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Thread: Recommend a low profile baitcaster for saltwater kings and halibut?

  1. #1

    Default Recommend a low profile baitcaster for saltwater kings and halibut?

    Like a lot of folks, I buy gear thinking I need something and it doesn't quite work out so I buy more stuff...lol.

    So my mainstay for halibut is a two speed and a single speed avet SX. As I focused on halibut, I thought, I need something bigger and maybe something that can fish 1,000ft or more down. So I picked up a Shimano tld 20. TOO HUGE! Works great though, maybe I will use it as my anchor winch...lol. My avet sx handled the hundred pounder in probably 10 minutes or less. Plenty big. Plenty strong.

    So, going the other way now, I think a lightweight low profile baitcaster would be awesome on my shimano trevala jig sticks or my new Seeker 7ft rod. Both are super light weight and really strong. I don't need it to hold much more than 100 yards of line...probably 50lbs test braid. What I need is gears solid enough that it will last me for a year or two...preferably saltwater tolerant. I prefer to keep my reels under $250 so non of those insane 1,000 dollar reels please....

    Any suggestions? Basically I am looking for something considerably lighter than an avet sx (14oz for single speed) that can hold 100 yards of 50lbs braid and last for more than a halibut or two in a saltwater environment.

    Okuma Cedros and abu garcia inshore revo seems to fit the bill... Any others I should be looking at?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    I will not own another Okuma- pure junk. Maybe you would have better luck.


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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The Shimano charter special 1000 with the factory drag washer replaced with a carbon washer is a bomber littler reel. It's a bit over your weight limit at 16 oz, but I have a pair of them on my salmon rods and don't find them ungainly, my other pair of salmon rods sport avet sx. I also have a charter special on my wife's trevala. The sx is a good little reel, but it just doesn't have enough drag for bigger fish. The problem with going with reels too small is assuming you're jigging you'll probably blow out the anti-reverse when bouncing jigs.
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  4. #4
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Buy those two and see which is better through a season.....or flip a coin. For me? The coin just might be Abu G on both sides. I sure like my small fresh water spinners and have several 6500's that do the job plus some.


    I have a Citrix (tiny Okuma baitcaster) that is great for lower 48 fishing. Took it to AK a couple of years back on one of my GL2 salmon rods. Full on drag and I still had to thumb it to slow the high speed silver bullets. Even after going through it with Alan Tani's recipe for carbon and Cal's grease. Taking it back this year just for grins.


    My Abus are there already and a new Okuma Trios 40s hi speed spinner is going with me. The Trios has rod snapping brakes at less than half way to lock.


    Hard to say, Rudy, unless you are brand loyal, nit picky or want to add a Daiwa...eeww ...or Shimano into the mix. Maybe try tossing the same Q over on Alan Tani's site?

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys. I will say I don't need anywhere near the drag you need from bigger boats or shore fishing. Even a pink on my ultralight can tow me around. In fact any drag over 15pounds could be considered dangerous...lol.

    But Paul brings up a good point. I am going to use this for jigging and the anti reverse is where a few of my other reels have failed. I'd think watching the bass shows where they rip out ten pounders from the weeds using 80 pound braid that it would be solid enough.

    Hmm...maybe just more arm and wrist excercise is what's called for....

    Any other thoughts?


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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post

    Any other thoughts?
    It's not low profile, but we're getting really hooked on the Shimano Takota 500 for all around. Loaded with 65# braid it's our go-to for king trolling and mooching, then mounted on short Shimano Trevala jigging rods it's become a mainstay for jigging including halibut. Solid performer throughout that range of uses, but still comparatively small and light. You might have noticed a whole lot of rods on our boat (we have racks for 15, and they're usually full, so lots to compare with. A very close second (and I can't say why I think it's second) is the Diawa Saltist 30. Nearly the same size and I trust it completely. Could be I'm liking the Takota just because it's newest on the boat.

  7. #7
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    So you're not going to be casting it at all then right? I have 4 Okuma Cortez C5SZ's on my jigging/halibut rods. I got them on a steal, they are light reels and they've held up with no problems to 150lbs of but, I load them loaded with 50lb, just upped it to 65lb and they still hold over 300yds. I have complete confidence that they'll handle 200lb halibut with no problems, not a 50lb tuna, but halibut, no worries. I'm actaully looking at getting 4 more for my rigger rods and loading them with 20lb mono for kings soon. Bonus, thing about them, cheap enough that if one happens to go over board I'm not gonna cry.

    I'll be up on the Kenai for 2 weeks starting on Sat. If you want I can probably meet up and let ya play it one for a bit. They're just going to be sitting in the house until I put the boat back in in OCT anyway.
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  8. #8
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    Abu revo Toro winch silky smooth drag and it's a tough reel. 60lb p line super slick 160or180yd can't remember bit this reel has fought striper and muskee in the lower 48 and will hang with the kings up here only reel I've seen slow one down on a run.

  9. #9
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Try the Release SG. 30# of drag compared to the Avet SX 15#. 6:1 retrieve 38" per crank. I have an Avet SX and like it, but the inches per crank is to slow. Go check out a Release SG and see if it works. Let us know.

    Sobie2

  10. #10

    Default Recommend a low profile baitcaster for saltwater kings and halibut?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    Try the Release SG. 30# of drag compared to the Avet SX 15#. 6:1 retrieve 38" per crank. I have an Avet SX and like it, but the inches per crank is to slow. Go check out a Release SG and see if it works. Let us know.

    Sobie2
    You are in luck!! A release SG loaded with 50lbs braid on top of a seeker Hercules 6ft heavy rod!! This is my medium/heavy outfit! Still a virgin set up...for me! I bought the rod off a friend. Reel has yet to catch anything "real". I will definitely post results...unless that dang pink reel keeps hammering big fish!! Argh...



    I'm looking for something to pair up with a lighter weight jig stick to use on one oz to 3oz...maybe 8oz jigs. Think more like heavy duty bass swim bait or Alabama rig sticks. I want it to be primarily my cook inlet halibut (usually small...usually) jigging and rockfish in other places rig. I'm going to stick with heavier stuff for bait...I think.


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  11. #11

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    I realized the ask is now different but after trying out the combos, I want to go to even a lighter rod. So my last post is a better description.

    Looking at the revos. Could go lighter than the winch but... In the lead right now. Lots to choose from ...


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  12. #12
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Instead of the Winch...maybe the NaCL (the Salt) version Revo. Made for saltwater use. Got me thinking I need one. Your fiancee may not like to hear that your fishing with the "winch" again instead of her lucky reel....just sayin'

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinaboy View Post
    Instead of the Winch...maybe the NaCL (the Salt) version Revo. Made for saltwater use. Got me thinking I need one. Your fiancee may not like to hear that your fishing with the "winch" again instead of her lucky reel....just sayin'
    I've been looking hard at which one might suit me the best. Fishing halibut with bass gear sounds a little iffy but I've been ultra impressed (well with a caveat) on how well these kayaks work. My hooked to landed ratio is sky high relative to shore or on a powerboat. that's the good. the bad is that the fights don't seem to be anywhere near as exciting since the kayak moves so easily toward the fish. But I think if I can lighten way up, I'd be more inclined to jig more. I am a HUGE bait guy, but trying like crazy to use more artificials. Combine that with some of the newer rods and techniques for bass fishing, I think the two can meet somewhere.

    Heck ya only get two fish per day...might as well add some excitement!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    I sure like the looks and touted performance of the Salt version of the Revo.

    And I 'm with you 100% on lighter gear for yak fishing. I typically fish very close to ultra lite stuff often mainly because I will be tossing freelined bread crust dipped in water to top water feeding carp or toss dough balls with no weight - just an Owner hook embedded and 20 pound braid.

    This particular fish in the pic was nothing special size wise but had the heart of a champion. It gave me quite the sleigh ride around the small lake I was fishing. At one point with half drag and my back hurting I stood up and let the fish continue to drag me along - total distance was ~ 300 or so yards.

    A few seconds into standing a few people start exclaiming from the shore things like "look at that!" and "hey the fish is pulling that guy in the boat!" which got the attention of a drunk.

    He slurs out, bellowing " THAT'S THE BIGGEST FISH AH NEVER SAWWWW!!!"

    That's all it took. I locked the drag down, horsed the fish in, netted it and paddled to the beach where upon stopping asked if someone in the crowd would take a picture for me.

    A nice lady with a big telephoto lens equipped camera says " sure, I'll do it.....but where's your fish?"

    I gave her my camera then lifted the net out of the water beside me and hoisted the fish.


    She made the fish shot about the time the drunk slurs out " Daaaayyyuuumm!" and walks off. Nuff said.

    Point of the story?

    My fishing rig was a Abu Garcia Cardinal 104 spinning reel with matching rod. Very lite weight but with enough oomph to do the job especially coupled with the kayak drag. The fishing made my day, the drunk added color to the story.

    I have also found out being a primarily shore based angler on my Alaska trips that under powered gear on hot Silvers results in a spanking real quick. Like using my Citrix reel and having the fish hand me my hat as it speeds away to wrap up on a snag and break off. Only thumbing the spool with full drag could slow them.

    Guess I get my hat handed to me again next week cuz I taking the Citrix back up there. But with a few other reels, too.


  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinaboy View Post
    I sure like the looks and touted performance of the Salt version of the Revo.

    And I 'm with you 100% on lighter gear for yak fishing. I typically fish very close to ultra lite stuff often mainly because I will be tossing freelined bread crust dipped in water to top water feeding carp or toss dough balls with no weight - just an Owner hook embedded and 20 pound braid.

    This particular fish in the pic was nothing special size wise but had the heart of a champion. It gave me quite the sleigh ride around the small lake I was fishing. At one point with half drag and my back hurting I stood up and let the fish continue to drag me along - total distance was ~ 300 or so yards.

    A few seconds into standing a few people start exclaiming from the shore things like "look at that!" and "hey the fish is pulling that guy in the boat!" which got the attention of a drunk.

    He slurs out, bellowing " THAT'S THE BIGGEST FISH AH NEVER SAWWWW!!!"

    That's all it took. I locked the drag down, horsed the fish in, netted it and paddled to the beach where upon stopping asked if someone in the crowd would take a picture for me.

    A nice lady with a big telephoto lens equipped camera says " sure, I'll do it.....but where's your fish?"

    I gave her my camera then lifted the net out of the water beside me and hoisted the fish.


    She made the fish shot about the time the drunk slurs out " Daaaayyyuuumm!" and walks off. Nuff said.

    Point of the story?

    My fishing rig was a Abu Garcia Cardinal 104 spinning reel with matching rod. Very lite weight but with enough oomph to do the job especially coupled with the kayak drag. The fishing made my day, the drunk added color to the story.

    I have also found out being a primarily shore based angler on my Alaska trips that under powered gear on hot Silvers results in a spanking real quick. Like using my Citrix reel and having the fish hand me my hat as it speeds away to wrap up on a snag and break off. Only thumbing the spool with full drag could slow them.

    Guess I get my hat handed to me again next week cuz I taking the Citrix back up there. But with a few other reels, too.

    Lol. Yah I LOVE carp fishing!! When I went to school in upstate NY, they were the only fish that I could consistently catch that would take out drag. If I had better wheels, I did have access to some good trout and salmon.

    The kayak is a "drag" as well. Make it tow it, or fight it cross ways. Drag your feet, etc. It's a theory but I think I am going to be able to handle 90% of the halibut I encounter with a much lighter set up...especially since I don't anchor...yet. The other 10% will make for some epic story fodder. I've had to break 30 pound line snagged on the bottom from a kayak and it's not easy.

    I have the release sg reel that has 30 pounds of drag. That's scary in a kayak. So all I need is gear that can consistently handle 12 to 15 pounds of drag. That means pretty much all of the "conventional" halibut gear is overkill from a kayak. Well we will see! Maybe start with kings then early season butts next spring. I give it 75% chance of working just fine understanding you are probably stressing the heck out of a reel if you use it for halibut.

  16. #16
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    ABU 6500 w/65# braid. I don't like the 50# stuff. Too thin and slices like a sharp knife.

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