Positive Ion Control (PIC) (available on all Optimums, Magnums, and Digi-Troll Downriggers)

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Positive Ion Control

Positive Ion Control is a feature on all Cannon electric downriggers. Your boat’s electronics create a fish-repelling negative energy field in the water. Positive Ion Control neutralizes the negative energy field so fish will stick closer to your line.

The Positive Ion Control (PIC) system built into select Cannon Downriggers is based on the theory that game fish are attracted to the electronic signature of their prey. The PIC simulates this electronic signature to lure fish to the user. This feature uses the principle that applying a low voltage positive electrical field into the water where you’re fishing will attract fish and increase your chances to catch more fish. Since fish are attracted by a slight positive charge and repelled by a strong positive or negative charge, generating and controlling the correct charge can be critical to the success of your fishing. With Cannon’s exclusive Positive Ion Control you can change the natural negative field created by the grounded electrical system of your boat to a positive field.

  • The PIC utilizes the drive train in the downrigger to pass the signal down the downrigger cable. There are two types available: Variable PIC, and Fixed PIC. The downriggers with variable PIC allow you to adjust the PIC from .2V to 1.2V. The fixed PIC will always have an output of .55V.
  • You can find suggested starting points for voltages based on fish species online.
  • Positive Ion Control is available on the Optimum, Magnum, and Digi-Troll downriggers. On the Magnum, the PIC is automatically active.

How the Positive Ion Control System Works

The PIC system uses an internal circuit that passes the voltage through the drive train of the Digi-Troll to the shaft. The shaft contacts the cable by means of a ball bearing, spring and, lastly, a one direction button head screw. Care must be taken to ensure contact between the cable and the screw when replacing the cable. When using coated cable, 3-4 ft of coating must be striped when terminating the cable to reel. Take care in ensuring that the striped portion is in contact with the button head screw. The Positive Ion Control system applies a variable 0.2 to 1.2 volts on the trolling cable at all times.

Measuring the Natural Electrolysis and PIC Voltage on Your Boat

A voltmeter with a scale of zero to one volt will measure the natural electrolysis. Place the ground lead of the meter on the motor or the battery ground. Place the positive lead on the stainless steel downrigger cable while it is in the water. The downrigger must be unplugged. The voltage you measure on the volt meter is your boat’s natural electrolysis voltage. Use the same set up to measure the PIC voltage; just plug in the Digi-Troll and adjust the PIC voltage desired.

Using Positive Ion Control

Positive Ion Control is very effective when trolling. The zone of attraction created at the downrigger wire will attract the fi sh. It is best to use a short drop back between the downrigger release and the lure. Drop backs of 10 to 20 ft. are typical. A drop back of 50 to 100 ft. will entirely negate the effects of the PIC circuit. Fishing depths greater than 125 ft. may require a slightly higher PIC voltage. If you return to shallow water fishing remember to turn the PIC voltage down again. The correct PIC setting for best fishing advantage varies, depending on fish type and location. To fully benefit from PIC technology, it is important that you experiment with the PIC setting to fi nd the proper voltage for the gamefish in the area.

Testing Positive Ion Control

To check to see if the PIC feature is functioning correctly, follow the steps below:
(NOTE: the use of steel cable is required – PIC will not function with monofilament or braided line as the cable.)

  1. Using a VOM (multi-meter) set to take volt readings, touch the negative probe of the VOM to the power source negative. Touch the positive VOM probe to the downrigger cable. The reading should be .55V (on downriggers with fixed PIC) and will vary from .2V - 1.2V (with the adjustable PIC downriggers depending upon the position of the PIC control knob). If no reading is shown, proceed as to next step.
  2. Contact the positive probe of the VOM to the reel shaft that is visible underneath the drag knob while touching the negative VOM probe to the negative side of the power supply. If there now is a voltage reading (at the acceptable parameters stated in previous step) check the set screw to make sure it is making good contact with the downrigger cable.
    1. If there is no voltage reading - remove the motor housing cover. Touch the positive VOM probe to the green wire that is running to either the motor (low speed downriggers) or gear case cover (high speed downriggers) while touching the negative VOM probe to the power source negative.
      1. If there is a voltage reading now - check the set screw to make sure it is making good contact with the reel shaft.
      2. If still no voltage reading, replace control board.

Resource Videos

What is Positive Ion Control (PIC)

Positive Ion Control from and Angler's Perspective

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