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Lights for night fishing


wingnut

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Does any one use LED spot / floodlights to light the back of the boat for night fishing? I'd like to keep the amp, draw low to prevent any problems with heat building up at connections and drawing too much juice from the batteries. Ideally I'd like to set up with a small spot / flood on each side mounted to my bimini top rails. The LED lights I googled were way too high priced starting at around $75 and going up in the hundreds. Thanks for your replys

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I use two 55W halogens mounted on my rocket launcher. I looked into upgrading them to LEDs but never did. Mine haven't been a problem so I'll probably keep running them for now. Here is a pick taken while I was building and installing the custom SS rocket launcher.:) These lights cost about $30 for the pair @ Boaters World.

<a  href=%7Boption%7Dhttp://www.greatlakesfisherman.com/gallery/files/8/7/RocketLauncher.jpg' alt='RocketLauncher.jpg'>

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I put LED's on the hardtop and then a set on the transom for netting. I used them alot last year, here's what I found. Lights from the hard top and transom kind of bounced off the water so I am removing my transom lights and going to double underwater lights from coastal. Not cheap(190$) a light, but they illuminate a huge water area in back. Go with underwater lights on your trim tabs, I think you will be happy with that. There are a bunch of posts on thehulltruth.com on this very subject. Chris

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Can't really comment on spot/flood lights, but in my walleye boat I had red LED strips under the gunnels and red instrument lights to keep my night vision intact while night fishing. I know the military does that so I did, too. I plan on doing the same with my big boat now. Of course the boards were set up with glow sticks and I put some reflective tape on my long line rods.

Still undecided about just going with hand held spot lights or mounting some adjustable lights possibly. Good question.

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I guess I'll start with the "your results may vary" disclaimer!

Most low voltage landscape lighting is 12 volt, so I picked up a LED spotlight at Home Depot for $25. LED's tend to be voltage sensitive especially to higher voltages. I have been using these lights for 2 years and they have not burned out yet. Being a single LED they are not super bright but give a very nice pattern and are more than adequate in our opinion. I guess the best thing to do is buy one and hook it up to see what you think. If you don't like it they will take it back! The worst part is making a mounting bracket!

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202025770/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

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Lacking a top or rocket launcher I have fog lights mounted on spring clamps. These are used to see my boards which have DOT reflective tape on them. I have the ends spliced into a 110v plug and power lines are the 110v receptacle. These can be removed, adjusted, and cost me about $25 total. I had near back but later moved up as they do get hot and didnt wanna get line touching. I have a 12v tractor light on a clamp for the back. I would do different if i had a top or permanent place to mount not in the way.

Do LED's not get so warm?

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I mounted yellow fog lights on my bimini. Got them from harbor freight for 10 bucks on sale. If you watch they run them on sale every couple weeks. I know their not led but for the short time i use them for set up they dont kill the batteries. For my board i buy light sticks in bulk and their like 35 cents each to see my boards in the dark so i can kill the light as soon as lines are set. I am mounting two more on the underside of my downrigger board for netting.

boat_003.jpg

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Musser, I think that the LED lights have such a low amp draw that they don't get hot at all. I used a single halogen light plugged into a dual 12 volt outlet adaptor that also had the GPS plugged into it. I think that it was too much draw for a 12 volt plug in because it did get hot. My salmon fishing outfit is a work in progress. With a rocket launcher or a hard top I would mount and wire the lights permanently with a switch but with the bimini top and me being a part time salmon fisherman I'm leaning toward clamp on lights and the 12 volt plug. The single halogen didn't spread the light wide enough to see the rod tips on each side of the boat but with one on each side they might even shine enough light to see the boards with the reflective tape. Thanks for the tape Idea also. With the fish coming up in the water column to shallower depths at night should I be running with the lights off and turn them on occasionaly for a check.

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I sure wish I could get Tom at Moonshine to paint my rod tips for me! I always thought that would be perfect for night fishing, but the off-the-shelf glow paint doesn't even last 10 minutes. I'd be in for a set of Flounder Pounder Rod Tips!

I love my LED Spreaders and they are worth every penny. They barely get warm, let alone hot, and together they both burn like a 5% of the power that one halogen bulb does. They also scatter the light better as opposed to a "beam" on most halogens. I get light at almost 90 degrees to both sides from the lamp.

They are more expensive, but I think they are worth it.

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For temp mounting to your bimini. what i did was went to lowes and they sell the metal coduit clamps to hold the electrical conduit to the wall. Bolt your light to the clamp through the wall mount hole and replace the nut with a wing nut on the clamp side and you can remove them when ever you want. I wired in a switch and at tractor supply they sell a two wire plug like for trailer lights for 2 bucks. i put that in the wiring so i could remove the lights when ever i wanted to. AS for getting hot leds wont get hot. I used to use them every day when in the trucking industry. My lights that i got from harbor freight dont get hot either though i tested that before i installed them. at that time the leds were over a hundred a piece. To get decent led floods or spots i know we were getting like 75 a piece at the dealership. You can buy the cheaper ones but you will get what you pay for when it comes to led lights. dont buy the cheapest thing out there.

this is the clamp:

clamp.jpg

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I read somewhere that glow tape was used on the planerboard flag. I am going to try this idea. Also going to put some glow tape on the rodtip to see how that would work. I wouldn't think that a 1/2inx1in piece would effect anything.

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I sure wish I could get Tom at Moonshine to paint my rod tips for me! I always thought that would be perfect for night fishing, but the off-the-shelf glow paint doesn't even last 10 minutes. I'd be in for a set of Flounder Pounder Rod Tips!

John You can do that yourself. I agree most glow paint sucks. What you need is super glow powder. You first need to paint the rod tips a light color white is best. Then mix the super glow powder with some clear lacquer (Deft) is a brand name that will work. You will need three or four coats of the powder lacquer mix and a final coat of just plain lacquer. I have super glowed a lot of my light colored old spoons and they work fine. I had a thread on it a couple of years ago. I'll dig it up.

The problem with glow paint is it has glow powder in it but the pigment in the paint hides most of the glow particles.

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i called a friend of mine to see what he would recommend. He is in automotive lighting for this region and our rep for the dealership. truck lite is building the best flood right now that isn't burning out diodes after 14 months. 81380 is the truck lite part number and it runs about 129 each. grote is making one but typically is buring out diodes after the 1 year warranty. He was also saying that PIAA is making a nice set but they are like 260 a set(he doesnt sell them.). He also said that they make some set for like 100 bucks but they wont have the light output that you need for off the back of a boat. There good for like 10 ft. He was also saying most of the led driving light on the market just aren't bright enough.

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Optronics makes a set of LED lights labeled dock and mooring lights for about $100. They claim you can see the light reflect off DOT reflective tape at 500 yds. That sounds pretty bright to me. They also have SS hardware and aluminum casings. I'm suprised about the diodes burning out on the LED lights, I thought that was supposed to be their strong point. With the low operating temp I thought they would last for a very long time. I do have a pair of Led lights mounted on the gunnel to light up the deck that I end up replacing about every other year but I suspect the cheap switch, they're not expensive lights.

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