How to Purchase a Panning Tripod

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How to Purchase a Panning Tripod

The panning tripod is what most of us refer to when we talk about panning rigs. I'll explain what it is and what it does for you.

Professional panning rigs include a cylindrical aluminum or fiberglass monopod, probably made by Raymarine, or one of many other companies. They are used in tandem with the panning camera attached to the tripod. Depending on what type of rig you're using, you can adjust it to different angles to gain a more accurate location of the fish.

My father-in-law's family has a commercial fish fishery and the rigs they use today are almost 50 years old. They're still going strong and they've been in place for a long time.

We usually get the basics from my wife or my commercial angler. When you're making your purchase, look for equipment that is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum. If you have a lot of money to spend, you might want to spend the extra money and go with fiberglass. Fiberglass is a lot cheaper and a lot more forgiving.

A few things to look for when purchasing a panning tripod include attachments for position adjustable lenses and an external support rails for any model. Sometimes an external support rail will include a specialized attachment. It's a good idea to get this before you even go to the store.

These days a lot of the rigs are made as complete as a stand alone piece and come with a gimbal and the tripod is just for show. Another advantage to this is the capability to move it out of the way for bigger fishing trips. You'll have to make sure you understand the gimbal before you buy and also learn how to mount it to the tripod.

The actual rig can be a little bit more difficult than other fishing gear you may have around the house. Many times you'll have to take the gear apart and disassemble the system before you can do any of the common panning moves. Once you get the hang of the process, it's pretty easy.

When you're buying a panning tripod, keep in mind that these rigs are used in many cases for barge fishing, barrel fishing, fly fishing, etc. They're designed for just about every kind of fishing imaginable.

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