Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cannon Digi Troll 10 TS

The Cannon Digi Troll 10 TS down rigger is the Cadillac of down riggers.  The 10TS is definitely a top performer in every aspect with features to spare.  It makes every other rigger wish they could be like it.  Well that is until they see the price tag.  Even on sale you better plan on spending $1500+ to get it operational.  A standard electric rigger will run you around $500.  Why spend three times the cost?  It has features other riggers just don’t have, and it will help you catch fish.  Does a person need to spend the extra for a TS and its salt water rating?   To me the extra cost compared to quality gained is a great value.        


I had watched a couple other guides using Digi Trolls, and there were days they were catching fish and few others were.   Obviously I am in the business to catch fish, so it was a no-brainer I had to get one.  I have been running Scotty riggers for years, and they are one phenomenal rigger but they are not a Digi-Troll.  I wanted to run close to the bottom and target certain fish.  Using the Scotty to track bottom was pretty difficult in my situation.  Trying to run 3 riggers, 1-3 divers, driving the boat, netting fish, baiting gear, and interacting with clients makes it very difficult to run a rigger a few feet off the bottom.   


Photo By Char Harmier Photography
If you run an upper end Humminbird fish finder you can control it through the finder for either a Digi Troll 5 or 10.  Only the 10 operates by itself.  The features are pretty amazing, and everything is just at the touch of a button on the rigger.   I run Lowrance electronics so I adjust everything right on the riggers touch pad.   It is adjustable in every way possible.   It also will bottom track at a set distance off the bottom and cycle at two different depths for pre-set lengths of time.  You don’t need a black box with this rigger as it has Positive Ion built in.  These are just the main features it has, and if you run more then one rigger you can operate them all from the same rigger with each one doing different things.  Add in different cycle speeds, up down speeds, boom extension, etc. the list is long for features.


I bought it for one reason…BOTTOM TRACKING.  It requires its own transducer (if you don’t have a compatible Humminbird), and the transducer location is critical.   If you get any turbulence or even a tiny air bubble it affects how well it tracks.   The turbulence will cause the transducer to give momentary false readings.  This causes the rigger to continually adjust itself, and it will start running up and down like a Yo-Yo.   Other times it will drop it onto the bottom then snap up the slack in a huge slam.  It even jerked hard enough a couple times to cause the cable to jump the wheel at the boom end.   It took a while and mine is adjusted pretty good but not perfect.   I will have to have another bracket added to the boat this spring closer to the center line.   This should totally solve my false reading problem in rough or faster flowing water.    


Anglers all the time are asking me about it and what I think.   Like all anglers they are looking for the magic item to put more fish in the boat.   I reply back with a question “How many more fish a day would it take to justify spending three times the cost?”  Usually they think they should be getting double to triple the fish.  I tell them to save their money.   There is no doubt I have caught fish I never would have caught without the bottom tracking feature.   The difference for me is I have to catch fish (at least I think so), and if this rigger gets me the one fish I wouldn’t have hooked it’s worth it.  I also admit if I was not guiding clients I wouldn’t spend the extra money.   I still catch more fish at set depths then bottom tracking day in and day out.  I also remember two days where we boated 12 Salmon, and every one of them was bottom tracking.   I know I could have done close to the same thing with a Scotty if I was fishing with friends to help use my Scotty to bottom track.  In summary it is a great rigger with amazing features, but I don’t know if the extra cost is worth it for the average sport angler.  If that one fish in a trip is worth it then for sure the Digi Troll can help greatly.      

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