When most Ontario anglers think of baitcasting outfits they think of fishing for bass, walleye, pike & musky. BC river anglers have known for decades that baitcasting outfits are ideal for drift-fishing and for fishing artificial lures from drift-boats in many of our coastl rivers for steelhead & Pacific salmon. For the last few years I have been testing the www.rapala.ca , Avantis baitcasting reels for steelhead fishing with excellent results. Rapala has designes a complete line of specialized baitcasting rods specifically for steelhead & salmon fishing. Their North Coast Salmon/Steelhead Rods offers three baitcasting models:
- 2-piece, 8 1/2′ (ideal for casting steelhead artificials such as plugs, spoons, spinners, etc., in larger tributaries).
- 2-piece, 9 1/2′ (ideal for bottom-bouncing with split-shot or 3-way swivel-larger tributaries).
- 2-piece, 10′ (ideal for float-fishing/bottom bouncing with split-shot in smaller to medium tributaries).
I have fished the Rapala Avantis baitcasting reel with 8 & 6 lb. test monofilament ( www.sufix.com , Siege, smoke-green color), in the Niagara River, on the larger NY tributaries such as the Cattaraquas River & Oak Orchard Rivers, and also in our southern Ontario tributary streams. The Avantis baitcaster casts well with lighter line and with standard steelhead float-rigs. The free-spool is ideal for “feathering” out line when the float-rig travels down-stream with the current and as soon as you have a hit, a quick snap of the reel handle forward locks the spool and the fish is on. I’m also impressed with the reels drag system which worked well even with larger rainbows & browns on 6 lb. test. The Avantis has not magnets, but instead it is equipped with a 6-pin system that can be easily set by popping-off the side of the reel and adjusting the pin-placement to your liking. I have found that having 3-pins in the “in-position” , and 3-pins in the “out-position” allows for long casts and virtually eliminates any chance of back-slashes. I’d like to hear your thoughts on stream steelhead fishing with baitcasting outfits in Ontario. Personally I think it’s cool to see a steelheader with a long steelhead baitcasting outfit.