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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read about a guy in another post saying he used a Z wing in place of 10 lb ball weight on a down rigger. I never used a Z wing but I really like trolling ballyhoo off planers tied off to stern cleats and have had success with this method. I know planers are limited on depth they run and down rigger drops line alot deeper but I hate the ball and trying to control it while trolling over 5 knots. I noticed Z wing makes a model for trolling at 6 knots and above. How deep will a Z wing run? Is its depth capability limited to something similar to a planer? Do they start to rise or become difficult to control when trolling at speeds between 5 & 10 knots? Would anyone recommend using a Z wing in place of a ball weight? Any advice will be appreciated. I am trying to decide if I should buy a Z wing and chuck the ball weight for my downrigger.
 

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Buy the 250. It is good at all speed. Speed does not make a difference. The fater you go, the deeper it digs. I use a #64 rubber band as a release.
 

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The 250 Z-Wing works fine at all speeds. However, the pull from a Z-Wing is far more than a planer so make sure you have it on a really solid line or cable and tied off to a well mounted cleat.

You will have to stop the boat to retrieve it.

We have used them in lieu of downrigger balls too. That made it somewhat easier to retrieve.
 

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Is there any risk to using a Z-wing on a downrigger in place of a ball? I would think that the Z-wing would put far more strain on the downrigger boom. Do downriggers have enough clutch/drag to hold the Z-wing at depth? Have you guys run into any issues?
 

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As the speed of trolling icreases, the pull becomes stronger. I find it easy to run off a cleat although there is some advantage as was said to using a downrigger boom. Be sure to add somee chafe guard of some sort where the cable or mono passes over the transom.
 

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If you are using swivels and rubberbands as a release, be sure to use chaffing guard above the zwing where the releases will ride, I lost a few to the release wearing through the 250 lb. braid holding the zwing. If you heat the fins up in boiling water you can tune them to run down and out away from the boat to widen your spread. Tuning them is difficult and it may take a couple tries to get them to run good out to the side, but, when you get it right, they will track out very well.
 

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Capital Gain said:
Thanks guys for info. Would you recommend using #250 or #500 zwing for trolling at speeds of 5-8 knots?
If you are trolling the higher speeds either one would be fine, for versitillity and the abillity to slow troll with them, go with the 500. :)
 

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We have the 250 (yellow one) and I have a pretty heavy Penn down rigger. The first time we let it go (previously used the 10# cannon ball) at 6 knots the boom almost ripped off the rigger which is mounted on a pretty strong block. I pulled it in and took the extension off so now the boom is like 2FT long (halfing the leverage). It works ok now and is enough to keep the cable from touching anything. I think it is better than the ball since the cable angle is more verticle so it takes most of the guess work out of the math. Before when we used the cannon ball you had a 30-45 degree angle. If you want to be above the thermocline say ~50 ft of water you would have to let out 100ft of cable. With the Z wing I am closer to 60 degrees so 60 foot of cable gets you 50 foot deep. I can only imagine what the 500 would do. I would probably drop it out the hawse pipe....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Zwing

Thanks Tunanator. I have a penn downrigger with a short arm - sounds like your set up. I'll get the #250 Zwing and give it a try. Do you use any chaafing guard on your rigger line? I replaced my steel cable with braid so I don't want the wing tilting up and rubbing on the rigger cable. Is this a problem?
 

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Those "Z" wings are effective at keeping the line down and tight to the boat as compared to the balls that tend to drag further off the transome...

I don't like them as much as the balls mainly because you have to stop the boat to reset a line...
 

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I was on a trip as mate for a very picky Capt. It was the first offshore trip with him and he handed me the z-wing for the first time. Well he should have kissed it before he handed it to me because that was the last we saw of that one. What they don't tell you is that the standard downrigger cable is't strong enough for the Z-Wing. You must change the cable to a heavier one or you to will be looking at the mate like he has two heads when it's gone.
 

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z-wing

I use the 250 off of a penn short arm 650 downrigger, no problem, never fished above 6 knotts, but I am sure you could, occasionally I fish them off of cleats but like it off of rigger better. The z-wing stores better, ie does not role, it lays on gunnel nicely, even in rocking sea and is plastic covered and lite as opposed to ball. You just got to remember, when you put it in, it will go and dig in fast, not like a ball that does not have the capacity to go to max dig when you first put it in. So have your downrigger tension ( drag ) set right before you drop over.
I drop mine in with a little less drag then I need , so it starts down right away, pulling drag out of downrigger and rod instantly, as I slowly tighten up downrigger drag and then set rod drag. It can be a little tricky until you get a system down. If you have one guy on downrigger and one on rod, iy is les tricky.
I think they are great, and I have fished ball/downriggers for 15 + years.
Blackfin
Blackfin
 

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Capt Gain. I have the stock cable on my DR and it holds not problem. Capt Mike may have used a DR with some older cable that was already deteriorated. I think the cable is either 125# or 150# stainless braid so it has more than enough strength to hold the Z wing 250 (maybe not the 500)

On the end of the boom it swivels so I don't experience much chaffing. I agree with BFJerry. When I drop it I wear gloves ;-) I also put a good amount of drag on it because it does bite hard when it hits the water. I usually keep one hand on the spool and one near the end of the boom for some shock resistance until it gets going then I just gradually tighten the drag until desired depth is achieved. My mate usually lets out the line on the rod so this work pretty well. I have let it out myself but I usually crank up the lever on the reel to allow the line to be pulled without back lashing the reel or tripping the clip (we use an adjustable aftco roller clip on mine attached to the hole on the planer with a snap swivel). Anyway it's a good setup and must have for species that tend to feed below the surface such as wahoo etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Z Wing

Thanks Tunanator. #250 Z wing it is. I was thinking about using a short steel leader to the wing to avoid any chaffing to braided line from downrigger. What do you think?
 

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According to Barry, the manufacturer of the wing,, buy the 250. The reason he still makes the 500 is because it was the 1st one he made. The 250 is heavier and stays down at an speed.
 

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How far back do you run from Z wing

I have used the Z-wing , and need to make it a more consistent part of my game. I run the Z wing off a cleat, then use the light snaps used to hold weights on a surf fishing rig....just wrap a #64 rubber band around the main line..I go at least 50 feet..then put the band in the swivel and attach the swvel to tne z wing line and the swivel will travel down the line to the z wing..couple cranks up, and you never have to raise it all day "theroretically. Just reel up to check the the islander/bally and let it slide back down. No clumsy down rigger in the cock pit. imho
 

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Anyone have a used Z wing they would like to part with for the price of a new one ?

I also have a fed ex account please PM me thank you
 
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