Looking to buy electric down riggers for next season. What does everyone suggest for which ones to buy?
Electric down riggers
Traxtech is the one you want, if you can afford them--they are pricey. I upgraded from manual to electric a few years ago. I wanted to be able to fish down to 450', and most riggers will not handle the necessary weight. I had traxtech add 500' of cable to the one I bought. To fish deep I use a 24# weight and the rigger handles it. It has a lighted screen which is great for night fishing. It has a jigging function. You can drop the ball to the depth you want and then tell it to raise the ball between 1 and 10 feet and keep it raised for 1-10 minutes. Then it lowers it back down until another time interval passes and raises it up again. Every part of the unit is machined metal--no plastic except the control panel.
For a second, cheaper, rigger with max depth of 150', I looked at everything else on the market. I rejected Scotty because they use a rubber belt for the drive system. The cheaper Cannons all have plastic spools on them. I had a manual Big Jon which snapped the boom off in rough water, so I did not consider them. I ended up buying a Walker. The Walker works alright, although it is a bit clunky. It sounds like a child's big wheel when the spool turns. The thing that bothers me the most about the Walker is that you have to crimp magnets on the cable to trip the automatic shut off when the ball is retrieved. Since the shallower rigger is the one which carries the subtroll probe, I worried that the shut off might fail, pull the rig out of the water, break the cable and send the subtroll probe to the bottom. That has not happened, but I am always close to the Walker when it retrieves the weight in case it goes wrong. Having to stay close to the rigger while it is working somewhat defeats the point of having an automatic raise function.
I intend to replace the Walker with another traxtech this year.