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Thread: Favorite reel for trolling

  1. #1
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Default Favorite reel for trolling

    I know there are as many answers as people but what would you consider as a decent down rigger reel for trolling silvers and maybe kings that doesn't bust the bank? Lever or star drag? Mono vs braid? What weight, length, and action for the rod. Thru blank or conventional? Just looking for some thoughts and ideas as I wait for spring.

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    All I have ever used for trolling for salmon and trout are Penn 209's. I'm sure there are tons of good quality, high $$$$ reels out there but the 209's are inexpensive and bullet proof. The only downside I find is the retrieve ratio is a little low and it can be hard to keep up with a charging king.

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    Default Shimano TR-100

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolman24 View Post
    I know there are as many answers as people but what would you consider as a decent down rigger reel for trolling silvers and maybe kings that doesn't bust the bank? Lever or star drag? Mono vs braid? What weight, length, and action for the rod. Thru blank or conventional? Just looking for some thoughts and ideas as I wait for spring.
    The Shimano TR-100 has plenty of line capacity for downrigger fishing and backtrolling the Kenai too. Star drag is fine--you don't need a lever for silvers and kings. This reel can be had for about $60 at Trustworthy in Soldotna. I've caught hundreds of silvers and many Kenai kings on mine and they haven't failed yet after 10 years or so of use.

    Rod for downrigger? I'd go with an 8'6" Ugly Stick. I think they make one rated for 8 to 20 lb test and that would work well as a combo king/silver downrigger rod. These are about $60 too. It's a moderate action rod. Downrigger fishing and fast action rods don't work as well with downriggers as a slower action, fiberglass or fiberglass/graphite combo rod (which is what the Ugly Stik is). Most rods these days are blank thru handle--I wouldn't buy one that wasn't even if they were still readily available.

    For downrigger, mono line is what I prefer. I've used braid, but the advantages of braid (sensitivity, low stretch) aren't that valuable for downrigger fishing.

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    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Default correction

    When discussing rods I should have said inner flow instead of thru blank. The inner flow are the ones with the line running through the rod instead of through guides. Thanks.

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    Diawa line counters. We added them last year and everyone in our family loved them.
    Makes fishing so much easier with the planers as we know exactly how much line to leave out.
    We also use them for lightweight jigging and we can drop them to the depth we are seeing fish on the depth finder.
    Under $100 each.
    Tennessee

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    Default I Use Penn 49s

    I have been using Penn 49s for trolling for both Kings and coho for years. I've got some 320s that I have on hand for beginners to use, too - but I am liking the faster retrieve with the 49s with a full spool of mono (the thumb for a level-wind guiding the line onto the spool just comes naturally after some practice). For down rigger fishing I have had best luck with Penn Fathom-Master 8'6" rods with mod action. A friend of mine is sold on Cabelas' Interflow rods for downrigger fishing - I think his are 8'6" too. He's using Penn 320s.

    I am going to put some 20# Powerpro on a couple of trolling reels this Spring to see if I like it when I decide to switch tactics and try mooching. You can't beat braided for sensitivity.

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