Cannon Downriggers: Targeting Big Fish Down Deep
In the heat of the summer months, trophy trout and salmon prefer their water to be cooler and rich with oxygen. To get those conditions, they must swim deeper to the thermocline, the section of a water column that is between the warm water near the surface and the cold water near the bottom. Depending on the lake and time of year, the thermocline can be many feet underwater. So how do you get your lures down to those depths? You could use a Dipsy Diver, Lead Core line, or downriggers. Cannon Downriggers are one of the biggest brands in the trolling market and have a wide selection of quality downriggers. Let’s go over some of the more popular Cannon Downriggers to help you better identify a suitable choice for getting your lures down into the strike zone.
Cannon Downriggers: What are they and what do they do?
A downrigger is a device that, with a weighted ball and a clip, descends into the depths bringing your lure down with it. They look something like a heavy duty rod and reel, made of sturdy plastics and metal, strung with either heavy braided line or metal wire. At the end of the wire is a special clip that connects the weighted ball to the line. On the weighted ball you have two loops, one for the main line and a second for the release clip that snaps to your fishing line. This clip is the mechanism that releases the line to your lure when a fish strikes to disengage the downrigger for the fight. Depending on the model, you either hand crank the downrigger to retrieve and set the downrigger ball or use an electric motor to do the work for you. While convenient, the electric downrigger is much more expensive.
Downriggers are equipped with a depth counter and a rod holder. The counter gives you a fair idea how deep the ball is in the water column and you can assume your lure is in the same general depth. Combined with a fish finder, you can use the downrigger to get your bait precisely where the fish are and greatly increase your chances of landing a fish.
Cannon Downriggers: Cannon’s best manual downrigger
The entry line of downriggers from Cannon are their manual design. These downriggers require the angler to hand crank the weight back to the boat. They use a brake that can be displaced just slightly to allow you to release the downrigger ball smoothly but be aware, if you release the brake too much you can easily knot up your reel causing major problems with your tackle. Always be aware of how quickly you let down the downrigger ball and be in complete control of the line while you release. I like to have my thumb on the spool and let it gradually tear off the reel. While each line of downrigger works great for specific uses, the best manual downrigger Cannon offers is the Uni-Troll 10 STX model.
The Cannon Uni-Troll 10 STX is the best value manual downrigger for all the features it has. The 10 STX-TS is basically the same downrigger but with a few upgraded components and that downrigger costs almost $200 more. For the money, you cannot go wrong with the Uni-Troll 10 STX. It’s pre-spooled with 200 feet of 150lb test wire line, to get your bait incredibly far down. Built with a low profile swivel-base, you can adjust your angles in different directions if you have multiple downriggers on each side of the boat. Creating a wide fan of lures means you cover more water and potentially attract more fish. My favorite feature to the Uni-Troll 10 is the telescopic boom. This makes the unit almost universally appropriate for every type of boat. Extending from 24″ to 53″, this downrigger can be setup on a simple 16 foot aluminum or a 34 foot deep water center console. If you’re a budget conscious angler who wants to troll, spend your hard earned money on a Uni-Troll 10 STX. If convenience is more important, we have an even better option for you…
Cannon Downriggers: Cannon’s best electric downrigger
If money isn’t as much as a concern as convenience, you should set your sights on an electric downrigger. They take the work of setting and retrieving an 8, 10, or 12 pound ball away from you so you can quickly set your bait, clip the line and drop the bait in the strike zone. Cannon offers several choices but our favorite has to be the Cannon Magnum 10 STX. It has all the important features we look for: telescopic boom, waterproof design, few moving parts, and combines that with a super fast 250 feet per minute retrieval electric motor. The Magnum also comes in at a very friendly $499.99 MSRP. You could go even more advanced with the Digi-Troll 10 but for a whopping $1499 MSRP. The Digi-Troll is programmable giving you the ability to keep your ball at certain depths above bottom allowing it to move up and down on its own based on data fed from a separate transducer. All excellent features that come with a hefty price tag. If you’re looking for pure convenience, stick with the Magnum 10 STX. It won’t break the bank and it will do all the work you don’t want to do.
Cannon Downriggers are arguably the best on the market. I agree with that statement and in fact use them myself. Their quality is exceptional. Options are nearly endless. They seem to have a product tailor made for each type of angler. We’ve highlighted the best options we find from the Cannon line, but you should always check out their other offerings. They include some devices for the extremely budget conscious as well as those who need superior components for durability and reliability in any elements. Their Tournament Series downriggers are the same as their core downriggers but with upgraded components. All of their choices equal quality downrigging products every angler should get familiar with. If you’re targeting deep swimming fish and like to troll, you need a downrigger. If you want good equipment to help you achieve that, you need a Cannon.