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Anyone ever used a Z-wing instead of a planer? Based on recent issue of Sport Fishing noticed that they track nearly true to the water depth. If you want your bait to run at 50', you let out approximately 55-57' of line. Unlike planers that eventually reach a max these seem to continue digging to reach greater depths. Just wondering?
 

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just picked up a downrigger for this purpose. plan to keep the wire, maybe switch to braid down the road....

we'll see if it can take the tension of the z wing. my buddy used to run 2 off an oc charter boat. deadly on BFT apparently.
 

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I've use the Z wing for years and have lost many. They pull really hard but you can put the thing at the exact depth you want. There are two models, the 250 and the 500. The 500 pulls less hard and still gets down really well. I have always used the middle hole. I don't see an advantage using any of the other holes.

One problem I've found, I like to attach my downrigger line (200 lbs braid by the way) to an in line release clip which then clips to the z wing. The hole on the z wing is does not give enough room to get the snap swivel through. I have to drill it out just a bit. You do have to re-tie every once in a while or you will eventually lose it. Definately stop the boat when you retive or you will get a work out.
 

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We use down riggers extensively offshore, specifically targeting deep bluefin. I have used, Z-Wings, Planners , 12 and 13# balls off down riggers. Each has its advantage. The wing tracks closest to true depth. Its not as close as noted above, but better than the others. We are usually going slow, 2 to 3 Kts when we put these to use against deep BFT. When ya get up to 6 kts and above ya better pay close attention to how you have your downriggers mounted. The stress is significant. If your downriggers are in rod holders place them straight out the back, you will save your rod holders. I have placed them at 90 deg, and snapped the t-Bar/Pin in three rod holders. Also, if you go 90 deg off the beam, use a short (24") boom. The 48" boom will increase the stress. I have to say, when it comes to deep BFT, we will be going back to using a heavy ball. Since our best success is at slow speed AND we can SEE where the ball is on the fish finder, we can position it right where we want it. When we pick start targeting Hoos, we'll be using either a wing or planer.
 

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I agree not to use the 48" boom with the z wing. Too much stress. I also don't troll over 5 Kts with it, and in fact closer to 3 or 4.

I just don't like paying out 80 or 100 feet of downrigger line to get 50 or 60 a foot deep with the ball. I find if I want 50 a foot depth that 60 or 65 feet of line with the z wing does the trick. You can see the z wing on the finder too. However, the ball or pancake (flat plate) weight is a lot easier to crank up and a little easier on my nerves. The z wing puts a serious pull on the downrigger. How you mount your downrigger is a very good point. I stick it through the hawsepipe on the corner transom and don't have it mounted. The mount could pull right out of the gunnel.

To be honest, I keep both the ball and z wing on the boat.
 

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thanks for the replies guys. looks like i will be adding a special "reinforced" rod holder for the rigger. i dont want it permanently mounted.

brett
 

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I have the electric canon downrigger in a rodholder and run Z-wings off it. I definitely recommend strong cable/braid (stronger than what came on mine!) when using this thing. It really gets down there but man does it pull. I've lost 3 I believe, all to cable or clip failure.
 

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Casca; I usually loose soundings off the Z-Wing between 60 and 40 feet depending on sea conditions. When we upgrade to a Broadband Sonar this year we may see it deeper. The ball gives a nice echo right down to 100 feet. I find that at 2 to 3 the ball gets right down there and we have been very successful.

DC we are using Power Pro and I have 24 inches of 130# Momoi Blue Diamond between the ball and the Power Pro. I use a 19 wrap locking albright knot to connect the power pro to the Momoi and crimp a 240# SS Ball Bearing Snap Swivel to the Momoi for quick connections. I have not lost a ball or wing since switching from cable to braid. I do cut the Momoi off and re do it several times a year.
 

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RDT: I have a Furuno BBFF3 2KW transducer. I'm amazed at what I can seen with that thing. I sound it through the hull around midship, but I can still see the wing if I set it to 50 Hz. The deeper the wing goes, the better I see it because the sound beam diverges and widens out as the depth increases. If you're planning to mount the transducer near the transom, you'll see the wing or ball clearly.
 

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Casca; Thats a nice ducer. I was thinking about doing the same thing but I have been Leary of the signal loss due to shooting through. Recently AMIR has come out with a 1kw transom mount ducer with the same performance as the B260. Since I trailer my boat, I am leaning to the transom mount. The new AMIR does not require the hoist that it use to require.
 

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There is some signal loss when sounding throught the hull, but with 2kw alailable, it's still much better than my old 600w ducer. I also like not having a big fairing block projecting under my hull. No more worries about something hitting it and the performance of the boat is a little better. I assume the 1KW AMIR is smaller than mine. My transducer is about the size of a shoe box not counting the housing it sits in. Too big for a transom mount. Either way you go, you'll love it.
 
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