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Thread: Questions on buying a Halibut Rod/reel

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    Default Questions on buying a Halibut Rod/reel

    I got to go Halibut fishing for the first time this last weekend, didn't land one but sure had a blast. A friend of mine just moved up and has a 21 foot boat and is planning to get out and go halibut fishing a lot more. I had to borrow one of his rods last time and it was a PIA to real up (even he wont use it lol) and I am thinking about getting my own rod and real. I do not know where to start though, I want something that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg but will be strong enough and hold enough line to fish for large halibut. The biggest real I have atm is an older Penn 150 Surfmaster. Will this work or is it to small? Also I have no idea what size line to get. The poles we had were lined with braided but I am not sure what size. When I asked he laughed and said he couldn't remember it has been so long ago since he put the line on.

    So Short sum up, what is a good inexpensive rod and real to use and what size line should I line it with?

    Any advise appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAlaskan View Post
    I got to go Halibut fishing for the first time this last weekend, didn't land one but sure had a blast. A friend of mine just moved up and has a 21 foot boat and is planning to get out and go halibut fishing a lot more. I had to borrow one of his rods last time and it was a PIA to real up (even he wont use it lol) and I am thinking about getting my own rod and real. I do not know where to start though, I want something that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg but will be strong enough and hold enough line to fish for large halibut. The biggest real I have atm is an older Penn 150 Surfmaster. Will this work or is it to small? Also I have no idea what size line to get. The poles we had were lined with braided but I am not sure what size. When I asked he laughed and said he couldn't remember it has been so long ago since he put the line on.

    So Short sum up, what is a good inexpensive rod and real to use and what size line should I line it with?

    Any advise appreciated
    "Inexpensive" is a broad/relative term.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Are you planning to fish bait, or are you planning to jig? IMHO most people use too heavy of a rod and real and wear themselves out. Especially now that "super" braid line is used, you don't need anything larger than a 2/0 sized reel. As far as rods, the okuma cedros is a decent rod for the money, and I had no problem reeling up a 80-90# halibut a couple weeks back with it using a avet jx reel and 55# braid. Operator error resulted in loosing the fish vs. gaffing it. I'd say braided line in the 50-80# range works well. I prefer the lighter line as it has less drag in the water and you can use slightly lighter tackle to reach bottom.

    What's your budget? I started out with a variety of "economy" rods and reels and have subsequently replaced all of them. As you've learned, using the wrong rod/reel can be very frustrating. I'd say for a new setup you're looking at $300 entry point, used you might be able to get setup for 1/2 that. IMHO an appropriate reel should be capable of at least 20#'s of drag and be relatively smooth. I prefer to spool with 250-300 yds of braid and use 50# dacron to back my reels as braid is so small in dia most reels can hold over 400 yds if you don't use backing and super braid is much more expensive than backing.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Many folks have the Ugly Stick Tiger rods ($50-60 bucks) with inexpensive Penn 310 or 320 reel ($35-100 bucks).
    If your doing this occassionally, I wouldn't invest much $. If you own your own boat and do it all the time, then a fancier rig might be worth the investment. Personally, I have a couple saltiga jigging rods, Penn reels, a cedros, and a couple others and I go out all the time on my own boat.
    Honestly, the fish don't know how much $ you spent on your set-up and the fishing is just as good on one rod as the other brand next to it.
    BK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Are you planning to fish bait, or are you planning to jig? IMHO most people use too heavy of a rod and real and wear themselves out. Especially now that "super" braid line is used, you don't need anything larger than a 2/0 sized reel. As far as rods, the okuma cedros is a decent rod for the money, and I had no problem reeling up a 80-90# halibut a couple weeks back with it using a avet jx reel and 55# braid. Operator error resulted in loosing the fish vs. gaffing it. I'd say braided line in the 50-80# range works well. I prefer the lighter line as it has less drag in the water and you can use slightly lighter tackle to reach bottom.

    What's your budget? I started out with a variety of "economy" rods and reels and have subsequently replaced all of them. As you've learned, using the wrong rod/reel can be very frustrating. I'd say for a new setup you're looking at $300 entry point, used you might be able to get setup for 1/2 that. IMHO an appropriate reel should be capable of at least 20#'s of drag and be relatively smooth. I prefer to spool with 250-300 yds of braid and use 50# dacron to back my reels as braid is so small in dia most reels can hold over 400 yds if you don't use backing and super braid is much more expensive than backing.

    Ok cool, thanks or the advise and imput. I know the stuff that was on the pole I used was over 50 pound test as I have that on one of my salmon poles for Seward/Whittier trips (Legal snagging) and this stuff was like twice as thick. With the wind blowing it was pretty hard to keep the bait on the bottom as the boat would move about a quarter mile pretty quickly (his boat rope was only 100 feet lol, he needs to upgrade haha) and I could feel as the weight falling the current had a lot of drag on the line. I will also be keeping my eyes open for rod and reals at garage sales too. So would you feel safe reeling in a 150 halibut on 50 lb test? I know I have landed 50# kings on 15 lb test but not sure how different it is with deep see fishing and fish size vs line.



    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Many folks have the Ugly Stick Tiger rods ($50-60 bucks) with inexpensive Penn 310 or 320 reel ($35-100 bucks).
    If your doing this occassionally, I wouldn't invest much $. If you own your own boat and do it all the time, then a fancier rig might be worth the investment. Personally, I have a couple saltiga jigging rods, Penn reels, a cedros, and a couple others and I go out all the time on my own boat.
    Honestly, the fish don't know how much $ you spent on your set-up and the fishing is just as good on one rod as the other brand next to it.
    BK
    This will be occasionally, not every single weekend or any thing. I may have to look at those Ugly Stick Tiger rods to start with. I was hoping to keep it under $200 if I can. Hence why I said inexpensive. I was planning on using bait mostly but may try to jig as well here and there. I dont want to drop a ton of money on a set up, just have something that will work and isnt going to wear my butt out just reeling up a weight. I will most likely buy it piece at a time, one time rod, then the real, then the line, then some tackle ect.

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Whether the fish is 50#'s or 500#'s, the force on the line is limited by the drag of the reel. That is assuming that rod is not used to try and lift the fish out of the water. Never pull a large halibuts head out of the water, it'll go nuts and break your line and possibly your rod. Unless your spending some serious coin on a reel with over 20#'s of drag ,there is really no reason to go heavier than 60-65# braid. If you were running a charter and had to contend with clients tangling lines and abrading the lines against eachother I can see a reason to go with heavier braid. That and don't be suprised if you go several seasons before catching anything near a 100# halibut.

    If the wind is blowing the boat, it doesn't matter what rod or tackle you are using, you won't be able to hold bottom and the tackle is moving so fast you won't be catching fish. Been there, done that. I'd rather drift than anchor, but when I can't hit/hold bottom due to the wind blowing me off the anchor gets dropped. I consider 600' of line as a prudent rode length for an anchor.

    If you don't want to get worn out reelling up weights, then jig. Whether using a $80 garage sale special or $800 setup, heavy weights will wear you out. An 8-12 oz jig can be fished all day without wearing you out and you'll only need to 16+ oz jigs when the tide is really ripping.

    I have a barely used shimano tld 15 that is spooled with ~250 yds of 55# daiwa saltiga brade, carbon tex drag washer and an aftermarket longer crank I'll sell for $75 and I'll throw in a jig. It's been collecting dust as a spare reel this season. Shouldn't be much of a problem getting setup at or under your $200 budget.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Looks like Paul is giving you a fair deal on a decent reel already spooled.....might want to pick it up!
    We prefer reels with a levelwind on them but it surely wouldn't be a show stopper. Pair that up with an Ugly Stick Tiger rod and your in business for under $150- including a jig!!
    BK

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    I am PM'ing you Paul.

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