I use to use 1 on the big boat when I had it and found that is was the weight of the chain that held the anchour up once you had it up thru the anhcour lift and I don't know if the prawn trap would stay up long enough for you before sank back down once you backed off the throttle. you never know till you try it but with out the weight to hold it up you are going to need 2 guys, 1 on the throttle and the other one pulling in the rope before the trap sink back down. Please let us know if you do decide to give it a go..
I use one to pull 2 - 30" traps with my 10' zodiac and a 9.9 Depending upon where I am prawning I'm using 350-450' of sinking line. I can't pull it all the way up with that set up but I'm sure just a little more power would do the trick. You need a fairly good sized ball to create the drag. Obviously you should not have any knots in your line. We once snapped the line (5/16) while pulling with a trawler at about 7 knots, but maybe there was just a weak spot in the line.
I used to use one when I first started prawning. With 400 to 500 ft of rope, 2-4 traps and 10lb cannonball, it took approx 30 min to retrieve everything. Good system for what you pay (when next cheapest option is to pull up manually). You may be able to fabricate some for the same cost range with a windshield wiper motor.
My boat has twin 200hps, so gas during this trap pulling was not relatively cheap (outboards in idle during whole procedure).
Anchor Lift's effectiveness is based on the amount of drag created by buoy (the bigger the better). Size A1 is bare minimum, A3 and bigger is good. I rigged mine with a sea anchor (10 gallon pail with bridal just as good) attached to Anchor Lift to creat more drag. Rope did not slip with proper rope diameter (5/16"). The toggle in the mechanism seemed to bight down pretty good.
Things to be aware of: tearing traps off or snapping rope if snagged on bottom while driving away. Sometimes it was difficult to tell if snagged. Traps could blow off if driving away too fast or when the trap snap collides with the Anchor Lift.
I was happy with it's performance for it's price, but have since invested in an Ace Line Hauler. Which is great for the price of an electric downrigger. It's like converting from a manual rigger to an electric.
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