Dear FFF Agony Aunt,

vital

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Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
281
Location
South of England
I am so embarrassed!
Deploying my Wychwood Competition drogue in rolling waves and strong breeze conditions at Farmoor was a complete lottery almost every drift. On one in particular the drogue spun itself into a virtual ball; some of the other drifts produced varied origami-like folds, rarely did it work properly to slow the boat.
How can I hold my head up in society after that? Please help.
(The clamp positions were symmetrical to the boat and at least eight feet apart, using the full lengths of the suppled ropes)
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
25,930
Location
Embra
I am so embarrassed!
Deploying my Wychwood Competition drogue in rolling waves and strong breeze conditions at Farmoor was a complete lottery almost every drift. On one in particular the drogue spun itself into a virtual ball; some of the other drifts produced varied origami-like folds, rarely did it work properly to slow the boat.
How can I hold my head up in society after that? Please help.
(The clamp positions were symmetrical to the boat and at least eight feet apart, using the full lengths of the suppled ropes)

I found the ropes supplied with the Wychwood were far too long and I shortened mine up. I also replaced the last 6 feet of each end with plastic chain, so I can vary the length, link by link, as I find that boats don't drift straight with the ropes identical lengths. (So, if the boat was skewing on you, it wouldn't help to keep the drogue properly opened.)

But first and foremost, when putting the drogue out, you want to make sure it is not tangled in any way as it enters the water. If it's tangled going in, it will likely stay tangled. You might find it helps to put it in before the boat has stopped. Cut the motor and while the boat is still running on, put the drogue in. The momentum of the boat will help pull it all straight, so as it catches, it should not be tangled. Once you are drifting, look back and check it is properly opened. If it is not, give a tug on one end. Repeat if necessary. You can usually get it to open with a bit of persistent tugging (Oo-er, Mrs! 🤭)

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Sep 29, 2008
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25,930
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No 1 the ropes are 2 long.no 2 the paracord is too thin.

Jim

Good point Jim. I didn't just shorten mine, I replaced them with thicker cord...

 

icejohn

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Apr 15, 2008
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1,265
Location
bristol
Get rid of para cord period.


10mm- 15mm thick rope in nylon is best. And 10-15 ft out the back of boat max. Also have 6-10 inches metal steel chain for weight on each arm of the drogue helps open the drogue when you drop the drogue over the side.

Avoid the polyprolene rope tangles like crazy.

Lastly get metal 2 g clamps and on the day experiment on the boat. You will get there but rope is the way forward. If your boat partner changes don't assume that what worked last time will be the same settings.

I also find permanent black makers useful for marking the rope so I know roughly what worked OK last time.
 

Rob Edmunds

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May 8, 2008
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3,376
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
I use two lengths of 10mm rope (2 different colours so easily untangled)


Then attach a big Carabina at each end and clip to the drogue- again so it can be unclipped and untangle if needed.......

The big Carabina's sink better and set a drogue better ....they can also almost anchor the drogue if fishing over weedbeds 👍

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143659316080

Thick rope wont get cut by the propeller....it just stops the engine 👍..

Personally I always pull in the drogue after each drift, rather than leaving it out because I don't care how good you think you are on the engine it will get in the propeller at some time usually when your about to hit a Dam Wall.....

Plus it also causes a massive disturbance in the water when you motor off ( without pulling it in) ...if in shallow water or the fish are high in the water leaving the drogue out and motoring off ( so it collapses) kills an area fast..
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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Sep 29, 2008
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25,930
Location
Embra
The big Carabina's sink better and set a drogue better ....they can also almost anchor the drogue if fishing over weedbeds 👍

I guess it depends on the types of water you are fishing. We are usually fishing lochs with all rocks and skerries and other submerged obstacles in them, so usually are wanting to keep the drogue as high in the water as possible. I lost a drogue on an elephant-sized rock on Craggie a couple of years ago. We tried every angle we could pull at it from - and each rope one at a time... and it just wasn't for coming off it. The modern paradrogues are a 'better' design for trawling their way round a huge rock than the old 'square on a single rope' type, so need to be careful on waters with big submerged rocks.

Thick rope wont get cut by the propeller....it just stops the engine 👍..

And it's an absolute barsteward if you have attached the front line to a cleat on the boat, because the prop will wind the rope tight as a drum before it cuts out, leaving you with a rope that is so tight you can't undo the cleat at the front, and there is no way you can lift the engine at the back.! o_O

Speaking of big carabiners and catching engines, Jimmy and I just about put a carabiner through the hull of a boat a few years back. We brought the drogue in before moving, but the wind caught it and blew it back over the side, while at full throttle. The prop whacked the carabiner and slammed it into the hull. I don't think we did any damage to the boat - or outboard - but I had to take a ball peen hammer to the carabiner to straighten it out. :oops: So, that's another one to watch out for and avoid!

Personally I always pull in the drogue after each drift, rather than leaving it out because I don't care how good you think you are on the engine it will get in the propeller at some time usually when your about to hit a Dam Wall.....

Plus it also causes a massive disturbance in the water when you motor off ( without pulling it in) ...if in shallow water or the fish are high in the water leaving the drogue out and motoring off ( so it collapses) kills an area fast..

That's a great point about the disturbance, Rob. (y)

Col
 

williegunn

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May 16, 2006
Messages
6,042
Location
Carron Speyside
Used to be a burd in Benidorm called Sticky Vicky, she could produce light bulbs and flags from, ahem, 'down there'.
She could even open beer bottles with it. :p
Handy bird to take fishing to open beer bottles, could she do anything if you forgot a corkscrew?
 
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