A case for Tekotas, another case of Shimano- Shimano Tekota Review
In thinking about this article, I was reluctant to write the admission I’m about to make. Part of being a professional guide is constant servicing of the tools that help me make a living. So to admit you haven’t had your commercially used trolling reels serviced in 3 years was a bit of a strange thing to consider revealing.
So it’s either dereliction of duty from a “don’t care” guide or simple evidence that the Tekota has simply taken it’s place in Shimano lore as another bullet proof reel that Salmon fisherman can count on trip after trip. So for the sake of my career and fishing dignity, I think I’ll argue for the latter, so here we go.
My Tekotas see their first action of the year during the couple weeks that I troll the Columbia and lower Willamette for Springers. I tend to be kind of a “small hook”, light leader guy and having a good consistent drag is important when trying to fish this way. These fish can be finicky bitters and a soft action rod and light drag is the false sense of security that I try to give all my Spring Salmon friends. The drags are silky smooth, with click adjustments allowing for in fight tuning that responds accurately and has always performed flawlessly.
In August, my Tekota’s are again pulled out for what I think is one of their biggest NW tests. The Lower Columbia River Salmon fishery known as Buoy 10 is tough on gear. To start, this area is known for some pretty big tides. 7-9 foot swings of water and to make things a bit more weighty on rods and reels, we add flashers and either divers or lead up to 16 oz. We haven’t even added a Lower Columbia Salmon that can be a handful, but I’ve never had my Shimano Tekotas relax for even a second.
In this fishery, the line counter is an important part of the reel as many of the fish that I catch are well off the sandy bottom of the Columbia. It’s pretty nice to simply have my customers go to a number, re-engage the clutch and put it in the rod holder to wait for Charlie to swim by and burry then next rod.
Next up and extreme in it’s own right is the Salmon Fishery at Tillamook Bay. Most of my time is spent out in the Ocean or along the jetty fishing herring. It’s common in October to have to fish a fairly heavy swell and with a rock jetty and breaking waves, a Tillamook Bay hog, can really put everything you own to the test. Just a minor hiccup in the performance of your reels will undoubtedly cost your customer a chance at a real quality fish and rightfully, my reels don’t concern me in the least.
So over the course of the last three years, I would say that each of my six Shimano Tekota Line Counters have landed about one hundred Salmon with out a incident. That’s a pretty decent return on a $179 reel with zero additional cost of ownership.
So if you’re in the market for a new Salmon trolling reel, do yourself a favor and get the performance and durability that Salmon fishermen all over the North America have come to trust.
For those of you who like the size of the 300 Tekota, but the cranking power of the rest, check out this pictorial on Going from paddle to power on the 300 Tekota.
Lance Fisher is a professional fishing guide and host of the NW Outdoor Show in Portland, Oregon.