Kokanee Spinners Revolutionized! | Kokabow Tackle

kokanee spinners tackle

“Blue Heron”

Few fisheries are experiencing such rapid growth as Kokanee fishing in the United States. As a land-locked component to the ever-popular salmon fisheries, they are poised to build in popularity. Fantastic taste, well maintained populations and likely success are just a few of the factors that make Kokanee fishing so attractive.

As the fishery has grown, so has the tackle used to catch them. From the spinners and hoochies to the dodgers and flashers, anglers are quick to identify their favorite method. Many are productive, but often with Kokanee it’s the little advantages that lead to the highest success.

Spinners have long held their spot in the top tier of the kokanee tackle game. For good reason – they produce fish all year. Simple attention to color, speed and depth will make a kokanee angler consistently produce. Popular examples would be the “Wedding-Ring.” No doubt a popular and effective lure – it’s done well for years for luring these silver bullets.

A few years ago, an avid kokanee fisherman grew frustrated at the cheap components included in the popular kokanee spinners available. Rather than dwell in his frustration, he started work on what has now become a passion – perhaps an obsession. His attention to detail enabled the creation of a spinner built for even the most discerning kokanee fisherman.

Alan Greenhalgh, the owner of Kokabow Fishing Tackle, said this:” I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of tackle being produced and sold to the public.” Most Kokanee and Trout Fishing Tackle is manufactured in foreign countries with plastic beads, poor quality hooks, and a non- brand named line.” 

kokanee fishing tackle
The Owner of Kokabow Tackle

“Due to my disatisfaction, I started experimenting with colored glass beads, reflective crystals, brand named hooks & quality line, and a variety of blade colors to attract fish.”

“I found a certain element to catching Kokanee and Trout was designing a spinner series which produced an extreme reflection of light, enticing color combinations, balanced hooks, and a tight spin.”

The Kokabow Spinner. Available in Bass Pro Shops (2015), Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse among others, has built a following through its quality alone. I spoke to a fishing manager at a Sportsman’s Warehouse and he had this to say “There’s people that won’t buy anything BUT these spinners and I can hardly keep them on the shelves.”

So, is it just a name? Is it just the idea? What do better components do for this lure? Let’s start with the beads and crystals. Kokabow has searched out and imported the best quality glass beads they can find. They do this because this high quality glass reflects better at more depth. Essentially, as the season progresses water temperature rises and Kokanee start to descend lower in the water column. These spinners are designed to retain their enticing flash at lower depths. This has proven to be a factor for producing more fish when the late-season bite seems to be dying off for many. The many color options ensure successful impressions in many types of clarity, light and depth.

The hooks are Gamakatsu #4 red hooks. Kokabow did not want to cut costs on one of the most important parts of the entire spinner. Gamakatsu is a trusted brand and hook to keep the soft-mouthed kokanee connected.Maxima 12lb test is tied into the spinner. Fishing Addicts Northwest has trusted Maxima leader on Steelhead for years and being that Kokanee don’t seem to be very line-shy, 12lb is the perfect line for protecting against nicks and cuts. It’s strong, allows precise movement and trustworthy.

kokanee spinner
“Eagle”

Another important feature to note - Kokabow spinners come with the quick change clevis which allows easy replacement of spinner blades. Simply slide your line out of the clevis clip, insert a new blade and slide your line back into the clevis clip. This allows the kokanee fisherman to experiment with blade colors and how the kokanee react to them. The blades themselves are willowleaf blades with highly-reflective tape. The backs are hand-buffed by Alan himself.

Kokanee strikes are most often territorially driven. The flash given by Kokabow spinners in combination with blades, beads and the unique action of the lure itself pisses off these fish and pushes them to strike!

Before we wrap things up let me address that last point. These spinners are designed with a specific action in mind. They spin like a tight plug-cut herring – but on a much smaller scale. This movement/action is hugely attractive to salmonoids and Kokanee are no exception!


Tips:

Play around with colors quite a bit. On cloudy/low visibility days the “Black Eagle” (black and white crystals) is highly effective. Colors like pink will always be a deadly option for kokanee. The “Kingfisher” (Green and white) is deadly and seems to offer great contrast when adding pieces of corn and shrimp to the hooks.

Kokabow fishing tackle has grown by it’s commitment to quality, detail and precise attention Kokanee fishing in general. You’ll find these spinners in Cabela’s, Sportsmans Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops (in 2015).

You can also order them online at http://www.shop.kokabowtackle.com/main.sc


Stay addicted – Lucas

Salmon Fishing Tutorial | Flasher & Prawn Spinner

Below is a tutorial presented by Cameron Black of Gone Catchin’ Guide Service about how to rig a flasher and prawn spinner setup. This can also be used in conjunction with herring or any other bait you’d like to present behind a flasher. This tutorial is brought to you by Fishing Addicts Northwest and filmed & edited by Lucas Holmgren.

Happy fishing! Hope everyone’s springer season is going well so far!


http://gonecatchin.com/ – Cameron Black’s Guide service fishes Columbia river and tributaries for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon & many more!

columbia springer

2014 Spring Chinook Kicks off Well!

Columbia River Spring Chinook! What a welcome sight to see a high prediction of upriver Spring Chinook for 2014! We’re smack dab in the early stages when pictures are showing up, reports are coming in and anglers are getting their gear wet in anticipation of the best tasting salmon to enter our waters!

This has no doubt been a year of odd water conditions. Super low water plagued our early winter steelhead fishery and then with the onset of rain, we’ve experienced many weeks of unfishable conditions. Between all of that there have been absolute slay-fests, dry spells, weak runs, great runs – it’s been an odd one. Now, with many anglers excited about Spring Chinook, we’re still dealing with difficult conditions. Most of March has seen a Columbia River full of high-off colored water. As the season progresses without a doubt the Willamette has been the best bet.

Early Willamette catches are pretty much the norm for early-season Spring Chinook. With that said we’ve been seeing a good number of fish being caught. The old stand-by – flasher & herring trolled has been the top producer.

spring chinook fishing

Fun family trip produces two bright spring chinook!

Jeff H of Vancouver, WA reports that the Shortbus color “Chartreuse Hunter” accounted for these two chunky, Willamette springers. A fun family trip proved to be productive trolling herring and flashers. These flashers have worked exceptionally well over the past few years and have already started off the season with a bang.

A few lower Columbia tributaries are already reporting catches of Spring Chinook – Cowlitz being one of them. Amidst the rising Springer counts remains the fact that the Lewis and Kalama are still experiencing down years. Neither will be open for retention of Spring Chinook – hatchery OR wild. Dam counts have yet to climb but rest assured, once they do, Drano, Wind and Klickitat fisheries will kick off.

We’ve yet to see how the year pans out but so far effort has not gone unrewarded. It’s typical to see lots of effort and little catches early – no doubt it was slow for a bit. Willamette has shown promising early results and it won’t be long before we see more consistent catches come from Columbia. Conditions will dictate what happens however. The popular I5 troll has been near vacant due to high-off color water. Plunking has already been productive for those that know it – this is largely due to the fact that high water forces Springers near the bank. Anchoring with Kwikfish (wrapped with sardines or tuna bellies are a great bet) near the bank in “traffic lanes” would be a great option.

Fishing Addicts Northwest wishes you a productive and enjoyable Spring Chinook season! We look forward to seeing your success and we’ll be out there working hard for them as well.

**Saturday March 29th update** – Mainstem Columbia catches are improving. Fairly even spread between Kwikfish and Herring/flasher bite – both seeing good success. Fish typically are being caught in the 7 – 21 foot depth range.

-Lucas


Those looking to get out and book a trip with an experienced Spring Chinook guide please get in contact with our Facebook page  or send an email to fishingaddictsnorthwest@gmail.com - we’ll let you know who WE trust to produce catches of these amazing fish!
chinook flashers lures baits
If you’re out trolling for Springers you need the best flashers in the business! Visit http://shortbusflashers.com for a full selection and variety. Shortbus is offered at most fishing departments.

River Etiquette | Coexisting with Other Anglers

oregon steelhead fishing hatchery fish

Less conflict – More Fishing!!

First of all, let’s get this out there – it’s not always easy fishing around and with people. “Clicks” persist and  it’s not uncommon to see tempers flare and disagreements abound. This is especially true at “hatchery holes” or other areas where fish pile up. Where fish pile up, people pile up.

This article is specifically targeted towards bank anglers. We’ll discuss driftboat etiquette in a future article.

River Ettiquette | Coexisting with Other Anglers

Good fishing brings crowds. Maybe you’ve got some great locations that you can find both fish and solitude, but not everyone has that luxury.

River etiquette is beneficial to every angler involved.

et·i·quette
ˈetikit,-ˌket/
    1. The customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.

We all must share the same water. As many have remarked, these days there are more anglers than fish. How can we make things easier on each other? When I go fishing I don’t seek out conflict, I seek enjoyment. Simple respect and thoughtfulness can go a long way. Below are a number of items that anglers should follow in order to keep their fishing experience enjoyable for them and others around them.

  • Casting Order - In certain cases a number of people are fishing the same water/drift. Always remember to let the downstream angler cast first. This is simple but must be followed. When a proper system has been established, many anglers can fish effectively. This is especially important in “combat” zones.
  • “Low-Holing”  - Never approach a hole that other bank fishermen are fishing and walk below the anglers and start casting. Many times fishermen are working from the top of a hole on down. It is however considered appropriate to start above the anglers and follow them down the drift. If the hole is very long and can hold numerous anglers it may be appropriate to start quite a bit below, but use discretion. Many times it’s just simply a good idea to ask – “Do you mind if I fish the lower section of this run?” Most reasonable fishermen will be agreeable. If not, move on and come back later.
  • Mean Mugging - If someone says “hello”, say “hello” back. No use being weird.
  • When a fish is hooked and your line is in the water, reel in your gear. Give the angler some space to get control of the fish and only cast out when you are not endangering the fight.
  • When you hook a fish - fight it quickly and subdue the fish as quickly as possible. Don’t spend all day tiring it out in front of everybody. Only play the fish if it’s giving you no other choice. If it’s a wild fish – handle it well!

These simple rules will save you and others a lot of grief. Most of all – keep a smile on your face and enjoy fishing. It’s meant to be enjoyed.

-Lucas

Interview with The Reel Tech

Today I’d like to introduce a company that excels in quality, customer service and prompt, professional service.

Fishing Addicts has worked with  The Reel Tech a few times to get standard maintenance work done on reels. We approached him simply because we were aware of his business and had heard good endorsements of The Reel Tech coming from fellow anglers. We were happy to find out that John was every bit as dependable and professional as we had heard, and that he seemed to go the extra mile to ensure that our reel maintenance was top-notch.

He does not only expert reel repair & maintenance, but also builds precision custom fishing rods, fishing rod repairs and more.  We spoke with John Strenk about his business and sent over a few questions so that our audience could get to know the background of the business – as well as the man behind it all.

big native steelhead

John with a big native Steelhead!

“Fishing has been a passion of mine since I was very young. My Dad lit the fire in me at a young age and I took it from there. I guess you can say it built into an obsession, and it continues. I have been fortunate to be able to fish in a lot of different places for many different species. East coast, west coast, Mexico, Offshore long rage fishing, inshore saltwater fishing, streams, rivers, or lakes. If it swims, I like to catch them. If I am not in the act of fishing, I am usually reading about it, tinkering with tackle, watching it on TV, or dreaming about it.”

“I spent 6.5 years in the fishing tackle industry on the retail side. Started my first job in a small tackle shop in Southern California in 1989 when I was in High School, and continued in the fishing retail industry until I graduated college. Had a good time working some big sport shows for different vendors as well as the stores I was working for at the time. The small shop where I started offered reel repair to its customers. I was always back there watching the old man work on reels and it intrigued me. My passion for the gear that we use to catch the fish we love initiated me to ask to learn how to do it myself. Once I learned the basics, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Yet another way to be involved in the fishing industry. In short order, I was doing the reel repair for the shop. My experience with reels grew and grew over the years and I continued to work on reels as a side business, even after I left the retail side of the industry.”

“Since 1989, I have worked on a countless number of reels. From spinning reels to offshore 2 peed lever drag reels, any make, any model, if it catches fish, I can work on it. I think this is something that differentiates me in this business. do not focus on just one brand. I am on top of the ever changing technology of our fishing gear and have no problem adapting to the changes. 25 years of being inside every reel imaginable enables me to troubleshoot a reel in seconds. I have seen an amazing amount of different issues that can and do arise with fishing reels. I can’t tell you how many times I get customers that bring me a ziploc baggie full of parts from a reel they tried to take apart. It is something you definitely have to have the passion for. The ability to dump that baggie out on the table, start separating parts, and quickly see what tiny parts were lost by the customer in the process comes with LOTS of time on the bench. Something that defines The Reel Tech difference is my interaction with the customers throughout the process.” (editors note: FANW can definitely vouch for this)

reel repair“I built this business delivering honesty, integrity, quality service, and fast turnaround. According to my customers, this is something that is lacking in this profession all over the country. My customers know everything there is to know about their reels when I am done with them. I put my customers best interests as my #1 priority. If I feel it would be more cost effective for a customer to replace a reel rather than fix it, I suggest that to them, and tell them why. Ultimately, the decision is up to them if they still want me to repair the reel or not. It is always up to them. Sometimes, unfortunately, due to lack of parts availability, or condition of the reel, there is nothing that can be done.”

custom fishing rod blanks

One example of John’s exceptional custom rods – Click picture to view Facebook Page

“I added Reel Tech Custom Rods to the business about 3 years ago. I was fortunate to have Josh Terry of Chrome Seeker Custom Rods as a mentor. He is a brilliant rod wrapper and someone I am honored to call a friend. Like the fishing reels, the passion was there, and I went into it full throttle. Building beautiful custom creations based on my customers imagination is an awesome thing to be able to do. I can build on any commercially available blank offered, whether your preference is St. Croix, Rogue, North Fork, Lamiglas, Calstar, Seeker, etc. I also do lots of rod repairs for my customers. Broken guide replacements, upgrading guide sets on existing rods, and bringing old favorites back to life with new guides and thread wraps. Many examples of my work can be found in the custom rod section of the blog on my website www.thereeltech.com.

To follow John’s custom rod work & reel repair “Like” his Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/TheReelTech

Some tips from The Reel Tech:

1. When taking photo of your fish, or any time for that matter, submerging your entire reel under water is never a good idea. No need to flood the inside of your reel with water. Bad things can happen inside!

2. Back off your drags after your day of fishing. It doesn’t take that long to reset it when you start the next day, and will prolong the life of your drag systems. No need to keep them compressed when they are not in use :)

3. Prolong the life of your spinning reel bail systems by closing the bail with your hand rather than by turning the reel handle. A good habit to get into and once you do, it will become second nature and you wont even have to think about it.


Are you in need of a custom rod wrap or reel repair? The Reel Tech is FANW’s trusted resource for reel maintenance. Reels can be mailed to John for maintenance – he has a good turn-around time and communicates well through the process.

If you’d like to speak with John about a project, he can be reached at (541) 324-0346 – or just send an email through the contact form on his website http://www.thereeltech.com