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Thread: Salmon and Steelhead Gear

  1. #1
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm a intermediate angler who's been fishing for a few years, but mostly in the summer for bass in rivers and lakes, all from shore. I've never had much time in the fall or spring to look into salmon or steelhead fishing, but, since I have a place in the Georgian Bay Collingwood area, I'd like to look more into it this fall. I've never caught or even tried fishing for salmon or steelhead, but I probably live in one of the best places to start, as I know practically all of the local rivers have a decent run.

    The thing I'm unsure about is what gear I need to start out. Almost all of the local anglers I see use centerpin setups for float fishing, and I've looked into that online. They seem very expensive but also very effective. Do I need to go for a float setup right away, or would a regular spinning setup be ok? I know some people do use them, but I'm unsure of whether it's for lure fishing or float fishing. I don't have a huge variety of spinning setups, only a 9ft with 30lbs test braid, medium power, a 7ft with 8lbs mono, medium light power, and a 5.5ft with 4lbs mono, ultra light power. I'm wondering if either of the two first combos would be ok. I'm not opposed to spending some money, as I know it's definitely necessary, but I'm wondering if a float setup is even worth it for someone who's never done this kind of thing before.

    Any insight at all is much appreciated. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer.

    Adam

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

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  3. #2
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    Hi Adam, you can give your 9ft rod a try if its light-medium action with a decent spinning reel you should be fine, most steelheaders use 8lb monofilament main line then use a leader line of 3-5-7ft long depending on depth
    Most guys use roe (steelhead eggs) or live worms or pinkies (artificial)
    The main thing is your rod will need to be flexible enough to get a nice bend to tire the salmon/rainbow as well a good enough spinning reel were it can handle those strong runs with the current
    Good luck, my first salmon was caught chucking a spoon out of Thornbury

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH-ON View Post
    Hi Adam, you can give your 9ft rod a try if its light-medium action with a decent spinning reel you should be fine, most steelheaders use 8lb monofilament main line then use a leader line of 3-5-7ft long depending on depth
    Most guys use roe (steelhead eggs) or live worms or pinkies (artificial)
    The main thing is your rod will need to be flexible enough to get a nice bend to tire the salmon/rainbow as well a good enough spinning reel were it can handle those strong runs with the current
    Good luck, my first salmon was caught chucking a spoon out of Thornbury
    Thanks so much for your response. Is 30lbs braid on my medium action 9ft rod too much? I believe it has the diameter of 8lbs mono. And for leader do you recommend something close to 8lbs mono or flourocarbon? Finally, I've looked quite a bit online for the rigs the float anglers use for roe or works. Should those rigs be replicated on a spinning setup, or should something more simple, such as a slip bobber rig be used? Thanks again.

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  5. #4
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    Hey Adam, I would not recommend braided line as your main line on your spool. Something in the 8-12lb range monofilament for main should do fine, 8lb flouro should suffice for a leader...just use a swivel to connect both ends together and your good to go
    Like anything getting out there via trial and error is your best method for success in my opinion
    Google steelhead floats and under images it shows a typical diagram of a set-up
    Tightlines!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH-ON View Post
    Hey Adam, I would not recommend braided line as your main line on your spool. Something in the 8-12lb range monofilament for main should do fine, 8lb flouro should suffice for a leader...just use a swivel to connect both ends together and your good to go
    Like anything getting out there via trial and error is your best method for success in my opinion
    Google steelhead floats and under images it shows a typical diagram of a set-up
    Tightlines!
    Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate the help. I just have one last question to bother you with: are there any lures, such as spoons and spinners, that you recommend I try? Or are lures not as effective as other techniques? Thanks again. I've tried to pull as much information as I could off of the internet, but there's not much locally specific information for Great Lakes tributary salmon and steelhead fishing.

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    Both spoons & spinners have there time & place to use...very frowned upon during peek season when the elbow pads are needed during main runs in tight spots, early season like now is a good time to be chucking hardware into the lake trying to tempt that salmon/bow as its still a little early for the center pinners
    Mepps Aglia size 3/4 with some fur in gold....merry x-mas!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH-ON View Post
    Both spoons & spinners have there time & place to use...very frowned upon during peek season when the elbow pads are needed during main runs in tight spots, early season like now is a good time to be chucking hardware into the lake trying to tempt that salmon/bow as its still a little early for the center pinners
    Mepps Aglia size 3/4 with some fur in gold....merry x-mas!
    Thanks so much. I thought that it might be frowned upon; that's why my end goal is to learn centerpin fishing when I have the time. There might also me some less frequented spots I can check out (legal, of course) where it might be more appropriate. I just want to get some practice and time on the water, but I would like to learn centerpin fishing from research this winter and try it for steelhead in the spring. Thanks again for all of your help.

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  9. #8
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    Fish anyway you want as long as your legal. Centerpining is just another form of fishing and it shouldn't matter if you feel like tossing out a spinner when there is people centerpining. I always try to get away from the groups and avoid the elbow pads anyway. Find a spot or go earlier and enjoy what ever type of fishing you like.
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom gobble View Post
    Fish anyway you want as long as your legal. Centerpining is just another form of fishing and it shouldn't matter if you feel like tossing out a spinner when there is people centerpining. I always try to get away from the groups and avoid the elbow pads anyway. Find a spot or go earlier and enjoy what ever type of fishing you like.
    Thanks for your reply. I agree with you completely, it's just that the spots I scouted last year were so busy that it would be hard to use lures. I assume now until the regular season closes at the end of September there is a lot of room on my local rivers, but the extended fall season is in a very compressed area.

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  11. #10
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    Honestly, if you look hard enough you can get a 12 ft IM8 rod for about $50 or $60 ... good to start, and if you like the sport, you then buy a Raven for $400, and give the rod to a kid.

    That to me is the single most important thing ... you need the sensitivity to feel the bite, and the flex to keep a wild rainbow on. The length helps to reach holes.

    Slap a decent spinning reel on that, and you'll catch fish ... and once you like it, then get the center pin reel (Islander another $500).

    You can start off with $100 of gear, and if you like it, migrate to $1000 of gear.

    The spinning real in my opinion is better for salmon fishing anyhow. Center pin is great for steelhead/rainbow, but you can also get away with a spinning reel. So point is ... you will still get benefit with the spinning real, even if you get a center pin later on.

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