What About My Reel?


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Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
I listed many of my reels in the 'About Your Rod' thread. Your reel is going to be a lot more important than your rod for most salmon fishing. If you are a good caster you're going to be able to use about any rod you wish but the reel is another story........................ By the way can you tell that I am getting anxious to get at it?

I am not an expert on this but; I think a good Salmon reel should be able to darn near stop the spool and have a nice range of adjustment between "Darn Near Stopped" and barely on. I have used both Battenkill and CFO reels having spring & pawl checks and disc drags but without the palming rim I would not have had a chance. I found that gets old quick when every fish you hook tries to empty your spool. Just about any of the 'Big Game' reels on todays market (as long as the drag is as I described) will work for you here. The reel must be capable of hold ing at least 100 yds of backing and here is an important point about backing; if your reel is spooled with 20lb backing, don't forget that and go tying on a 20ld leader for King Salmon! I dont believe I need to explain the rational behind that warning. I use 36lb micron and never go above 25lb leaders. This has cost me some really big King Salmon because they broke my leader but I kept my fly line to fight another day.

So, three important points; line capacity, backing strength, and drag. The season is just about five weeks away before fish start to show in any great numbers. The ice is going out on some rivers now and I am about to service the river boat and assemble the pontoon boat for float trips this weekend.