If you are looking for the best fishing reel for chinook salmon, then it is important to understand what makes a good one. The first thing that you should consider when choosing your fishing gear is where you want to use it. If your plan is to fish in saltwater, then you will need a much different type of reel than if you were going to be using it on freshwater. For instance, if you are planning on catching large Chinook Salmon near Seattle or Vancouver area coastal waters during the summer months, there are some aspects of your equipment that must change immediately!
What We Consider When Selecting A Chinook Salmon Reel
When it comes to choosing a rod and reel for Chinook, there are many things to take into consideration.
For various reasons, the most popular rod length for this type of fishing is 9 feet long. Since we do mainly coastal BC trolling here at Kingfisher, our primary focus will be on spinning reels since that’s what we feel works best for this style of fishing.
1. Reel Size
Your standard large arbor reel has a spool that is either 650 or 750, with the higher number denoting size in millimeters. Since you’ll mostly be throwing large plugs and baitfish patterns, the maximum 300m/330yds of backing combined with about 100m/120yds of high vis line is about perfect. If you go much beyond this, say with heavy leads or downriggers, the spool will be so full that it won’t retrieve smoothly which can have a big impact on your fishing.
2. Drag System
This might seem like an esoteric thing to worry about when choosing a spinning reel, but it’s actually very important. The two main types of drugs are center and star. Centre drags work by having the spool held in place with spring while the other spindle pushes against it to create pressure. Star drags have a series of discs that rub against each other to provide resistance as they’re rotated by the spool.
In a center drag reel, as pressure increases the resistance does as well but there’s a point where it stops and starts going back the other way. With a star drag system, as more pressure is applied the discs dig deeper into each other so that you have an infinite number of settings available to you. The latter type is therefore preferable when you’re fishing for spring chinooks with plugs that generate a lot of pressure.
3. Drag Knob & Handle System
The drag knob is usually referred to as the star drag because it looks like one, but in most cases, they are actually center drags which have been made to look like star drags with an additional handle. This handle allows you to hold the star drag knob and turn it with your thumb to fine-tune the tension of the drag system or disengage it completely.
Typically there is a series of two knobs, one that controls the star and another which controls the center (or visa versa). The first slide down further than the second and therefore provide you with more precise control over the drag.
4. Gear Ratio & Retrieve Per Crank
Chinook reels need to be able to turn large plugs and baitfish patterns at a pretty fast speed and that’s why we recommend that your reel have a gear ratio of 5:1 or faster, with faster being better because it allows you to turn handleless for a given speed.
The retrieve per crank can be useful in that it tells you how many feet of line is being pulled off the reel with every full rotation of the handle. This is important when fishing with plugs because there’s obviously no way of telling how far down they go before they’ll stop and since you’ll definitely want to hang on to them until they do, this translates into less handle cranking.
Best Chinook Salmon Reels Reviewed
1. Shimano Tekota 600 Line Counter Salmon Reel
Designed explicitly for fishing in freshwater and saltwater, this Shimano reel does it all. Whether you want to hold your rod over your head or hug it closer to the ground, the tough aluminum-alloy housing is built tough enough for pounding surf or even beating frosts! This 660 size has a 660 line capacity perfect for braid lines up to 750 yards long. A smooth gear drive system makes reeling a cinch while keeping checking the level of your line seamless with an easy-to-read LCD display. You’ll be able to focus on catching that next king salmon instead of worrying about how many feet are left in that spool!
2. Shimano Tekota A 600 Line Counter Salmon Reel
Shimano Tekota A 600 Line Counter Salmon Reel makes it easier for beginners to know how many lines they have left. The handy counter will tell you exactly how many yards are feeding off the spool, down to the last inch combined with a variety of other helpful functions that provide clarity into its operation.
The reel runs on precision sealed ball bearings that offer smoothness and durability even in saltwater environments. With this great product, there’s no need to worry about losing valuable fish because you ran out of a fishing line. The best thing about the Shimano Tekota A 600 Line Counter Salmon Reel is its low price point, which makes it an excellent value purchase.
3. Shimano Tekota A Levelwind Salmon Reel
Shimano’s new range of fishing reels is designed to bring an end to all your problems. Whether that be accuracy, performance, or comfort all the Tekota casts out supreme quality for you! Here at Shimane we know what matters in a reel and will stop at nothing until it is perfect. So go ahead hook one because the only thing left behind with these bad boys is fish on ice.
– One external drag system
– Duel ratcheting anti-reverse mechanism
– Dual disc line roller eliminate backlashes
– Machined steel gears create strong gear meshing
– Full-size bail wire resists water seepage
4. Penn Fathom II Levelwind Salmon Reel
If the Fathom II doesn’t impress you before you take it out, then you’ll know after a cast or two. From its one-piece aluminum frame to its list of features, Penn created an extraordinary reel for those who live and breathe saltwater fly fishing.
Penn put significant thought into creating this beauty from a corrosion-resistant blend H3 alloy that is lightweight and durable to a precise balance between portability and power with a long spool design. The precision’s durability is unmatched as well which means no more heavy-duty maintenance on your reel every day! Move seamlessly through waves with ease because the low-profile drag system can stand up to anything nature throws at your line.
5. Penn Squall Levelwind Salmon Trolling Reel
The Penn Squall is a lightweight, conventional-style salmon reel at an affordable price. However, it only comes with one size option of 20 yards – which can be either trolled or mooched for your needs! It’s perfect if you’re looking to fish from shore since this type of baitcasting rod also makes it easy on the arms while standing up due to its lightweight and simplicity compared to other models in its class that require more gear ratios before casting distance becomes shorter as well as sink rate capabilities through different types of lures/bait combinations etc…
What is the best line counter reel for salmon fishing?
Line counter reels are an essential tool for anyone who wants to be successful at fishing. Line counters help you estimate the depth of your lure when using dipsey divers, jet divers, or wire-line and they also work well with a lead core line in saltwater environments because it measures out how far back plugs actually sit on flat lines so there’s no guessing games!
What is the best rod for a salmon rod and reel combo?
When it comes to salmon fishing, the best rods are G-Loomis and EX series. These long 9’0″ -10’6″ models will provide you with top-quality action for catching these slippery fish that can swim up rivers or stay deep near shorelines where they feed on invertebrates like crayfish among other things! Okuma’s classic pro rod system is also great but more affordable than some of its counterparts that cost as much as $200+. High-end spinning tackle works well when using 6 foot 6 inches -8ft(floating) Fly Rods though; however any line weight between 3/4 Oz (14 lbs.)and 1 Pound test.
We hope that by now you’re feeling more confident about your reel. If not, don’t worry! There are many types of reels on the market and we encourage you to explore all options before making a decision for yourself. Read guides like this one or ask experienced fishermen what they have found most useful in their jobs – there’s always something new to learn from others who have been doing it longer than us! Remember, these tips can also be used when buying other fishing equipment too so keep them in mind as you go shopping around next time.