Sturgeon gear - what kind of rod/reel/line?

Alright so we have officially jumped into the sturgeon game with a great first day except for me dropping the motor prop in the water while trying to replace a shear pin on the old honda and having to row home...

First fish we hooked into had to be a whale... We blew up the drag on one reel, fought for 45 minutes and then the line broke....

Would love to know what reel / rod / line / people are using for Willamette / Columbia area.

I will be using a Penn 320 GTI with 100lb braid I got used, and I have been using my older "custom" salmon downrigger rod. This seemed to do ok.

Our second rod was a shakespeare salt water with a magda pro with 65lb line and that is the reel that failed.

Cabela's hooked us up and upgraded the Magda to a Penn Warfare. What line would be best for sturgeon (and if it would work for salmon trolling, that would be awesome too but worried the 65 is to light for sturgeon and 100 too heavy for salmon)

Any advice helps! Thanks guys (and gals)
I personally only fish 30# mono and very rarely break off fish and land a lot of big ones. 65 or 80# tuff line tend to work real good for the guys I know who use it. Used to use 80# tuff line for the oversized fish below Bonneville and it held up great. Penn reels and Diawa sealines are great for sturgeon. Good luck out there, I fish your area a ton for em. Maybe see ya out there sometime
I would buy a dedicated rod and reel set up for each use. For sturgeon, UglyStick Big Water rod for the win here. A lot of rod for the money and virtually unbreakable. Here is some info on one rod option.
6' 6"BWB116066Heavy3 - 12 oz

Daiwa Sealine SL-X Reel. No line counter needed IMO. I would 50 yards of dacron backer with 80 Pound Power Pro Super Slick in aqua green for main line.

Of course this is just my opinion. You will get many good recommendations here!


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I have two rods I use when sturgeon fishing from my kayak. The first is really just a salmon rod. Okuma SST-C-801H 8' 0", 15~50 lbs 1~6oz coupled with a Shimano Cardiff 400. I have that spooled with 30lb braid. I like that rod if there are not too many big fish around or if I am fishing more than 6oz of lead. My heavier duty rod is a Lamiglas BFC-70H 7' 20-50lb coupled with a Daiwa Saltist 40a (nicest reel I have ever owned). I used to use 30lb braid on that but I recently upped it to 50lb braid. I prefer tuf line as it seems a bit more abrasion resistant than power pro.

I also have a back up heavy rod which is a Penn320 with a 7' tiger stik (M). I like the Lamiglas rod a lot better because it has a more gradual and absorbing bend. I feel less beat up after catching a big fish on the Lamiglas.

On all of my reels I use a mono backing and the top 100 to 150 yards or so are braid.
Thanks! I found a Backbouncing 15-40 I'll pair with a Diawa and probably go for the cheaper Tiger (same as you, bass) and pair it with my 320 as well.

Thanks again guys!
I have caught lots of those bottom feeder's.I use a Shimano tld 15 leverdrag with 40 lb mono and have never had a problem.For the rod I use a Fenwick 61/2 foot pacficstick.I DO NOT recommend buying pre tied sturgeon leaders.I had 2 fail,then went to tying my own.It's simple and they don't fail.I use maxima or ande line.Have fun
Tiger Stick, 20-50 lb, 320GT2, 80lb braid.

Could not be happier.

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