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sub troll , depth raider , fish hawk

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mattspdfrk
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5/9/11 7:32 AM CST
looking at buying one of these just looking for some opinions advice

[This post was last edited on 5/9/11 at 7:33 AM]
mattspdfrk
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5/19/11 4:38 PM CST
thank for all the info. It is helping make my decision easier .

sslayer
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5/17/11 9:06 AM CST
I've fished using a Fish Hawk hand held temperature gage to find the cold water back in the late '70's. Then I ued a DataMarine surface speedometer for trolling speed. We'd find the temperature break and set up above it, at it and below it as we do now you just didn't know when the temperature changed until you stopped trolling and did a re-check of the water temperature.

I moved up to a Mono Troll from Big Jon in 1990 it was a unit that was like the Fish Hawk 840 where you had a wireless probe attached to the downrigger ball and a Tri-ducer on the transom that picked the signal from the downrigger probe as well as giving you surface speed and temperature. I had the Big Jon unit for 12 years my only complaints were downrigger blow-back because of the probe size and probe replacement price ouch!! If you lost a probe it was $250 plus 2 to 4 weeks delivery time. Now if a probe went bad then it was an exchange and it cost $60. I caught more fish once I knew the speed and temperature at the ball.

In 2007 I bought a Depth Raider. I installed in on an old Cannon Mag 10 (aluminum body). This model Mag 10 has a very slow up and down speed. I haven't had problems with stripping the coating off the cable that a number of guys complain about and I connected the probe permanently to the cable. My only complaint with the Depth Raider is that the display unit will over heat on sunny days because of the units dark gray color. I have taken the advice of others that have experienced the over heating problem and put a white cloth over the display head when it's sunny and warm. I've caught a lot of fish using the Depth Raider for ball speed and temp in conjunction with a Lowrance surface speed and temp gage. I like the constant speed and temperature updates the Depth Raider gives. With the old Fish Hawk unit if the downrigger blow-back was too great the Tri-Ducer wouldn't read the ball speed and temp and the deeper you go with the probe the more you increase the probe blow-back as well and I don't like to use weights that are over 10#'s.

Bottom line is wouldn't go back to fishing without a downrigger speed and temperature unit. If I were buying one now I'd buy the Fish Hawk X-4 there's no coated cable to deal with and they decreased the probe size which should help with the blow-back.

Jumpshooter
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5/12/11 6:02 AM CST
Haved used the Depth Raider for several years and has worked flawlessly. How often are you fellows replacing the coated cable on yours? Thanks in advance.

Josh Evje
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5/10/11 12:23 AM CST
I run the X4. I know several guys that run the DR without any issues as well. For the money, I'd rather have a wireless system, and the better display like fishhawk provides. I have quite the array of electronics aboard my boat and have had absolutely zero issues with performance or interference with my X4. It was plug and play. Calibration was not an issue for me either. The biggest factor for me was that it is wireless. The pond isn't always gentle on gear and the less things that you ultimately eliminate to go wrong, the better off you are, in my opinion. I got mine off eBay. There is a seller on there that offers a BIN price or best offer. I made an offer and it was Shipped TYD for 550. Although this was within the last 5 months, if he is no longer on there I'd give Russell at anglers avenue in Sheboygan a call. You'll probably get the best face to face price from him. Hope this helps.

shortshot
shortshot
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5/9/11 7:05 PM CST
fishhawk x4 is the bomb! the best , hands down.

CATCHIN
CATCHIN
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Joined: 7/11/2007
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5/9/11 4:48 PM CST
I gotta say the depth raider is hands down the best, and a wis. product/company...Kurt Kell is very helpful for installation..anything about these units...

Pioneer277
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5/9/11 12:08 PM CST
Sub-troll for me, 10 years and counting. I know for a fact that some depth raider guys have to wet the rigger cable to get readings consistantly, it's a spring diameter thing I suppose, or so I have been told. How much you want too spend, they are all good units. IMO

tyee 1950
tyee 1950
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5/9/11 12:01 PM CST
I have been using a Depth Raider for four years now and wouldn't trade it for any other unit. One thing about the DR is that it comes calibrated from the factory. My understanding is that other units are NOT calibrated which leaves this up to the new owner. The coated cable can be a bit of a nuisance but has not been a big deal.

The strategy I now use with the DR is to make it the shallowest downrigger in my spread. The clear water in Lake Michigan makes a stealth approach almost mandatory. The probe on any of the downrigger temp/speed units is more "stuff" that can spook fish. Early in the year when it's coho time the probe is in the water only for speed and temp. As the water warms and a thermocline sets up I run it near the thermocline to make sure I understand what the current/temp at that depth is doing. So most of the time the Depth Raider probe will not be the deepest in the spread. The deepest downrigger is normally the most productive.

Kurt at Kell Labs has been really been good about helping when I have had questions, and that's another big deal to me. Overall I am very pleased with this tool and as i said, this is the fifth season it has been in my boat. Take the depth finder before you take my Depth raider!

thinblueline
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5/9/11 10:02 AM CST
I've only had one, the Depth Raider, but if I had the money right now, it would be the new Fish Hawk, without a doubt. The main reason...coated down rigger cables are a pain in the arse. Blow back on the coated cables is a bit ridiculous, requiring a good 15 pound weight if you want to fish below 100 feet with any regularity. Plus, no matter how careful you are, things just happen eventually to strip off portions of the coating, causing a reduction in battery life and loss of signal. This is just my two cents.

BigMusky12
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5/9/11 8:43 AM CST
sub troll for 380 on ebay now...that is a good deal

smokercraft427
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5/9/11 8:22 AM CST
Do a search on here it's been discussed in depth with a lot of good info. / opinions. The short of it is, each has it's + and - I narrowed it down to Depth Raider or Fish Hawk X4 (I decided to go with the X4) It is the most expensive but doesn't require a coated DR cable which I liked. Any of them will work great, just compare and decide if the extra cost is worth it for you.

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