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Downrigger Weight questions

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  • Downrigger Weight questions

    I need some advice from people who have experience in this area. I set up my boat with some downriggers last season and had some great success using them in smaller lakes from rainbow trout.

    I also used them in Lake Tahoe for Mackinaw (lake trout) and was able to bag 4 of them. But when I was on Tahoe I noticed the wire was going really far back (not straight down) at about 100 ft depth. And when I go 200 ft down its way past a 45 degree angle. I only have six pound weights on them...is this why?

    I would like to catch more of those lake trout at Tahoe but If they are deeper then 100 feet I have to change my strategy. Can you please answer the following questions?

    1. Is the reason the ball isn't straight down because of the amount of weight?
    2. What weight should I go with for 200ft down?
    3. Are the ball shaped weights the best? How about the pancake style?
    4. Where can I get the best deal on heaver weights (they're expensive)?
    5. This is a cannon lake troll downrigger, is there a limit on how much weight to use with them?

    Thanks!!!


  • #2
    Re: Downrigger Weight questions

    Yes ,your problem with blow back is caused because your weights are to light,and the wrong shape.The deeper you need to fish,the heavier your weight needs to be.I fish for mack's at over a 100ft sometimes,and I will use my 14 lb weight when I do. The deeper the water usually the more dense it is.

    Use the heaviest weight your riggers will handle,I used 10# weights when I had Cannon manuals,but got tried of all that cranking,and brought electrics . Now I tend to use a 10 lb weight most of the time.Speed is also a contributing factor, the slower the speed the less blow back,and vise versa.

    Also the less profile your weight has ,the less blow back you will see.Round ball shaped weights are actually the worse because they have so much resistance,especially when fished deep. Pancake weights are about the best shape on the market,but the fish shaped weights do a good job also. Good luck...

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    • #3
      Re: Downrigger Weight questions

      I had great success with the fish shaped weights. At 100 feet down the loop in the downrigger cable can throw your depth off enough to make a difference between catching and not catching fish.
      1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP
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      • #4
        Re: Downrigger Weight questions

        Although your weight might not be heavy or streamlined enough,there is also another problem once you get down to 200 feet and that is the thickness of your cable.I do a lot of downrigger fishing and I had the same problems.Changing from wire cable to the much thinner 150 pound test super braid made a big difference.Another thing to keep in mind is deep water currents.If on one run your cables were at a 45 degree angle,what was the angle on a run in the opposite direction?
        Make sure the plug is in

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        • #5
          Re: Downrigger Weight questions

          Thanks for the replies,

          Hey rndn: what is the "loop in the downrigger cable" you mentioned?

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          • #6
            Re: Downrigger Weight questions

            The loop I mentioned is the downrigger cable. If the boat is stationary with no current and you let out 100 feet of cable then the weight is at 100 feet down. Once the boat is in motion the cable develops a loop as it drags through the water. So instead of the wire cable being straight down it arcs in a crescent moon shape down to the weight. A good fishfinder will register the downrigger weight so you can lower it to get to the desired depth without any guess work. If you don't have a good fishfinder or can't see the downrigger weights on it then you'll need to trial and error it until you start catching fish. At say 3.5mph with the downrigger set at 100 feet you really are maybe only 90 feet down and will need to set the downrigger at 111 or 112 feet to get the actual lure to the desired 100 feet. How much extra depends on boat speed, any water current with or against, the size of the downrigger cable, weight and shape of the ball. At 2.5mph you may only need 105 feet out to get your lure at 100 feet. Let me know if I explained it okay or just further confused the issue.
            1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP
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            • #7
              Re: Downrigger Weight questions

              I get it...
              you explined it fine.

              Now here is a little different question. I went to Cabela's to get those pancacke style weights to help this problem. They only had the bright oargne one's in stock. So I checked their website to try and order the black version and it says it's on back order for 4 - 5 weeks. What's the differance between the blaze oarnge one's and the black ones? I'm not sure I want the to use those bright oarnge one's in the clear water's of lake tahoe and spook the fish. Or am I just being paranoid?

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              • #8
                Re: Downrigger Weight questions

                You could always pain them black or sand off the orange paint. I read a study of color under water and orange is orange for only about 20 feet then it is a dull grey. Blue is the color that stays blue for a depth of 80 feet, then it too looks grey. Has to do with the amount of sunlight the deeper you go.
                I'm also pretty sure you could find them at Bass Pro or Gander Mountain online.
                1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP
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                • #9
                  Re: Downrigger Weight questions

                  Here's a link for you to the black ones.
                  http://www.charkbait.com/cs/csd3.htm
                  Do a Google search for downrigger weights and a bunch come up.
                  1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP
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                  • #10
                    Re: Downrigger Weight questions

                    Here's one more that came up with a pancake downrigger weight search.
                    http://www.choiceaccessories.com/ind...D&ProdID=73272
                    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP
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                    • #11
                      Re: Downrigger Weight questions

                      Look on e-bay for downrigger weights.I just bought 4 pancake style for 11 dollars a piece,and only paid 15 dollars for shipping ,not a bad price.

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