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Old 07-01-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
Cannon
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Default Best Downrigger?

In the interest of nonscience (as per Moknots) I am interested in who makes the best electric downrigger. Here on the West Coast, I would really only consider two makes: Cannon and Scotty. What makes one better than the other? My experience is with Scotty and I think they make one heck of a good downrigger. Solid, low amp draw (which is important) excellent product support. I don't mind the fact that I have to drop the weight by hand but if I was looking for a weak spot, that would be it. The differences are more like ford and chevy, but having never owned a Cannon (I should get royalties since they are using my name!) I am curious what the chevy owners like other than having my name plastered all over their boat?

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Old 07-01-2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I just switched from manual Cannons to electrics. Bought two off of eBay, one was new and the other used. Paid a little over $200 each and I must say I'm impressed so far with the simplicity. One is a mag 10, not sure what the other one is. They have both electric and manual drop (with a clutch). I haven't checked the current draw yet so not sure what kind of load they put on the battery. The mag 10 is nice since it has the "black box" voltage built-in. I just added the Intellitroll unit from Cannon, so we'll see how well that works.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Yes Kent, one might call this a "dead horse" issue but here's my
In the past the general consensus was that Cannon made the better manual downriggers and Scotty made the better electrics. I have owned both manual and electric Cannons ( new and old models) and have used
the Scotty electrics. The new Cannons are far superior
to the old Cannons. The old Cannons were 125 feet per minute retrieve and the Scott's I believe are 200 or 225. The new Cannons are 250 fpm!! I currently own a new and an older Cannon electric. The difference in speed and features is day and night.
The Scotty's have a nice lift up feature that the Cannons do not have. The Cannons have a clutch that you can adjust with the twist of a knob on the spindle, as easy as adjusting the drag on a reel. The Scotty's have to be taken apart to adjust the clutch. The Cannons have auto or manual descent. Manual is essentially a freespool. It gets you down there fast. The new Cannons all have auto stop at the water surface. As for all the Scotty guys who still swear their units are superior to Cannon, I bet they haven't tried a new high speed Cannon yet. I also like the solid housing on all my Cannons. I have had them fall off the boat in a parking lot before. No damage at all. Let the flaming begin.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fish-on-bend View Post
The new Cannons are 250 fps!!
Holy crap Joe 250 feet per second, that's insane Do you have to wear a hard hat when operating it?

All kidding aside, there are good features to both brands. I've used Joe's Cannon's and like them. I own Scotty's and like them too. It just depends on price and what features suit your particular situation best
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best Down rigger?

I have 2 cannon HS electric down riggers and absolutely love them, I have never owned a Scott electric down rigger so I can't compare but the retrieval rate on the cannons is fast and the auto stop is a nice feature. my vote is cannon
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best Down rigger?

I have just in the past 6 months started using electrics. I put a pair of Digi-trolls on my boat and am amazed every time I use them. They do most of the work for me, and the bottom tracking feature keeps me from hanging my balls on the bottom of the lake. I do not believe that the Scotty's have any system for bottom tracking so that made my decision pretty easy after hanging up several times when I was running manuals. You can run bottom tracking with Mag 20's and maybe Mag 10's if you have a Compatible HB fish finder and Cannonlink. I suppose the flip up feature would be nice at times but I could also imagine that being potentially dangerous. I use swivel bases on my Cannons and just spin them around backwards when I pull the boat out of the water. I have dealt with Cannon tech support once and they were johnny-on-the-spot with perfect help.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
I am curious what the chevy owners like

Sorry the only Chevrolet motor I have is the one I trust the most it powers my boat. And my Ford was made back when Henry was still there and they made something worth driving

My Scotty's are from the era; that they were the best, and they still can lift 20#. When my 9 year old boat is worn out and I get a new one they will still be under warranty and most likely will go on the next one. Although I do like the slow down on the cannons it only takes longer to get the lines twisted TL
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Scott-E

deadhorse topic Cannon.......

jz
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzell View Post
Scott-E

deadhorse topic Cannon.......

jz
'Nother "Dead horse" post and yet you are reading. Things are constantly changing, so it often times helps to refresh. Not a shot at you personnaly, Jzell. If evrything is a dead horse, then their shouldn't have been an outdoor mag printed in the last 50 yrs.
JZELL, again ,this is to all "Dead horse" posters, so please don't take it personall.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzell View Post
Scott-E

deadhorse topic Cannon.......

jz
I guess my issue with your comment is that it is not pertinent to the topic. If you don't like the subject don't post. I personally am interested in the differences between the two downriggers or I wouldn't have started the thread. No offense was meant to anyone including yourself with the topic and I had no intention of starting a flame war. Irrational negative comments do nothing but incite more negative posts, usually back at the person posting the downer.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I have been using Cannons Ele. since 1986 never had any problems.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Cannon

You asked about West Coast Down Riggers in your first post. Fact of the matter is there are no west coast manufactures.Scotty and Walkers are from Canada not the USA. Where Big Jon's, Cannon, Penn. are American made.The Scotty company has done a great job marking a unit that is cheap enough for the average fisherman.Fact is the Cannon and Big Jon's are a superior product hands down, but will cost you more money.

If you look at most popular problems with Scotty is Belts and auto stops. This subject falls under the same category as which is better Ford , Chev or Dodge. My suggestion is get what you can afford and feel comfortable using.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chartreuse moose View Post
Cannon

You asked about West Coast Down Riggers in your first post. Fact of the matter is there are no west coast manufactures.Scotty and Walkers are from Canada not the USA.
Scotty downriggers are made on the West coast. The fact that they are made in Canada is irrelevant. Both Cannon and Scotty have very good warrantee and repair here on the West Coast which is the reason that I specified the two. No other company offers good support here in the West regardless of the quality of the unit. I am interested in the fine points and the problems not normally printed. In short, I want to know the dirt on the units. What reason would make one better than the other?
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

If you want dirt, here's mine from 6 years of Cannon electrics. The power cords needed to be replace after a few years on the older ones. They would crack and peel. The newer ones are MUCH thicker and stiffer, but the cheap contacts inside are prone to breaking if you twist them. Not much for a negative, and these cords can be replaced by your choice of after market cord anyway. I'm sure Scotty owners have a couple petty pet peeves as well, but thats my only one for Cannons.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I bought my Scotty years ago and only had two problems with it. First the cable would hang up in the pulley. They now have a updated pulley so that problem is fixed. Then earlier this year the counter stop working. A new $20 counter and all is good
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
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Believe it or not Big Jon's have a life time warranty on all parts. There are a number of repair shops in California. Myself I run Cannon mag 20s and would not change for anything. But the fact is there are other units out there
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I have had my Scotty for years. I have only had one clutch problem (probably my fault). Sent it to Ollie Damon's on a Monday and I believe it came back on the next Friday fixed under warranty at no charge. The one feature I like on the Scotty's is to be able to control the speed of the descent of the ball but that's all I've ever used.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I personally find this topic extremely helpful. I am currently trying to evaluate which down riggers would be best for my boat. I have never fished with a DR or even seen one in operation but my recently acquired addiction to kokanee fishing is fueling my interest. Thank you to all of the contributors of information on this topic.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

The one with a fish on it!................sorry
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I have an old-old Scotty and a year old Cannon HS; both work great. The Cannon is easier to use but the Scotty is faster when you consider UP and back down. I like the Cannon auto stop (no beads to put on the line); however it sometimes fails in rough water when a wave hits just as the ball hits the surface. You won't go wrong with either.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:21 PM   #21
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I have the Scotty 1106's .One on either side.They work great and i equiped them with weight retreiver andpower-pro line . My wish list would be left and right hand (port/ starboard for u salty ones) model so the controls mirror each other. Started using stackers last year and they work well. I run the port rigger extended to get away from kicker motor.thats about it.

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Old 07-05-2010, 08:30 PM   #22
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I've owned electric Cannons (five years) and Scottys(six years). I currently own two Scottys that I purchased new in 2004. My next electric downriggers will be Cannons. The new Cannon Mag10HS can be purchased for $450 out the door if you look around hard enough.

In my experience the Scottys require much more maintenance.... Let me list a few things I've dealt with:;

1) Scotty downrigger wire is inferior to Cannon wire. It frays, it goes bad, it has defects. I never replaced my Cannon wire in five years and never had a problem with it. I replaced the Scotty wire twice before I wised up and spent a little more to put Cannon wire on my Scottys. No problems since(3 years). This is the reason many Scotty owners are going to power pro line.... lead is expensive and dropping $50 bills to the bottom of the ocean gets old quick.

2) The Scotty power cord that came with my downriggers in 2004 had a paper lining that allowed water to wick into the unit and cause corrosion. In Scottys defense they covered the issue under warranty, but I had to push to find out what the problem was and have it covered by warranty. Scotty has since changed wire manufacturers.

3) The clutch on the Scottys requires regular adjustment. This involves a wrench and usually is discovered while on the water in rough water....bad news waiting to happen. The Cannon clutch is adjusted with a knob on the side.

4) I just got back from a fishing trip and once again I had a Scotty failure on the water. This time it started with a pulley that wouldn't turn so we went in and changed it out. Then a belt broke so we went in again and changed that (I had a spare, but my model requires a different size....who knew there were two different designs...)

I prefer the low profile swivel design of Cannon. The Scotty design is huge and let's just say "Not elegant". I also prefer the way the Cannons mount. The Scottys require four hands.

I own Scottys..... I want Cannons.... nuff said?
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:11 AM   #23
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

It is very interesting when the die hard from either side of the fence are willing to put out there what is wrong with their downrigger of choice. This is how improvements are made on both sides of the fence. I will be forwarding the information on to the respective manufacturers for their feedback as well. Years of experience boiled down to these few posts on Ifish. What are your wishes in an electric downrigger now that you have owned one for several years and seen improvements but not necessarily the ones you would liked to have seen?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon View Post

.... What are your wishes in an electric downrigger now that you have owned one for several years and seen improvements but not necessarily the ones you would liked to have seen?.....

A low profile swivel and mounting system that can be easily removed from the gunwale so it doesn't remain in the way when not in use.

Adjustable retrieval speed. When you aren't fishing deep, the downriggers are almost too fast and the starts and stops are harder than I'd like. Plus dropping down and coming up just 5-10' is more difficult than it needs to be. The speed should build as you pull up....start slow..build speed and slow down as surface approaches. Maybe two speeds? One fast and one slow and let the user choose which they want to use.

The tilt up feature on the Scotty is great. Cannon could incorporate something in the boom instead of that goofy bracket tilt thing they came out with.

Power cords.... Goodness gracious...can someone please get this right? Positive and negative do NOT have to be so close together It isn't about making the connection easy. I'm only connecting the thing maybe once per day. I'm okay with two separate connections(one positive, one negative) if it will stop the blasted corrosion/electrolysis issues that plague both styles. As it is now, add a little saltwater and both styles don't last long. I can eliminate a lot of cost by going to electrical connections that are much simpler and last a lot longer in a saltwater environment.

That's it for now...
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

I've fished with Fish-on-Bend who uses Cannons, and they were very nice. I use Scotty electrics; they are what I learned on and I am used to them and have never had any problems with them.

Some people don't like the stopper beads on Scottys, but they work great for me, especially for stacking rods on one downrigger. For kokanee, I put stopper beads just above the downrigger weight, and 10' above that, more beads for the next rod - and 10 feet above that, more stopper beads if I want to stack 3 rods on one downrigger. Simple, fast and foolproof.

I carry extra belts for my Scottys but have never had to change one. Adjusting the clutch on the Scotty electrics isn't as quick as turning a knob on the Cannons, however it's not hard to do either: just open the cover, loosen a jam nut; then either tighten or loosen a nut below the jam nut; retighten the jam nut, close the cover, and you're done. About a 3 minute job, and I haven't had to readjust the clutch on either of my downriggers in at least two years.

The Cannons with auto bottom tracking sound pretty cool, but they are very expensive. Some day I would like to fish with someone who has that system just to experience it. If that bottom tracking feature can really respond fast enough to raise the downrigger ball above a rock outcropping when trolling for mackinaw at 3.0 mph; I would be impressed!

Decide which features you need, learn how to use them, and you can't go wrong with either Cannon or Scotty.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #26
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

To All, Happy Thanks Giving. I love Ifish.net for so many reasons. Today, I'm in the hunt for an electric downrigger. I have two manual Cannons. And I hate buying a product and find out later that I didn't have enough info. So I type in downriggers and the Best Downriggers ? pops up with great info on both sides of the coin. Thanks to all . Kent
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Macdonald View Post
To All, Happy Thanks Giving. I love Ifish.net for so many reasons. Today, I'm in the hunt for an electric downrigger. I have two manual Cannons. And I hate buying a product and find out later that I didn't have enough info. So I type in downriggers and the Best Downriggers ? pops up with great info on both sides of the coin. Thanks to all . Kent
So please let us know what you finally decide and why.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
Scotty downriggers are made on the West coast. The fact that they are made in Canada is irrelevant. Both Cannon and Scotty have very good warrantee and repair here on the West Coast which is the reason that I specified the two. No other company offers good support here in the West regardless of the quality of the unit. I am interested in the fine points and the problems not normally printed. In short, I want to know the dirt on the units. What reason would make one better than the other?
Walker's was sold out to Bert's Tackle out of Michigan over a year ago, and now are coming from there. There deep divers where sold to Travis the owner of Fish Hawk Electronics also out of Michigan.

Walker's are no longer a Canada company , but a USA company

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Old 12-10-2013, 09:07 AM   #29
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As for Cannon, the boxes I have looked at had printed (made in China )

Myself I run Big John's an USA company.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:56 PM   #30
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Default Re: Best Downrigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
In the interest of nonscience (as per Moknots) I am interested in who makes the best electric downrigger. Here on the West Coast, I would really only consider two makes: Cannon and Scotty. What makes one better than the other? My experience is with Scotty and I think they make one heck of a good downrigger. Solid, low amp draw (which is important) excellent product support. I don't mind the fact that I have to drop the weight by hand but if I was looking for a weak spot, that would be it. The differences are more like ford and chevy, but having never owned a Cannon (I should get royalties since they are using my name!) I am curious what the chevy owners like other than having my name plastered all over their boat?
I use the Big Jon Captain's Pack.m These are electric, I love them. they are easy to use and light weight. Simple and I have had no problems with them for 10 years now. Have a ton of options and accessories. You should at least look at them..Made In America also!!!
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