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Best reel for kayak fishing 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:27 am
Posts: 107
Post Best reel for kayak fishing
I have only been kayak fishing for about 3-4 months and have stuffed two or reels kayak fishing so just wondering what reels do you guys use or what would you recommend? I have heard that alveys are perfect for them but have slow 1:1 ratio so would they be able to tackle bigger fish if hooked?


Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:22 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:38 pm
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Location: papamoa
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I can usually get a couple of years out of my reels but they do need regular maintenance especially after a dunking. After each use wash/wipe with warm water and loosen drag. I learnt to service mine the hard way ie: take it apart and hopefully get it back together again ;( clean out any sand etc and old grease with kerosine,. Apply reel grease ( lanocote mixed with moreys oil stabiliser works a treat and has corrosion inhibitors ).
I have a daiwa regal 3500 which is still going after a couple of years and an abu cardinal 704lx about 6 months old.


Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:34 pm
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Location: South Auckland
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
IMO, a 1:1 ratio would help on the bigger fish, but cause huge frustrations the rest of the time...

I'm currently using a Shimano Stradic 4000 spin and cheaper Tica Pisces PC 200 bait cast.

The shimano has a WaterProof drag system and the tica has an 'easy to pull apart' system for cleaning.

I was using a cheap jarvis walker bait runner for a while, as I started my yak fishing (at the start of the year), but the only lasted a month or 2 (was on to my 3rd, however replaced under warantee).

What would I recommend? Learn to clean and service your own reels.

That reminds me, I need to go do mine shortly...


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Yak PBs. Snapper: 18lb 12oz @ Cuvier * John Dory: 4lb 6oz @ Cuvier * Kingfish: 10kg @ Mayor Island * Blue Nose: 22.7kg @ White Island * Hapuka: 8kg @ White Island * Skipjack Tuna: 5lb @ Auckland

Viking Profish 400 * Pinnacle Elite * Viking Profish 440 * Mission Catch 420


Last edited by sk8e8 on Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:43 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: Ellerslie, Auckland
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I agree, it's probably not so much the reels you are using, but looking after them that's key.
Whatever you get jump on good old google and find out how to service it.
All my reels get Cleaned after every outing and compleetly stripped and rebuilt regulary, and I've (touch wood) not ruined one yet. :)
there are heaps of great reels and manufactures out there so you need to realy think about what do you want it for, do you want a spin or overhead? I would suggest that spins are generally a bit more versitile on a yak, but overheads definalty have thier place.
If spin I have several abu reels that all have been realy good, if overhead many people use reels such as the tld series and everyone has good things to say about them, but like I said there are many others which are good.


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Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:34 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I only started kayak fishing this year but my alvery 45bc has been tested well and came through with flying colours. Landed some good sized kahawai, snapper and even a stingray on it but the 12lb kingy was it's biggest test so far. The drag was no match for the kingy and would do 6 very fast 30-50m bursts so was a bit of work reeling in but i was able to land it. The reel has had a few dunkings but a quick wash down with hose was all was needed if that? It's not a good reel for softbaiting though so i bought an Okuma Salina 40 because it had watertight drag seal, corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings, Corrosion resistant high density gearing and seemed easy to maintain. Do date all i do is oil handle, bail arm. Every 4 trips grease gears and every 6 months oil drag washers.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:04 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:00 pm
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Location: Manukau
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
cuzo wrote:
... and every 6 months oil drag washers.



Really? :^) Is that advised?


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PB's: Snapper 26.2lb :whew: ; Kawhai 3lb :?: ; Kingfish 25lb 8) ; Trevally 9.5lb :rock: ; John Dory 2lb? :lol: ; Gurnard 35cm :P


Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:10 am
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
N2Y wrote:
cuzo wrote:
... and every 6 months oil drag washers.



Really? Is that advised?

I would suggest cleaning, but would keep oil away from them personally.
making them slippery would defeat the purpose of them... ;)


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Ocean Kayak Prowler Ultra 4.7, Ocean Kayak Prowler Ultra 4.3, Tahe Greenlander T, Mission Eco Bezhig, Perception Expedition, Bliss-Stick Flip Stick

Jigheads Paddling and Fishing team member,
Come visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Jigheadspaddlingandfishing


Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:34 am
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
Oiling washers is prob not a good thing (had one of my reels screwed up due to someone doing that), but putting drag grease onto the carbon fibre washers can help (cals or shimano drag grease is good).

Just on the carbon fibre washers, anyone know where we can get those in NZ? Or even just some sheets of the fibre to cut our own washers? I have one reel that has the plastic washers instead of the fibre ones, and another reel with only half fibre and half plastic - and I want to change them over to 100% fibre


Jigheads Paddling and Fishing Team Member
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Yak PBs. Snapper: 18lb 12oz @ Cuvier * John Dory: 4lb 6oz @ Cuvier * Kingfish: 10kg @ Mayor Island * Blue Nose: 22.7kg @ White Island * Hapuka: 8kg @ White Island * Skipjack Tuna: 5lb @ Auckland

Viking Profish 400 * Pinnacle Elite * Viking Profish 440 * Mission Catch 420


Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:01 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:31 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
N2Y wrote:
cuzo wrote:
... and every 6 months oil drag washers.



Really? :^) Is that advised?

On Okuma Australia website there's a video clip "Fishing Reel Maintenance: How To Maintain Your Spinning Reel". On their he says drag can dry up every 6-12 months so put 3 drops of sewing machine oil in main housing of drag. I'm no expert with the insides of reels so if he doesn't mean oil drag washers then my bad.



Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
Yip I think from that you're onto it according to that vid...and you'd be a brave man to argue with that guy :lol:

I had read previously to always keep oil well away (different room even) from drag washers...who knows |(


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PB's: Snapper 26.2lb :whew: ; Kawhai 3lb :?: ; Kingfish 25lb 8) ; Trevally 9.5lb :rock: ; John Dory 2lb? :lol: ; Gurnard 35cm :P


Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
The Okuma Salina 40 has Multi-disc, Japanese-oiled felt drag washers so mayb he was referring to okuma spinning reels?
The guys seems to have maintained a few reels in his time so i'll do what he says. If it causes problems with the reel i'll complain to okuma that i was just doing what your website said and ask for it to be fixed for free :)


Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:39 pm
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Location: South Auckland
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I had my penn spin reel serviced by someone, who either purposly or accedentally got oil on my fibre drag washers. I could never get it out, and had to end up buying new washers (and got a new spool). The drag just wouldn't slow anything even when tightened full


Jigheads Paddling and Fishing Team Member
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Yak PBs. Snapper: 18lb 12oz @ Cuvier * John Dory: 4lb 6oz @ Cuvier * Kingfish: 10kg @ Mayor Island * Blue Nose: 22.7kg @ White Island * Hapuka: 8kg @ White Island * Skipjack Tuna: 5lb @ Auckland

Viking Profish 400 * Pinnacle Elite * Viking Profish 440 * Mission Catch 420


Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:19 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:47 pm
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Location: Viking Kayaks, Matamata
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I've serviced a lot of reels over the years (first started more than 20 years ago when managing the service depatment at Wilkinsons Sports in Whangarei) and the debate on dry vs oiled/greased drags was old then.

The answer is that there's no simple answer! Basically, unless you can get expert advice, stick with what the reels manufacturer put in the reel to begin with.

As a rule of thumb, I've found felt washers can be oiled or greased. I prefer grease because it lasts longer and doesn't wash out in our harsh kayaking environment. The older Daiwa SL series freespool reels had one of the most awesome oiled felt drags.

Other textured drags can often be greased, but not oiled. You have to use a grease designed for drags such as Shimano's TBM, TiCA's special drag grease (almost impossible to find), or the Teflon based grease brought in by Geof Murray in Auckland. This is the one I use on my Daiwa Saltist, Penn HT100, ABU carbon matrix, and TiCA drags with great success.

Some drags, especially lever drags and many of those using smooth washers, should be left dry. With these drags there's often too much loss of maximum drag settings, and sometimes the fibre and metal washers can stick together, not allowing the drag to back off quickly enough when highly loaded (making a swim or a busted line possible).

One point worth noting, once dry washers have been contaminated with oil or grease (intentionally or not) it's almost impossible to get them clean enough again to return them to their original performance level. Usually the only answer is to total replacement of the fibre washers and an agressive degrease of the metal washers.


ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
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Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:57 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
uncoping88 wrote:
I have only been kayak fishing for about 3-4 months and have stuffed two or reels kayak fishing so just wondering what reels do you guys use or what would you recommend? I have heard that alveys are perfect for them but have slow 1:1 ratio so would they be able to tackle bigger fish if hooked?

For me the key to getting good reel survival on kayaks has been to give them a comprehensive service/lube before they go anywhere near the water. It doesn't matter if they're top quality or not, most are not supplied with enough corrosion protection "out of the box" and need appropriate treatment for what we Kiwi's do with them.

Re the "slow" 1:1 ratio of the Alveys, remember the spool diameter is much larger than most other reel types, making the actual line retrieval rate more respectable. The 45 series admittedly are still a little slow but perfectly adequate for bait fishing down to 30m. The 65 (6.5 inch) series have a very useful recovery rate and I can get dropper rigs and jigs back to the yak as quick as some of my mates on reels with 5:1 ratios.


ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!


Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:08 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:27 am
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
Yeah i've tried servicing a few off my own reel they're all easy enough to take apart but some are alot harder to put back than others :lol: and cost too much pay to get them serviced everytime they get dunked or drenched. Prob just go with most your guys advice and service them my self but i'll try look for easy to pull apart/putback together reels :lol:


Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:08 pm
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Papakura
Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I've got The Okuma Sa40 a year or so old and they are replacing alot of the components as they go with better stuff,probably using us as a testing ground to develop them.
If they totally Kaput and get FUBAR they replace em as a mate of mine has got two of same model off em then got an upgrade , with cash difference :envy:
Yeah the metal washer in mine between the felt ones has corroded & needed attn as has bail arm roller bearing and numerous other small niggles that they sent it away & replaced with upgraded components-heres hopin it continues-


Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:25 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:52 pm
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Post Re: Best reel for kayak fishing
I gota put my two cents in here as i love alveys! I use them for surf casting and on the yak, two of my alveys (1 of which iv had for over 16 years) have never been seviced though i have striped them for a full clean once. still work like new. best fish to date on alvey is a 21kg kingfish. I find them trouble free and once you get used to them tangle free also. their drag system is smooth as butter which is important when targeting the larger fish. If you like to master a new skill and buy a reel that will still work like new when your 90 then the alvey is the reel for you.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:22 pm
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