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Options for Your Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel Setup

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Numerous areas of our world have changed as technology has upgraded over the years, and fishing is no exception. Today's rods and reels used throughout the fishing world utilize cutting-edge materials and crafting to handle difficult elements, allowing you to get the very best quality and durability out of them for numerous fishing adventures.

At Pybus Point Lodge, we're happy to provide clients with any of the fishing equipment they might need -- or, if you're a longtime angler who has your own gear, we're happy to accommodate this as well. If you're specifically looking to upgrade your rod and reel setup for one of our saltwater fishing excursions in Alaska, what are some of your modern options available, and how can you go about choosing between them? Here's a basic primer.


One of the most common rod and reel setups for saltwater fishers today is the spinning approach, which uses a fixed spool mounted directly below a spinning rod. These are popular options for beginners, because they offer decent power and accuracy without expensive manufacturing.

To fish with a spinning reel, simply hold the rod and reel in your dominant hand, and use the other hand to operate the spool with your thumb or forefinger. A tension bar will keep line from leaking out of the reel while you're not fishing. If you need more power for a big catch, simply push down on the rod's tip to engage more tension -- this is only necessary when using fresh water rods, however, as saltwater fishing rods don't need any extra tension.

Spinning reels can come with two different types of spools: braid and mono (monofilament). We recommend using a spinning reel with braid, because it is extremely strong and abrasion-resistant; this means you won't have to worry about line breaking or weakening, even if you're by the ocean.

Another benefit of starting out with a spinning rod and reel is that it has multiple fishing methods. If you're inexperienced, try simple maneuvers like casting or trolling before moving on to more challenging tactics like bottom-fishing -- there's no need to buy two separate rods until you know exactly what you want to do.


If a spinning rod and reel isn't a good match for your needs, a baitcasting rod and reel might be more appropriate. Baitcast rods are usually longer than spinning rods -- anywhere from 7 to 9 feet long -- since they need more power in order to reel in larger fish.

Baitcasting reels are mounted below the rod, just like spinning reels; however, they don't have an open spool. Instead, the line is wrapped around a metal disk called a "spider" or "bail." To reel in your catch, you need to manually crank your baitcasting reel with your fingers. This is a little trickier than simply working the spool on a spinning reel, and it requires more attention in order to keep line from tangling.

Casting with a baitcasting rod and reel is easier than using a spinning rod and reel; however, you probably won't be able to cast as far when using the same weight line. This is because the baitcasting reel's spool isn't as large, meaning you have to use more force to launch your lure further.

Baitcasting reels are also suitable for bottom-fishing setups. However, you'll need a heavier line and stronger rod in order to bring up larger fish from their underwater habitats.


A trolling rod is often considered an upgraded version of the baitcasting setup, one that involves a revolving spool reel sitting on top of the rod. Trolling reels use a level drag system that allows you to set maximum drag, then adjust pressure with a lever on the side of your reel.

These reels are shorter than most other kinds, at about 6 to 7 feet long. Instead of reels that manually attach to the bottom of your rod, they're held on by metal clips that slide onto the end of your fishing rod. This allows you to fish fairly quickly with a trolling setup, adjusting line and tension while you're out in the ocean.

Trolling rods and reels can support a variety of different fish sizes, and will be categorized by the line-test they're intended to support. Naturally, their 20-pound combos won't be conducive to larger fish types; a 130-pound combo, on the other hand, can handle quite a bit.


When choosing between these varieties (or any other you might be considering for saltwater fishing), here are a few other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Length, power and action required: A combination of these three features determines what type of fishing you'll be doing most. Short rods are perfect for shoreline or pier fishing, whereas long rods can handle deep-sea fishing with a lot more ease and stability. Power refers to the level of tension you need in order to keep your fish on land -- if it's too strong, the rod may break. Action is a way to categorize your catch, because it determines how easily it will move around. In order to get the best use out of your rod and reel combinations, these factors should be taken into consideration before you buy.
  • High-speed or low-speed: If you want to fish in a calm, quiet area, go for low-speed. They're easier to handle and have less backlash compared to high-speed reels. However, if you're working with larger leeway because of stronger currents or choppier water conditions, high-speed may be better suited for your needs. Speed refers to a gear ratio to receive baits, with high-speed options usually referring to those with a 6:1 such ratio or greater.
  • Line capacity: This refers to the diameter of fishing line a rod or reel can carry, and is usually measured either in mm/m (millimeters over meters) or lbs. The larger your line capacity, the heavier your catch can be -- but don't forget that these materials will also have to be stronger if you're going to support extremely hefty weights.

For more on choosing the ideal fishing rod and reel setup for saltwater fishing needs, or to learn about any of our Alaskan fishing trips, wildlife adventures or other programs, speak to the staff at Pybus Point Lodge today.

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Wide Selection of Fish Species

Alaska is one of the top dream destinations for anglers around the world, and it’s no surprise why! Our waters are home to a wide variety of fish species that are good to eat and a blast to catch.




Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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