakes!  

 

Thanks in advance, this is my first post.  Appreciate you all.  

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Not sure why you would need a snubber on optimum it should have soft stop. realistically though these things don't need the speed they have. I have digitrolls. I have my down speed reduced to 3 out of 5 wish I could reduce the auto up. Make sure to check and reset your water zero as needed.

 

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I think the snubbers will mainly help in rough seas— it snapped when a wave flung the shark up and the line went a little slack and then big force when it came back down.  I need to bring the weight about a foot out of the water to hook my release, hence why it’s susceptible to wave action.  I’ve experimented with some other methods such as using retro ease and the Scotty releases hooked on the mainline above the ball, but settled on just bringing the ball out of the water a foot or so.  

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I think the snubbers will mainly help in rough seas— it snapped when a wave flung the shark up and the line went a little slack and then big force when it came back down.  I need to bring the weight about a foot out of the water to hook my release, hence why it’s susceptible to wave action.  I’ve experimented with some other methods such as using retro ease and the Scotty releases hooked on the mainline above the ball, but settled on just bringing the ball out of the water a foot or so.  

I NEVER let my weight come out of the water. Me releases are adjusted so I can set with weight in the water.


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15 hours ago, Sk8man said:

appreciate it, I'll check out the options.  I know some say you don't want everything too strong so you don't rip the rigger off the boat in case the ball get hung up on the bottom, so it's always good to set the clutch so it will slip 

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14 hours ago, dry net said:

An Amish outfitter snubber may be long enough to keep the weight in the water when hooking it up. Use the retro ease as well. Bad things happen when the weight comes out of the water. Good luck!

For those who hook up downriggers with weights IN the water -- is your release hooked directly to your ball or is it above it to easier reach?  

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3 minutes ago, ErieBuck said:

appreciate it, I'll check out the options.  I know some say you don't want everything too strong so you don't rip the rigger off the boat in case the ball get hung up on the bottom, so it's always good to set the clutch so it will slip 

You are exactly right about the clutch setting. A long time ago I actually saw that happen to a guy On Seneca during a derby. He had it set too tight and got hung up bad. It ripped a section out of his gunwale and the downrigger went in the drink in I think 70 ft of water. Luckily he had a diver camped in the site next to him who retrieved it for him but the biggest problem was the hole in the boat.

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fish thief makes the best downrigger  snubbers. strong, little blow back compared to other bulkier brands, and if put between the release and weight the ball stays in the water when auto stop engages. i use the on my planer boards too

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7 minutes ago, Sk8man said:

You are exactly right about the clutch setting. A long time ago I actually saw that happen to a guy On Seneca during a derby. He had it set too tight and got hung up bad. It ripped a section out of his gunwale and the downrigger went in the drink in I think 70 ft of water. Luckily he had a diver camped in the site next to him who retrieved it for him but the biggest problem was the hole in the boat.

My god, can't imagine

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4 minutes ago, joe g said:

fish thief makes the best downrigger  snubbers. strong, little blow back compared to other bulkier brands, and if put between the release and weight the ball stays in the water when auto stop engages. i use the on my planer boards too

Joe G -- to clarify, you run your release above the snubber and ball -- thereby keeping the ball in the water and making it easier to reach and set release to the line?  Does not having release hooked directly to the ball effect the bite at all? 

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where is the best place to get sh thief  snubbers and what is the length of thr snubber

Save your money. Snubbers aren’t needed if you set your releases so that the weight stays in the water at all times


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I have the Cannon 5st’s and when they come up, they come up and stop fast. To the point where there is a momentary slack and snap action above the weight whether in the water or not. I actually had the fish hawk safety cable come apart and lossy my weight. I put the snubbers on them and viola, smooth when they stop. I recommend them for the high speed cannons that don’t have a slow down feature on the retrieve.


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I have the Cannon 5st’s and when they come up, they come up and stop fast. To the point where there is a momentary slack and snap action above the weight whether in the water or not. I actually had the fish hawk safety cable come apart and lossy my weight. I put the snubbers on them and viola, smooth when they stop. I recommend them for the high speed cannons that don’t have a slow down feature on the retrieve.


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I have mag 10 Stx. Yes they are fast. But my auto stop works smoothly. The weight stops at the surface with no snap or jerk


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