I’ll come clean—I gave a sarcastic smirk when I looked at the equipment I was to use during my Reindeer Lake adventure and saw a wide-spool, low-profile Pflueger President baitcaster. “Are we bass fishing?” I whispered smugly as I palmed the little reel. Over a lifetime chasing pike on my home waters, big round reels and northerns had become synonymous. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the idea of actually choosing to use a low-profile reel.
Three long days of casting everything from small in-line spinners to huge wooden plugs, however, changed my mind. The small reel easily fit in my palm and minimized fatigue, letting me fish more effectively. In addition, such reels are usually geared higher than most round reels, making it easier to achieve the burning retrieves some-times needed to trigger strikes—the President I used had a 6.3:1 ratio.
If you’re worried about having enough spool capacity with reels like these, don’t. The LP Wide President, for example, holds 125 yards of new 65-pound Ugly Braid, which offered plenty of casting reach. Mount it on a 6-foot, 10-inch, fast-action casting stick like the All Star Big Boy, and you’ve got a powerful combination for big Canadian pike.