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Best electric downrigger for the $$?


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I have Big Jon's, trouble free so far, probably 5 years old now. Can't speak to the other brands. I did listen to a Mike Avery interview with the person who started Big Jon, can't remember his name, and he sounded like a really smart engineering type who built a really sound company. Happy with mine.

Paul C.

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I'm looking to upgrade and was wondering looking for opinions. What is electric rigger is the best for the least $$?

I have 3 used Brutes ES's that should be available after the weekend. $1,500. Send me a PM with your contact info if you're interested. The only reason I'm selling is that I bought a boat that has them on it and I'm selling a boat that currently has them on it and the buyer doesn't want them (he already has them as well).

New or used, I think the Brutes are a good value. Tough, simple, and fast.

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What war was ever won in modern warfare without having a cannon? The Cannon Mag 10’s are another pretty much bullet proof electric downriggers. I bought two of the original electric models used in 1984 and they were still working perfectly in 2012 when I sold them. In that time I replaced one circuit breaker, one toggle switch and the rubber boots that cover the toggle switch.

If you think about the electrical components and gear drive system on a downrigger probably see one to two hours run time per fishing trip. So if you fish 20 to 50 times a season that means you’re putting no more than 50 to 100 hours on an electric downrigger a season. Any unit should meet the needs of a hobby fisherman.

I think features are what you need to consider when selecting a downrigger. Find the unit with the swivel base, rod holder(s), auto stop system, weight capacity and deploy/retrieval speed you like best. I say this because you’re not going to wear it out.

Good Luck

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I have the big jon pro tournaments and cant really complain. they are good riggers and at a good price. but if I had it to do over I would buy the walker with the auto ball retriever on them. I,ve had problems finding a ball retriever that works with the auto stops on the big jons. im going to try the tru trax retrievers this year. maby this will take care of my problem.

sherman

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This seems odd for me to say since I have never had Cannon riggers, but based on the specs, the Mag 5 ST ($399) or the Mag 10 STX ($549 retail) look hard to beat. Both have 250'/minute retrieve and 20# weight capacity. The 5 has a 24" arm while the 10 is adjustable from 24 to 53". They also include auto-stop.

I'm not a big fan of the fixed boom (can't lift them) design of the Cannons and they just seem very bulky to me. The single standard plastic (lexan) rod holders are not real impressive to me either -- but you can add their aluminum rod holders and get the best out there. The standard models also don't include swivel bases which is actually good if you go with a track system with pedestals instead.

I have had Riviera, Invader, Big Jon, and Vectors on my boats over the years. If money was not a factor, I would have put the new Traxstech models on two years ago. Of those I have had, the Vectors (now the Traxstech) were good for close to 10 years, but two of my 4 have issues and I bought a pair of Big Jon Brutes to replace them. Brutes are not as fast as the Vectors but work very well. I wish both had auto stop. Big Jon Captain Packs are good solid units as are the Pro Tournaments but are relatively slow.

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That is a good question. I seem to remember this post a while back and alot of guys have their favorites. They all seem pretty good. they all have there issues. some have better options for your boat. Some boats depending on how their built will have alot of prep work depending on the rigger base plate and how your boat is built. another considerations is parts and service. I run walkers. The last set of captiains packs I had were great. 10 years not one issue. and there is a service tech 10 min from my house for cables and ends and hardware because lets face it any problem I have ever had with any downrigger was partially slef inflicted beacause is did not forsee the set up and what issue it would cause down the road.. Had Cannons on my islander when I first bought it. They were great. but the base plate did not set up well on the gunnel without building additional mounting support. I am all about K I S . keep is simple. My good friend moosky runs Big Jons. I love them and they work out good on his boat. Penn makes a pretty good downrigger and many others. . all have there issues. all have there good points. just consider all before you buy, because none of them are are what I call inexpensive.good luck.

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