I don't want to see electric reels banned as they have their purpose.
I could understand not using electric reels. I didn't use them for about 15 years. The average guy that is going to go out to 500-600' of water and take the first halibut and go in, thats great. (Because he is to tired to do it again) But when it comes down to going out to search out new areas, it is important to be able to get the gear up and go find another new area. Over the years, I get emails on our halibut fishery from WDFW wanting to know what I think about changing to a new area when they are doing new planning. I usually have to plot out the areas and talk with friends to see if there is yelloweye there or not. This is the big driving factor in our fisheries is the Yelloweye/Canary. This keeps us from bottom fishing deep water during the summer to keep their mortality down. But try to pull a 50 pound halibut up from 850 feet of water or deeper, and I can tell you its not fun. After this a few times, I bought the electric reels. All that the electric reels do is expand your fishery.
If the water is not rough, I will head out to different grounds to find untouched areas. Untouched areas put out big lings too. We have a lot of lings and they are considered recovered. They have found out that lings are not as old as they used to think they were. An old ling is 25-30 years old, unlike a 90 year old Yelloweye.
One thing I will add is that most people that have not tried electric reels, have no idea what they are like. You don't just put it in the rod holder and turn it on. Its not at all like a winch on a truck. You still have to fight and pump that fish up. Halibut fishing is a lot of fun, but the most fun for me is to study charts and try to figure out where they are, then go test it. I used use manual reels and pump three to five pounds. After a while it gets old. I am not knocking anyone as I used to think the same, its not sporty. But what is sporty about pulling a big piece of plywood off of the bottom? Its real work. Electric reels are a big investment for something that you don't get to use much.
I used to go to Canada all of the time halibut fishing, but came back to the US mostly. Especially since we got the straits fishery opened up when the fish are in. I can take out friends that are up in the years, that could not fish this fishery without the electric reels. It sure makes them happy to be able to be part of a fishery that they would otherwise not be able to do. We really target deep water with our electric reels. Last year we were halibut fishing up to 1200' deep.
I had JD spool up two of my reels with 1500 yards each. I have my eye on some 1500-2100' deep water a couple of plateaus beyond the normal 32 mile out spot out of Lapush. The real question is, "Is there anything there?" Can't wait for halibut to open!!!!!!!!!!!!