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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm pretty much a tuna noob and am hoping y'all experts could help me figure out a casting setup? I'm planning to go on the winter 360tuna group trip on the new buccaneer and GPB's site says to have a spinning combo for casting.

I've been one one tuna trip on the La Pesca and had a penn 6/0 on a roller rod which I used for chunking where I successfully landed 1 yft and had 2 break off because I had no idea what I was doing. The deckhand tried to explain to me how to use the rail after I asked for advise, but I'm a weak female and when the tunas weren't nearly pulling me over the rails, I was folded up almost in half like a taco with my arms outstretched, my butt sticking back, and my back killing me. I clearly have poor form and strength. I've also read casting gear makes it harder to land tuna?
  • I will probably only use the gear a max of once every other year, so maybe 10-15 times total.
  • I'm a 5'9 female who does not work out and my back is pretty weak
  • I would like to be able to cast halco max 130's, yummee flyers, and halco roosta poppers (not sure if casting these will all work on a setup?)
  • I want something that if a part breaks or it needs service in 10-15 yrs it won't be an issue/parts won't be discontinued (seems like shimano would be out).
So given the above, I'm not going to be looking for top of the line gear obviously since that would imo be a waste of $ based on frequency of use, but I do need gear that can sling out the casts far without me being superman, but be strong enough to make it doable for me to land the tuna without dying. The trip I was on, several of the fish were above 100#. Mine was the boat dink weighing in the mid 50's.

I have 2 casting reels currently, a penn spinfisher v 6500 and a garcia mitchell 496, but I've been told neither are suitable for this application. Is that true?

I was reading that many people recommended the oti tuna sniper rods, but I guess those are now older/obsolete and comments on the newer ts2 model seemed to indicate people don't think highly of that rod? Or perhaps rod tech has just massively advanced?

So experts, what gear might you advise for this noob and why? Thank you for your help in advance!
 

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If your looking for a budget set up, I’d get an ugly stik jigging rod. I believe they run for 70 dollars . Be sure that ur getting the spinning versions and match it up with your spinfisher. Put some 80lb braid on there and you’ll be able to use it for tunas up to 100lbs. This is a easy set up if all ur trying to do is burn in halcos. Your spin fisher isn’t ideal but it works in saltwater and for someone with a smaller frame is 6500 size reel(penn) is probably best anyways.

a longer rod means your able to cast a bait further(usually) but it also means a harder fight. Fighting a tuna on a 6’6” ugly stik is much easier than a 8ft oti popping rod.

the rail is great in helping you land fish. but rail rodding is usually done it’s best to have a rod that’s built to take the force.YouTube how to rail rod tuna. It’s widely used in west coast fishing. An okuma pch xxxh is probably the cheapest true rail rod. If all you have is a senator, learn how to upgrade the drag and handle . Look up alantani online for tutorials. This is not a set up to cast lures. This is for chunking

most people that have fought big tuna know that it’s not a brute strength challenge, it’s an endurance challenge. I’ve seen 140lb men bring it tunas as big as them cus they have great endurance. Hit the gym, and my best workout for prep before a trip is a rowing machine and weighted rope swings.

Lastly go on lots of trips, you’ll learn something new on everytrip. read up on this forum for plenty of tips.
 

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If you want to throw halcos well and want a rod to help your back while fighting tunas I’d recommend the Thrasher Raw 85 blank. https://thrasherblanks.com/shop/ols/products/raw-85. It’s definitely lighter and stronger than the blanks already mentioned here. It only costs about $100 but you’ll need a rod builder. (I have one if you dont.)

For jigging and chunking any jigging rod will be easier than a roller rod. The tiger lite jigging rod will be a good start.

If you’re on a budget the Fin-nor lethal 100 would be a good reel to go with, about $150. I’d recommend the shimano Saragossa SW if you could swing that though.
 

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Hard to beat the ugly stick lite jigging rod. I got the 7’ version with a penn battle just to fool around. Pretty stout little set up if your into spinning gear.
 

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The Battle II 8K on an Ugly Stik Tiger is a great combo for entry level. It's durable, inexpensive, and parts will always be available. I use that setup myself. I also have a Saragossa 20K on an Okuma Custom Hawaiian popping rod that I love but I've only used it on one trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you want to throw halcos well and want a rod to help your back while fighting tunas I’d recommend the Thrasher Raw 85 blank.
Thanks BNZ :) I reached out to fillet2release like you recommended, but haven't heard back from him.


I see most of y'all are recommending the shimano saragossa. Can someone explain why all the recommendations? Is it super light, or amazing, or...? I had heard it's near impossible to get parts after 5 years on shimano reels if something breaks. My concern with shimano is part availability in the future. I tend to buy reels once and be done. How would it compare to something a little less $, like the penn battle 8K or fin noir 100 that is being recommended? Do any of y'all cast the battle 8K all night? Are you sore after?

If your looking for a budget set up, I’d get an ugly stik jigging rod. I believe they run for 70 dollars . Be sure that ur getting the spinning versions and match it up with your spinfisher. Put some 80lb braid on there and you’ll be able to use it for tunas up to 100lbs. This is a easy set up if all ur trying to do is burn in halcos. Your spin fisher isn’t ideal but it works in saltwater and for someone with a smaller frame is 6500 size reel(penn) is probably best anyways.
How much 80lb braid would the spinfisher actually hold? Would it be enough?

a longer rod means your able to cast a bait further(usually) but it also means a harder fight. Fighting a tuna on a 6’6” ugly stik is much easier than a 8ft oti popping rod.
Can I get enough casting distance with a short jigging rod? It seems like people try to set up their combos for 100+ yard casts?

the rail is great in helping you land fish. but rail rodding is usually done it’s best to have a rod that’s built to take the force.YouTube how to rail rod tuna. It’s widely used in west coast fishing. An okuma pch xxxh is probably the cheapest true rail rod. If all you have is a senator, learn how to upgrade the drag and handle . Look up alantani online for tutorials. This is not a set up to cast lures. This is for chunking
Yes! I did upgrade the drag but not the handle before last trip. What difference would upgrading the handle make and would this be better mounted on a jigging rod for chunking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
apologies if this ends up as a duplicate post, my previous reply seems be be hung-up with a message that says "awaiting moderator approval".
If you want to throw halcos well and want a rod to help your back while fighting tunas I’d recommend the Thrasher Raw 85 blank.
Thanks BNZ :) I reached out to fillet2release like you recommended, but haven't heard back from him.


I see most of y'all are recommending the shimano saragossa. Can someone explain why all the recommendations? Is it super light, or amazing, or...? I had heard it's near impossible to get parts after 5 years on shimano reels if something breaks. My concern with shimano is part availability in the future. I tend to buy reels once and be done. How would it compare to something a little less $, like the penn battle 8K or fin noir 100 that is being recommended? Do any of y'all cast the battle 8K all night? Are you sore after?

If your looking for a budget set up, I’d get an ugly stik jigging rod. I believe they run for 70 dollars . Be sure that ur getting the spinning versions and match it up with your spinfisher. Put some 80lb braid on there and you’ll be able to use it for tunas up to 100lbs. This is a easy set up if all ur trying to do is burn in halcos. Your spin fisher isn’t ideal but it works in saltwater and for someone with a smaller frame is 6500 size reel(penn) is probably best anyways.
How much 80lb braid would the spinfisher actually hold? Would it be enough?

a longer rod means your able to cast a bait further(usually) but it also means a harder fight. Fighting a tuna on a 6’6” ugly stik is much easier than a 8ft oti popping rod.
Can I get enough casting distance with a short jigging rod? It seems like people try to set up their combos for 100+ yard casts?

the rail is great in helping you land fish. but rail rodding is usually done it’s best to have a rod that’s built to take the force.YouTube how to rail rod tuna. It’s widely used in west coast fishing. An okuma pch xxxh is probably the cheapest true rail rod. If all you have is a senator, learn how to upgrade the drag and handle . Look up alantani online for tutorials. This is not a set up to cast lures. This is for chunking
Yes! I did upgrade the drag but not the handle before last trip. What difference would upgrading the handle make and would this be better mounted on a jigging rod for chunking?
 

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Thanks BNZ :) I reached out to fillet2release like you recommended, but haven't heard back from him.


I see most of y'all are recommending the shimano saragossa. Can someone explain why all the recommendations? Is it super light, or amazing, or...? I had heard it's near impossible to get parts after 5 years on shimano reels if something breaks. My concern with shimano is part availability in the future. I tend to buy reels once and be done. How would it compare to something a little less $, like the penn battle 8K or fin noir 100 that is being recommended? Do any of y'all cast the battle 8K all night? Are you sore after?

part availability isn’t a concern after 5 years, try 20 years. You get what you pay for in most reels. Your arm will be sore regardlessof what reel you use if you cast all night.But it’s a good kind of sore. You can look up weights and try to scrutinize it but in general t larger reels will weight close to 30-33ozs.


How much 80lb braid would the spinfisher actually hold? Would it be enough?

300 yds If you use any decent brand. Don’t skimp on braid . And yes it is enough.Yft are unique though, sometimes you’ll have a mad 60lber make u feel like your backs about to give out. Other times, I’ve seen 120lbers come in 5 minutes


Can I get enough casting distance with a short jigging rod? It seems like people try to set up their combos for 100+ yard casts?

Yes, 100 percent you can. And no you don’t need to cast 100 plus yards.

Yes! I did upgrade the drag but not the handle before last trip. What difference would upgrading the handle make and would this be better mounted on a jigging rod for chunking?
upgraded handle allows you to get a better grip on the handle thus allowing you to put more torque and prevent hand cramps. I would not put the senator on a jigging rod. You’d want to put it on a rod with plenty of foregrip so you can rail rod it
 

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Just a note on casting distance. Yes, a longer popping rod will give you better distance, however to take advantage of it you need to force yourself up into the mix on the bow. On the New Buc this is a crowded and busy area. If you are throwing overhand a popping rod really helps. If you prefer to have a little room around you then you will be somewhere mid starboard and you need to throw underhand. Based on experience the shorter rod excels at this. You will still get adequate distance once you get good at underhanded throws. It doesn't take long to get good at that.

Can you throw a Battle 8K all night? Yes. Its a little heavy, it's bulky, and it's neither as pretty or smooth as the higher end reels. On the other hand it's built like a tank, it's simple, it has adequate drag for the job at hand, and if you can't replace the part then replacing the reel won't break you. If you are using it once every other year you will never wear it out.

Now for my controversial statement. Your Penn 6500 Spinfisher is not the recommended reel for this job. That said I have killed a number of YFT with my much older Penn 6500ss. I did this with the reel loaded with 20 lb. Ande mono. The fish I caught were typically 30 to 50 lb fish but I have one 70 lb YFT on that rig. I've never been spooled, I've never lost one to a broken line, and I never upgraded the drag. These days I have it loaded with 50 lb braid and a flouro leader. I'm not saying you are set with that reel because if you hook into one of those 100 lb + monsters you may be hung out to dry, but it could put meat on deck if you used it.

The other advice you have received is valuable. Rail rodding takes so much stress off your back and arms. I'm 6 ft and bending down to rail rod isn't easy during a fight but I do it with my conventional setups because it gives me more power.

Tuna fishing isn't cheap, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune either.

Hope this helps. You are definitely in the right place to get advice. Good luck and tight lines!
 

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here they recommend the Battle so you can look at a HS fast retrieve 8000 27.7oz or maybe okuma azores (the lethal100 is already large size with 30oz)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
here they recommend the Battle so you can look at a HS fast retrieve 8000 27.7oz or maybe okuma azores (the lethal100 is already large size with 30oz)
That's helpful. I don't think I could throw a 30oz reel all night. I get sore after a few hrs of throwing the spinfisher on a 9 ft okuma surf rod and the spinfisher is a little under 25oz I believe.
 

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this has been a super interesting read - I have absolutely NO helpful input, but as an east coaster who doesn't get to do party boats for YFT, its been a super interesting read and I have to say that I am shocked as to how light the gear everyone suggested was. I guess all I ever heard, in the early days, were guys trying to catch monsters and the gear associated with that quest. It's nice to see you don't have to go crazy and spend thousands on a single setup to really be able to target the sub 100 class YFT. calm seas and tight lines on your quest!!
 
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