Here’s a list of what you’ll find on my boat these days when I’m plug fishing for salmon – either flatlining with no weight or back-bouncing:
The Reel: Shimano Tekota 300 LC
Bulletproof… smooth and equipped with a good drag. What else can I say about Shamino’s Tekota 300 LC’s? I’ve been running the bad boys for years for backtrolling (and regular trolling) and have had zero issues. The linecounter feature is really handy for knowing how far back your lures are too!
The Rod: Lamiglas Kenai Kwik Series
I’ve been really into Lamiglas’ Kenai Kwik series of rods the past few seasons for pulling plugs for salmon. I really like the XCC 801GH and XCC 802GH for flatlining and I back-bounce a lot with the XCC 803, which has more backbone than the other two.
Yakima Bait 4.5″ MagLip
My favorite all-around flatlining plug is Yakima Bait’s 4.5″ MagLip. It runs deep (I have caught fish in as much as 22 feet of water on it without weight on it), it runs true and wiggles with a skip-beat action.
Luhr Jensen K16 and K15
Luhr Jensen’s K16 and smaller K15 Kwikfish are excellent flat-liners in water to about 16 feet and also back-bounce exceptionally well.
Yakima Bait’s T60 Flatfish
The jumbo jet sized T60 Flatfish by Yakima Bait is an awesome back-bounce plug in slow deep holes!
The Line: P-Line Spectrex Braid
For me, braid is the only way to go for plug fishing…and I like P-Line’s Spectrex. The thin diameter cuts the water and allows plugs to dive deeper. It is extremely durable – which is a good thing when big kings, sharp rocks and fallen timber are involved.
The lack of stretch also allows me to use rods with nice, soft tips, which are essential to plug pulling.
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