Auctionbandits reviews the Cannon 10A deep sea fishing downrigger

Cannon 'Magnum 10A' fishing downrigger, $40.

There's one item from the world of sport fishing that you absolutely must be able to recognize when you see it, or you run the risk of leaving lots of money behind. Fishing downriggers like this Cannon 10A are very expensive pieces of equipment. Learn what they do, learn what the various brands look like, and then go make some money, willya?

How many people walked right past this expensive piece of equipment before I got to it? Who knows, but I'd bet the reason none of them bought it is because they didn't know what the heck it was, or how much it's worth! It's obvious that nobody who saw this thing had ever had to buy one new, or else they'd have known that these cost almost $500 new, and likely would've snapped it up immediately. I guess this was yet another example of how we're actually hardwired to ignore stuff we don't recognize.

Here's the lowdown on this unit. All good anglers know that fish are found at different depths. This may be because certain species of fish actually prefer those depths, or it may be because they just happen to be there when the angler sees them on his fish finder. But they're there, and he must get his bait down to their depth - and keep it there - as he tools around in his boat so that the fish will see the bait.

The problem is, he can't just drop his bait into the water with his rod and lower it to the correct depth, because the drag from the water on the line will cause it to pop up toward the surface as soon as he starts moving the boat. This is where the downrigger comes in so handy.

The downrigger is secured to the boat, and the fishing rod is held in place either by a rod holder mounted on the boat, or by one mounted on the downrigger itself. The large reel on the downrigger holds several hundred feet of a heavy stainless steel wire of about 200 pound test, with a lead weight of about 10 pounds on one end. A line holder is fastened to this heavy wire right above the weight, and the fishing rod's line is secured to the line holder. The downrigger's reel is unwound and the 10-pound weight - with the rod's line secured right above it - is lowered to the proper depth, which is indicated on the downrigger reel's counter. The heavy 10 pounds of weight ensures that everything stays right down where it's supposed to be as the boat is moving.

When a fish strikes the bait, the line holder releases its grip on the fishing line so that the angler can haul in his catch. But, as we all know, hooked fish rarely come to the angler in a straight line. On the contrary - they go crazy as they zig-zag and run all over the place, including under the boat. So unless the angler wants to end up with a mess of tangled fishing line and downrigger wire, he needs to get his downrigger lines up and out of the water as quickly as possible. This is where the electric motor comes in so handy. These downriggers are available in the 'hand-crank' manual variety as well, which may be okay for shallower water use, but cranking up several hundred feet of wire by hand is a lengthy and difficult task, which isn't made any easier when there's a ten-pound weight on the end. Besides, it's not uncommon for two or more downriggers to be used on a boat at one time, and when a fish is hooked on one of them, they all must be raised to avoid entanglement. You can imagine the excitement one guy would have as he tried to get them all out of the water at the same time!

Keep in mind that although Cannon is a very popular maker of downriggers, they aren't the only company making them, by a long shot. So, not only will you see both electric and manual versions, you'll also see different brand names as well. But since these things are all are designed for the same purpose, they all tent to have that same general look to them.

Be advised that the manual versions generally sell for substantially less than the electrics.

This particular model of downrigger sells for around $479 new, and goes for around $300 or so used on eBay.

I guess the next logical consideration here is, does it work? Like automobiles, boat electrical systems are 12-volt, so all you need to test one of these units is a car battery just like the one in your car. But in the case that you can't test one, physical condition can go a long way toward telling you if a particular downrigger is worth buying. A downrigger in excellent physical condition is not only likely to work, but it's also likely to be worth repairing if you find out that something is wrong with it when you get home. On the other hand, not only is a dumpy, abused example more likely to have operational problems than a clean unit, it's also less likely to be worth repairing if any problems do exist.

It's likely that you'd never even laid eyes on one of these downriggers before you saw this one, much less knew what they're used for. But there you have it - another piece of knowledge to put you yet another step ahead of your competition. This downrigger sold on eBay for $245.

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