Commercial Salmon Trolling Forum

electric girdies

Troubleshooting, repair, and how-to's related to marine systems.

Re: electric girdies

Postby Salty » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:28 pm

We all know a few guys like that.

Ralph Guthrie comes to mind for me along with some still living. I swear they manufacture King salmon under their boats.

The true test of a fisherman though, and Ralph passed it, is not how many fish you catch but whether you helped make the resource, the industry, better for your having been a part of it. Floyd fits the bill as he has worked hard to protect habitat for salmon in SE and to allow hand cranked downriggers in the winter hand troll fishery.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby charger » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Salty, you stated early in this post to test your lead voltage, how are you completing this? I use ganyon line for break away straps, do they isolate the lead from wire at all, changing the field around the ball? I have been pouring my own leads for awhile now, people stating not to use recycled with the possibility of battery lead, dose it really make a difference? I've used tire lead, but it has tin in it and a 60 lb. lead comes in at 55 lbs. This discussion has open fear in my heart, I've been blessed, not braggin the boat is fishing great, black box on/off/pulse just didn't matter. This winter installing new generator, all new three phase wiring. Two compressor units, fan unit, FAS equipment. Might need help in the spring.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby carojae » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:16 pm

Although I didn't know Ralph, I enjoyed listening to him talk on the radio. WIsh I could have met him.

Jim
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Salty » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:40 pm

On testing leads. Get a clip so you can clip your lead easily onto your strap or onto the end of your wire. Test a few leads to see what they read with about 2 fathoms of wire out. You test the leads by testing your the differential between the wire the lead is on and your bonding strap. Write down the voltage of every lead. Ideally they all should be within 2 or three tenths of the average. .54- .56 for example if the average was .56. If you get one at .50 or .64 for example, and everything else is constant then you know you have a bad lead. The average should be between .5 and .8.

Good luck! And sometime when you are nailing them with that hot hootchie you can e-mail me a picture of it.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby bdalbol » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:10 am

salty, I run a 12" piece of nylon cord from end of wire to leads.will I still see the change in voltage from different leads? thanks brian
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Salty » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:37 am

The length of your cord will affect your voltage so keep the same cord for all the tests. Tie a stainless clip on the lead end so you can snap into the ring on the lead. We almost all use between 6 inches and 2 feet of cord of some kind between the wire and the lead. You can increase your voltage in most cases by increasing the length of your cord.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby ptsczza » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:59 pm

Salty wrote:I don't see how they are isolated. Need to have the gurdies totally isolated from the hull and all electrical.


Hello salty, did you ever do anything with the electric gurdies?
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Re: electric girdies

Postby ptsczza » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:03 pm

bdalbol wrote:hi all wanted to post some pics of my electric girdie setup if anybody is intrested.Im new to trolling and fish out of california.I run a 26 foot osprey and didnt want to drill a bunch of holes in the boat for hydraulic lines.this setup works well,pulls a 50 lb lead about 50 ft. a minute and smaller leads faster.the motor and gear box is from a saftey puller crab pot puller and ran about 1k per side. they are controlled from a air op. foot switch which is really handy.I have dual groop 31 batterys to run them and they will fish for a full day even fishing 300ft deep.


Hello bdalbol,

Are you still using the electric gurdies? I am looking into for my small boat 21' Striper....only planning on running one line off each side.

Just looking for some help from someone who knows....you sound like you know....would love to chat if you have the time.

Thanks....Matt
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Lulu » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:17 pm

bdalbol, I've never seen anything like this before. My hat off to whoever engineered them. Like Salty mentioned, as stands they're not isolated from the mounting plate, therefore not isolated from the boat. To rectify, cut 1.5-2" blocks of starboard marine grade plastic, drill a 3/8" hole in the center and mount your gurdies on the mounting plate using the plastic blocks as spacers between the mounting plate and the gurdies. Use either nylon or fiberglass bolts. And, SikaFlex the top of the bolt heads so water can not penetrate the bolt threads. I don't know how to isolate the electric motor; it'll take some trial and error to figure out. Start by taking readings with the voltmeter before you connect the electricity.

Looks like the gurdies have not been cleaned for sometime. Suggest you tear them down and clean the green stuff off all contact points. This will allow voltage from the black box to flow freely, otherwise you will likely have different readings for each spool (not a good thing).

Someone mentioned bottom paint. Do not use ablative paint. You want "hard fouling paint." I lived this nightmare. Cuprous oxide content, as mention, needs to be over 34%, but more is "gooder". Always use the bottom of the can on the back of the boat. The copper is heavy and never fully suspends when mixed. The bottom of the can will always have the highest concentration of Cu. And that is part of the hull potential and ion stream equations.

Zinc pattern and amount is extremely important, but boat specific. And, you have to keep them active by scrubbing the substrate (the white stuff) off during the season. Keep in mind it takes about 48 hours for new zincs to be fully active.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Lulu » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:39 pm

Salty mentioned measuring lead. Very important to get rid of leads out of your range; usually they are contaminated with something. Pure lead will measure .555. As Salty mentioned, you want to measure all leads, take an average, and keep the ones that are within 10% up and down from the average. Get rid of the ones which fall out of the range. Also, when measuring the leads they need to be scrubbed bright for a true reading. SS double twisted brush on a cordless drill does the trick within minutes. I scrub my balls every morning before throwing them in the water and sometimes during the day.

The break away lines (cord between wire and leads) can effect the line voltage. Longer breakaways increase voltage a small amount. These lines need to be changed periodically during the season as they become salt impregnated and start to conduct. Use something non-conductive like seiner's twine. Tuna cord, because of the cotton content, needs to be changed more frequently.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Drew » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:53 am

Lulu wrote:The break away lines (cord between wire and leads) can effect the line voltage. Longer breakaways increase voltage a small amount.


In my experience it is the other way around. Longer break away will decrease voltage, shorter or even direct connect, will make the line hotter.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby JKD » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:27 am

I suspect this could be a different scenario when applied on different boats, but based on my experience with 3 different trollers, I have to agree with Lulu's statement - lengthening the "break away"/isolator lines between cannonbballs and the trolling wire adds a small amount of voltage to your system.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Drew » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:06 am

I'm probably mistaken. The fishing has been good the last 2 years, so I haven't been in the pit with a multimeter for a while.

2 years ago when there were fish at icy straight, I tried 1 side direct connect and 1 side long breaking straps. I couldn't see any difference in the amount they caught over 2 weeks.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Salty » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:14 am

A thread long dormant comes back to life. Lulu seems to be communicating good information based on my limited knowledge. Lengthening your connection strap or putting in a strap boosts your voltage up to a tenth. Shiny, brushed leads do appear to fish better. I am not as diligent as Lulu but I brush em up before openings. I also store em in plastic lead holders rather than metal. I have my gurdies connected so as to have a uniform field.
But, see the Lowliner thread, I might be a good example of what not to do.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Lulu » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:06 pm

there are the guys who have forgotten more than most know. Zincs and bottom paint are only part of the equation. Some of the other factors are experience, location, presentation, and luck. For the rest of us, every small improvement we can make will help catch up to the guys who seem to catch more than the norm. Look at the top producers year in and year out. They pay attention to the details.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Lulu » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:20 pm

Longer breakaways increase the line potential because the voltage has a longer jump to the lead. You can cool the line down by shortening the breakaway. Think of your lead as a ground the line voltage has to migrate to. (not absolutely accurate, but helps in visualizing what is happening) That is one reason the breakaways need to be changed before they become a conductor. The other side will argue that the surrounding sea water will act as a conductor, which is true. But the direct connection is the most important. The forward motion of the boat diminishes the sea water's ability to conduct current.

I understand the observation that it didn't seem to make a difference. My experience is the small details don't make much difference when there are a lot of fish, but in a scratch the details add up.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Salty » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:56 pm

Good stuff Lulu. Took me many years to learn much of what you have shared concisely and articulately. I agree that trolling is a lot about small details any one of which might not seem to make much of a difference but in sum over the course of the season or even on one day can make a tremendous difference. Look at the difference in chum bites you can get with the right size lure at the optimum speed versus what you would catch with coho lures at coho speed.
What helps to determine if you are fishing at an optimum is to develop communication and friendships with some of the true Highliners who fish your area. Because of my efforts as an advocate for trollers in marketing, enhancement, and quality I have had the good fortune to be able to learn from some of the masters here. It is unbelievably humbling to think you are doing just fine, and you might be by most of the guys on the drag, and find out that the top guy or guys are doubling or tripling you. Attention to both the tiniest details and a perception of the bigger picture at the same time characterizes the maters. Mastering both the craft and the art of this trolling is a rare achievement. I am still seeking my optimism. Maybe this season.
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Re: electric girdies

Postby dellori3 » Wed May 06, 2015 8:11 am

bdalbol wrote:hi all wanted to post some pics of my electric girdie setup if anybody is intrested.Im new to trolling and fish out of california.I run a 26 foot osprey and didnt want to drill a bunch of holes in the boat for hydraulic lines.this setup works well,pulls a 50 lb lead about 50 ft. a minute and smaller leads faster.the motor and gear box is from a saftey puller crab pot puller and ran about 1k per side. they are controlled from a air op. foot switch which is really handy.I have dual groop 31 batterys to run them and they will fish for a full day even fishing 300ft deep.


What was your engine alternator size?
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Re: electric girdies

Postby Disperser » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:47 pm

Just a note, I have an elecfric windlass on my 48ton 65 footer, the seal broke, water poured in when a freak wave caught me, and my 1/4 in wall aluminum motor houising disintegrated in a ball of fire, fortunately my ship isn't plastic.

Electricity gets along very poorly with salt water. My windlass will be hydraulic, powered by a 12v pump safely tucked in the driest part of my boat.

When hydraulics fail, you get a slick and lose some fish until you fix the system. A failure of the electric sytem means putting into port for replacement unless you have spares.

So, how has the system worked so far? Any potential for such failures?
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