Steel head Reel questions

Reels are the hottest topic for TackleTour. Everyone wants to know what the latest and greatest is and how they compare to the old guard. What's the best for light stuff, or what's your suggestion for heavy cover. Do we really need different retrieve ratios? It's all in here.
1nutinthewater
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Steel head Reel questions

Post by 1nutinthewater » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:06 pm

I have learned a ton in my few years here and am always looking for something new to try- Die hard salmon/steel head fisherman and unfortunately not much discussion about great reels and upgrades for these species as I understand most here to be bass or salt water guys.

I have tried numerous reels these last few years- tatula, tatula sv, concept c, chronarch mgl, bantam mgl and greenie curados.

Looking for opinions on low profile reels capable of handling these fish and lasting for years- The Tatulas have actually been fantastic with zero problems but I am looking for something more refined. The Bantam seems to be quite capable after one season of work but looking to try a new model this year. I have looked into the Zillion HD and the Antares but would like to hear what some of you guys with a lot of experience would recommend.

I use 20-30# braid and mostly throw spoons 2/5 oz or a 1/2 oz bobber with jig, bead or pink worm so really the only retrieving is at the end of the drift or playing a fish so I prefer higher IPT reels. Typical steel head run 6-12# and the salmon up to 20#.
Our tradition is that of the first who sneaked away to the creek when tribe did not really need fish

DenhamBruce
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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by DenhamBruce » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:30 am

Daiwa SV103 or any TD Zillion variant

Dalleinf
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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Dalleinf » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:17 am

I fish mainly searun brown trout (close to steelhead) and atlantic salmon in Denmark where streams/rivers are small and with slow currents compared to for instance Norway - another country that I fish m, which may / may not be more like your setting.

Anyhow, I really like the SV103 / Zillion variants and basically many Daiwa 34 mm spool reels (Morethan, Steez A may good for you with regard to refinement and high speed) that can take various aftermarket spools of low weight and with decent line capacity, e.g. ZPI NRC001PG. I prefer to use monofilamant for the bigger fish and need some line capacity on my reels.

I have just purchased three Zillions for salmon: 1514HLC, 1516 HLC and the new HD plus some DIY Aliexpress spools (12 gram). Unfortunately, I have not had the time to put them to use yet, but they seem awesome. The aftermarket spools are intended for light weight lures where the HLC spools will give issues.

Among the Shimanos, I can recommend the Antares/Calais DC reels. They are refined, will last a long time, and they cast great!

When I head to Norway for salmon, fast and big rivers with fast and big fish call for bigger reels or at least very good line capacity. I typically go for slightly bigger round round reels (Ryoga, Conquest, Ambassadeur) or size 300+ low profile reels.

I guess some of the ABU Revo Beast reels would do well.

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by HobeyBaker » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:48 pm

1nutinthewater wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:06 pm
I have learned a ton in my few years here and am always looking for something new to try- Die hard salmon/steel head fisherman and unfortunately not much discussion about great reels and upgrades for these species as I understand most here to be bass or salt water guys.

I have tried numerous reels these last few years- tatula, tatula sv, concept c, chronarch mgl, bantam mgl and greenie curados.

Looking for opinions on low profile reels capable of handling these fish and lasting for years- The Tatulas have actually been fantastic with zero problems but I am looking for something more refined. The Bantam seems to be quite capable after one season of work but looking to try a new model this year. I have looked into the Zillion HD and the Antares but would like to hear what some of you guys with a lot of experience would recommend.

I use 20-30# braid and mostly throw spoons 2/5 oz or a 1/2 oz bobber with jig, bead or pink worm so really the only retrieving is at the end of the drift or playing a fish so I prefer higher IPT reels. Typical steel head run 6-12# and the salmon up to 20#.
Sounds like a Tranx would be what you are looking for. I have a 500 size for musky fishing that has taken a lot of abuse. Is there a reason why you use a bait casting reel over a spinning reel? We fish for spawning steelhead in WI using spinning reels and rods.

1nutinthewater
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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by 1nutinthewater » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:57 pm

Much easier to feed line out using a casting reel. When float fishing i often get a 100'+ drift and am slowing feeding out line to maintain a nice presentation- same for swinging a spoon across the current.
Also when using a casting reel it is much easier to set the hook when the bobber goes down- just put the thumb down and give a quick yank. Spinning reel requires two hands- one is needed to flip the bail over when bobber disappears.........

Am thinking of trying the new antares or daiwa morethan.
Really just looking to buy a new toy or two and looking for opinions. :big grin:
Our tradition is that of the first who sneaked away to the creek when tribe did not really need fish

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by HobeyBaker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:09 pm

That's completely different than the way we fish around here.

I have a Morethan and it's a smooth reel. Basically a Steez A with brass gears and different aesthetics. I caught a 44'' musky flipping with it a few days ago and was solid. I'm sure it would handle a steelhead fine. One thing you may like about it is that it has a clicker drag.

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Nor Cal Drifter » Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:04 pm

Diehard Salmon and Steelie fisherman here myself. For Steelies I use a Curado K in the 200 size and absolutely love it. I’ve had more refined reels but have found the Curado line to be the sweet spot between refinement and durability. Used to use the E series for years but when the K came out switched over. I use the same reels for Salmon unless I’m fishing big water, then I bump up to the 300 size in the E series. Hoping they come out with a 300 size K - Tranx comes in a 300 and would work beautifully for big water Salmon but I don’t need all those bells and whistles (eg seals, saltwater protection, etc). For spinning reels I use the Stradic line - FK for Salmon and Ci4 for Steelies - 2500 size for Steelies and 3000 for Salmon.

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Re: Steel head Reel quest

Post by Dalleinf » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:16 pm

Nor Cal Drifter wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:04 pm
Diehard Salmon and Steelie fisherman here myself. For Steelies I use a Curado K in the 200 size and absolutely love it. I’ve had more refined reels but have found the Curado line to be the sweet spot between refinement and durability. Used to use the E series for years but when the K came out switched over. I use the same reels for Salmon unless I’m fishing big water, then I bump up to the 300 size in the E series. Hoping they come out with a 300 size K - Tranx comes in a 300 and would work beautifully for big water Salmon but I don’t need all those bells and whistles (eg seals, saltwater protection, etc). For spinning reels I use the Stradic line - FK for Salmon and Ci4 for Steelies - 2500 size for Steelies and 3000 for Salmon.
Thanks for input! Do you fish from boat or shore? 300 size reels would be borderline small for atlantic salmon in big/fast norwegian water esp. if fishing from shore. I have only done big/fast water fishing a couple of times and it just amazes me how much extra stress it puts on the tackle (and the fight w fish).

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by 1nutinthewater » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:33 am

Yes I prefer to bank fish for both salmon and steel head.
Never have tried the newest curado and perhaps should instead of the upper end reels. Cut my teeth on Tatulas not many years ago and am definitely going to try the Elite when it comes out.
Our tradition is that of the first who sneaked away to the creek when tribe did not really need fish

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Re: Steel head Reel quest

Post by Nor Cal Drifter » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:31 pm

Dalleinf wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:16 pm
Thanks for input! Do you fish from boat or shore? 300 size reels would be borderline small for atlantic salmon in big/fast norwegian water esp. if fishing from shore. I have only done big/fast water fishing a couple of times and it just amazes me how much extra stress it puts on the tackle (and the fight w fish).
[/quote]

I’m fishing from shore for King Salmon (Chinook) up to 30+ pounds with these 200 and 300 size reels and they handle it no problem. I would think they could handle any Atlantic just fine. I’m using mono line (10-20 lb test) which I think is easier on equipment than braid.

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Dalleinf » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:43 pm

^Thanks. I will try some “smaller” reels in Norway this summer. The 200/300 sizes are fine in Denmark where waterways, which do not even qualify as rivers, are smaller and slower.
Out of curiosity: Do you use lures and if so which ones?

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Nor Cal Drifter » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Dalleinf wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:43 pm
^Thanks. I will try some “smaller” reels in Norway this summer. The 200/300 sizes are fine in Denmark where waterways, which do not even qualify as rivers, are smaller and slower.
Out of curiosity: Do you use lures and if so which ones?
When casting from shore for Salmon we use Blue Fox #5 and #6 and also Mepps Algia #5.

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Kurt L » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:13 pm

I use a lot of reels for Silvers, Chums and Reds here in AK and my favorites have to be Metaniums 2013/MGL and the Steez A all spooled with 8-10lb line. I have tried a bunch of reels but those are my favorite so far, it depends on the line capacity you expect to need, for me after Kings are done I drop the 300 size reels and grab the small stuff mounted on 9' plus rods rated from 6-10lb and 8-12lb and go to town on them :D
The Steez A 8.1,1 is probably my favorite its the smoothest reel I have ever used, it's liquid smooth you can't tell there are teeth on the gears, and very refined in operation.

Kurt

1nutinthewater
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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by 1nutinthewater » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:09 pm

Gee thanks! Throw another reel into the mix!
Question for you guys - I really like my Bantam MGL- super smooth- Am I going to feel a significant upgrade if I buy a morethan, Zillion, Steez or Antares? Or should i just get another Bantam?
Love the Bantam but the thumb bar is harder to push than any other reel i own.
Our tradition is that of the first who sneaked away to the creek when tribe did not really need fish

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Re: Steel head Reel questions

Post by Kurt L » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:05 pm

I felt a significant upgrade from the Bantam I had and the Steez A I now have, I was not impressed with my Bantam so I returned it and bought the Steez A, on the first cast i was pleasantly surprised with the upgrade. I'm shocked at how smooth Daiwa gears are, Shimano Micro module gears are not even a close second. What I wouldn't give for My Antares or Metaniums to be that smooth... =P~

Kurt

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