My current choice: For reels: the Shimano Tekota line counter reel. Drag is a critical. Kings will flat ruin the in-expensive stuff and if you are fishing close to bottom and happen to tie into a decent sized halibut the gears on these smaller reels can’t take the pressure and stress very many times. I like them because while marking salmon on the echo sounder, I can call out the depth and everyone gets there quickly. Sure the old strip count or figure out how much line per pass of the level wind works but those methods take time and drifting at speeds up to 2 knots, seconds at the right depth can make the difference between hookups or nothing. All our offshore salmon rods are 7’ “Seeker Black Steel® G670 and G870” rods. Plenty of power to lift with and a soft enough tip not to tear the jigs out of a salmon’s mouth. Many times while fishing salmon on jigs we are only a few feet off bottom and halibut reach up and grab the jigs. You have to have a rod with enough lifting backbone to handle the circumstance or you will end up blowing up a more traditional “mooching” style rod. By the way we are going to add a new twist to offshore salmon fishing in 2013. I have an idea it may increase our effectiveness jigging even more. Some secrets and techniques won’t be discussed here on the web. You’ll have to take a trip to find those out. As one seasoned client put it this summer, “Eric you are not just running a fishing charter, you are running a fishing school.”
As the table on the previous page describes a medium light spinning rod and quality reel are the only parameters here. I do recommend a spare rod and reel.

Bottom fishing: halibut, ling cod, rockfish:
Any good quality reel with a decent drag. Anybody can take a 4/0 reel load it with 80-130# line, two block the drag and catch halibut to ANY size. Generally speaking a halibut is good for one run, it will usually be far less than 100 yards in length. The harder you pull on a halibut the harder the halibut pulls back. There isn’t a halibut in the North Pacific ocean that can’t be landed on 50# test line, given a decent rod and a reel with a quality drag. I’ve read a belly full of articles talking about 80# and higher mainline needed for halibut. I equate that to shooting rabbits with a .375H&H. Take a look at the statistical averages for sport caught halibut throughout Alaska triple them and 30# tackle is more than adequate. Will you loose some fish, sure but not because of size! Most lost fish come from some other form of tackle failure, a knot or line nick are the most common. Most angler’s get crazed when the bite is on and fail to refresh a shock leader or retie their terminal knots. Sorry Charlie! Don’t blame the hardware. We’ve still got a mix of reels aboard, Pro-Gear AS542. I recommend a 5-1 retrieve designed around 30# test, the HX and LX series reels from Avet spooled with Jerry Brown “Line One” spectra or “Red Phantom” Power Pro spectra, as well as a couple of Penn senators, converted with Tiburon “Baja Special” kits. I use these for younger anglers.

As for rods, it’s quite simple, a jig/live bait west coast style rods in either a 25-40# rating or a 30-50# rating. I really like 6ft and the 6 1/2 ft stand-up style rods however the 7ft jig rods work well as an all around choice especially with lighter jigs in shallow water. We are currently using the “Seeker Black Steel® 660H” and “Super Seeker® 6465” rods and I find they work exceptionally well for both bait and jig gear. They are more than able to lift halibut while still having plenty of action to make for exciting Ling cod and the big demersal rockfish fishing.
Keep in mind, any good quality outfit will aid in the landing, it is still the angler behind that rod and reel that has as more to do with the successful landing than the tackle itself. The reel doesn't set its' own drag, and that rod doesn’t move the fish. Heck on most days I can raise a halibut with merely the wave action of the ocean. Don't believe me ask Sally how she has raised two large halibut world records on very light line. It wasn't just the reel or the rod!