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Okuma Al-55 Reel to Fight Big Fish

Viewer Question: “I just purchased an Okuma Al-55 reel and now I can put quite a bit of line on to fight those big salmon, carp and who knows maybe a sturgeon. Do you think that this type of reel is suitable for the type of fishing that I do? And also, If I can put more line on the reel to use to tire out the fish, is it safe to assume that I can use a lighter line such as 15-20 lb. mono as opposed to 30 lb. braided?”

Answer: Al-55 Okuma Reel

Okuma Al-55
Okuma Al-55 Spinning Reel

Overall, I believe you made a good purchase. Although this reel is somewhat large, since you are not constantly casting with it, it is a good choice. Also, it has 8 ball bearings which are corrosion resistant – a water tight drag seal & a multi disc front drag system… all excellent qualities in a reel. Especially if you are going to be battling with some larger salmon, carp or sturgeon – you will definitely need a good smooth drag system.

As far as the line is concerned, if you would like, you can certainly use a lighter mono line like 15 – 20 lb as you suggest. I once landed a 42 lb. salmon with 8 lb test line, with no problem. The key is to have a good drag system & a rod which is long enough to also absorb some of the force from the fish. (in your case, I would recommend a 7 foot rod)

Trade Off?

However, how much line you will need can be one of the determining factors to consider when thinking about braided line vs. monofilament line? In your case, If you go with 15 lb mono, you will get about 240 yards of line on your Okuma AL-55. Should you spool up with the braided 30 lb Power Pro line, you will get over 400 yards of line & twice the strength – definitely something worth considering. Should you go with the braided Power Pro line, be sure to use a fluorocarbon leader (use the UNI Knott to tie the two lines together)

Congratulations on your new reel. I’m sure you will enjoy it for years to come!
Ivo

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