Downrigger Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Doubletyee, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    i run the heavy Scotty braid line 250 lb test stuff. i’m running deep as hell in CR and i don’t worry too much about blowback. the currents are so bizarre sometimes you have to improvise. for example today i was trolling in 245’ of water and i had 300’ of wire out to be near the bottom. it is what it is. have had the same braid for 10 years.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  2. Matt16

    Matt16 Member

    Scotty braid is really thick and blows back more than the Powerpro I have on now.
  3. Stosh

    Stosh Well-Known Member

    Scotty offers a 250# braid and 200# braid. The 200# is black and thinner proportionally thinner than the 250. I ran it for years before I sold my boat. Way less blowback when fishing deep.
    My 2 cents
  4. Wondermur

    Wondermur Member

    We have tried 250lb braid and as low as 180lb braid running either side of the boat. The blow back on 250 is significantly more which makes you slow down and that can reduce how many hits you get.
    Same with those fancy Scotty terminal rigs with 6’ 250lb tuna cord plus a 1’ rubber bumper plus plastic tubing near the ball.
    More bloooowback.

    30lb mono vs 50 lb braid - again more blowback.

    Currently running 200lb power pro 5-6’ 200lb tuna cord and 15lb balls with 1106 scottys.
    We normally stack each side with 2rods With 50lb braid and 40-50’ mono top shot.
    If we are getting too much blowback we will take off the top flasher and just run a bare spoon to keep the speed optimal.

    PNT sells the 200lb tuna cord in 400’ rolls and an over hand knot will run thru the Scotty end roller and trip the auto stop. And thicker line and it can jam...
  5. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    It seems that there is a misconception around the path that line takes from the downrigger to the cannonball. Because of this there is a preoccupation with blowback. The line path is not a diagonal line but a parabolic curve in calm water. The major factors that determine the line path are speed, the weight and the cross sectional area of the weight. (For general purposes, ball shaped weights between 10 and 15 pounds do not change a lot in the cross-sectional area that creates drag.) In simple analysis, more speed and/or less weight creates a shallow parabolic curve (red). Less speed and/or more weight creates a steeper curve (blue). For equivalent weights pancake weights, having less cross-sectional area than ball weights, will have less drag and so steeper curves. Steep curves will have the 20200806_150206.png actual depths conforming closer to the numbers on the downrigger counter. Thin braid or wire lines will have a minimal influence on the curves compared to speed, drag and weight.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  6. fishbadger

    fishbadger Active Member

    I would think that a 13% increase in line diameter (cross section going from .031 to .035) would give a corresponding increase in surface area and blow back. . .no?
    That said, I use the braid (I like white, since it is easier to see my dangle angle from the helm) and the tuna cord/snubber terminal probably negates any blowback victory I achieved with the low diameter. Of course YMMV,

  7. fishbadger

    fishbadger Active Member

    Oh, back to topic for the OP. . .yes get the braid, whatever kind you want, they're all fine. . .and use the surestop/cord snubber terminal. You will like that for sure,
    Foxsea likes this.
  8. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. It will have a very modest and distributed effect though, compared to speed, weight and cross-sectional area of the cannonball. The point is that blowback of line is not a very big deal in influencing the height of a cannonball in the water column.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  9. Doubletyee

    Doubletyee Active Member

  10. calmsea

    calmsea Well-Known Member

    Go wire, way more forgiving with any mistakes. You will save yourself a lot of expensive gear until you are an expert with braid.
  11. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Really ? I lost a ton more with wire.
    Often a crimp or the wire rusts out.
    braid is easy, tie a palomar knot and go fishing.
    Corey_lax, disco, BCRingo and 4 others like this.
  12. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    I'm also using this and it's great !
  13. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Ford vs Chevy
  14. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    1972 Ford Econoline vs 2020 Chevy Spark
    disco and barkerfam like this.
  15. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Ford pinto vs Z 28:D
    disco, barkerfam and Rain City like this.
  16. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    Crusty fisherman vs sport angler
  17. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    what wreaks wire is not proper crimps and using the proper crimping tool NOT side cutters or vise grips ..... not putting good swivels on either braid or wire makes a huge difference I use Sampos, think if it this way you have 2 wheels spinning one horizontal one vertical creates huge twist, ever wonder when you bring riggers up and your 3 or 4 foot clip once it breaks water spins around the braid/wire?? its twisting up ... good swivels remedies that , I replace every 2 or 3 years and they get used alot ..

    Good luck Wolf
    Stosh likes this.
  18. Stosh

    Stosh Well-Known Member

    I’ll drink to that
    Corey_lax likes this.
  19. Ian wagner

    Ian wagner Active Member

    Most likely Chinese wire not all wire is created equally last year got my wire on my trim tabreally bad guaranteed break off with braid just like everything just need to check condition of line or wire lost 1 ball in ten years to a sunken crab trap
    StormTrooper likes this.
  20. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    Very true and this is just the latest rendition of the arguments with many threads having gone over the same points in the past.
    The bottom line is they both have strengths and weaknesses and some specific applications where one may be preferred over the other. I have run both extensively, sometimes at the same time on opposite sides of the boat.

    Braid for example while very strong and long lasting, is also fragile and easily cut. If you fish in extreme fast current and your riggers are mounted forward on the boat and steel gets close to the prop with its sharp blade edges on the non running main or hung up over it and has to be lifted off, it will survive the process which is why I was running steel on that side and braid on the other. Braid will cut off in the same circumstances. On the other hand braid will rap around a smooth prop guard on the kicker side in Crazy Ivan tight turns in fast current and be just fine.

    Lately I have been favoring steel a little more than braid. Steel is more cut resistant than braid and if you combat fish in a zoo with many other boats in strong current, where intimidation is sometimes a factor (it shouldn't be, but sometimes it is), lets just say steel is more reassuring. If braid and steel ever meet under water, twisted steel is both hard and abrasive and will win, cutting through the braid.

    I have also found that while braid can be both strong and long lasting it also can fail and in my experience when it does it often comes out of no where with no for-warning, Your ball and terminal gear is just gone. When steel gets weak, stressed or damaged it will often give you a warning that it is time to replace it or at least cut some off. Damaged or stressed steel will often break a strand or two while still strong enough to hold the ball and the broken strand/s is usually easy to see and notice while working the gear. It screams replace me or at least cut some off and re crimp. Both braid and steel need to be inspected and replaced or some cut off and retied or re-crimped periodically and braid can fray overtime, especially near the terminal. Both braid and steel have a life span and need to be replaced. A plus for the braid is that it's life span is usually longer, sometimes much longer than steel, however, if you are past due on maintenance or replacement, or damage has occurred, the steel will often warn you it is time to replace before failure, the braid, not so much.

    Finally there is research on steel cable and boat generated electrical fields that can both attract and repel salmon when using steel. This is not really an issue with braid, which is neutral. With braid you do not have to worry that the electrical field is running hot and decreasing the chance of strikes. On the other hand salmon like some degree of electrical field and if its the right amount with steel it can actually increase the amount of strikes over a boat with steel that is 'hot' or braid that is simply neutral. Before braid there where guys that could check and tune the electrical field of the boat to make it optimal for catching salmon and later electrical devices were added to tune the electrical field being carried by the steel cable down into the water column. As I understand it, lots of work, especially on commercial boats was done to determine the optimal electrical field, even for different species of salmon. In the old days if a boat was hot, it caught less salmon than it should. If it was fishy (had a good electrical field) it caught more salmon. If your boat is running hot, switching to braid may improve your fishing but tuning the boat generated electrical field with the steel may improve it a little more. Like many theories and practices to do with fishing, there are some who think boat electrical field issues is nonsense and others that swear by it.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020

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