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The Captain's Blog

Gear Review – Shimano Tekota 500 LC

By August 19, 20134 Comments

Shimano Tekota 500 LC

Sitka is a great place to fish – lots of hook ups, lots of big salmon, lots of blistering runs – all great stuff for the fisherman and all very hard on reels. Add saltwater, exposure to the elements, and less experienced anglers who work the reels and themselves much harder than necessary, and you have the perfect testing ground for a reel. We’ve tried almost every reel on the market for salmon and haven’t found anything that beats the Shimano Tekota 500 LC for our application. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Smooth – Turn a few revolutions of the nicely designed ergonomic handle and you’ll feel the gears are very precisely cut, the bearings like silk, the tolerances in production are tight.
  2. Durable – Reels on our boats get 10 times more use in a season than many reels get in a lifetime. Day in day out fishing, lots of hookups with big powerful kings, wild silvers, rockfish, lingcod, and halibut. The Tekotas hold up extremely well with the drag staying smooth for long stretches before needing to be rebuilt. The only minor complaint is the release lever does hang up on some reels, but Shimano has been very diligent if repairing this and it doesn’t happen that often.
  3. Line Capacity – The 500 LC holds about 220 to 240 yards of 20 pound mono – more than enough for our application, but not too much or too bulky.
  4. Line Counter – When the captain shouts “kings at 70 feet” it’s a matter of reading the meter to get there. This makes an enormous difference versus not knowing and guessing.
  5. Reasonably Priced – Not the cheapest reel, but in this world of increasingly expensive boutique tackle, these are affordable. And, we have reels in service that we bought 10 years ago. Each offseason they go back to Shimano for an overhaul, each summer they do the job.

Many of you have fished with us for 5, 10, even 20 years. We’ve tested reels along the way through many, many trials and we feel like we’ve found the perfect fit for our business. Leave your comments below reviewing our reels of the past or the present. We’d love to hear your feedback.


  • Ca says:

    The reels are great, love them and the line counter is soooo much better than guessing……now for an underwater camera so we can SEE the fish!!!!!

  • Jim says:

    I won a Shimano 500 LC from angling unlimited about 10 years ago. I love it as each time I use the reel I remember all of the memories I have fishing with Capt Chris. One day soon I want to return to angling unlimited for one more trip.

  • Dick Glassburn says:

    Now if Shimano only made a lefty with a counter! That would be something!


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