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LC reels for both musky/salmon


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Hey folks, 

 

Looking to add a couple of reels to the “what do you need that for?” list. 

 

Found myself now with a bit of a salmon bug. I only dipsy and down rigger. No wire or copper....yet.

 

Which line counter reel in your opinion would be best for switching gears between both musky and salmon trolling? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Shimano Tekota's are bulletproof. The 500 is a good all around size. 

If you'd prefer a low profile reel, I'd look at the Daiwa Lexa. Not as rugged as the Shimano, but a good drag and easy to handle. 

From my own personal experience, I'd stay away from Okuma's. The drags are terrible, and they fall apart quickly.

Edited by CrowMan
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In the Okuma line up the Coldwater is OK, but the Convector and Magda have just way too much plastic for my taste. However, it's the drags that are a problem for me. They suffer from "drag creep" so you're constantly tinkering with the setting (especially when pulling something substantial like Dipsy's). Plus they also exhibit "drag fade" particularly with a fish that makes long powerful runs like a big King.

Like I said, that's been my personal experience. Depending on the application you may have a different opinion. Okuma's come in at a great price point, but in terms of "value" like most things you get what you pay for.

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Another consideration is the rod holders you use or plan to use. I have Down East holders which work great for large, round traditional type line counters but they do not work for low profile line counters. Many other rod holders would work with either type of reel.

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i bought a couple Okuma Coldwaters as they came recommended by a musky guide on St. C.  Run one with with braid for a dipsy and run one with mono for a downrigger when I use them for salmon. When musky fishing the braid one will be a down rod and the mono one will be off planer

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One thing I do is buy the biggest one.  
does the cold water come in a big size?   
I know they have a left hand model but the one my friend has is not big enough for 10 colour.   
 

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9 hours ago, Freshtrax said:

I have some Coldwater with 5-6 seasons under there belt still holding  up well.   Yet to blow up a convector but some are on last legs. 

 

 

 

 

turns out blowing up a reel is a real thing. When I first started salmon fishing a few years back I bought a couple cheap combos to get in the game. Had a big king on - long fight with lots of runs, the first run took hundreds of feet of line.  Beside the boat it took one more run, the drag failed and the line snapped. The drag had totally seized up so I took reel apart to discover it had basically melted on the inside. Live and learn.

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Been running Convectors for probably 10+ years, I love them compared to the Coldwaters.   Although if you're a do it once kind of guy, Tekotas are the easy choice.  500/600/700 pick your poison. 

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Alright! Thanks guys, that's some good info, and yes the “drag creep” I have noticed with my 10-year-old convectors. Definitely not ideal. With every slight turn or speed increase, current strength. Before you know it the drag is clamped down.

I think I might just go one Tekota and one coldwater. And report back here some results.

Then when my 10-year-old convectors needs replacing I'll know which way to go. 

Again thanks everyone, appreciate this community as always. Even though I've been absent of late. 

Cheers 

 

 

 

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I've tried alot of different brands of trolling reels and can say Okuma are by far my least favourite. Shops must get a good markup off them as they are popular mostly because shops love to pimp them. In the mid-range I find the Penn's squall or warfare superior. If your going with Tekotas which is a solid choice for sure at least check out the Daiwa Saltists too. Great reels at a similar price point but maybe a bit harder to get your hands on. 

Edited by steellee
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Tekota 500.  Buy once cry once.  Many of my older tekotas have been on the rack for a long time and some of them where bought used.  I haven’t had many issues.  I have some older Tekota 300’s that get used all summer and they never miss a beat.  The new Tekota 500 is a pretty nice reel.  I have a pair of them and so far no they seem to be holding up as well as the old Tek. Good luck!

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This probably wont be any help to the OP, but its all about the drags.  I fish for salmon but not musky so that is my experience.  Mostly downrigger, but I do have dipsy gear, just don’t use it much.  I have one LC, most are just LW of pure conventional (non-LW). I have a convector that I don’t really like.  It was smooth in the store, but I have had it randomly free spool.  I have taken it apart, cleaned and lubed it right, and it all looks fine, but something in its design cause it to do that very randomly.  So its on the 4th line in my set.  I don’t have any high end reels and my collection starts with an old Daiwa that was my first salmon reel bought about 30 years ago or more.  Its plastic body LW.  It was “OK” but started to get weird with the drag where the drag would hold hold hold then release in huge zing, then hold hold hold.  Started to lose fish so the reel was put on the 4th line or actually down to the farm team.    Then about 10 years ago, I saw an HT100 carbon fibre drag washer set on eBay so bought it.  That new drag fix put that reel back on the bench (2nd line though).  

Believe it or not my most reliable and smooth workhorse is a Penn 209 LW that I have also upgraded the drag to HT100 carbon fibre.  That reel is steel framed, pretty darn smooth for an old bugger and the drag is reliable and smooth.  I also have two other old Penns that are pure conventional (one is a Del Mar) with upgraded drags and they are great.  Smooth and drags are nice. They are my backups.

I also bought a Kastking LC on Amazon two years ago.  I have to say its pretty good.  If I am running two rods its one of them.  Its too early to say if it will hold up, but for now its caught a lot of salmon.  It has a pretty fast retrieve too, so sometimes that has an advantage when I have a salmon that is charging the boat.  It has HT100 carbon fibre drag washers. (Yeah Yeah, Chinese crap that may not be able to get parts for.  I get it.  I think its better built than most Chinese reels though.)

I also bought a saltwater conventional non-LW star drag reel (a Fin-Nor 20) that my idea was to use it for trips south as well as maybe try it on musky or salmon.  Its pretty big though.  Not too heavy.  I picked it because you can cast with it too.  Its super smooth and casts a mile with heavy lures, and can be used for trolling too.  The drag stack is huge and smooth.  Its designed for much bigger fish than even our larger salmon or musky.  I haven’t used it for actual fishing yet though.  Just playing around at the cottage.   I loaded it with 60lb braid for Florida bottom fishing and then didn’t do that trip so its not really set up for downrigger fishing up here. 

Anyway, probably not much help.  But for me, its all about the drag smoothness IMO and I think cheap plastic may flex too much to allow the drag stack to be smooth.

Edited by Canuck
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22 hours ago, dave524 said:

The reels make do double duty but the lines might not

Actually, for about 20 years I ran Garcia Ambassadeur  6500's as both musky and downrigger reels, had extra spools as they were a quick swap, 14 pound Trilene XT on the rigger and a heavy braid for musky, no line counters though.

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