Bottom Fishing Reel Recommendation

Breakin"even

Crew Member
I have a Shimano Triton 25 now but it has a short handle and a 3.6:1 gear ratio.
When I wind in a lot of the energy goes side to side instead of into the spool.
I'm looking for a budget/entery level, reliable reel that works well for bottom fishing.
 

chromatose007

Well-Known Member
Guided with the Penn 320s for years. Bullet proof even with big Halis. Too bad they don't make them anymore.
Tried the Squall up in Hakai, not a fan with the segmented drag.
I've got others but, they ain't 'entry level'...
Might sell the 320s next season depending if they keep the border closed...
 

MadJigga

Crew Member
Nice
Guided with the Penn 320s for years. Bullet proof even with big Halis. Too bad they don't make them anymore.
Tried the Squall up in Hakai, not a fan with the segmented drag.
I've got others but, they ain't 'entry level'...
Might sell the 320s next season depending if they keep the border closed...
good info. I have a fleet of Avet’s now and two Accurates. I like bottom fishing maybe! I always had 330’s before
 

N2013

Active Member
I have a Shimano Triton 25 now but it has a short handle and a 3.6:1 gear ratio.
When I wind in a lot of the energy goes side to side instead of into the spool.
I'm looking for a budget/entery level, reliable reel that works well for bottom fishing.

You're going to get the side to side motion with most bottom fish reels. Only way to prevent is to fight the fish in a rod holder and hold the side of the reel, or have a rod that has a removable butt section that allows for a gimbal belt. Thicker padding to grip on the rod helps as does a narrower reel. I don't have experience with rods that have the eyelets underneath the rod so perhaps someone can comment on that style of rod. As far as reels go. I like my Penn Squal 30 leverdrag. I have a Squall 20 levelwind as well as I do a lot of lingcod fishing. The 30 has pulled up ling&halis to 50lbs without an issue but it is a bit of work with a smaller line capacity and retrieve. I try to stay above 200' when jigging. Have hooked a couple big ones that I've been unable to move due to the lack of strong enough drag resistance. Both reels are great for my style of bottom-fishing. If doing more halibut fishing, I'd look at something a little bigger like a 40 or 50. Never jigged with one but I think having the stronger drag and line capacity would be nice. Watch for deals at local fishing shops. Harbour Chandler does a good Black Friday sale. Trotac is great too.
 

Breakin"even

Crew Member
The Penn Squall sounds like the way to go on a budget, the rod acid wrap looks interesting.
I have never seen that before and will look into that, I was really hoping a better reel would help
with the side to side motion. Over the years I thought of building a mount on the eyelets of the shimano
for a handle but only fished once a year. I see Scotty makes a rod handle that might help, mabey I should
start there to see if that will help.https://www.amazon.ca/Scotty-Reel-Rod-Handle-Black/dp/B004O0FSDG
A longer handle would help but I asked if that was possible for that reel and Harbour said no.
 

RiverBoy

Well-Known Member
the “side to side” motion that i think you’re talking about is usually made when trying to horse the fish in. you see people that look like they are pulling up the titanic when all they have on is a flounder. your reeling hand should have little to no tension, rather be quick with the wrist rotation. same when salmon fishing a single action reel. why are you using your entire shoulder and elbow to reel? just quick with the wrist amigo
 

Breakin"even

Crew Member
.
Maybe you already know this but if you grip the rod higher up with your left hand and rest the left side of the reel on your forearm. You can then keep pressure against your forearm as you're reeling.
I've been doing that and it helps but it's not helping that much.
Thicker padding to grip on the rod helps as does a narrower reel
More padding grip above the reel on the rod might help, my Shimano TLD25 is quite wide compared to the Penn Squall reels
I looked at today at Cabalas.
 

ericl

Well-Known Member
A look on the internet will yield optional handles. IMO the longer handle will make the "rocking motion" worse. You can leave the rod in the holder & hold the reel steady with the non-reeling hand as mentioned above. This is what I do unless I can recruit a volunteer - I am 70 y/o. For shallow water (150' or less) a knuckle buster is my go-to, but cranking-in takes forever.

The BEST option IMO is a two speed large enough to have harness lugs, this would cost more than a budget reel. With some like an Avet, they make models with narrower spools which makes packing the line while reeling-in a bit easier.
Technique makes a difference when reeling-in a large one. I leave the rod in the holder, and when the fish is not head shaking/taking line, reel down til there is a lot of bend in the rod; stop reeling & wait for the rod to straighten out before repeating the reel down, letting the rod do most of the work.
 

blueugl

Member
The reel I like to keep handy on the east coast of Vancouver Island is a Abu Garcia 6500C3 bait cast reel with only about 400 feet of 30lb braid to keep spool diameter size down a full spool changes leverage I fish 8 oz jigs.
 
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