Author: kmnewell

Shimano Tekota 500 LC – Equipment Review

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Tekota LC ReviewThe Shimano Tekota reel has been on the market for around a decade now and is one of the favorite reels of big water fishermen here in the NW. Even though this reel comes in a non line counter version you rarely see them in use, it’s the line counter Tekota that everyone utilizes.
I’ve used the Shimano Tekota 500 LC reel on my guide boat during every trip going on 9 years now and I’m going to share my experience and take on the good and bad regarding its construction and performance.  This is a robust reel with a lot of quality and great features but it does have some flaws and downside. We’re going to take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Shimano Tekota 500 LC.

The Shimano Tekota’s Line Counter

This reel has the best integrated line counter on the market. Oftentimes you will see a line counter reel that looks like the manufacturer added the line counter as after thought. This isn’t the case with the Tekota LC, the line counter is cleanly integrated into the reel and the counter’s rounded corners make it comfortable to hold.

The line counter itself is durable and with minimal maintenance, will outlast the other components on the reel during heavy use. I’ve never had the line counter mechanism fail. The only problems I’ve had with the actual line counter are fogging of the display window due to internal moisture.  On another occasion the plastic see through window covering the line distance numbers came off.
These reels hold approximately 225 yards of 65# braided line. 
One downside that isn’t obvious even after using the reels for a while is that the reel needs to be completely loaded with line in order for the line counter to be accurate.  So when you break off 20 to 50 yards of line, please realize that there is going to be a difference in the amount of line that this reel says is deployed verses the other reels in your spread.  This can be a huge problem when targeting suspended fish or when fishing multiple rods down the same side of the boat.  A little bit of lost line isn’t enough to make much of a difference but if your reel has noticeably less line on it make sure you compare how much it is off so you can still keep it fishing at the same level as the others.
The “less than full” line counter problem that is inherent in this reel is also a major reason to not use the larger Tekota 600 LC unless you really plan on doing some deep drop fishing and don’t mind having to respool an extra 100+ yards onto the reel to keep its line counter accurate.  The 600 LC’s high line capacity is nice but if you don’t really need that much line, you will find it prohibitively expensive to keep filling such a large reel all the way to the top with braid every time the reel gets a little less than full.

The Handle

An obvious advantage that the Tekota has over traditional level wind reels, is its large oversize handle.  This handle allows the angler to get a great grip and allows anglers without much coordination to still effectively crank fast.  New anglers find this handle style easier to use then the traditional double handle bass reel style.
The grip itself has a rubber insert that covers the metal rivet that attaches the grip to the handle.  This rubber insert has fallen out on a few occasions.  Please keep in mind that my reels see very heavy use and that this probably won’t happen to most anglers.

Overall Construction

I do very little if any maintenance on my reels and I have never had a problem with any type of corrosion on Tekotas, they seem very impervious to salt water corrosion issues.
Fishing reels like any good tool are supposed to look good, and Tekotas look great but there is one exception to this.  The side plates of the reel are anodized aluminum but the middle section is painted.  The paint on this middle section will chip and flake off when abused, which is to be expected of a painted surface.  I don’t know why Shimano doesn’t anodize the whole reel but I wish they would because a reel with chipped up paint doesn’t look as good as an anodized surface that is scuffed up.
The line out clicker is loud but not too loud, and it holds up well to constant use.
This reel has always had an adequate drag and retrieval rate for the fish that we fish for here in the NW.  However I wouldn’t say that they have a high retrieval rate or an extremely strong drag when compared to some of the latest reels that have been created for just this purpose, but keep in mind none of these new reels have line counters.
If you use G. Loomis rods be prepared to have a constant issue with having to tighten and retighten the reel seat when using these reels.  G. Loomis needs to make a slightly larger reel seat to accommodate the size of this reel’s foot.  I don’t think this is a Shimano issue but it’s worth mentioning here.
I used to burn up or break Abu Garcia level wind reels in six to twelve months!  Now I get about 2 years of use out of a Tekota 500 LC, sometimes more.  These reels will last longer under normal use but I use them 200 days a year for every species that we fish for, salmon, steelhead, bottom fish and sturgeon.  Some of our sturgeon are 8+  feet long and fighting these huge fish is what really does a number on these reels.  I also troll heavy lead (16 to 20 oz) which also accelerates the wear and tear on these reels.  Under normal use a person can probably expect 10 years to possibly a lifetime of use.
In the event that something fails on one of these reels, I have had good success sending them back to Shimano to be repaired.  A typical repair bill is $30 to $40 and the turnaround to get them back is generally three to five weeks.
The bottom line is this, you can find a better reel to fish with but if it’s a line counter reel that you need, you will be hard pressed to find a better one then the Shimano Tekota LC series. For the longest time this has been the best line counter reel available, however the combination of durability, quality construction and aesthetics make the Daiwa Saltist a good runner up.

The author, Kevin Newell, and his wife Lacey DeWeert are professional fishing guides in Oregon and Washington!

Copyright 2011 Total Fisherman™

When to use a leader when fishing?

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You will always use a leader when fishing.


Because when you snag up or break off a fish you don’t want to have the line break off at the reel, which will cause you to lose a large percentage of your line and have to completely re-spool with new line.

You want to use a leader that is lighter than your main line so that the above scenario doesn’t happen.

New round of razor clam digs tentatively set for March, April

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
February 28, 2011
Contact: Dan Ayers, WDFW (360) 249-4628
Barb Maynes, ONP (360) 565-3005

New round of razor clam digs tentatively set for March, April
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to open ocean beaches to razor clam digging for several days in March and April if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
WDFW will announce the results of those tests about a week before each dig is scheduled to start.
The March dig is tentatively scheduled to begin after noon Saturday, March 19, then switch to morning hours March 20-22. Under that plan, digging will be allowed at four beaches – Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks – March 19-20, then continue at two beaches – Long Beach and Twin Harbors – March 21-22.
No digging will be allowed before noon March 19 or after noon March 20-22.
“We’re planning this opening at the time of year when the best tides for digging razor clams switch from the evening to the morning,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “It’s a little tricky from a scheduling standpoint, but it does provide an opportunity for back-to-back digs the evening of Saturday, March 19, and the morning of Sunday, March 20.”
The fifth annual Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival, which includes a chowder cookoff, is also scheduled March 19. Information on the festival is available at .
Proposed digging days and low tides for March are:

  • Saturday, March 19, 7:04 p.m. (-0.1 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
  • Sunday, March 20, 7:36 a.m. (-0.5 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
  • Monday, March 21, 8:23 a.m. (-0.9 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Tuesday March 22, 9:12 a.m. (-1.0 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

In April, WDFW plans to open Long Beach and Twin Harbors for digging April 7-9 until noon each day if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. Proposed digging days and low tides in April are:

  • Thursday, April 7, 9:37 a.m. (0.1 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Friday, April 8, 10:19 a.m., (0.2 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Saturday, April 9, 11:07 a.m. (0.4 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Kalaloch Beach will remain closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach. The beach, located inside Olympic National Park, is managed by the National Park Service.
On the other beaches, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.
Noting that 2010-11 state fishing licenses expire March 31, Ayres reminds diggers age 15 or older that they must purchase a 2011-12 license to participate in the April opening. Various licenses, ranging from a three-day razor-clam license to a multi-species combination license, are avaiIable online ( ), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.
“We plan to announce additional digging opportunities later in spring, so diggers may want to take that into account when they go to purchase a license,” Ayres said.
Diggers should also be aware that Kalaloch Beach will remain closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach. The beach, located inside Olympic National Park, is managed by the National Park Service.
The five razor-clam beaches in Washington include:

  • Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
  • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from Cape Shoalwater to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.

Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.