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Planers on a downrigger?

Old 02-28-2011, 06:56 PM
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Default Planers on a downrigger?

Didn't I read on here that some of you guys put a planer on your downrigger in lieu of a lead ball?
If so, what size planer and how fast will it troll? I'd like to get some opinions on this.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:02 PM
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That's a very broad question really. I've fished a downrigger with a #32 planer at 5 knots.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:45 PM
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I just tried it for the first time on my last offshore trip. Rigged with 200# power pro, connected to a a #12 old salty planer, with a downrigger clip on it. I added some rope to the tip of the boom and tied it off to a clip to take some of the stress off my gunnels. Worked great. We had 2 wahoo hit it. In the pic below, you can see the planer on my starboard quarter, with the line tied off amidships.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:23 AM
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Z-Wings! Even Better....

http://www.zwingdownrigger.com/

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Old 03-01-2011, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
Z-Wings! Even Better....

http://www.zwingdownrigger.com/

Been looking at these, anyone care to elaborate on how well they work and do they put a lot more stress on the downrigger and mount
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:07 AM
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I was a little broad with my question. I troll offshore typically 6-8 mph. When I use the lead ball, the ball will blow way back from the resistance.
I just put two electric riggers on my boat and plan to use them a lot. The Zwings look like they will work pretty good.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:40 AM
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Try a fish shaped weight. Less blow back than a ball weight.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:46 AM
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Like John i have fished a #28 old salty on a Penn downrigger at 6 knts no problem.

I would recomend replaceing the cable with braid.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:46 AM
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I bought a used downrigger that we use occasionally in the trolling spread at 4-7 kts. We have used a Z-wing 500 and a 10lb ball, mostly. The cable broke while using the Z-wing due to lots of strain (my mistake for not upgrading to spectra prior to using the Z-wing). We rerigged with 200lb Cortland spectra and have used the ball until recently. Last trip, we used a #24 Old Salty planer on the downrigger. It blew back alot less than the 10lb ball, but put less strain on the downrigger and mount than the Z-wing did. It also costs~1/2 what the Z-wing costs.

FWIW, we use a planer rod instead of the downrigger on most trolling trips.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:53 PM
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Her4e's a few more pics of my setup for those who asked about it.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by On The Edge 1 View Post
Like John i have fished a #28 old salty on a Penn downrigger at 6 knts no problem.

I would recomend replaceing the cable with braid.
What kind of braid? I currently have stainless cable that needs to be replaced. What brand and test braid should I use? I am new to downriggers and plan to use them this coming season for tuna.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:30 AM
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Just use 200 pound braid... doesn't really matter the brand, but PowerPro will work... Most folks change to braid to eliminate the hum from the cable... others stay with cable because they claim the hum and electric field it creates attracts the fish... flip a coin and take your pick!
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
Z-Wings! Even Better....

http://www.zwingdownrigger.com/

Originally Posted by tprice View Post

Been looking at these, anyone care to elaborate on how well they work and do they put a lot more stress on the downrigger and mount
When compared to 12 lb lead cannon balls the z-wing (at 6-7 kts) resulted in the cable being more vertical (less blow-******

In this case the z-wing did pull harder on the downrigger than the cannon ball (with gloves I tried lifting while boat doing 6-7 kts . . . very unscientific )

The trick is to use as short a boom as possible on the downrigger so that there is less leverage pulling against the gunnel where the downrigger is connected.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LeapFrog View Post
Just use 200 pound braid... doesn't really matter the brand, but PowerPro will work... Most folks change to braid to eliminate the hum from the cable... others stay with cable because they claim the hum and electric field it creates attracts the fish... flip a coin and take your pick!
On my Cannons, the auto-stop feature does not work with spectra or mono either. I did not like that, so I went back to cable.

There may be ways to get around that now I don't know.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LeapFrog View Post
Just use 200 pound braid... doesn't really matter the brand, but PowerPro will work... Most folks change to braid to eliminate the hum from the cable... others stay with cable because they claim the hum and electric field it creates attracts the fish... flip a coin and take your pick!
Thats simple enough. It probably doesnt matter but I'll ask anway- Does color matter? yellow, red, blue,etc. I assume NO. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:05 AM
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Wouldn't matter at all since your lures are probably 50' or more from the downrigger line... If I were in the store and had my choice, I would probably choose yellow so I could see the line easier... I'm a fan of my lines being visible to avoid tangles and track my baits... so would use the same reasoning for the downrigger line...
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:47 AM
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I have green PowerPro on my DR ........ ICM
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:49 PM
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We use a #24 planer on Cannon Unitroll downriggers with 200# PP. Instead of using a quick release clip that requires bringing the planer in each time you want to check baits or have a bite, we use the double snap swivel/rubber band method. Put the planer down about 50-75 feet, then let out our ballyhoo/lure about 40-50 yards. We then wrap a rubber band around the line 4-5 times and clip the two loops into one side of the Double Snap swivel. Clip the other side of the snap swivel to the downrigger line then let out line on the reel. The drag on the lure pulls the clip down the downrigger line. When you get close to the bottom, set it to strike and get ready... If you get bit the rubber band will break and you are free to fight the fish. To reset, just clip another snap swivel on and send the line back down. At the end of the day, you can retrieve your Double snap swivels from the planer to reuse another day. Also, a tip, paint your planer flat black... If you get into Wahoo's really good, a silver planer WILL get bit off.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:53 AM
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Well, I'd like to share my experience so you do not make the same mistake I did. I swapped out the steel cable on my Penn Fathom Master Down riggers with 300# mono. Then ran z-wings. The pressure the z-wings put on the down riggers is incredible and retrieving them during a fight is almost impossible without stopping the troll.

In my case, the mono dug into itself and expanded... the down rigger's carbon fiber reel literally busted in half from the pressure of the expanding mono.

So now I have returned to the steel cable and use standard planers or a ball if I am slow trolling.

While I have planer rods, that set up for my boat has not worked well as most my fishing friends are not that experience to remove and/or set a planer.

Another quantum leap we made last year was to drop the use of release clips for both down riggers and out riggers. We now use paper clips and the guys grasp their use very quickly. Simply add another paper clip if the line appears to have too much pressure. Amazing that a $3 bag of paper clips can replace a season of $$$ release clips.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:07 AM
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i was told not to troll faster than 2-4 mph with the zwings. They dig down deep and will do what has been said thus far.
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