Best fishing reels 2022 for Alaska
Daiwa Tanacom 500 Electric Reel daiwa.us The 500 is the smallest in the Tanacom series of electric reels. We spooled it with 330 yards of 65-pound-test J-Braid x8 Grand. We used it to target halibut and lings in deep water. With 33 pounds of drag, it is plenty stout enough for any of the halibut fishing we do, yet it’s light and compact enough to jig with. We modified the power cord by putting a Marinco two-prong plug on the end so we could plug the reel into Scotty downrigger power receptacles. An electric reel makes it easy to check bait when fishing deep, saving lots of angler energy when using heavy weights. We also used the reel with five pounds of lead to descend large yelloweye rockfish back to the depths. Trust us, you will greatly appreciate the ease of retrieving five pounds of lead from 300-plus feet with an electric reel. If your rod holders are stout enough (and we mean really stout), you can also “wind in” fish with the rod in the rod holder—a big plus for kids and those not strong enough to wind in a barn door the conventional way. For any deep-water fishing, say, over 300 feet, a Tanacom is a huge asset. Try one once, and you’ll have to have one (or more).
Greys TITAL Fly Reel purefishing.com The TITAL is the highest quality, most affordable, machine-finished, bar-stock aluminum fly reel we’ve seen come down the pike in years. If that wasn’t enough, it has a sealed carbon disc drag, a large arbor, full-cage design and ample backing capacity. We tested the 9/10 size on a two-handed rod fishing for Naknek rainbows. Although a large-arbor reel, it still has plenty of backing capacity—we put over 100 yards of 30-pound-test Dacron on it—and still had room for 150 feet of OPST 35-pound-test Lazar Line running line plus a 425-grain Commando Groove shooting head. The drag was exceptionally smooth through the range we used, and max drag is 12 pounds; plenty for big trout, steelhead, and all salmon we have in Alaska. The design is modern, but elegant with a smooth palming rim and an easy-to-adjust drag knob with detents. Though we tested the 9/10, it is also available in sizes 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8. All reels come with a padded Cordura reel pouch.
Penn Torque Lever Drag 2 Speed TRQ25NLD2 pennfishing.com The Torque Lever Drag is a compact, stout, two-speed conventional reel capable of handling any bottomfish Alaska can throw at it. We spooled it with 395 yards of 65-pound-test braid and used it for jigging halibut with up to 16-ounce jigs. It has 5.5:1 (high speed) and 2.8:1 (low speed) gear ratios providing 38- and 19 inches of line retrieved per revolution, respectively. With a maximum 33 pounds of drag, it has more than you need for any Alaska fish. We landed halibut with this reel to well over 100 pounds this summer. It’s a winner.
Penn Fathom II Level Wind Line Counter FTHII15LWLCLH pennfishing.com Looking for a tough line-counter reel to troll the salt chuck, backtroll the Nushagak, or mooch for big Chinook salmon? The metal-bodied Fathom II is tough enough and has enough line capacity to do the job on even the largest king. The size 15 reel holds over 300 yards of 50-pound-test braid, has 30 pounds of max drag, and comes with both a power handle and a paddle handle. The drag is smooth and dependable, and the reel has thus far been completely reliable. Editor George Krumm likes this reel so much that he bought five and rigged all his heavy saltwater trolling rods with them. He says these reels work well for any saltwater salmon fishery, and that should he find himself on the Kenai come July for Chinook, this is the reel that will be strapped onto his backtrolling rods. He landed Chinook to 28 pounds with the reel this summer and is confident it is capable of handling the largest salmon Alaska can produce.