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Thread: Fishing near Anchorage, early July

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    Default Fishing near Anchorage, early July

    I'll be in the Anchorage area for work 10-22 July and am looking to do a fair amount of salmon fishing. I'd like to try for Kings initially until the season closes and then go after the others at that point. We're planning on fishing from the bank, and after looking into rod/reel rentals, it seems like a better idea to just buy our own equipment. Does anyone have any good recommendations on an inexpensive rod/reel combo that would work for most types of salmon, including kings?

    Also, any guesses on the best places to fish during that time? I'd like to stay within a two hour drive from Anchorage. We're going to hit up Ship Creek for sure but I was also thinking about checking out Willow Creek and Eagle River. During the weekend I can make a longer trip and was thinking the Russian or Upper Kenai. Thoughts? Thanks!

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spad View Post
    I'll be in the Anchorage area for work 10-22 July and am looking to do a fair amount of salmon fishing. I'd like to try for Kings initially until the season closes and then go after the others at that point. We're planning on fishing from the bank, and after looking into rod/reel rentals, it seems like a better idea to just buy our own equipment. Does anyone have any good recommendations on an inexpensive rod/reel combo that would work for most types of salmon, including kings?

    Also, any guesses on the best places to fish during that time? I'd like to stay within a two hour drive from Anchorage. We're going to hit up Ship Creek for sure but I was also thinking about checking out Willow Creek and Eagle River. During the weekend I can make a longer trip and was thinking the Russian or Upper Kenai. Thoughts? Thanks!
    You can blow some serious money on a rod and reel. I personally kept it reasonable with an ugly stick medium action 12-30lb around 8ft long and a shimano 4000 series spin cast reel. Cost me about 120 buck with the line. I havent had any issues with it.

    Not sure how the action for kings is going to be that late in the season but the reds are in down on the russian and the silvers should be along soon too.
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    What is your price range? Like C6 said, just getting into a decent setup will run about 100. Only buy a setup if you plan on taking it home with you. Why buy something you will throw away when you could rent something much nicer for the same or less? If you're going to buy gear, I would get a rod that's 8'6 -9'; 10-25 lb. I like my rods light, so a 10-25 is a great balance between strength and fun. Strong enough for kings, and great for all other salmon species. Also, make sure your reel can handle your line (unless its a cheapy and you don't care). A 4000 series size reel in most brands will handle 15-20lb test fine, but you risk stripping gears if you run heavier. With any reel, make sure to try it at the "reel bar" before buying one in packaging. There can be a significant difference in quality that you won't feel until its in your hands. Pick up a more expensive reel/rod if you need to compare.

    As for fishing, absolutely forget Eagle River. Unless you want to stare at empty waters all day. Keep checking these forums for creeks/rivers on the Parks Highway. They include Willow, Montana, Sheep, etc. These might be your best bet for kings. As c6 said, Russian should have the second run of reds coming through. In the same vein, the Kenai will have reds as well. There are some fun places to pick up pinks and chum salmon too, which offer fast paced fishing with few people.
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    Thanks for the help guys. I don't mind a $100 investment as I do plan on taking it home with me, if it'll fit on the plane. A light rod would be my preference, as long as it would still handle kings, since it would probably work better for the type of fishing I'll do back home. I'm a newbie when it comes to this type of fishing and hope I can find a rod/reel combo somewhere that I can grab and go with. Is Walmart a good bet or are there other decent store in the Anchorage area that anyone can recommend? It seems like most people recommend a spinning reel vs other types, is this a safe assumption?

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spad View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. I don't mind a $100 investment as I do plan on taking it home with me, if it'll fit on the plane. A light rod would be my preference, as long as it would still handle kings, since it would probably work better for the type of fishing I'll do back home. I'm a newbie when it comes to this type of fishing and hope I can find a rod/reel combo somewhere that I can grab and go with. Is Walmart a good bet or are there other decent store in the Anchorage area that anyone can recommend? It seems like most people recommend a spinning reel vs other types, is this a safe assumption?
    Stay the hell away from wal mart. If your gonna be down town B&J's on northern lights and C is a good bet. You can also hit up sportsmans warehouse off diamond and old seward hwy I think. Some people here state they have trouble getting help at sportsmans but I never have. There are also fred meyers which have a decent selection(its like a fancy wal mart). It sounds like you wanna stick with a medium action pole. Its pretty versatile, flex-able yet strong. Ive seen people catch kings on small poles though you just have to be able to work em right. Im a newb so I picked something with a little more back bone that I can crank the hell out of and not really work about breaking it.

    You can get a good setup from both places for just over 100 bucks in whatever type of combo you would like i.e pole/spin or bait caster. They also have some decent setups pre-assemble but I would change the line out on it before using it because sometimes that stuff sits on there for a long time.

    Reel is also preference. If you know how to properly use a bait caster I see just as many people use these as well.
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    becareful buying stuff at Fred Myers unless you know what your looking for, they are not much better then walmart. If I was you I would buy from an actual fishing store.

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    B&J's is a great place. Easy to spend alot of money in there. I like sportsmans alot too. Im not to sure on kings that late around Atown..
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    I would avoid any "premade" setups. In those setups, either the rod or the reel end up being really crappy. B+Js is the most knowledgable, but you might find better deals at Sportsmans. Let me give you a couple of suggestions that you can use as starting points.

    For reels, my favorite "low cost" reel is the Penn Fierce. If you get this in the 4000 or 5000, you'll be set for all salmon. SUPER smooth and sturdy, but ends up being a little heavier since it's a full metal body. This will run you about $60. (Its also designed for braid and saltwater, a rarity among spinning reels).

    For rods, I have two suggestions. The least expensive is the Ugly Stik lite, 8'6 10-25lb medium action rod. This runs about $60, and will be great for all salmon species. For a lighter, more responsive rod, try a Lamiglas g100 series. These retail at 130, but are sold for 90 at sportsmans warehouse.

    If you pair the Ugly Stik with the Penn, you have a great $120 setup (for the price). When you do shopping, try out these items I suggested, if only to compare with whatever is in your price range (or on sale!).
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    Well, my trip is over and I just wanted to say thanks to all for your help in making this a great time! Using your recommendations I was able to get a decent fishing rod/reel, checked out Ship and Bird creek, and caught some Reds and a Pink on the Kenai. I was impressed with the helpfulness of everyone both on here and out on the rivers. I had an awesome experience, hope to come back soon!

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