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."
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.
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!
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