Wednesday, August 21st 2019.

Salmon Fishing Saltwater Rods, Reels & Combos

Salmon Fishing Salmon Stalker Line FloatBecause of the variety in species of salmon as well as their many habitats, there is an infinite number of combination that can be made to produce your ideal salmon fishing setup. Salmon fishing tackle is available at many different rod and gun shops, not just those on the ocean but also those inland. Let’s take a look at some of the tackle you’ll need for a successful day out.

  • Common tackle

Rods, reels, weight's, swivel's and lines are going to be your basic tackled needs on any salmon fishing excursion, whether on the ocean or in freshwater, casting or trolling. In all cases, your line is going to have to be of a good braid variety or "test"; extensive braiding brands are often referred to as super lines. These lines are good for casting, but when it comes to actually landing the fish, results can vary from company to company. For trolling in clear water, many anglers choose clear monofilament or fluorocarbon line. The unfortunate thing about salmon fishing is that if one of these big fish manages to snap your line, you are out some pocket money, not only for the line itself but also for any lure and attractant tackle that you happen to be using (and your bobber if you are bob or float fishing!). All that and nothing to show! Make sure your line is endorsed by fellow anglers before trying it out on the water.

As far as rods go, seven feet long rods for trolling seem to be the most recommended. The base of the rod should be able to handle a lot of weight; if you are fishing the Pacific waters in particular, you need a rod that can handle the possibility of a 50lb Tyee on the other end. Lightweight and flexible material is essential for ensuring a successful battle.

Reels for salmon fishing are usually spinning or baitcasting reels. They need to have smooth drag systems and should keep the actual act of reeling thoughtless. The tension between fish and reel should be smooth and not a "jaring" tension that can cause the line to snap. Since you will want to concentrate on the fish on the other end and not the actual reeling process, drag becomes very important when deciding which reel is best for you.

  • Below on the left is an example of a "mooching reel" used in saltwater and on the right is an example of a "float" in this case a more expensive "stealthy" float by Salmon Stalker.

Shimano Salmon Fishing Mooching Reel 

  • Specific Tackle

Salmon fishing tackle considerations such as lures and bait will depend on the type of fishing you are engaging in. Fishing for salmon on the ocean will mean a lot of trolling. You will want a setup of rod, reel, and line appropriate for trolling, preferably one that can shake or “flip” piles of seaweed off so that the weight of the fish on the other end isn’t compounded by the weight of debris. The bait on the line is usually going to be a fish simulating device, perhaps with a few spoons to catch the eye of the salmon. Plugs are also common on the ocean whan salmon fishing. It’s important to check regulations for the area you are fishing so that you don’t use a hook/lure combination that is illegal (years ago quadruple hooks were common, but regulation has meant that double hooks are now the norm in fish-like lures).

Freshwater salmon fishing will usually mean the use of floats and live bait such as roe or prawns. This might sound like a tame way to fish, but it can be quite a rush to see that float sink in the river and realize that it might not just be a rock, but a massive Spring salmon on the end. Check the rod quick, because you will want to hook the fish before he realizes what is going on. This is done by a quick firm "jig" towards you. Slowly let your tip back towards the river with the current keeping some tension on the line, and if it keeps going down, give it another real good jig and yell "fish on" if you've got something.

Good salmon fishing tackle is essential when it comes to having a good fishing trip. If everything goes right, you will be able to break out those salmon recipes on your return home!

  • Below; Excalibur is a leading manufacturer of "bouncing betty" type weights that is in the midst of lead weight replacement, which is harmful to the environment. These environmentally safer weights use "Tungsten nickle alloy's" and are 25% smaller, more dense and more rigid, which means longer life, less likely to damage lines and more effective in river systems as they transmit a better bounce to the line! VERY COOL!

Excalibur Salmon Fishing Tackle Bouncing Betty Weight

  • Side note: when fishing in busy river systems while "bottom bouncing" there is actually an etiquette! Much like golfing you should follow these rules:
  1. Never cast your line or lure on top of another's line. Doing this will result in a snag, but most importantly the loss of a fish that may not be legal if one is hooked by accident not to mention angry anglers and they can get real angry. (remember its supposed to be fun!)
  2. Always cast upstream and don't cast any more than two people above you if it's shoulder to shoulder crowds. Casting upstream more than that effects the "flow" of casting to anglers and can be frustrating to have to wait for someone who does this.
  3. As your line drifts downstream, keep it clear of peoples legs that are in the river, and don't forget that your line will be further down the stream than where you see it go into the water. If you can see the person beside you at the end of your drift in a straight river, chances are you're line has drifted too long.
  4. The person who is up-stream from you always casts first! You should be aware of your surroundings, whats going on and wait for the line to drift down a bit before casting OVER their line. This will help prevent snags and keep the casting flow going.
  5. If you have a fish on your line, you should yell "fish on" to let people know that you'll need space.
  6. If you think that you have a Chinook on - usually they strip lots of line from your reel immediately, or they will hold in one spot or they will give a "head shake" which will cause your rod tip to go down in large downward bends - yell "SPRING ON!" and start moving with it down the river if you have to (and usually you have to!)
  7. If you think that you have a Sockey - which instantly go nuts and move all over the place - or something else on, you should be able to bring the fish in where you are, so try not to take up the whole river unless your not sure, and get it in as quickly (without horsing it) as possible.
  8. It's common sense, not to mention illegal in some cases and un-ethical in most others, that if you have your limit, you should give your spot up to another angler.
  9. Clean up after your self for goodness sakes!! Theres enough lost gear in the river as it is and it doesnt' warrant you being able to leave your beer/pop cans or tackle on the river bar.
  10. Read the rules of the regulations before you fish. I don't know how many times I've seen guys out there catching fish and not knowing what kind of fish they had or what body of water allowed them to fish for certain species of salmon. The species section will help you with this, so please take advantage of it!
  11. Have fun! Plain and simple. If you follow these rules you'll have fun out there, and just remember there are always going to be "grumpy fishers" out there that are not willing to teach beginners and show a little patience, but rather complain and whine. It's best to avoid these people all together, as they just wreck the sport for everyone.

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Salmon Fishing Tackle Fly Salmon Fishing Lures and Spinners