At a Glance: Mooching Reels
Mooching reels are designed specifically for use with mooching rods. Mooching is a tactic native to the Pacific Northwest where light lines and light terminal tackle rigged with cut bait herring or anchovy are jigged or trolled for chinook and coho salmon. The intention is to have a natural presentation of the preferred forage used as bait, with tackle that puts more of the fight in the hands of the angler, rather than relying on heavy tackle that simply cranks the fish to the boat. Mooching reels are direct-drive, large-arbor reels with strong drags designed specifically for salmon fishing the big rivers of the US Pacific Northwest. They look similar to large fly reels or centerpin reels, but have a large-capacity spool which can hold monofilament, braid or lead core lines for this specialized technique. Despite the 1:1 retrieve ratio, the larger frame and spool enables these reels to take line in quickly with each rotation, making it easier to reel in your catch. Often referred to as “knucklebusters” by veteran moochers, mooching reels offer a unique connection to these large, hard fighting fish that isn’t possible when using conventional reels.
At FishUSA, the available brands of mooching reels are Shimano and Okuma.