Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo in 2024 - Buyers Guide

Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo
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Saltwater fishing enthusiast like the excitement that halibut fishing offers. This fish can grow very large, and it is mostly caught from the boats while bottom fishing.

Not all specimens are large, and beginners often catch smaller ones. This is why you can choose a variety of equipment.

One of the options is to buy rod and reel combo because it is cheaper, and you don’t have to search for the perfect match. However, combos for powerful fish like halibut are non-existent, and you will have to buy rod and reel separately. But don’t worry, I created perfect “combos” for you.

There are two options, spinning and casting combo. Both have certain advantages and disadvantages. I have tried them all and decided to write this guide to help you choose.

Halibut rod and reel combo has to be strong and capable of fighting such a powerful fish. If you have any doubts about halibut fishing equipment you are in the right place.

Here I will tell you more about it and answer some of the common question.

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My No. 1: Shimano Trevala (#ad)

Runner-Up: Penn Squall (#ad)



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How to Choose the Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo?

The best rod and reel combo for halibut has to be chosen in accordance with the fish size. Not all halibuts are the same. You should check the average size and how big the average catch in your area is.

Generally, you need a strong rod that will be able to withstand the weight. When it comes to length, Halibut rods are usually shorter, going from 6 to 7 ft. Shorter rods are suitable for boats and techniques like jigging, which is one of the possible techniques for catching this fish.

Of course, both rod and reel have to made from materials that are corrosion resistant. When it comes to the rod, choose those with ceramic line guides if possible. They will not corrode, they are lighter, stronger, and cause less friction on the line.

Reels have to be chosen according to type and size, but most importantly, you have to check the line capacity. Halibut is found on the bottom, up to a few hundred feet. The reel has to accommodate enough line to reach the bottom and fight the fish when it bites.

Large knobs and handles are a plus because it will be easier to operate the reel. And also, IPT. When you have so much line out, you want to have the ability to reel it in without making a million revolutions with the handle. This is accomplished with the spool size and higher gear ratio.

These are the Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combos

Halibut rod and reel combo is not something that experienced anglers would search for, and generally, for this type of fishing, you will not find a combo like you could find for smaller freshwater fish. Buying rod and reel separately can be a tedious task, so that is why I decided to find these perfect matches for you.

Here I will list the best options, mention their characteristics, and list the most important pros and cons of each one.

Rod and Reel Combination #1 (Spinning):

Spinning combo is the best for those who don’t know how to work with more complicated casting gear. Spinning rods and reels have some disadvantages, and that can limit the size of your catch. Spinning gear is mostly used for smaller fish.

Drag on a spinning reel can’t withstand forces as large as the baitcasting or conventional reel. In addition to that, rods that have line guides on the bottom side are not as strong.

If you are a beginner and you are targeting smaller halibut, go for a spinning combo.

There are two best rod and reel combo for halibut options for spinning:

No. 1 Ugly Stick Tiger Elite AMAZON (#ad)
No. 1 Daiwa GB AMAZON (#ad)


This rod is 7ft long (although shorter ones exist) and the blank is extremely resistant to forces applied by halibut. It is reinforced with graphite which offers additional sensitivity. It also makes it lighter.

When you hold the rod, you will notice that it is well balanced, and the feeling of control is excellent. Guides are made of stainless stell from one piece which makes them very strong.

Handle is padded with foam, and it is very comfortable. When using it with wet hands it will not slip a lot. Power is heavy, which is a must for large fish.

All materials used in construction are corrosion resistant. Reel seat is constructed with cushioned hoods made from stainless steel.

For more info and prices check the following links - Amazon (#ad).


• Sensitive but very strong rod tip for a heavy rod.

• Excellent for jigging.

• Lightweight.

• Affordable.


• Reel seat is close to the last guide and some people may have a problem with that.

DAIWA BG Spinning Reel

Basically, you can`t go wrong with Daiwa, as all of their reels are well made. This reel comes in different sizes, but 5000 fits perfectly with the previously mentioned rod.

Handle is large and firm which makes reeling in much easier. It is braid-ready which is important. Maximum drag is 22lbs, gear ratio is 5.6:1, and has 47.4 IPT.

The 6 ball bearings ensure smooth operation, while dual anti-reverse system works excellent. It also has waterproof drag system and that is excellent for fishing in tough conditions. Everything is made from corrosion-resistant materials.

Line capacity is 40/480 for braided lines, which sufficient for any conditions a beginner will fish in. Additional benefit of this reel is also an excellent casting distance. You may not need this feature in this setup, but it is good to know that you can use it for other things too.

For more info and prices check the following links - Amazon (#ad).


• Very smooth.

• Drag performs great for a reel of this size.

• Manual return bail.

• Affordable.


• Thin bail wire which should be thicker/stronger

Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo - Spinning

Rod and Reel Combination #2 (Casting):

Casting equipment is much more suitable for larger specimens. Here are three best choices:

No. 1 Shimano Trevala AMAZON (#ad)
No. 1 Ugly Stick Tiger AMAZON (#ad)
No. 1 Penn Squall AMAZON (#ad)


Shimano is one of the best manufacturers of reels and rods, and this rod is no exception. It is available in different power ratings, but extra heavy is the best for large and powerful fish.

This rod can withstand larger halibut specimens with no problem. The rod is very lightweight, and quite short. It is 5feet and 8 inches long and perfect for jigging.

EVA foam grip is comfortable and non-slippery.

Fuji Alconite line guides are extremely strong and cause almost no friction. Alconite is actually a special form of ceramic.

Material used in rod production is TC 4. It is an alloy with titanium which makes the rod extremely light, corrosion resistant, and insanely durable.

For more info and prices check the following links - Amazon (#ad).


• Incredibly light.

• Very sensitive for a heavy rod.

• Oval handle instead of round, it feels much better in the hand.

• Responsive.


• Quite narrow line guides may be a problem to some people.

• Price.


This is another, more affordable casting rod option. Despite lower price, it has the premium characteristics. Same as the spinning Ugly Stik model, it has one-piece solid line guides and cushioned reel seat.

Power is rated as medium heavy, which makes it great for smaller specimens, and smaller reels. It is a versatile 7ft long rod that can be used for other fishing too, not just for halibut.

Ugly Tech blank construction combines fiberglass and graphite to get the perfect sensitivity, strength, corrosion resistance, and weight.

EVA grip handle comes with a rubber gimbal on the rod butt which is an excellent feature. Reel seat is made from graphite.

As you can see, all the materials are resistant to corrosion and tough use.

For more info and prices check the following links - Amazon (#ad).


• Sensitive tip.

• Sturdy.

• Comfortable in a hand.

• Affordable.


• Not available in heavy power.

PENN SQUALL Conventional Fishing Reel

And lastly, here is a perfect reel to be paired with casting rods. Penn is a great manufacturer that offers reasonably priced equipment.

It is a conventional reel that comes in various sizes, so you can choose the one that goes with the preferred fish size and chosen rods.

Size 30 has IPT 28inches, 33lb drag, and gear ratio 4.9:1, and braid capacity 30/1020.

Carbon fiber drag washers work excellent. Drag feels smooth yet powerful. Frame and side plates are made from graphite, while spool is aluminum.

All materials are corrosion resistant, and the reel looks and feels powerful and durable. Level wind function operates well, and your line will be evenly distributed across the spool every time. That is very important when reeling in hundreds of feet of line.

Fast gear access side plate enables easy maintenance, which is important for a reel that is heavily used in tough conditions. And the best of all, it is reasonably priced for such a good product.

For more info and prices check the following links - Amazon (#ad).


• Large and comfortable handle.

• Drag is easily adjustable.

• Lightweight.

• Very smooth.


• Line capacity stated is a bit larger than actual on the reel, but it is still sufficient.

Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo - Casting

FAQs about Halibut Rod and Reel Combos:

If you are choosing your best halibut rod and reel combo but you still have some questions or doubts, here are the answers:

What Kind of Rod to Use for Halibut Fishing?

I already described rod features necessary to catch a halibut, but here is a short recap:

• 6-7 ft long
• Heavy power (medium heavy for smaller specimens or extra heavy for the biggest ones)
• Corrosion resistant materials, especially line guides and reel seat
• Comfortable and non-slippery handle
• Sensitive but strong

Those are the main characteristics; however, everyone has different desires and budgets. Depending on that, you can choose materials and various features that are good to have but not mandatory.

What Kind of Reel to Use for Halibut Fishing?

Beginners who are used to spinning equipment can choose a spinning reel (and the rod). Spinning reels are usually cheaper and easier to use. However, they have smaller line capacity and are not made to be used for very heavy fish. Spinning reel is a good option for smaller halibut.

Conventional reels are the best option for strong and heavy halibut specimens. These reels go with casting rods and are very powerful. In my opinion, this is a better option, however, it is not suitable for those who don’t know how to operate this type of reel.

No matter the type, the reel must have strong and dependable drag, and large line capacity.

What Gear Do You Need on Reel for Halibut Fishing?

Reels for halibut were already described, but here is one feature that was just briefly mentioned. If using conventional reel, choose those that have level wind function. Many anglers say that it is unnecessary, and that may be true while fishing in shallow water. However, when reeling in hundreds of feet of line, you need all the help you can get.

Level wind is also excellent for beginners who don’t have enough skill to guide the line manually.

Additionally, if you can, get a reel that has a line counter function. Penn Squall II has a line counter function.

What is the Best Line for Halibut Fishing?

For halibut fishing you should use braided lines. Braided line is stronger than mono of the same diameter, and you can spool longer lines of the same strength.

Anglers mostly use 60 or 80 lb. braid, but you should choose the line in accordance with fish size and specification of your reel.

Using braided lines has other advantages too. Small diameter means that the line won’t be affected by the currents. They do not stretch and give you a better feeling of the bottom when your lure hits it.

When it comes to color, keep in mind that in a few hundred feet of depth color doesn’t look the same as color on the surface. Go with subtle and natural blue, green, or transparent.

Best Halibut Rod and Reel Combo - Line

What is the Best Way to Fish for Halibut?

You can catch halibut on the ocean bottom. Bottom fishing is the only way as they spend all of their time there.

Depth is usually between 200 and 300 feet, but you can find them deeper or shallower in certain conditions, locations, and yeartime.

Anglers either use cut bait like herring or salmon. Those are the best when fresh.

Another great technique is jigging. Large and heavy jigs are used, up to 20 ounces, depending on depth and water currents. Jigging in very deep water is much harder than it seems, but it is also very fun and rewarding!


Fishing for halibut with halibut rod and reel combo may not be sufficient to catch the biggest fish out there, but it is more than enough for those who in a process of discovering saltwater fishing.

Spinning gear may be used for smaller specimens, but the big ones require casting equipment. No matter what you choose, make sure that you buy from reputable manufacturers.

Halibut is big and strong, and both your rod and reel have to be well made to cope with that! And of course, spooling enough line to reach the bottom is the key!

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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