Tag Archives: Line counter reels

Video of some my May fishing trips

Calibrating your reels

dylan fishing Last week I wrote a blog about choosing your Rods, reels, and line. On Friday I attended a seminar that was open to the public at Pro Tackle, A Local Tackle shop in Belleville. I was happy to see a decent turn out for this event as I believe it was the first of its kind for the store. Local guides were on hand doing the seminar, and an Okuma Pro Staff Member.  I believe these 2 guys need a bit of recognition here. It was obvious that the 2 guides felt right at home talking techniques, gear selection, and even proper etiquette at the ramp and on the water, as the seminar went on for approx just shy of 3 hours, as a professional guide on Quinte I run some of the same area’s that these guy’s do and was amazed at the amount of detail and information these guys were willing to give away. I could tell with some of the questions being asked that the 2 were a bit hesitant at first, but never the less they still told trade secrets about equipment, placement, tackle, and yes even spots that they and other people I know personally and even I myself frequent LOL. After the Seminar the 2 guides and the Okuma pro staff member, and the owner of the store, stuck around to answer all of the questions everyone had. Also Pro Tackle had a free BBQ for all that showed up.  I felt it was probably one, if not The BEST Walleye seminars I have ever attended personally.

I am going to touch base on one of points in this seminar that I thought was a great topic. Last week I talked about choosing your Line counter reels, but I did not touch base on what to do immediately after you have chosen one for your specific needs, before you take it on the water.


I always knew that calibrating reels was extremely important, however you should do this fairly often. In recent blogs I mentioned that when you buy specific baits no matter what it is that there is a chart that sometimes comes with the lure in the package or you can find on line, or if you have a smart phone then you can download an APP which will tell you the dive curve for just about any lure on (or off) the market today. I have to admit that calibrating my reels have been put off for some time now so right after I was reminded at the seminar the next day I took all my reels and found that over half of them were way, way off the mark, most of my reels didn’t have enough line on the reel for it to even be close to accurate, and even one of my reels were broken beyond repair, this Just after I posted in my last blog to remember to maintain your equipment, I have no idea how long I’ve been carrying around a broken reel LOL. Anyway, besides being able to accurately place your baits as per manufacturers specks, there are other reasons you should be calibrating your reels, if you have some other friends on the water and either you or they call, text, or radio each other to let one another know a set up that has been working that day, what if one of you have a rod that has been going off like crazy, you are going to let your buddy know your presentation and how much line you have out behind the boat right? Well if  either one of your reels has not been calibrated then you are going to put out what you think is the correct amount of line due to your friends information, and really you will either have too much line out or too little. This equates to your buddy having a great day on the water and you think he is pulling a fast one on ya. So I strongly suggest before your next trip out you take the time and do yourself a favor and possibly even save a friendship, and calibrate your lines.

Does My New Line Counter Reel Need To Be Calibrated?    YES

as soon as you pick up a new reel no matter what the make, sometimes the store you buy it from will spool it for you free of charge. I just came across this the other day with a good friend of mine, since I was calibrating all of my reels I asked if he wanted his done as well, his answer to me was no I just bought it and the store did it for me. I asked him in shock, they Calibrated the reel for you? I was curious because I have never bought a reel and had the store offer to calibrate a reel for me. He said well they are the ones that put the line on it. I tried to explain that putting line on the reel and calibrating it were 2 different things so now when he asks me for information on the water and if I tell him, he may not put out the right amount of line, or if he tells me a set up at least I know ahead of time I won’t be able to replicate it lol.

How to calibrate a line counter reel. First you will need 2 or three pegs to stick in the ground (or something that can mark the ground), a clip to hold your line to the pegs, A Tape measure,  (you don’t have to but a Tape that has 100 linier feet on it would be the most accurate), Something to mark your reels with ( either painters tape or a marker), and a Perminant Marker.

Make sure to spool your reels until they are full then take the following steps.


1st  measure out 100 feet, with tape measure.  Stake ( or mark) the ground at either end.

2nd clip your fishing line to the peg in the ground. Do NOT cut your line off the spool yet.

3rd reel up until the tip of your rod touches the Peg

4th zero out your counter reel

5th release the line but keep some tention on the line with your thumb as you walk over to the 2nd peg 100 feet away.

6th read the line counter, what does it say?

7th If the counter reads more (>)  than 100ft  then you need to add more line to the reel and


If the counter reads less (<) than 100ft then you need to take some line away

Repeat steps 1 through 7 until your counter is exactly on the 100Ft mark.

You can also look up on Youtube to see how this is done.

I hope this was helpful and Tight Lines.


James Mathias

Choosing Your Walleye Rods, Reels, and Line

20140625-071335-26015941.jpg   A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture it showed 2 guys holding a fair number of fish on my boat, I posted it as we had had a good day on the water and just wanted to share with people. anyhow I had a comment about the pic that was about the equipment, more specifically, the rods and reels on my boat, and did I really need that heavy equipment for catching walleye. My answer to the individual was a bit vague. I told him because I charter for both Salmon and Walleye I need those heavy rods. this statement although true needs much more explaining behind it. So I’ve thought about this over time and thought that this question is actually a very reasonable and valid question to ask, especially if someone would like to get into the sport of walleye fishing. so I am blogging about the rods and reels I use on my boat and why it is essential to have it while chartering for Walleye

I find that there is some equipment that is essential for consistently catching walleye year round. as I have blogged about this, this past spring I will go into another explanation about it now.

1st      you must select a rod with good back bone, and it must also be quite flexible. if you are going to be going after walleye in the spring and the fall on Quinte you must have a rod that can handle large walleye. these fish can be in the 10 + lbs range and they can be very strong if you have a rod that is too lightweight it may snap under the pressure of the fight alone.

There are many methods used to catch these fish. From down rigging, and Dipsey Divers, to line weights and Planer boards. All of these methods used, put a colossal strain on your rods and equipment even on the calm days, but especially in rough weather so you must have a rod that can take the abuse for hours on end, and day in and day out.

2nd     To Match the rod strength you must have a line counter reel. when choosing a line counter reel make sure you do some research on these. Most importantly when choosing a line counter reel make sure you get one that has a good strong gear, and drag system and that can hold enough line for your fishing applications. remember using lead-core line will require a much bigger reel to put enough line on it than if you are just putting 10lbs test Braided line on a reel. Also when choosing a reel take into consideration what time of year you will be fishing  and in and what body of water, This is so you choose one that will be perfect for your situation. and Lastly make sure the counter has a loud enough clicker on it so you will hear it in all kinds of situations when you have a fish on the line.  Line counters are imperative to your success because it is the only way you will be able to perfectly replicate a presentation to the fish when you find something that is working.

A small tip when you do find one make sure you lock-tight any screws that are not meant to come off the reel I have had several different types of reels where the release clips and other screws have suddenly disappeared. Off topic but Maintenance on your equipment is so essential, you do not want to find yourself hours away from home out in the middle of the lake, to find your equipment is not working properly.

3rd Fishing Line. after you have chosen a good rod and reel combo its time to choose the line that will 1st, work for the fish you are going after and 2nd, be able to take the abuse, and wear and tear you will be putting it through. for example if you plan of attaching weights to your line it must be thick enough to be able to hold them securely and if you plan on using planer boards and Dipsey Divers it must be strong enough to be able to withstand the tension of constant pressure from the resistance of the boards against the water. Also choose a line colour that makes the line invisible in the water you are fishing in. A good start in finding a good line is to use a 20-30lbs braided line. on most of my rods I use Power Pro 30lbs test at the moment when I am fishing walleye, I put a 10-30 foot 17lbs  fluorocarbon leader on them,  however I am thinking of trying a 12lbs fluorocarbon leader material and recording the results.

I hope you find this useful when deciding what type of rod you need for fishing walleye this Fall.

Capt James Mathias

Spring Walleye fishing Tip Of The Week for The Bay Of Quinte

coldwater reel

This Weeks Tip Of The Week Is line counter reels.

I personally think that you must have a line counter reel when trolling for Walleye in general. This is not just a spring tip for The Bay Of Quinte, but a must have year round for all your trolling applications. when setting up your trolling set up it is crucial to know exactly how much line you have out, how far back you have put any diving apparatuses, and how far out your planner boards are. once you have figured out what the fish are biting on it is absolutely essential that you are able to repeat exactly what just caught that fish.

The only way you are going to be able to achieve this is by using a line counter reel. Once you find the right combination to catch the fish repeat it on all the rods in the boat and you will catch more fish.

Many of the lures you use have a max depth that they run at with a certain amount of line out. Much of the time they will come with charts telling you exactly how much line you need out and at what speed to achieve a specific depth for a specific lure.  So now, paired with your sonar, this can be a very effective combination to get those fish into the boat. All you have to do is look at your sonar find out the depth in the water column the fish are at, then look at the lure chart and find out how much line out you need to get that lure down to the right depth, then by taking any guess-work out of the equation use a line counter reel and you will be right on the money.

(However that said remember that Walleye almost always feed above where they are. I would far rather put my baits 5 feet above the fish than 2 feet below them)

When choosing a good line counter reel make sure that what you choose has a few of the fundamentals. Make sure it has a good loud clicker, this allows you to know there is a fish on the line.  You will want to make sure you have a strong gear and drag system, and know the species of fish you will be fishing for.  Reels come in many different sizes, this is important to know because you want to choose a reel that will hold enough line that you will be using for that species of fish, for example for Walleye I would go with a size 20 reel, while for Salmon I might go with a size 30 or even a 45.

I have used many line counters in the past from many manufacturers, and personally, for the price, durability, performance, and style I like the Cold Water series from Okuma

I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week