Downrigger Question

Old 03-01-2004, 06:01 PM
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Default Downrigger Question

I am looking to purchase a couple of downriggers for my boat, I am kind of partial to Penn, and have been looking at the 625s I am thinking the longer boom might be better w/ the boat I will have them on, I am curious if anyone has any recomendations? Also what size weight would I want for King fishing, and can I run planers with these?
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Downrigger Question

I have the Penn 600 Fathom Masters (Short Boom) mounted on the Penn swivel bases and I'm very happy with them. They are simple, rugged, and work very well for my needs. They are excellent for the price, and if ever had to replace them, I would probably buy the same thing. I have always used 10# balls. Never even tried any other size weights, and 10 pounders have always worked well for me.
My boat has a Euro transom and the options for mounting them were limited. I fish them swiveled out over the side at about a 30 degree angle to the gunnels. You have to be careful with the long booms in that you need to be able to reach the release clips for rigging without having to lean too far over the side or the transom, depending on how you have them mounted.
Yes, you can run planers on them if you want to, but as far as I'm concerned, planers are not necessary when you get a set of outriggers.
Go for the Penns. I think you'll like them.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:25 PM
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Default RE: Downrigger Question

I am running two of the penn 625s on my boat I had one on my last boat. I really like them they are very simple and not many parts that can break down.Im running two slimline 10lb downrigger weights. Also on the 625s there is a cord attached to the cable which lets you pull in the cable to get to the release clips.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:26 PM
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I switched over to 12lb weights for late summer fishing to get less angle. I think the 10's would be fine, just beware that if your running manuals, it just means more line out. I haven't looked up the Penns and I'm not that familiar with them.
Let me know if you need anymore downrigger info.

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Old 03-01-2004, 07:49 PM
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The 625 swivel bases are real nice and you can use the 625 as a short or long boom. I use 10 pound balls. Greg
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:07 PM
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Scotty also makes a fine downrigger. Used alot in BC (Pacific) for salmon. Check out links. Keep in mind if you ever need them serviced. You won't want to send it across the country to get fixed.

All downrigger links for compairison. Most made here in Great Lakes area. Make sure they can stand up to salt water use. The most popular riggers in Lake Michigan and Huron are Big Jon and Walker. See quite a few Cannons also but when they break down, folks usually switch to Walkers to avoid the big dollars Cannon gets. Then again, each Port will have it's following. One port will be majority of Big Jons, next Port up will be Walkers, next Port Cannon.

Hardly see a boat with Penns but that's because here in Michigan we got all the rigger companies within driving distance of each other and they all fight for Market Share.

I had Penns on my first boat and I never had any problems with them until my kids wouldn't crank the cannonballs up anymore Was forced to go electric..
goos salt rigger.
(company been going through some ownership changes, jury stills out on new owner)
cannon riggers....all marketing, lots of lexan
Been around for bout 4 years. No major complaints on quality, solid rigger
Good solid rigger, loyal following, durable
Been around about 4 years. Had some complaints from customers then Vector re-tooled a year or two ago. Havn't heard any negatives.

Lots of used riggers for sale around here also if you want to go that route.

Good Luck
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:33 PM
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have 4 cannon mag 10 however would get capt package from walker if did again they are faster and can be souped up to go even faster--- time is everything when in a touramnet and going down 80ft
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:54 PM
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One thing that you might want to consider regarding boom length...
Try and get ones that will stash in your boat. My Penn is about three inches to tall to store in the fishwells, and a foot too long to lock in the console. For those limitations, it's stored in my garage (more clutter).
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:24 PM
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when I was running Penns the only problem was the spring on the pawl it would break and the spool wouldn't lock. When this would happen we would replace the spring and chamfer the hole in the pawl and your good to go for several years. Also we would cut the boom extension in half, that way you can get two 2 36" booms (which are about right if you don't want to swivel the base each time you connect the line.) for the price of 1 625 and 1 600...... By the way after running manual Penns for over a dozen years went to electric Scottys, four years now with out a glitch. I always use 12 lb weight sometimes as far down as 225 ft.
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:21 AM
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I recently purchased 2 Cannon HP Uni-Troll packages. Comes with everything you need to get started at a good price. Cannons are also very easy to use.

Cannon HP Uni-Troll
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:00 AM
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I changed from Cannon to the Penn 625's because of the spool splitting problem mono causes on the Cannons, I like the Penns much better, the 10 pound pancake weights are great, they reduce blow back.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:37 PM
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If you DO get the Cannons and DO switch to mono (so that a tournament winner will cut the ball off rather than the ball cutting off the tournament winner) DO through bolt the spool sides together before you try to crank up a bunch of mono on there cause they WILL split in irrepairable ways.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:50 PM
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Ran a pair of Scotty electrics last year, great units.

sell & service them, as well as Cannon and Penn
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:57 AM
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I'm running a Scotty 1101 (and just ordered another) and like that with the swivel base mount (stock item) it not only pivots to multiple points, it also tilts upward making retrieval easy without leaning over the water. Scottys seem to require less amperage draw for similar performance to other brands too. As far as servicing, I'm on the north left coast so its not an issue for me.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:53 PM
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I have used Cannons, switched to Penns and then went to SCOTTY Electric downriggers. Best on the market in my opinion. Easy service and comes with a lifetime warranty. I have 2 older models and the new ones are about the same but with a single belt drive. Really bullet proof.
I use 10 # cannon balls simply because I have a 10# mold. Most of my friends have switched over to 12#, but they are spendy compared to making your own.
We do most of our fishing in the San Jaun and Canadian Gulf Islands. Not what it used to be but still a few fish around when the state lets of fish, which only about 6 months a year.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:59 PM
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I love the Scotty lifetime warrantee. Here in the Pacific NW there are lots of service locations. Never had a problem but bring them in every year for a free checkup. I run two Scotty Pro-pacs with 60 boom.

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Old 03-05-2004, 09:17 AM
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If you don't already attend, the Char. Offshore Fish. Club meets 2nd Wed. ea. mo. @ Captains Galley, E. Indep. @ 7:00. This month's speaker, SKA Champion, Jerry Dilsaver.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:17 AM
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I have used both Cannon's and Penn's and like the Penn's much better. Sturdier construction, no problem with mono on the spool, they use metal instead of plastic!, also Penn uses two srews to mount rod holder not one, with one the holder will pivot. I have looked at electric Scotty's and been on a boat that used them. One of probelms with them is the boom will fly up while running. The best comment about electric down riggers was made by a friend of mine. I asked him if he had checked out the Scotty's and he said his shed was full of broken electric downriggers, he did not want any more. I think his point is well taken, electric are nice when they work but it seems inevitable.

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Old 03-05-2004, 12:52 PM
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The Scotties I have are meant to be in the vertical position when running. Just lift up the boom and flip the latch down.
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Old 03-06-2004, 02:34 AM
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i run scotty's elec. 60" extending boom D/R's. Love 'em! Much cheaper than Penn, canon, walker, etc. For example, scotty elec. pro 60" goes for about 589 $Cdn (about $420US) here in BC. The catch is to order from a canadian store in BC and have them ship it via post (not courier!) thus avoiding any duty, taxes and other border hassle. or out of vancouver sell piles. I worked in a tackle store for a while and we have shipped MANY downriggers to americans this way. You will not have to worry much about warranty b/c these babies just go and go! (i run 12 or 15# balls on mine and run 'em as deep as 300').
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