Field testing Canada Fishing Reels’ GL1

by Daniel Favato | March 11, 2024
fishing reel mooching reel trolling salmon chinook salmon

What it is

A mooching reel made in southern Ontario. Typically used for salmon, a mooching or moocher reel is designed for trolling and allows anglers to let out line smoothly while the boat is moving.

The test

I tested the GL1 for four years on Lake Ontario during my chartering days, catching chinook salmon and trout. Full disclosure: I also helped company owner Wayne Petrevan test prototypes to determine the best reel materials and sizes.

What we think

Mooching reel aficionados praise these reels for being simple, versatile, and nearly indestructible. The rugged GL1 is no exception.

Thanks to its unique 2:1 winding ratio, this reel is extremely efficient at picking up line when a fish charges the boat. When a fish runs, reel handles that spin at half speed reduce knuckle-busting.

On the downside, the force of the 2:1 retrieve is much higher, forcing the angler to implement a more precise pumping motion between retrieves — it needs more force than your traditional mooching reel. The reversible handle is larger than others, providing more torque on the retrieve.

This reel is heavy, but I liked that because it helps balance the rod when fighting fish, aiding retrieving performance. With a spool of just under five inches, this reel also has plenty of capacity for fighting big fish.

The silky-smooth multi-plate carbon and stainless steel disc stack drag has a very consistent notching system. I have always been able to find the exact drag placement — between five and six clicks offers the perfect set drag, and three to four for setting lines on the downrigger.

The GL1 is also a great-looking reel. The drag adjustment lever is flush and offers an easier adjustment compared to other reels with drags usually placed in the middle of the spool on the handle side.

The verdict

I use the GL1 whenever I get the chance. Give it a shot because it might just become your favourite way to catch salmon and trout.

To learn more about Canada Fishing Reels, click here.

Originally published in Ontario OUT of DOORS’ 2024 Fishing Annual, now on newsstands

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