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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

So now that I have the down rigger aspects down. I am in the process of finding a rod and reel. Price is a concern. I would like to keep the combo under $150. It will be used for ocean salmon fishing and when the salmon arent biting some mud shark fishing . .! What are your thoughts/suggestions?
 

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G.A.

I think you could use just about any type of rod & reel for down rigging, but there are some personal preferences for every individual. You have to ask yourself if length is a concern. Longer rods allow for better control of fish and long leaders. Shorter rod stow away easier. They make actual trolling/downrigging rods which typically come 8' to 9.5' long. 10.5' mooching rods are easily adaptible and are very popular as a downrigging rod. Just be careful about choosing rods that are too stiff, as they may not load up on the downrigger as nicely. Reels are commonly single action moochers or level wind reels. Single action reels are a more traditional west coast reel. They are more challenging to use (in a good way). Level wind reels are very practical for all types of fishing. They have higher retrieve ratios and you don't have to worry about the handles taking off your knuckles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for clearing up the difference in a level wind and single action. I like the old style of a level wind, they were what I first used to fish.. stick with tradition. I think I may also pick up a set of the level winds as well for when the "not so experienced" come aboard.
 

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If you really want to keep with traditional fishing methods get yourself a Peetz wooden reel. These single action reels (though a bit bulky) are an awesome choice for downrigger fishing. They are durable, they are single action (challenging), and they are reasonably priced. Although you can still buy them new I would not recomend it. Cruise the garage sales or classifides and you will find one for around $50-$60. Don't worry about the age of it I am still fishing my first reel 25+ years later. Just take it apart yearly to clean out the salt and lube it up. Match this reel up with a modest $80-$100 trolling rod and you will have a great down rigger combo. I agree that many people have moved away from 8'-9' downrigger rods and are using longer more pliable mooching rods but hey we all start somewhere and if you try and buy a lighter weight mooching rod with reel for under $150 you are asking for trouble.

something to consider anyhow.
 

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One of the main things I look for in a downriging rod is that is has lots of guides! Some rods only have 5-7 guides which makes for some fairly radical bends in your line. A common number on many of the better rods is 11 guides. The higher number also helps you use the strength of the entire rod.
 
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