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Best Shark Fishing Reel

Best Shark Fishing Reels

​Shark's are one of the ultimate game fish you can target whether that's from the beach or off-shore on a boat.

​When choosing the best shark fishing reels you first need to decide just what size shark you will actually be targeting.

A sub six feet shark from the shore will have a very different rod and reel requirement than a 600 pound Mako from a boat.

As with most saltwater fishing you have the choice between either a spinning reel or a conventional reel.

Spinning reels are best when casting on a beach whereas a conventional reel is preferred when you need to put down big leverage against a massive shark out on the ocean.

Firstly take a look at your shark fishing setup then match your reel to the line and the type of rod that is usually used in the scenario.

Shark Spinning Reels

If you choose to use a spinning reel for shark then you should aim to use a high quality reel that is capable of holding line that is rated at least 50 pounds in weight.

High quality really is the only option here as even a small shark will make light work or some cheap spinning reel.

Stick to the major brands and large sizes. 

Penn, Shimano, Daiwa and Fin Nor are the most established brands for larger sized  

​Conventional Reels for Shark Fishing

Working big baits from a boat needs a reel that can hold a heck of a lot of heavy line.

This is where a large spool conventional level wind reel for sharks is the only real choice.

Make no mistake about large sharks can stay nose down for well over two hours and your reel is going to be taking a serious hammering.

​Not only is there a constant strain on the drag, but the regular runs that massive sharks can make will destroy any reel that is not up to the task.

Penn are easily the leader in offshore reels and classic reels like the Penn Senator or International have proven themselves time and time again.

Cheap low quality reels are an absolute waste of time and chances are if you do hook the fish of a lifetime then it will probably snap your line if your reel ends up seizing.

​Best Shark Fishing Reels

​1. Daiwa Saltist

​2. Penn Senator

​4. Penn Slammer III

​5. Shimano Saragosa SW

6. Penn International VS

7. Shimano Tiagra 2-Speed Lever-Drag 

7. ​Penn Squall

​Shark Reels

A good shark reel needs to be able to hold a lot of high breaking strain line and also have a serious drag system coupled with a very high quality set of internal gears.

More modern reels will use helical cut gears which mean a better mesh between each gear and a much smoother operation especially when under a lot of pressure.

Internal gears need to be well sealed in order to protect them from salt water.

If you are targeting smaller sharks a spinning reel is a perfectly suitable choice.

​Spinning reels are a perfect choice when beach fishing for sharks as they can cast lighter baits and shark rigs than a conventional reel will.

Once you start to target larger fish especially offshore then a conventional reel makes the most sense.

There are different types of conventional reels available, single speed, two speed and variations of both with either a star drag or a lever drag system.

A two speed reel can be a real bonus. Just flick the lever and you get a load more torque to help fight against these mighty predators.

Torque or pulling power is what helps haul a large fish up from the depths.

You will of course loose a small bit of speed with the lower gearing.

You'll need a large capacity reel that can hold at an absolute minimum 300 yards of 50 lb line.

For larger species that means 500 yards of 80 to 100 lb braid, in my opinion it's better to have it than not!

Always wash your reels in freshwater after every use to help reduce the chances of salt water corrosion.

If you are to invest in a high quality reel then you really need to take the time to look after it and do some regular maintenance.

Always have your reels serviced regularly if they are being used heavily. A good reel can last decades if properly maintained.

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shark fishing gear and tackle

Shark Fishing Gear and Tackle

​Shark fishing is one of the most exciting types of fishing you can do from either the beach or on a boat. Your shark fishing gear needs to be able to handle these big aggressive fish.

These fearsome predators with their rows of razor sharp teeth and coarse like skin require fishing tackle that is up to the job.

Light tackle is not up to the job and if you have ever hooked a shark accidentally on lighter gear you probably know that they don't tire easily and the fight could last several hours.

You don't want to end up fighting a shark for too long. Larger fish if played for hours can die from the fatigue even if they swim off.

That's why your shark fishing gear needs to be able to handle and control large fish.

​Shark Fishing Gear for Beach

1. Rod

A good shark fishing rod needs to match how and where you will be fishing from and also the size of shark you will be targeting on a regular basis.

If you are mostly fishing from a boat then a shorter boat rod is usually the preferred choice.

A shorter rod gives you much better power from a leverage point of view. This rods are short, stout and can handle a huge amount of pressure whilst hauling up from deeper waters.

Just what type of power rating your need and the choice between using a spinning rod or a conventional rod will again depend on the size of shark you target.

For shorter 6 foot sized sharks a spinning rod is more than enough but once you move to larger fish then I would opt for a conventional rod and reel for shark fishing.

If fishing from the beach then clearly a short rod will not be sufficient. Longer rods cast better and a good surf fishing rod will help to get your bait out into deeper water where it belongs.

​2. Reel

​The best shark fishing reel is one that matches your rod and line setup. Spinning reels can be used on smaller species, once you move to the larger types of shark then you would be better to move to a conventional reel.

Conventional reels will always provide a lot more cranking power over a spinning reel.

They can also hold a lot more line and if you are deep sea fishing and trolling on a boat then they are the superior choice every time.

​3. Line

​Although some fishermen will always stick to monofilament I am a firm believe​r in using braided fishing line for shark fishing.

Sharks have tough and very coarse skin. That skin can wreck braid when it rubs off of it. The coarse skin will run the braid by cutting through individual strands of the braid which then results in large section of it thinning and then eventually snapping.

The trick is to use a heavy monofilament shock leader that gives a bit of stretch but more importantly mono is more resilient to the abrasive skin on sharks.

You can use up to a ten foot mono leader. And then a wire trace or leader right at the hook.

4. Hooks

Circle hooks are by far the most popular choice for shark fishing as due to their shape they help to keep the line or leader clear of the sharks rows of sharp teeth.

That being said some fishermen quite simply refuse to use them even though they can have a slightly higher hook up rate.

​There is also a huge debate in the shark fishing community regarding whether or not you should use a barbless hook.

Barbless hooks make removing he hook from a sharks mouth significantly easier and if you are releasing the shark then you need to make the process of returning the shark to the water as quickly and efficiently as possible.

​5. Leader

No discussion around shark fishing gear and tackle would be complete without mentioning a heavy leader.

Although there is an argument to say that circle hooks should help to keep your line away from the sharks teeth in my experience you are always better off using a strong wire leader up to the hook.

As mentioned above a wire leader is pretty abrasion resistant and sharks have very rough skin which can destroy braided fishing line.

You can of course use heavy mono as you leader. Mono holds up better than braid on coarse skin.

A leader also acts as a shock absorb​er. Running heavy mono to the hook gives you a certain amount of stretch.

Personally I always choose a wire leader as you never know just what type of shark may take your bait and having that extra confidence that they won't chew through your leader is very re-assuring.

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