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Big Jon Sportsman model Electric Downrigger issues?

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A little long but-

Was having issues with (fuse) breakers popping too often. Called Big Jon in Traverse City. They are known for their great Customer Service.

They sold me pulley and arm and two new breakers - same ones from factory we were at. Soldered them in exactly as old ones were. Now we can't get them them to "pop" at all.

Used to hit up button, sometimes let them come to top on the top on their own, like if I was fighting a fish, and breaker would pop and motor would stop. Tension on outside knob was kept tight.

Now with new breakers, the motor won't stop and breakers hardly ever pop? Last Sunday I turned around while fighting fish, with downrigger was coming up, and WHAM!

My 200# Power Pro braid pops like 4# mono.

Now missing another snap swivel, release, snubbers, Fish Hawk probe, and cannonball.

Big Jon says I've been using them wrong for three years? Said I need to keep knob loose enough to let "clutch" work and wheel would then spin at top?

I'm concerned that knob will just spin off axle when I'm not looking? Like I should drill a hole in the threaded end of the axle and put a cotter pin in?

At this point, for various reasons, I'm now out 2 arms, 2 pulleys, one 12# cannonball, three releases, and another $365 Fish Hawk probe? Plus gas from Zeeland to Traverse City and back.

Please I'd sure like to hear from you if you've got any ideas besides get some new downriggers with auto stop.

Thanks so much for the education...


Sent from my SM-N960U using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App



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Yes, the clutch is supposed to spin when the ball comes up and you don't stop it.  Allowing the breakers to pop could cause the motor windings to overheat.  I just manually click the stop button when the ball is up.  Another reason to keep the clutch a little loose is to stop the cable from snapping if you bump something on bottom.  Never seen the clutch knob come loose. 

Sucks about loosing the cannonball with probe.

Did the new pulley arms break?

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