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Thread: Halibut combo advice please

  1. #1

    Default Halibut combo advice please

    I'm looking for some advice on halibut setups for our boat. We only own one rod and reel for halibut right now and it's a pool cue (penn mariner stand up) with a 113H2 special senator attached to it. I got the rod used for 12 bucks from a charter company that was going out of business and the reel from trustworthy hardware in Soldotna one year when they were doing their bucket sale for like $55, so I was extremely happy with the price of the entire combo. I'm very happy with it as a tank of a rod that I don't mind loaning to people and letting people use when they come up to visit if they haven't done much fishing or are bad at taking care of gear. With that being said, I'm looking for something a little different for my wife and I to use as our day to day halibut rods. We will mostly be fishing halibut in the Cook Inlet out of Anchor Point and Homer. I would love any input you can offer on a lighter and more responsive setup for us to use.

    I had a chance to handle some of the Shimano Trevala jigging rods the other day and I really like how light they are and the line ratings on them. I am a little concerned about how they'll hold up to fishing bait with 1-2 pound sinkers and jigs up to 24 ounces. I saw the recommended jig weight rating on the rods, but from what I can tell, that is just to correctly load the rod up for speed jigging. Do these rods have enough backbone for soaking bait or setting the hook when I am fishing heavier jigs? Does anybody have experience using them for an extended period of time?

    I would also appreciate input on what reel to pair up with our rods.

    Finally, if anybody has a couple of used pool stick boat rods they're looking to sell with or without decent reels on them feel free to PM me. We'll have to make sure to follow the commission rules on the swap n sell forum.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advise.

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I have several of the Trevala jigging rods. I prefer the XXH models when using the lead head jigs. I have had trouble getting a good hook set with the lighter models. These aren't designed for soaking bait IMO. The lighter Avets, for example, that you will pair them with will not hold up to cranking a couple pounds of weight from the depths especially when left in the rod holder while cranking for bait checks. If you are planning on using them for just for jigging, I think you will be fine. I have several paired up with Avet MXLs and really like them.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I love my little trevala rods. First one I bought was as a birthday present for my mother and she loves it!. Then I bought one for myself a few years ago and have nothing but praise for them. Just bought another reel and line for the next one when trustworthy gets their shipment of rods in. I dont fish over 2# stinkers. Beyond that its time to drift or troll kings. I refuse to use 4's and 5's like some of the guides do. The rods will handle the 2's just fine. Like was mentioned above, you are more so limited by the choice of reel. I too run smaller reels than is standard for halibut here. I forget the model number but its a nice shimano in proportion to the rods. They balance well and will handle a decent fish. Your just not gonna stick it in a rod holder and buzz them up to check bait or reel up chickens. Biggest fish I've hauled up on this set up is a #260 butt. No problems at all. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to the telephone poles we used to fish with. Hope this helps you out. Dont go too cheap on the reels. You will want a quality drag on the smaller reel.

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Shamanno is real hard to beat ..... great rods and value reals, not as good as Avette but for the price AWSOME .... Also, please do not just shop the Big Box Stores only .... I watch Mt. View Sports, next to New Sagaya and if you hit the sales you will be very happy, box stores rarely mark down the hot items ..... I try to buy local when I can and they make it easy ......

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    It doesnt get anymore hometown and local than Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware. Great stock and great prices. Good people. Their everyday prices will generally beat any store in Ak as well as cabelas pricing. Then their sales can't be beat!

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    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    I finally have an avet MXJ as of a week ago thanks to my wife and it is great! Well, I have only used it on one trip and landed 3 kings between me and a friend. If you want to go cheap it's hard to beat the cabelas whuppin stick/ penn defiance reel IMO.


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  7. #7
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    I like the Trevala XXH with a 7000 Abu Garcia with 80lb tuff or power pro. If you try it I don't think you will change!

  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the advise so far guys, keep it coming. What about pairing up the xxh trevala rod with a bigger avet like the HX 4.2 (22 lbs of drag at strike and 28 lb at full, 24 ounce weight) or an MX raptor (21 lb drag at strike, 31 at full, 21 ounce weight)? Would these be able to better withstand the rigors of deepwater bait checks (I've never left a rod in the rod holder for a bait check anyways) with weights at 2 lbs or less? I really work to keep weights at 2 lbs or less and doubt I'll go above that anyways. The MXL avet weighs in at 18 ounces by comparison and my current 4/0 penn senator weighs in at 30 ounces and has a max drag of 20 lbs.

  9. #9
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    No reason not to run the avet other than $$$. The shimano tekota holds up extremely well. The avet would be that mucb better no doubt. Im too cheap to step up to that class when the shimano works as well as it does!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by border collies View Post
    Thanks for all the advise so far guys, keep it coming. What about pairing up the xxh trevala rod with a bigger avet like the HX 4.2 (22 lbs of drag at strike and 28 lb at full, 24 ounce weight) or an MX raptor (21 lb drag at strike, 31 at full, 21 ounce weight)? Would these be able to better withstand the rigors of deepwater bait checks (I've never left a rod in the rod holder for a bait check anyways) with weights at 2 lbs or less? I really work to keep weights at 2 lbs or less and doubt I'll go above that anyways. The MXL avet weighs in at 18 ounces by comparison and my current 4/0 penn senator weighs in at 30 ounces and has a max drag of 20 lbs.
    Anchor Point and Homer, you will be fishing more than 2#, or not fishing a very long time , just sayin

  11. #11
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by border collies View Post
    Thanks for all the advise so far guys, keep it coming. What about pairing up the xxh trevala rod with a bigger avet like the HX 4.2 (22 lbs of drag at strike and 28 lb at full, 24 ounce weight) or an MX raptor (21 lb drag at strike, 31 at full, 21 ounce weight)? Would these be able to better withstand the rigors of deepwater bait checks (I've never left a rod in the rod holder for a bait check anyways) with weights at 2 lbs or less? I really work to keep weights at 2 lbs or less and doubt I'll go above that anyways. The MXL avet weighs in at 18 ounces by comparison and my current 4/0 penn senator weighs in at 30 ounces and has a max drag of 20 lbs.
    I've got some Avet LX4.6 reels on Trevala XXH rods and use them as jigging rods. I haven't tried to run anything bigger than 16oz jigs with them, nor would I really want to. The HX is getting kind of big and heavy for that rod, in my opinion.

    For cranking up heavy sinkers, you really want something with a much lower gear ratio than any of the single speed Avets will provide. The Avet EX30/2 is just about ideal, but they aren't exactly giving them away. My Penn 340's have a 3.25:1 gear ratio, and they get the job done. Replacing/rebuilding the level wind parts every year gets old, so the Senators might be a better choice if starting fresh. The main feature you need is a low gear ratio.

  12. #12

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    I agree with you theultrarider, I try to shop local too. The only thing with trustworthy I don't like is how late in the season they stock the shelves with gear.

    Fish fear me, My wife don't.

  13. #13

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    Dunno the Trevala because I have a boat full of Cedros. Thought I'd toss this in, tho.

    I find the Cedros too soft for my taste with 24 oz. jigs or weights. If the Trevala does better, that's worth noting. Cedros is a dandy lightweight rod that's easy for small folks to use, but I steer clear of depths and currents that require more than 16-20 oz.

  14. #14
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    I have the XXH version and I use the Avet EX-30/2 with 100# Finns hollow core line and it works like a dream. many fish over 100# and a ton of fish in the 40-80# and one MONSTER Skate. I have put a 5# weight on but didn't like it, I have used a 4# with out any issues.

  15. #15

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    I have one XXH Trevala with the Avet HX5/2 and two XXH Trevalas with the Penn Baja 113HNs al with 80lb Daiwa Saltiga boat braid that I use in the keys for sharking and heavy bottom fishing. They've whooped up on big Goliaths, sharks up to 9+', nasty grouper in 200ft, etc and I'm looking forward to using them this summer for he halibut. Some may say the bajas are big and eavy(which they are) but they're bulletproof and I have no doubt they'll outlast many of he new high tech reels available. For leaving in the rod holder to check baits, you'd be happy other them.

    As for the braid, the Daiwa Saltiga Boat braid is the best heavy braid for bottom fishing I've ever used. It's stronger than other 80lb braids imve used, smooth as can be, easy to tie and metered so you can read your depth.

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Here's my jigging quiver, Seeker blue lightning, XH trevala, XXH trevala, cedros.



    I think this will be my 7th season with the seekers, 5th or 6th with the trevala's and 2nd or 3rd with the cedros. Other than replacing the occasional guide, they've all held up fine. I use jigs from 8-24 oz, but generally keep in the 8-16 oz range. The rods will hold up to jigging just fine and they have plenty of back bone for setting the hook and pulling up the fish. But, you can't have a rod that will have the proper flex for any weight of jig you're going to use. A rod stiff enough for a 24 oz jig is going to be too stiff for a 16 oz or lighter jig. A rod spined for a 12-16 oz jig is going to be flexing alot when running a 24 oz jig. I can't explain why, but to me when comparing the cedros to the XXH trevala, the trevala has more action with jigs lighter than 12 oz, and seems stiffer with jigs heavier than 16 oz. The seeker blue lightnings have a totally different flex than the trevala as they are more of a conventional rod than a parabolic.

    As far as reels, I've used quite a few over the years, penn 112H, shimano tld 15, 20, 20II, charter special 1000, avet sx, jx and jx raptor. My personal thought is the avet JX is one of the best reels out there for jigging in Alaska. It will hold 300+yds of any weight braid you want to run, I prefer Daiwa Saltiga PE-5. The reel is light (20 oz) which makes a huge difference when jigging all day, is narrow which helps you spool back on the reel and it's easier to crank than a wider reel where you are applying more torque to the rod as you crank, and it has a nice smooth drag though I would prefer slightly more drag. The jx raptor is nice, but I don't think it's worth the extra cost and extra weight. If avet made a dual drag washer single speed sx I think it would be the ideal jigging reel but again that is big bucks.
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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Dunno the Trevala because I have a boat full of Cedros. Thought I'd toss this in, tho.

    I find the Cedros too soft for my taste with 24 oz. jigs or weights. If the Trevala does better, that's worth noting. Cedros is a dandy lightweight rod that's easy for small folks to use, but I steer clear of depths and currents that require more than 16-20 oz.
    I second this exact statement. I just bought a Cedros and fished it for halibut using 20-24 oz of lead in depths from 150'-300' Using 80lb braid I felt the rod was a little too soft, and when setting the hook it was as if I was fishing with mono. I have a whole slew of Lamiglas 5610 rods for Halibut and wanted something lighter, but the Cedros isn't it. Time to try Trevalas.

    In fairness there wasn't a selection of Cedros models to pick from my rod is 50-100 lbs and maybe 75-200 grams lure (if I remember correctly).

    Sobie2

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I have an assortment of jigging rods. Trevala, cedros, and Andros. I don't like jigging with anything bigger than 16oz. All three work good for me. For bottom bait fishing, I like the okuma SST for the price. Jigging reels are hard to recommend, there are a lot that I like. I like my shimano tyrnos and okuma cedros equally. Heavy bait fishing I prefer shimano TLD II
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