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March 25, 2008

British Columbia's Bent-Rod Bonanza

Downsize your tackle and get more bang for your buck

Tackle To Take

To fish salmon, halibut, lingcod and rockfish on the B.C. coast with your own light gear, I'd suggest bringing the following: three rods/reels - spinning and/or levelwind as an angler prefers. I like to carry one with 6- or 8-pound braid, one with 10-pound and one with 15-pound, but any combination of 6- to 20-pound line should serve. Make sure all reels' spools are filled with at least 250 yards of line. Choose rods with a good backbone for dropping fairly heavy jigs and for contests versus some pretty big fish.
Other items to bring (besides pliers and the like):

? 20- to 30-pound fluoro or mono for top shots
? 80- or 100-pound mono for bottomfish leaders (most resorts provide snelled double-hook salmon leaders, typically on 15- or 20-pound mono)
? smaller trolling/bullet weights up to 1 ounce (for slow-trolling or motor mooching near surface with light braid), such as the "spin sinkers" made by Bullet Weights (
? metal jigs from 1 to 4 ounces for salmon
? metal and lead-head jigs from 1 to 6 ounces for bottomfish
? plastic tails and baits (generally 6 to 10 inches; it's almost impossible to use anything too large as long as it's not too heavy for the gear)
? some large but thin-wire circle hooks for squid, live mackerel or other large baits for halibut
? extra braid (the bottom can be grabby and the current swift!)
? (Most resorts provide terminal gear but generally their jigs and sinkers are far too heavy for light tackle, hence the suggestion for smaller gear as noted above.)

Next: Secret Weapon for Salmon?