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SUBJECT: # 33493: Belt (Scotty) Vs Gear (Cannon, Walker, Big Jon) Downriggers

Submitted by Dean ( from MICHIGAN on 2/1/2001 3:07:00 PM

I am looking at purchasing a couple Scotty downriggers, but found the following on the Walker Downrigger website. They really rip the Scotty system. Can anybody fill me on the belt system? Any 20 years old Scotty's out there?



3. DEPENDABILITY… belts "do fail" more often than gears. Gear drive systems are built to last. There are 12v electric Walker Downrigger gear drives still operating flawlessly, that are over 20 years old, that have "never" failed, nor needed maintenance. Not surprisingly…not even "one" belt drive downrigger we are aware of has got within spitting distance of this performance!

"Rubber belts are rubber belts."

The question is not "if" a belt will fail but "when" it will fail! During a tournament? During a charter? While on vacation? The answer is "TOO SOON"! For these reasons and many more, well over 90% of all the professional charter boats on the Great Lakes choose to use "gear driven" downriggers exclusively!

  1. 2/1/2001 4:42:00 PM Submitted by Gray Ghost ( from NEW HAMPSHIRE says Cannon
    I have had 2 electric Cannon downriggers for 17 years, used mostly in fresh water, with some use in saltwater. I had one switch go bad at about 12 yrs. no other problems. I just got a new boat and rig it with 2 Cannon digitally control riggers, my second season, no problems. Cannon has been around a long time making downriggers and are leaders in technology for downriggers. JMHO.

    Gray Ghost, Tight lines

  2. 2/1/2001 10:08:00 PM Submitted by Rodbender ( from BC says There's Scotty & Then There's The Rest
    I haven't seen the Walker site myself. I can say that Scotty offers a Lifetime Warranty, and unlike Walker, comes fully assembled. They're what I use myself. Here in BC all the Lodges & Guides I've ever dealt with use Scotty-with one exception. The old North Pacific Springs Lodge in Knight Inlet used Canon's for one season, then switched back to Scotty. As to 20 year old Scotty's sure there are some around. The reason you don't see more here is that for many years it was illegal to use an Electric Downrigger in BC. When that foolishness was corrected many, many people switched to electric-wouldn't you? So there are still some old Manuals around here and there, usually kept as spares-the mounts are the same.

  3. 2/2/2001 1:54:00 PM Submitted by FrankW ( from PENNSYLVANIA says I've had 2 cannons for about 6 years with no problems
    at all.

    But, I do not know anything about scotty or walker so I can not comment on their equipment.

    I think all are probably good, it will be more of your personal preference on how each works.(ease of use, speed, location of rod holders, etc.)

    I'd go to a show and look at all three or talk to some friends who have them and have them demo theirs. Ask what they like and dislike about each.

    I must say that when I've gone fishing out of various NY ports on Lake Ontario, I've noticed that virtually every charter boat I've seen used Cannon and they usually have 4 to 6 on their boats.

  4. 2/4/2001 2:19:00 AM Submitted by Erik Vaaler ( from CALIFORNIA says Walker BS
    Sure belts break, but so do gears and everything ever built. It takes a few seconds to replace a belt on a Scotty. Ask the people at Walker how long it takes to replace a set of gears. If you ask me, Walker is a loser company trying to get ahead by badmouthing the competition.


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