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I just assumed the cannon ball coming through the water before my bait, deterred the bite
this Is 100%incorrect. If tuna don't shy away (in clear ocean water) nothing in our murky bay water will. Also, you can vary the length of the bait back from the ball.

for precision trolling and not having to crank up a 20" rock on a broomstick,they are the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I go with the current or wind when I'm setting the lines. Once the lines are out I generally try to follow a zig zag pattern if possible, depending on where I'm trolling.

This time of year I'm trolling for strippers. I just keep my engine at idle (~750 RPM) and don't take it out of gear. That RPM gives me a speed of around 3 MPH with no current. Found that is slow enough for stripper trolling. If you want to go slower than that just tie a rope to a 5 gal bucket and tow it behind the boat. Will slow the boat speed some.
So while you are zig zagging you are still going with the current/wind? I have a 150 Merc SW I can get down to about 600-650 at about 3mph.

Once you get accustom to the downriggers I think you will find them fairly effective at setting lure depth, just keep in mind that depending on the length of line back from the ball and the weight of the lure itself the lure will be lower than the downrigger ball.
Ok so if I see fish is in 30' feet I should lower the DR ball to about 25' just above the marks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
If you have not replaced the trim fin yet they sell them at West Marine. Also works as a zinc for electrolysis.
I got that sucker replaced and made sure that it was on correctly. I think what had happen was when I tried to adjust (to the left) and tighten, the teeth would lose grip when I turn the ratchet. At some point I could not turn the ratchet anymore, I thought it was tight:mad:. I haven't tested yet to see if that adjustment works, but now I would have to start over. I remember last winter I took the lower unit off to reseal because I saw oil on the skeg, I place the trim fin straight on the line. The new fin I adjusted 2 clicks to the left this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I run #15 down riggers balls on my riggers.
Minimal if any blow back...25 ft. on dial = 24.9".....keeps the rigger pretty much straight down and out of the way.
My max is 12# I was going to snag a 10# ball just under max spec. Blow back had to look that up. Speed and angle of the ball at certain depths. 25ft on 15# at 3mph? We almost can write an equation for this;).

Pretty hard to beat a Spoonbrella rig this time of the year.
Spoonbrella looks enticing anytime of the year if you ask me, I would bite that thing:D. I assume you remove all those hooks? Would large blades work as teaser too?

Try to hit the fish in the head with the DR ball
I run 5 to 10' of separation between the two DR
One bait 7.5 bars off the ball
The other bait 5 bars off the ball
Just asking why not more separation? I assume because you have other rods in the water column. I looked at some videos on the Tube and see some guys let out about 100'. Might be the heavy spoonbrella is down in the zone and do not need the distance...
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I ran 2 Walker down riggers for years. Some very good suggestions have already been made on this thread. I would get the longest arms possible for your Cannons. Also Think it was Cabelas that had down rigger balls with fins that helped keep the ball and lure a little further out. I also ran another lure off a stacker clip about 6 to 8 feet above the main line off the ball. Good luck with your new tackle.
Ball with fins, do you mean the ball that is shape like a fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
If you have other rods out - best to use a heavy rig for downrigger so you can get fish to boat fast. A lighter rod / reel might let fish run and tangle lines farther out.

I've used spinning rods off my downriggers with #32 rubber bands and 1 to 2 oz bucktails. Hooked up and go slower.
Ah that makes sense to go heavy because I should not stop the boat if I have other rods out, get them in quicker🤔. My plan was to use the lighter tackle and just use the 2 DR to learn to deploy, adjust, and hopefully hook up and retrieve. I think once I am comfortable/uncomfortable with letting them out, I would add the rods to the mix. What is the rubber band for? You know I am still a 🦗!

I like to use umbrellas off my downriggers 90% of time. Easy to get these rigs down 20 to 45 feet with downrigger. I set back about 30 feet of line from release clip. I've caught Rock up to 48 inches with down riggers.

I have not switched yet but some use 200 lb braid in place of cable to get rid of the " hum " noise.
I think the braid would be quicker to cut if you have too. Do you recover DR balls too:)? Just kidding. I think I will use the heavy rod since I am only going to use 2. The umbrellas would be a larger presentation may increase the chance of visibility an hook up.

Thanks Skip
 

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I mostly jig now days but I used to drag an 8lb torpedo shaped weight for a down rigger. Tied off to a cleat using 40 ft of crab trot line then a regular planner board clip tightened up. Not easily adjustable but cheap and it got my umbrella rig down and out of the way of other lines. I could see by the angle the weight was about 10 ft behind the boat.
 

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So while you are zig zagging you are still going with the current/wind? I have a 150 Merc SW I can get down to about 600-650 at about 3mph.
Depending where I am trolling and the direction of the current/wind I might be going with/against the current/wind or have the wind/current on my port/starboard sides.

Ok so if I see fish is in 30' feet I should lower the DR ball to about 25' just above the marks?
I generally try to keep the ball and lure above the level of the fish (read somewhere fish look up, not down). Since not all fish are at the same depth it is kinda a gut feeling as to where to set the ball. For example if I see fish in the general 25-35 foot depth I set the ball and lure depth on one downrigger at around 20 feet and the other at around 25 feet. Typically I keep about a 5 foot difference between the two downriggers I have.
 

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this Is 100%incorrect. If tuna don't shy away (in clear ocean water) nothing in our murky bay water will. Also, you can vary the length of the bait back from the ball.

for precision trolling and not having to crank up a 20" rock on a broomstick,they are the best.
I’m not saying they’re not effective, I’m just saying they are not effective for me
 
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