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Equipment for Alaska Questions about gear and equipment needed to fish Alaska

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Old 09-24-2016, 05:36 AM
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Default First Alaska Trip

New member here with a couple questions I'm hoping you guys can help me with. My dad and I are heading to Alaska next August to the Goodnews River Lodge. I have been fly fishing for about 8 years but mostly for trout in Pennsylvania. I'm not quite sure what I am going to need set up wise for this trip to Alaska. What rod should I get, what real, etc. what should I be looking for in a set up? The primary fish we are going for are Silvers. We both need a decent set up but also not one that will break the bank. Any help you guys can provide would be very much beneficial. I read all the reviews all line but in my experience forums like this are the best places for finding out the best insight. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

to the forum.....we have some alaskan bears here(including Ard)they should help you soon
It migh be a good idea to go there
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

I have used 8 and 9 weight rids for the salmon up there and 5 and 6 weights for trout. Salmon are very powerful fish. You'll also want to fish for what I think are the most fun fish in Alaska, grayling.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

Welcome to the forum Matty. As JP said others with more experience will be along eventually. I have only fished a couple weeks in AK. I used an 8WT and it seemed about right for multi-species fishing. I'm sure a guy could fish with a 6WT but no need to be under gunned just in case you get lucky enough to hook a large salmon. The size of the flies and the water you intend to fish matters. A reel with a decent drag, while not required, makes it easier if a salmon gets into the current.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

Hi Marty,

You are going to have a heck of a time on your trip. I am familiar with the lodge but have never been there or fished the Goodnews River. I looked at their site and they seem to have good older boats with outboard jets. It is good that you will have one guide to you and your dad. I don't like that they rotate guides but that is how they do it. They are the only lodge on the river but there will be other people floating the river. It is a popular river to float. The lodge is above tidal influence unless they fish below the lodge towards the bay.

Your best source for gear is the lodge. They know what you need. Normally I would say to take a spare rod in case one gets broken but they have spare equipment if it is not being used. I started fishing Alaska with a 6wt rod but moved to an 8wt and used it for everything. The smallest fish you will be fishing for will be Grayling but they will be good sized. If you decide to take a backup rod you might take a 6wt and use it for Grayling. Talk to the lodge for their recommendation. In August an 8wt is what you need.

I looked at their recommended gear and was surprised not to see polaroid sun glasses on their list. I would want some for sure. Don't skimp on your rain gear. I would want Gore-Tex. Good rain gear can make or break your trip. Take plenty of socks so you can start with dry clean socks every morning. If you have a treat that you like on the water like candy, take some with you. Don't take anything that might melt. The lodge has a weight limit so make sure your bags/gear don't weigh more than 50lbs plus a carry on. Make sure you know the rules for Alaska. You will need single hook flies and there may be a gap restriction on the hook. No trebles. The lodge is catch and release except for Salmon. I think they provide the flies and you won't need to take any. You can't use felt soled wading boots in Alaska.

I said it before but keep in mind that the lodge is your best source of information about what to take.

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Old 09-25-2016, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

Thanks for all the help guys. A lot of good information. The next thing I need do is to put together a set up. I was looking at this 9' 8w one from Cabelas.

Cabela's LSi/Lamson Liquid Fly Combo : Cabela's

Anyone have any input? Do I need to spend $1000 on a set up or can get away with this. Throughout the years I've used several Cabelas set ups and have always been pleased with how they casted/fished but was for mainly PA trout.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

No need to spend $1000 for a week long trip if the big rod won't see much use back home. That LSI rod gets pretty good reviews and has been around for years. I use a lot of house brand Cabela's gear but generally not my rods. It's inexpensive and offshore built. Build quality suffers from time to time so buy it well in advance of your trip so you can check it out. They'll exchange it if needed.

Another good option is Echo branded gear. Very reputable company and they have many affordable offerings. Check them out on youtube for rod reviews. Lamson reels are good. Echo Ion reel is an excellent value in affordable big game reels. Drag won't work perfectly forever but they are plenty strong for several years of use and worth the price. I have owned a ton of Cabela's brand reels and use them for spare lines I don;t use often. Work well enough for the price but I would never take one on an important trip where I needed a reliable drag. Their better reels are made by others but might as well by a name brand if you are going to buy an expensive Cabela's reel IMO. Last bit of advice, never pay full price for Cabela's rods and reels. They will have a bunch of deep discounting towards Christmas. They have great sales in NOV-DEC. Literally sell things for 50% off so watch their site if you go that route..
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

All good suggestions on gear ... save for one.

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Old 09-25-2016, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by ia_trouter View Post
No need to spend $1000 for a week long trip if the big rod won't see much use back home. That LSI rod gets pretty good reviews and has been around for years. I use a lot of house brand Cabela's gear but generally not my rods. It's inexpensive and offshore built. Build quality suffers from time to time so buy it well in advance of your trip so you can check it out. They'll exchange it if needed.

Another good option is Echo branded gear. Very reputable company and they have many affordable offerings. Check them out on youtube for rod reviews. Lamson reels are good. Echo Ion reel is an excellent value in affordable big game reels. Drag won't work perfectly forever but they are plenty strong for several years of use and worth the price. I have owned a ton of Cabela's brand reels and use them for spare lines I don;t use often. Work well enough for the price but I would never take one on an important trip where I needed a reliable drag. Their better reels are made by others but might as well by a name brand if you are going to buy an expensive Cabela's reel IMO. Last bit of advice, never pay full price for Cabela's rods and reels. They will have a bunch of deep discounting towards Christmas. They have great sales in NOV-DEC. Literally sell things for 50% off so watch their site if you go that route..
Awesome advice. Thanks for the quick response. I don't mind spending the money on a good set up. But it just seems like the extra dollars you pay are for the name, Sage Orvis etc. at the same point though. For me this a once in a lifetime trip and I don't want to be second guessing my gear or find out it's not up to par once I get here
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: First Alaska Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyoc20 View Post
Awesome advice. Thanks for the quick response. I don't mind spending the money on a good set up. But it just seems like the extra dollars you pay are for the name, Sage Orvis etc. at the same point though. For me this a once in a lifetime trip and I don't want to be second guessing my gear or find out it's not up to par once I get here
There is a middleground between Cabela's and Sage. If you don't mid spending more money than a Cabela's combo, Echo, St Croix and TFO are a good place to start. You have countless options depending on the budget. I'll stick with my Echo Ion or Lamson reel suggestion but there are other options there too. Spend more money on the rod than the reel. And I'd rather have a good flyline appropriate for the flies you intend to throw than a reel that costs more than those I mentioned.
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