Halibut, Red Snapper & Ling Cod Gear
Our fishing poles are custom made for us in the USA by Thrasher Rods.
Owner Jason Champion and his family hand build this gear out of the best components available, and we’re proud to represent their product on our charter boats. These composite rods are easily three times lighter than our older gear, and feature aluminum reel seats and titanium guides by ALPS and EVA foam grips. They’re up to the torque and roughhousing our fish bring to the table, and light enough for even the youngest anglers to handle. Thrasher designed these poles specifically for our needs, and we were happy to see our clients choose them again and again over older spare gear we had on board for their ease of use.
In 2017 these rods landed multiple Halibut over 100lbs, with the most impressive being the 240lb halibut seen in the image to the right, brought in by a 14 year old young lady seen in the photos.
These rods are light, have medium action to work a jig without losing sensitivity necessary to mooch, but more than enough full load torque to pull in a barn door. It’s an amazing combination that led our clients to ask for a Thrasher over our other gear!
Halibut & Ling Cod Reels
We primarily use single speed Avet, Accurate, and Shimano Deep Sea Reels
All of our reels are now lever drag – we love the gear ratio, robust build, and power behind the Avet line, as well as the cavernous line capacity. The Accurate reels are new to us this season, with a great combination of high gear ratio while being much lighter than the Avets for jigging or a long fight. The Shimano TLD 2’s have been the favorite for ease of use for new anglers, with designated strike settings and low comparative weight, as well as a lower gear ratio for less weight per crank to the angler, we find our younger and older crew asking for them by name.
Halibut & Ling Cod Leaders
We use 250-300lb P-Line Monofilament leader with aluminum crimp sleeves and PowerPro line.
Our mono leader holds our J hook, circle hook, and slider rig set up for bait fishing, as well as our home poured 24oz lead head jigs and scampi tails. P-Line’s product has never failed on us since we started using it when crimped correctly, and is incredibly chafe resistant and robust. For line, we use 80-100lb PowerPro, and we couldn’t be happier with the line density, lack of stretch, and overall toughness of the line. A snagged hook will literally anchor the boat on occasion depending on the current, with our needing to cut the line or give it additional pressure by hand to pop or break the line – it’s really tough stuff!
Halibut & Ling Cod Hooks
We use Mustad 14/0 & 16/0 Circle Hooks, Mustad 16/0 O’Shaughnessy J Hooks, 24 oz Jig Heads W/custom poured soft baits, and occasionally P-Line Kodiak Jigs
The Halibut and Ling Cod rig is always a custom set up for us – we tie or crimp all of our own gear and often build it for the needs of the day. The standard bait rig is a 1 to 2lb lead cod weight on a slider, with a 14-16/0 circle hook baited and attached. For those that would like to jig, we use custom made soft baits attached to 24oz lead head jigs we pour in house over a 16/0 O’Shaughnessy J hook, sometimes with a trailer hook molded into or attached.
Our goal is to never lose fish to a gear failure, and it’s incredibly rare that this happens – we’ve never lost a fish in 35 years to a broken hook, and fish lost outside of angler error are usually resultant of the drag being too tight and the fish being able to throw the hook, or the rare weak spot in the line.
Halibut & Ling Cod Soft Baits & Jigs
We pour our own plastisol into our own custom made jig molds over 16 & 24oz lead jig heads, as well as favor both Grub & Twin tail production soft baits
We’re excited to play with our own jigs and mold making since 2017, prior we used Big Ugly Lure twin tails and Kalin’s grubs – the bigger the better. Jigging can be an incredibly fun and productive way to fish, but can also wear a person out! We’ve seen our own molded soft baits perform incredibly well, and we not only have fun making them, but naming them.
Ladies and Gentlemen; meet the Jiggapuss – a monster soft bait formed around the head of the jig head in the shape of an octopus tentacle. The prototype shown here in clay is covered with silicon, and then poured with plastisol around the jig head. The result is a monster plastic bait, with the ability to hide a trailer hook in the lower part of the “tentacle” to minimize loss during short strikes. This jig was made specifically to target large halibut, which stereotypically love to eat octopus. Much like the most interesting man in the world meme “I don’t always catch big fish when I jig, but when I do – I use the Jiggapuss”.
Salmon & Bass Gear
Our fishing poles are custom made for us in the USA by Thrasher Rods.
Owner Jason champion and his family hand build this gear out of the best components available, and it’s both strong as it is appealing to look at. These composite rods are three times lighter than our older gear, and feature aluminum reel seats and titanium guides by ALPS and EVA foam grips.
When we worked with Thrasher to build us our gear, we stressed the variability of our fishery – what they brought to the table backed up the talk and more. In the first year, the SA-M 70M, Thrasher’s light 7′ Salmon rod, landed multiple Halibut over 100lbs, not to mention literally thousands of Black Sea Bass & Salmon. It is light, has enough action to work a jig without losing sensitivity necessary to mooch. It’s an amazing action to feel both the bite and the fight, we couldn’t be happier with this workhorse!
Salmon & Bass Reels
We use a Shimano Tekota 500 or 600LC reel for the majority of our salmon rods
Clients love the line counter on our reels, allowing them to drop to wherever the captain may find the fish on the vessel’s sonar. Shimano’s Tekota reels are smooth, feature a level wind, hold plenty of line for when the salmon or bass are laying on the bottom, and have a solid middle ground gear ratio for pulling in the occasional ling cod or halibut as well as keeping up with a salmon on the run. They are also light enough to compliment the Thrasher Rods well.
Salmon & Bass Fishing Leaders
Our salmon gear uses a 2-3′ Maxima Chameleon 40lb leader.
We find that the Chameleon product line puts up with a LOT of abuse in regards to chafing while offering a phenomenal amount of forgiving stretch. When the fish are fickle, we’ll try a fluorocarbon product by P-line. We use a Berkley 25-30lb monofilament line to spool our salmon rods, which seems to handle everything we throw at it. It’s incredibly rare we lose fish to line failure!
Salmon & Bass Hooks
Salmon hooks can be fickle – we’ve used Mustad, Eagle Claw, and Berkley
These we hand snell with the Maxima leader, and tie to a 3oz crescent weight we pour in house. When someone just can’t set the hook, we’ll sometimes offer up a 7/0 Mustad Beak Hook on the same rig.
Salmon & Bass Soft Baits & Jigs
We generally slide a 4 1/2″ P-Line “Sunrise Squid” hoochie over a bead on our salmon mooching rigs.
Though occasionally we’ll run the hooks just bare with a fillet of herring. We have found success with mylar skirts as well as shrimp flies, however when the fishing is fickle sometimes a needlefish or crippled herring jig will turn the bite on. We like to toss small Point Wilson Darts with the treble hook replaced with an octopus hook.