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I've given up on trying to figure out LeadCore lines, Planers, trolling weights and everything else. As it really seems to me is the only way to be sure how your baits are running is to put them on downriggers. So, I'm considering taking the splurge anyone have any comments or brands to use or rigging techniques would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I've got a set of two Canon Uni-Troll downriggers that I like very much. I had an electric one that I sold to have a matched set of manual units. Manual is definitely the way to go and these downriggers are great for fishing for stripers in the lake or king mackerel offshore.

I also have lead core setup on four rigs to use at the lake. They really are easy to use once you figure out the depth they drop your line per "color" at a certain speed. You count off your depth based on the number of colors you let out. There is a new color every 10 yards I believe.

So I use both downriggers and leadcore. Downriggers are precise and easy to figure out. Leadcore is a less expensive way to do the same thing. Hope this helps.
 

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I'll vouch for Hotspot and Randy's use of lead core lines, they do work and I was pretty impressed on how you can control what depths to get the baits too by using the colors.
Being an offshore guy, I dont like the mechanics of downriggers, planers and all that other crap it takes to get a bait deep. So the idea of lead core line is very appealing and practicle especially for inshore/inland fishing to be the simplest and less involved way to get baits down.

saltwater, I use in-line trolling sinkers.. that simple. Alot less stuff in the water, no need to crank up the down rigger ball,, no extra line in the water for a fish to break you off on and keeps down the added expense as well as I dont lose any trolling weights (maybe one or two a season).. so no big initial cost for a downrigger set up.

Though I will say,,, alot of folks are firm believers in planers, downriggers,, etc... and are very successfull at it/with it. So it boils down to how comfortable you are with it and how simple/complex you want to make it.

On the lead core though, dont rule it out... try to get up with Randy or Steve or some of the other guys that use it.. maybe they can not convince you, but show you the benifit of using that type of line. Seein it in action made me a believer.
 

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well when you look at the back of my boat you will see that im a firm believer in downriggers and leadcore i have 4 and i say again 4 downriggers on my boat and 4 leadcore rods on my boat.the downriggers are 2 cannon unitroll and 2 cannon easy troll. but when fishing down at the beach i will only run 2 fishing in the lakes for stripers i fish all 4 rods i will post a pic of what my boat looks like when im fishing for stripers
 

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I use a downrigger just about anytime I'm slow trolling. It makes live bait slow trolling (1.5knots) possible without killing your bait. It also allows you to reach any depth you want quickly and accurately (I have used it at depths over 100 feet). The biggest advantage though is when you fight the fish - no planer or heavy trolling weights are between you and the fish - nothing but some mono and your terminal tackle. Of course this is all in view of the type fishing I do with downriggers - mostly kings and mahi. The other methods mentioned have a place too - For instance I use trolling weights for Spanish trolling sometimes.

I use the Penn 625 Fathom Master. Because I have a small boat and stern space is at a premium, I use a gimbal mount to that I can remove it when not using it. I also would recommend a swivel base - comes in very handy for moving that heavy lead weight in close to the boat to attach line and then back away from the boat to fish - saves my back a lot of strain!

Finally for rigging - I use an inline release clip. Some folks use a release clip attached to the ball (the balls usually have two rings - the other is for the mainline to attach). But with the inline you don't have to pull the lead out of the water to reattach the fighting line, thus saving my back once again - also in those rolling seas it saves dings on the side of my boat. I'll try to dig up an illustration later but here's a text description:

The Downrigger cable goes to a huge snap swivel (I put a large barrel weight above the swivel to act as a stop to keep the swivel from jamming in the end of the downrigger), then a few inches of heavy line or wire, then a release clip, then about 2 more feet of heavy line or wire, then another huge snap swivel to attach to the lead ball.

Lastly - most of the downriggers come with wire. The wire makes lots of annoying noise when pulled. So I use 200# braid instead of the wire. Works great - no noise!
 

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My dad and I recently purchased a Cannon Mini Troll for use on our 15' Gheenoe to troll for 'steelhead' trout up here in the mountain lakes.

Not uncommon to find trout at depths up to and exceeding 100 feet in some of the big lakes up here.
 

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After fishing with TA I'm sold on the Penn downrigger also. If you do consider one let me explain there are three models in the 600 series to choose from. The Penn 600 is a shortarm 24" model, the 620 is 48" overall and the 625 is 48" also but comes with a swivel base which as Mike said is a backsaver. The 48" models can be shortened to 24" by removing a section of the boom. Swivel bases can be added to any model. A gimball jr. mount allows you to place downrigger in a rodholder instead of drilling holes in boat for a fixed mount. I've been checking E-Bay for almost two months just watching and comparing. If you don't need 48" of boom you could buy a 600 model and a swivel base or you can buy a 620 or 625 model if you think you would need a longer boom. While fishing with Mike almost every king came on the downrigger during the heat of the summer so I will have at least one rigged for my boat very soon. You will also want the jr. gimball mount to attach the swivel base on so you can remove the unit off the boat for storage purposes. Sometimes you get a better deal when someone is selling two units together so if you're interested anytime soon send me a pm.
Gery
 

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well everybody has there preference about downriggers and im no different. when it comes to control depth fishing i started using penn DR and ended up going with Cannon DR. mainly because when you look at penn DR they have a dial on the side of the DR that tells you what depth your weight is at. when you look at cannon DR they have a 3 digit counter that seems to be more accurate on telling you what depth you are fishing. also when it comes to the drag system on the 2 downriggers it seems to me that cannon has a better drag system and is smoother than a penn downrigger. now of course this is only my opinion. which dont count for a whole lot but i have come to like the cannon system enough to put 4 on my boat and my dad runs 2 on his boat and my brother runs 2 on his boat my best friend has both types on his boat(2 of each). and alot of other guys i know run both.but when you look at the comparison of the 2. the crowd that i fish around use cannon 2 to 1 more times than not. the only other thing that i can think about when you look at the 2 downriggers is with penn downriggers with the 48" boom you only have 2 options 48" or 24" when you look at the long boom on cannon downriggers you cna change the length of the boom from 24" all the way out to 60" and anything in between.
also on the cannon syatem they make a piece that you can attach to your downrigger that is called a retro ease ------ Retro-Ease Downrigger Weight retriever
this thing can be attached to a cannon downrigger and allows you to be able to pull the weight in to the boat with the downrigger boom still extended out the side of the boat.that is why i mainly use cannon downriggers
 

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That's good info striperjunkie. I've never used the cannon so I couldn't make a comparison. I just know I liked using the one Mike has on his boat. It was simple and fast to set up. The main thing is it got the bait down to where the fish were which resulted in putting fish in the boat. Hey, maybe sometime I could go fishing with you and check out how your cannon works:D
Gery
 

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Randy has the Cannon downriggers on his boat and we used them when we fished here and in Southport. They are nice and worked well.

The counter is nice but to be honest around here it doesn't matter if you are at 51 feet or 52 feet - in the range slightly above the fish works fine.

One thing I didn't like about the Cannon was the swivel base only locked in a few positions - mine locks anywhere in a 360 degree arc.

The one thing I really liked about the Cannon over the Penn was the release of the line - it took a little getting use to but once I got the hang of it, one handed speed control was easier.

I use an inline release clip - which is a clip that is on a leader that goes in between the ball and the snap swivel. That way the lead ball stays in the water while attaching the fighting line to the release clip - I just rotate the boom to the side of the boat, attach the line and then rotate the boom back out and deploy the ball. No lifting, no pulling. Easy as 1...2...3...lol. That clip would work on any model downrigger I suppose.
 

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you guys are right all the way and like i said before it all depends on what you try out and what kind of fishing you are doing and then it will boil down to a personal preference.when you look at both of the downriggers they all have there pro's and con's
 
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