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Thread: Same pole for halibut & salmon trolling?

  1. #1

    Default Same pole for halibut & salmon trolling?

    Anyone have a recommended rod to use for both halibut fishing and downrigger trolling for salmon?

    Seems like a 6-6" halibut rod for 30 - 80 lb test might be flexible (barely) enough to use with a downrigger for trolling also.

    If so, it would seem that you don't want roller tip or guides to help avoid skinny spectra or dacron from getting jammed if it comes off a pulley while trolling.

    Perhaps this is just a bad compromise solution, but a guy could could avoid buying and hauling around an entire second set (4 each) of rods & reels...............some sacrifice in performance would be well worth it.

  2. #2
    New member
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    Apr 2006

    Default Fishing forum?

    I don't know of a do it all rod that would work for salmon and halibut both, especially if you are downrigging for salmon, but you might get some good feedback if this were posted on the Fishing Forum.

  3. #3
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    North Pole

    Default I wouldn't do it.

    I know it would be nice, I've got rods everywhere when I go out, but honestly you go out to have a good time first and hopefully catch fish too right? But' rod would be waaay to stiff for riggers and no fun at all for fighting a salmon, a salmon rod is a lot of fun on smaller halibut but when you hit a good one see ya later and wouldn't that suck. Do you actually run 4 rods with riggers? stackers maybe or have four riggers? If not you could get away with 4 but rods and 2 rigger...just a thought. I think it's worth saving the money for each though. take it easy

  4. #4
    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Homer, AK

    Default it could be done

    You can catch decent halibut on say a 6 to 7 foot rod that is rated for 40 pounds. However where you catch those halibut is what limits you. You will not be able to fish the deeper water or shallow water when the current is screaming. You're limited to fishing the shallows to about 80 feet or so when the current is slowed down. About 2 hours before and after slack tide. Those rods could also jig fairly well. With my tackle that I have, for an all around rod for halibut, rockfish, lingcod ishing and salmon trolling I choose my Truline D8 with a 3/0 sized reel with 65 pound spectra and a 40# topshot. I'm not sure what a similar rod they have here since the tackle stores tend to be rather limited compared Southern California. I get you could order one, but personally I don't buy rods I can't touch before I buy. I guess that Sportsman's Warehouse should have a selection in Anchorage. Good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Go with dedicated rods

    Hi tito, IMO dedicated rods are the way to go; I figure that amateurs like me need all the help they can get to even catch a fish, so I don't want to miss out on a "lite" bite or whatever by not having a sensitive enough rod.
    Example: on the Kenai river, we bought a combo Ugly Stik/Ambassador 6500 for king fishing (the rigs we used for reds was too light for backtrolling). I figured the same rods would work okay for drifting eggs for kings, boy, was I wrong. One of the guys here on the site explained to me that you need a sensitive rod for drifting eggs and he was right. After a few days using the heavier outfits, we switched back over to our red setups w/fresh 25 lb. mono for kings and the sensitivity made all the difference. We boated 2 kings in 2 days of drifting. Keep in mind that I'm comparing oranges to oranges here and not salmon to halibut. There are always exceptions, but for guys like me just happy enough to hook up something, I'm learning that having the right or applicable gear is crucial for that 1 in 8 hours bite! In fishing Hawaii, Tonga, Alaska I've found that going lighter in the spectrum of gear makes for more hookups & fun, but trying to cover both salmon & halibut with one rod is a stretch I think. BTW, I've since switched to a 8 wt. flyrod for reds, and what a kick! I've gone lighter in gear and the hookup/catch rate has gone up lots, but I doubt that same rod would work for a larger king, maybe in the hands of an expert flyfisherman (not me). Good luck!
    Hey, they ought to make a sectional fishing rod so you can go with maybe a 5' for halibut, then add sections of 1' or so to get the sensitivity for smaller/different fish, also have a switchable butt section to cover a wide variety/weights of reels!!! There I go, getting on the "one boat for Alaska" thread again, I gotta quit that!
    See ya,

  6. #6

    Default 1 rod

    I've swapped to just one rod for trolling and halibut. I use those Innerline rods and shimano 2000 lever drags with 80# spiderline. When I take other people out I let everyone try the combo rod and than the smaller halibut rods[ 4/0 ] .Seems like every body enjoys the combo rod. I've caught 3 halibut between 100-125#. Haven't hooked a real big one yet, and probably wouldn't land it. But than I don't want one for the freezer anyway. But we all have our own style.

  7. #7
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I carry separate rods for halibut/kings/silvers. Yeah, it's a pain to haul all the rods around, but one thing to keep in mind is that the folks using your gear don't necessarily know how to handle a big fish, and they need all the help a heavy rod can provide with a big fish. As it is, I usually have to replace at least one trolling rod a year due to mostly mishandling while fighting a fish (like grabbing the rod above the cork when it's loaded).

    So, for halibut I use heavy 5' Lamiglas halibut rods mated to Okuma T20L reels (GREAT value on the reels BTW), Loomis GL2 9' rods with Daiwa Firewolf reels for my king rods, and Lamiglas Norwest Special 8'6" rods with Ambassadeur C6300 reels for silvers and rockfish.


  8. #8

    Default Centerline Rod

    .02 cents worth of info.
    I have used the Centerline (brand) rod for years. The designer is Bruce Friend here in Alaska. The idea behind them was great. The butt of the rod is seperate from the tip. You get different tips for what you are fishing for. There are different lengths and weights. Halibut tips or salmon tips. They work great for those that travel or don't have a lot of storage on the boat.

    I used braided line in them and my favorite (lucky) tip was used for years and it landed many fish over 200 lbs. Clients are not easy on charter equipment but these held up.

    I'm not sure where you can find these anymore. I've been out of the business a couple years. B&J Commercial (907-274-6113) use to be the outlet.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    That's the route I'm planning to go next year, a pair of 7' jigging rods with some Avet reels running 50# braided line. I think most folks just wear themselves out using the big tackle on halibut, and running the smaller braided line allows one to use lighter jigs.

  10. #10
    Member breausaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by tomfishhunter View Post
    I've swapped to just one rod for trolling and halibut. I use those Innerline rods and shimano 2000 lever drags with 80# spiderline. When I take other people out I let everyone try the combo rod and than the smaller halibut rods[ 4/0 ] .Seems like every body enjoys the combo rod. I've caught 3 halibut between 100-125#. Haven't hooked a real big one yet, and probably wouldn't land it. But than I don't want one for the freezer anyway. But we all have our own style.
    What innerline rod do you use?
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser

  11. #11

    Default Smaller line


    I am putting 50 braid on also. During the charter years we used 80#. The biggest reason for that is it handles wear and tear better. Some of the outfits used 130# because they fished exclusively rock piles. For private use and someone that is aware of their line (keeps an eye on it for frays) the 50# will be more than enough. IMO

  12. #12
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I'd have to agree with BigJim and SH. Use the right gear for the fish you seek and your success will be much higher. Not saying you can't catch fish on any rod but it does make a difference in catch rates. I use almost the identical setups that SH uses. Not only does the sensitivity and rod action matter but the brand of rod also matters. Buy a cheap rod and that's exactly what you have. In a nut shell common sense doesn't tell you to use a 24" crescent wrench on a 1/2" bolt right?

    I don't like carrying 10 rods (2 backups) around with me all the time either. My boat isn't as large as I wish it were so space is a premium but I feal that it is necessary and so be it.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default Same pole

    Dunno about you guys, but I use the same pole for halibut fishing and playing pool. It also has a special attachment for gigging frogs, that I use when I go to the Lower 48.

    Hope it helps!

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  14. #14
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default 24" Cresent

    AKBighorn, when I saw you pull that out of the boat, I thought you were going to fish with it, then I realized it was your bonker
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  15. #15

    Default breausaw

    I've been using Mid-Lines, from B&J or Trustworthy in Soldotna, but I don't know if they still have them. A guide I used to fish with isn Homer used Penn's. He said they were tuff. I swapped to 80# spiderwire because when you fish the early season kelp bed halibut it holds up better. It seems with no stretch and a quick hook set I was snaping the 50# braid.


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