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> Downrigger Cable Breakage, How Often Do You Change the Cable?
sdcaller
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 10:30 am


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I have Scotty electric downriggers on my boat that I bought used in 2006.

2 Years ago I changed the cable on one of them due to cable breakage. It was the rigger guests on my boat use and I thought one particular regular guest had significantly contributed to the breakage by how he would "slam on" the brakes when letting the ball down.

With the rigger I use all the time, I brake gradually when bringing the ball to a stop and I figured no problem with my cable.

Well on Tuesday the cable broke about 3 feet above the ball when the ball came up on auto and shut off and bounced a bit in the rough water.

So now I need to replace that cable which was at least 13 years old.

I'm wondering what others do in terms of how frequently you replace your cables?

I usually have the boat out 10 to 15 times a year and the riggers are always in use on those trips.

Would appreciate input from folks out there, especially Werner (Longshank)

Thanks

SDC

PS I'm also looking to buy a 10lb cannonball if anyone has one for sale. Would take 2 if the price is right.


SDC


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woodie54
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 10:46 am


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The condition of the cable should determine when you change it. Watch for kinks, broken strands and rusting. Sometimes things just happen though just like happened to you.

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Fisherman
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 11:58 am


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At 13 years it doesn't owe you anything. For the price of a spool of #150 cable, it's cheaper than most cannon balls. I also have the Scottys and don't let them free fall at all, gentle braking on the way down. My first change was around 12 years but I don't have any abusers using them.

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Longshank
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 07:28 pm


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Ralph a very good question


This is what I do

every season I check out my equipment and with 4 riggers, I specifically look for any frays or possible weak points in the first 50 feet or so of cable, which in my case get about 70% of the annual usage. Any problems detected and cable is cut and new terminal put on .


I run 200 feet on all riggers, so complete changes do not happen on a regular basis, but if/when down to less than 150, I swap the cable out, so do not have a rigid plan in place to change cables, but none of mine have been on for more than say 7 years if that...keep in mind, these take a lot of abuse and pounding

myself, I always have at least 2 spares on the boat and a dozen terminals as these go the fastest


also check roller guides and if worn, replace, it won't get any better and will fray your cable


Now, I run Traxtec , no auto stop and when you get close to desired depth, just simply click to stop. My clutch is set to slide just a bit so at stopping at 57 feet, it will slide to 60.....


Rule 1..I never let anyone use my electronics and I never free fall


Again, mine is somewhat of a different situation, but all the basics are the same I would think and sometimes crap just happens . When there is a good chop on the water it puts enormous stress on your terminal section of cable with cannonball bouncing up and down... I figure most balls are lost right there


Hope this helps a bit

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Newburg007
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 07:46 pm


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A couple of snubbers might so you well before your next trip.

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steelheader
Posted: May 02, 2019 - 08:56 pm


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Ralph ; Your not alone , today I ran a new to me walker , bit of kink in the cable , It's ok I'll treat it nice..Guess what ball came up to auto stop and bang..Gone .. cable broke , herby and release gone ..about $80 ..

When I get new parts I'm double checking all parts ,

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sdcaller
Posted: May 04, 2019 - 10:06 am


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Thanks for all the input folks--especially Longshank.

I put a new cable on yesterday, so hopefully all set for some number of years.

SDC

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