Mooching with mooching reels?

StabiCruiser

Newbie
Feb 26, 2021
6
6
37
Snohomish
Name
Joe
Boat
Stabicraft 2250
I’ve always been a conventional fisherman when it comes to trolling or mooching for salmon. A few years back I fished with a guy who ran the first “mooching” set up I had seen in a downrigger. He played his fish beautifully, and all were ready for the net. Some time passed, I acquired a love for fly fishing, and I remember this man. Playing 20lb fish on a long noodle rod with expert ease. Last year I took the plunge and bought a couple of Amundson mooching reels and Okuma 10’6 Salish rods. It was a slight learning curve, but a lot of fun. However, when I rolled up on a big bait pile and wanted to mooch I reached for a conventional set up with a line counter and got to work. This off season has got me thinking.. these damn thing have to be called a moochers for a reason, right!? Who actually mooches with a “mooching” rig? There is no way to free spool the reels I have, just super light on the drag, and pull 3’ of line at a time. How are you confident you are hitting the right depth without a line counter? How is the presentation?Is it just something I need to invest more time in learning this season, or am I wasting valuable fish catching time?
 

litzsout619

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Jan 29, 2009
76
46
Sitka//619/Kalama
Name
Jason
Boat
ORCA 31'
Conventional reel with a line counter on preferred mooching rod is my weapon of choice all day long. Calling oversized fly reels moochers is kind of misleading considering its a technique. There fun to use when the coho are shallow and you don’t have to strip off so much line,but fishing for kings deep I would leave them in the downrigger. Line counters are a game changer these days. Tight lines:rockin:
 

Siv

I Should Upgrade My Account
May 8, 2008
2,191
757
Normandy Park Wa
Name
Dave
Boat
19' SeaSport
I only mooch and I have never seen anybody who actually mooches with the rod in their hand ( not in the rod holder ) fish those reels. My guess is too awkward and clunky to hold all day. Way back and mostly at Point No Point, you would see some of the locals using these old reels that sat mounted across the top of the rod horizontally for the drop and then they would turn over sideways to reel in. They caught fish but it was real rudimentary.
 

soundbite

Newbie
Dec 9, 2011
55
18
Marysville, wa
Name
Ryan Bigley
Boat
Super Vee
I agree that the line counter conventional are the way to go. With that said u have spent some time mooching with the shimano and islander versions that have a free spool switch. I hold the reel sideways half in my palm and control the decent that way. With most electronics now you should be able to see your gear.
 
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KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,745
2,650
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
28' Farallon Walkaround "Paragon"
I love using the mooching reels but I don't use them mooching (cranking). I also don't own a reel with a line counter as I've always stripped line out as my counter. The line counter reels look "clunky" to me. Also on a slow current day when mooching how do you free spool out without getting your leader wrapped around your mainline at times? Downrigger fishing deep on the bottom for kings with a mooching reel is kind of pain in the ass as you have to crank like a SOB to catch up with a fish once it trips out of the rigger but it's fun anyway.
 
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Tomictime

Crusty Old Salt
May 9, 2014
829
907
Poverty Bay & Carlsbad
Name
Jim
Boat
Boatless.....
i use Islanders and Hardy Longstone , mostly in the rigger but a few days each year i do mootch with them, great fun. i have picked up Halibut and of course big kings and Coho. i keep levelwinds on the boat for times when it is scratch fishing w people who have never fished a single action setup. i see the long rod, SA reel, light line as another step on the angling journey.



have fun, enjoy ;-)

jim
 

Tomictime

Crusty Old Salt
May 9, 2014
829
907
Poverty Bay & Carlsbad
Name
Jim
Boat
Boatless.....
so easy, even the kid can use them....ha.
83F2CC42-9C91-4FD2-9C47-44C1DA565978.jpeg
 
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kwik_wurk

Member
Apr 10, 2012
269
198
Indianola & Browns Point
Name
kwik_wurk
Boat
Montauk, Sailfish 2360, and Johnson18
Many years ago, had a Penn (now vintage) that had selectable anti-reverse. Found this to be much easier to deal with than the larger diameter narrow body reels.— Drop it down get it in the zone (didn’t have a fish finder or depth sounder back then), flip the anti-reverse, always keep your thumb on the reel, crank it up and down, and feeling the bait the entire time.

Caught a lot of dogfish that way...
 
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StabiCruiser

Newbie
Feb 26, 2021
6
6
37
Snohomish
Name
Joe
Boat
Stabicraft 2250
Man, thanks for all of the great feedback on a thread posted by a total noob here! Once an idea gets it to my head it doesn’t leave easily until I do something about it. So today I purchased a cheapie Shimano moocher with anti reverse switch and 10’6 Clarus rod. If it turns out I enjoy mooching with a moocher, which I expect I will, I’ll likely upgrade that set up to an islander and pass this one down to my oldest son in a couple of years.
 

KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,745
2,650
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
28' Farallon Walkaround "Paragon"
Many years ago, had a Penn (now vintage) that had selectable anti-reverse. Found this to be much easier to deal with than the larger diameter narrow body reels.— Drop it down get it in the zone (didn’t have a fish finder or depth sounder back then), flip the anti-reverse, always keep your thumb on the reel, crank it up and down, and feeling the bait the entire time.

Caught a lot of dogfish that way...
Penn 109. Found the parts to rebuild the one I have left. It will get used this year.
 

Hunter Dan

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jun 30, 2011
2,522
1,177
Stauffer
Name
Dan
Boat
MUGWUMP
I think part of preference for levelwind in the sound is how deep we tend to mooch. Out in the ocean I've done ten foot drops often. Three pulls is all you need. For fussy kings and blackmouth those long single action rods are perfect for long, light leaders.
That being said, the latest mooching set up I added to my arsenal was a early 70's 9' custom wrap done on a medium Lamiglas blank combo'd up with a Shimano Bantam 1000 with the direct drive switch. Just slightly heavier than my 9' light weight moocher/Bantam 50 on a mid 60's Lami. Two of many......:-)
 

Siv

I Should Upgrade My Account
May 8, 2008
2,191
757
Normandy Park Wa
Name
Dave
Boat
19' SeaSport
I think part of preference for levelwind in the sound is how deep we tend to mooch. Out in the ocean I've done ten foot drops often. Three pulls is all you need. For fussy kings and blackmouth those long single action rods are perfect for long, light leaders.
That being said, the latest mooching set up I added to my arsenal was a early 70's 9' custom wrap done on a medium Lamiglas blank combo'd up with a Shimano Bantam 1000 with the direct drive switch. Just slightly heavier than my 9' light weight moocher/Bantam 50 on a mid 60's Lami. Two of many......:-)
Love my old Bantam 1000s > Dan , any idea if you can parts for them anymore? The last time I asked John in Everett he didn't think there was anything left. Mine could use some work and they are nearly impossible to buy.
 

Hunter Dan

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jun 30, 2011
2,522
1,177
Stauffer
Name
Dan
Boat
MUGWUMP
Love my old Bantam 1000s > Dan , any idea if you can parts for them anymore? The last time I asked John in Everett he didn't think there was anything left. Mine could use some work and they are nearly impossible to buy.
Estate and garage sales. Look for six pack captains who retire. Three times at Ed's I bought extensive parts collections from retired charter operators who preferred to work on their old reels. Buy every parts carcass you can find. Spend up for new unused drag washers, drive gears, pawls and worm gears. Treasure and baby your reels.......do not, I repeat DO NOT use a Bantam 50 or 1000 on the rigger with 11" flashers like a lurker named Sharhooks did, AFTER I TOLD HIM NOT TO!!! Ruins the drive gear. Sharphooks was really pissed off when I REFUSED to sell him a second mint Bantam 50 I scrounged up, but I knew it would have a short painful life in his hands.......
 

Calis

Salish for "Kingfisher"
Sep 16, 2011
370
106
Blaine/Washington
Name
Bill
Boat
Bayliner 2855 Ciera
I (Our Family) always used the old Penn (109, 209, 309's, Senators) and the 7 12/ to 8 foot Wright/Mcgill fiberglass rods, (so how I learned to fish with) either mooching or trolling. (Westport Style)
Mooching was drifting with sliding weight, (or motor mooching- combination of drifting then motoring back over specific landmark) Usually mooching meant using herring and weight, but later on we would use other stuff. Of course mooching usually meant holding on to the rod and lifting and dropping up and down with it to give the action. We did this for both salmon and bottom fish.
Trolling was always motoring with dodger or flasher included. Of course no downriggers then, not until much later.............
Wasn't until I was fishing in Canada on my own as a young adult, when I learned from a guy who ended up being a real good friend how they mooched up there, with mooching reels (shimano or islanders) and very limber carbon fiber 8 1/2 to 10 foot rods. I have to say it took a bit to "relearn", but an extremely fun way to fish!!!!
With the Penns you just always reeled, and allowed the star drag to wear the fish down, with the single actions you had to learn to play and read the fish. Lost a few while learning Including a really nice 25+, right at the boat when I palmed the reel and he wasn't done yet, that one still haunts me to this day but today I am usually fishing with those set-ups over the penns and fiberglass rod combos.
Today I have 4-6 set-ups using both combinations: Penns with fiberglass and shimanos (wish I could afford a half a dozen of Islanders but I really like the shimano moocher for their price, (affordable and reliable, and easy to operate and maintain) with graphite, I do have one set-up with a real nice graphite with a new modern Penn, All the old 209's/309's have been shelved and replaced with the newer styles. ( I still have an old Perfect Senator that belonged to my grandfather mounted on a halibut rod That I always drag out and fish a couple of times a year)!!! Now days I mostly troll and using downriggers is a piece of cake with the shimanos I now use!!!! The shimano moochers make our smaller salmon feel much better for the first couple of runs anyway...... LOL
The other big difference, was we ALWAYS used 20 to 30 lb test line for salmon on those old Penns, (Again Westport style) whereas the Canadian way was to use light 12 to 15 lb test mono.
 
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