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Chicong

What Weight Downrigger Balls

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The blowback on anything less than 12 lbs is A LOT!  I had a smart troll and measured it for 8 lb, 10 lb and 12 lb weights.
Even with 12 lb you normally had to have about 20% more cable out to get to the desired depth. 10 lb was ridiculous ... 8 lb was
impossible to get deep.
 
As others point out, you should use the heaviest your downrigger and gunwale can support ... and hopefully that is at least 12 lbs.

Went to 16# torpedoes from troutman87 and have never looked back. Got a couple of 15 # cannonballs I keep in case ( very rare ) I want to target oil cans on the bottom if they hang up , not so much crying involved


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1 hour ago, chinook35 said:


It shows the distance from your ducer to any object in its cone . Bottom , fish and your weights Fish are not attached to your boat ( at least not yet, lol ). That’s why the show as inverted U’s or V’s. The sonar sees them as deeper ( further away ) as you move over them the apex of the U ( and true depth ) and again the sonar sees them as further away as you move past. The sonar is seeing your weights at a constant distance , hence the line. They are NOT at that depth. They are at that DISTANCE from the ducer. Brand of sonar or quality of ducer is immaterial. They all work the same way. Takes a little bit of thought to get your head around it. But it’s the way it is



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To a degree splitting hairs... distance/depth   not all FF are equal or work the same, some cannot find the bottom out past 200 fow

My FF display is set to print " marks" in red numbers at their depth/distance from transducer.. it works, I catch fish...

I will have to reread thread, seems like I missed something

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Depth and distance are two different things. Depth is the distance in a downward direction from a given point. Distance can refer to any number of directions from the originating point. Chinook 35 summed it up very well in his comment. By the way, the shape of the weight matters significantly as he notes in his example. The pancake weights probably have the least accuracy depth-wise because of their shape. They tend to go quite a ways off to the side - especially at higher speeds. The more hydrodynamically the shape (less resistance in the water) the truer the weight tracks through the water which should translate to less blow-back and truer depth display on the depth finder. Similarly the heavier the weight the more it holds the wire in a downward position with shape being held constant. Again the resistance in the water is the critical variable.

Edited by Sk8man
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and has a long pencil:lol:

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Depth and distance are two different things. Depth is the distance in a downward direction from a given point. Distance can refer to any number of directions from the originating point. Chinook 35 summed it up very well in his comment. By the way, the shape of the weight matters significantly as he notes in his example. The pancake weights probably have the least accuracy depth-wise because of their shape. They tend to go quite a ways off to the side - especially at higher speeds. The more hydrodynamically the shape (less resistance in the water) the truer the weight tracks through the water which should translate to less blow-back and truer depth display on the depth finder. Similarly the heavier the weight the more it holds the wire in a downward position with shape being held constant. Again the resistance in the water is the critical variable.

You hit another of my pet peeves Pancake weights. Years ago I bought 2 13 # pancakes trying to win the blowback battle. Suddenly , I’m getting terrible tangles. What gives ? Made the discovery that pancakes take on a life of their own in cross currents. I fished with them for a few trips and they gathered dust in my cellar for many years. I finally dumped , I mean sold them last year. Hope the new owner has a good vocabulary He’ll need it. Lol

 

 

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:lol:

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20 hours ago, SmilinEd1 said:

To a degree splitting hairs... distance/depth   not all FF are equal or work the same, some cannot find the bottom out past 200 fow

My FF display is set to print " marks" in red numbers at their depth/distance from transducer.. it works, I catch fish...

I will have to reread thread, seems like I missed something

 

I'm not sure your comment on splitting hairs ... is that on the difference between depth and distance on a sonar?

 

If it is ... that is incorrect ... as you go deeper, the discrepancy between true depth and what is displayed on the sonar becomes enormous, especially if you are running anything lower than a 12 lb downrigger weight.  For instance ... on a 10 lb weight ... if you have 140 ft of cable out ... sonar might catch the weight and say you are 140 ft down ... but in fact, you're probably closer to 100 down.  The blowback is enormous, and you aren't even close to 140 ft down.

 

Now, if you are aiming to be 30 ft down ... sure, the difference between where the sonar says you are, and where you probably are is only like 5 ft.

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Chichong- Lets return to your original question. Many of us use 10-20 lb weights of various shapes - each of these shapes influences the movement and path of the rigger weight. The primary concern of most folks is to minimize "blowback" (of which the angle of the downrigger is an indicator) such that the position of the weight corresponds closely to that which appears on the screen of the depthfinder. At least three different things influence the actual depth that the weight is running underwater: the shape of the weight, the actual weight of it, and the speed at which it is traveling underwater. Another independent factor is underwater current which can dramatically influence the path of the weight. The image on the depthfinder depends on these factors too but as previously described it is the distance from the transducer to the weight which is interpreted on the screen as depth but it is not necessarily straight down depth. After using both 10 and 12 lb weights in the ball shape,fish shape, shark shape, and torpedo shape there isn't as much difference in their performance as people may think at slow speed (e.g. 1.3-1.8), or between 10 and 12 lb weights in most common trolling situations above about 50 ft or so of water depth. It is the displacement of water by the weights as they go deeper that relates to their weight/performance differences, with shape being the most critical variable by far. Shape of the weight probably influences the angle of the wire on the rigger when perpendicular to the water more than the actual weight of it and the displacement (and actual weight underwater) of the weight is not real significant between a 10 and 12 lb weight and unless you have a protractor you probably would not tell the difference. At deeper depths say 100 ft and deeper and higher speeds the differences become more apparent as the angle of the wire extends outward and the weights lift upward. There is more resistance to that lift as the weights are increased in actual weight pulling them downward due to gravity.

This view isn't hard rocket science based on hard core research but it is based on over 50 years of downrigger use  and observation.

If your (newer) downrigger supports the use of heavier 12-20 lb weights (manual or electric versions) it can be beneficial to use them to minimize blowback  while trolling. For folks with older electric downriggers some judgment is required as the motors may not be able to withstand that extra weight and can create mechanical and motor retrieve problems as well as weaken wire connections at a terminus (e.g. probe or weight connections). For folks using manual riggers you have to ask whether you wish to be cranking up 16 lb weights all day so compromises may be in order.

Edited by Sk8man
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