How Fast Do You Run Your Tubby Plugs?...and also..

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Seafever, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    Curious as to how fast you run your 4 or 5 " Tomic Tubbies compared to regular plugs..

    Also just wondering if PowerPro downrigger braid (or similar braid products) lose their smooth coating over time and then create more blowback.

    I've been told when running plugs "If you think you're going fast enough..then go faster".

    Well I can't. I can get about 3 to 3 1/2 mph max for a plug and then I get too much blowback off the braid.

    I can have 240ft of d-line out but I'm not even down 140ft.
    So I have to go slower so the c/balls will sink back down.

    Now admittedly with the 12 lb balls I use, they are not the greatest for this. But I've got old Scotty riggers and I doubt they'll take 15's or 20's. Even with 12's the belt will sometimes jump lugs hauling up when underway.

    So I've been using Tubby plugs to cut the speed. Not sure I'm going right speed though.

    My PowerPro d/line is about three years old.

    I know one plug guru who uses wire because he says there's less blowback with wire at plug speeds.

    The other day I had 225ft of braid d/line out and I wasn't scraping bottom in 160ft of water.....and this is at 2.30 mph.

    I know the Tubbies were designed to be trolled slower...

    What's your speed for these?
  2. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    I have an old 2 belt rigger and haul 15's with no problem.
    sounds like you might need servicing or a new belt ?
  3. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    Mine are single belt. I actually took them apart a while back and replaced the screws that hold the idler adjuster wheel in place with bolts so it won't slip out of adjustment. You can't see the nuts on the other end of the Phillips head bolts here..but they are there.

    Also put new belts on both.

    Think I bought these riggers around at least 20 years ago. They still work.

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  4. littlechucky

    littlechucky Active Member

    Not a direct answer to your question but...

    I use 20 lb balls and 250 lb power pro braid.

    I usually go around 2.8-3.0 kn trolling 6" classic tomics (with the pins pulled).

    Down 250 feet or more, my angle will be more than 45 degrees.

    I try and eyeball the angle on the downrigger at the above speed with no wind / current and then adjust my trolling speed to keep the downrigger angle in the right zone when going with or against the wind / current.

    Sometimes I will be going 1.8 kn. other times 3.8 kn.

    I guess the conclusion is to fish plugs deep and fast, heavy cannonballs are a big help.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    trophywife, hippaisland and Seafever like this.
  5. advTHXance

    advTHXance Well-Known Member

    Switch to 15lb balls and get your riggers serviced so theres no skipping on the belt/flywheel. A speed of 3-3.5 knots should be fine for plugs.
  6. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Less drag or more weight or both.

    Used to run 90# SS with 12lb balls back in the "manual-only DR" days. Used Goldstar rubber snubbers as thick absorbers & never broke-off.

    I suppose heavier cable/line is more idiot-proof.

    I also use power pro mainline on my reels.
  7. Birdman

    Birdman Member

    I get lots of hits on my plugs using a tubby on 1 side and a flasher hootchy on the other side, on the east side going 2.2 to 2.8 MPH in speed over ground, trying to get the classic 35 to 34 degree angle on the cable. A lot of that is fishing over 200 feet deep on the rigger counter, often as deep as 260.

    Fishing offshore on the west coast, I'll run that gear combo even faster over 3 MPH, as those feeding offshore fish love a fast flasher hootchy combo. Think of the speed of commercial boats and remember that they are often running flasher hootchies in their spring time openings.

    We have old riggers (one is from the 90's and is a double belter) and got boom upgrades and motor work done, and the work well with 15 pounders.

    If I'm going plugs only on either coast, then I'm going over 3 MPH, sometimes well over 3 MPH and don't seem to have issues, again often fishing over 200 feet.

    I recommend glow cannonballs as well, especially if you are fishing deep and aren't going to have a flasher on at least one rod.
    Seafever likes this.
  8. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    In my opinion those tubby's fish fine 2.5 - 3.

    The classics fish better 3.0 and up
    Seafever likes this.
  9. hippaisland

    hippaisland Active Member

    All about the angle of the dangle. And getting used to those angles with diff cannonball weights.
    trophywife likes this.
  10. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    You would think a rigger with two belts would be stronger than one with a single belt. I personally have never seen an older two-belt rigger. Mine has one.

    I seemed to get deeper when my Power Pro d/line was new and shiny. Now it's kind of faded and lost some of it's luster.

    The angle of the dangle:- The blowback on braid is not a straight angle downward. It goes out and then curves downward, especially at speed.

    So when I'm doing 3 or 4 mph or more my angle up top is next thing to straight out behind the boat. But I know it curves downward after that.

    At much slower speeds I shoot for about 35 degree angle which is doable.

    I don't know how much 15's would affect my haul up speed. Just with 12's it seems pretty slow normally.
  11. TanTastic84

    TanTastic84 Active Member

    Well that's why I'm still using ole fashion arm power on my boat! 12lb? HA! No problem! Hell, 15lbs? Child please! FEEL THE BURN!
    Stoisy and Damien like this.
  12. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    I have one of each. Scotty replaced the motor in my 2 belt rigger
    but I still think the single pulls faster.
    both pull 15lb balls no problem.
    Seafever likes this.
  13. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    I used to use hand-crank riggers off F.C. years ago.

    But there we often go 200 ft or more. Handcranking from those depths gets old really quick.

    Especially when you get a popped line. Just get your gear down to 200ft and then line pops for some reason. So you hand crank up,reset, and then you get a tiny fish on. So you hand crank up again, take dinkerbinker off, and lower gear.

    Rinse, repeat, over and over, all the time handcranking on two riggers.

    So glad I went electric.
    kingblazer84 likes this.
  14. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    Did the motor in your two-belter actually die? Or did it just get slower and weaker?
  15. Birdman

    Birdman Member

    We had the motor replaced in our old rigger which helped, but what made the biggest difference regarding retrieve speed after we bought our (used) boat was upgrade the downrigger wiring from socket to power source with proper marine gauge wire. Retrieve speed improved significantly after that.
  16. Jencourt

    Jencourt Well-Known Member

    I run my6" tubby plugs anywhere from 2.5mph up to 3.5 or so wen on a low to no current. I often run one while the other rod runs rubber. I find the plug still swims well at a fair hootchie speed. All that said I find it is much more about the angle coming of the rigger, as there is lots of tide and current where we fish. Never less than 45 but often closer to 60 wen fishing sub 200 on counter. By 60 I mean ball is farther back than wen at 45.

    I run 15lb balls and prefer the 200lb ultra thin braid. Lasts pretty long and has half the blowback than the Scotty 250 they spool you with at gone fishing. That said if I could go 20lb I would use the 250.
  17. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Slower and weaker until it was just about dead.
    Scotty had no problem putting in a new motor N/C
  18. Red Monster

    Red Monster Well-Known Member

    My old riggers run 15 pounders no problem.
  19. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    Tubbies, same speed as a hootchie, spoon, bait. That's why they came out with them.
    Classics, fast 3-4 mph
  20. TheHurtLocker

    TheHurtLocker Well-Known Member

    That's the way I do it.

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