GOM Tuna - What Rod / Reel??

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by TxBuddha, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. TxBuddha

    TxBuddha Junior member

    11
    0
    The offshore bug is biting hard and if all goes as planned I'll make my first trip on the TFF tuna trip later this year. I've been told don't worry about gear as there will be plenty of extra to borrow from the regulars but I'm too much of a tackle 'ho to miss an opportunity to justify buying more!

    Looking over this board and several others I have some ideas but the more I study the more confused I get. Looks to me I need 2 outfits minimum to be outfitted, one conventional for chunkin' and deep drop and a spinner for topwater.

    Of the two the spinner looks to be fairly straight forward, something like a Saragosa on an OTI rod comes to mind spooled with 65# braid and a mono topshot.

    The conventional is where I'm confused. I see recommendations for reels ranging from Penn Baja Specials (discontinued as I understand) to Avet HX's, Avet 30/2's, 30 series Penns, and Accurate 665's.

    My thinking based on what I've read is that I need somewhere around 300-400 yds of 65-80# braid with a mono topshot. Am I thinking correctly here regarding line capacity? Seems like I need a minimum max drag of 20-25 #'s. True or not??

    As to rods for the conventional I'm not sure on but seems something like the OTI 600gr jigging rod is in the ballpark.

    What are ya'lls thoughts??
     
  2. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    1,568
    18
    Fo a conventional setup I would use 80# at least 350 yards for deep dropping purposes. I would suggest a reel that will put out more than 25# so you are not running it at the top of its drag rating all the time.
    Also though you can use a jigging setup to drop bait... I would have a separate chunking/bait dropping reel. I have used my oti 7' popping rod to jig with a few times and it seems to cross over pretty well. This link might also help...
    http://www.360tuna.com/forum/f68/recommended-tackle-list-gulf-mexico-long-range-fishing-61/

    Also about the reels you listed. The baja specials would make agood jigging reel but I probably would not use it for chunking. The avet hoox could almost do both if mounted on the right rod. THe b2 665 could do both if mounted on the right rod and its my favorite out of your bunch(minus the whiffle ball handle). Penn 30 could do for chunking but they are too heavy fro me to jig with...
     

  3. jig

    jig Senior Member

    1,321
    3
    I think you need 4 outfits to be well rounded and cover all situations.

    40# class, straight mono, 6-6.5' rod (avet LX, newell 540, similar, in single or 2spd.) For most of your fishing and jigging.

    60# class, 60# mono straight or as topshot over 80# spectra, 6-6.5' rod (newell 540 or 600 series low end, Accruate 665W, Senator 4/0, Shimano tld30II etc.) for your chunking, heavy jigs and could be used for bottom fishing.

    80# class, straight mono or as topshot over 130#spectra, 5.6-6' rod (Newell 600 series high end, Senator 6/0, TLD50II, etc.) for you AJ and bottom fishing.

    50-80# class spinner, 50-65# straight spectra with short leader, 7-7.5' rod (Spheros 14000 or similar) for tossing topwaters to YFT.

    These four will cover everything you need. If you just cannot have all four, You need 40 class and either 60 or 80 class. You can get buy with 2 if you choose tackle for double duty. For example:

    If you really want to throw topwaters, then you have to have a spinner. You could technically get by with just this one outfit (but I don't recommend it). You could use this outfit for your 40# class setup (jigging and other all around fishing). If you rigged it with 65# spectra (which I recommend regardless), you could chunk with it too and heavy jig. But you can't fish the rail with a spinner, and I think it would be a challange for AJ and big bottom fish.

    For 80# setup, you can go old school cheaply. You can get a broomstick rod on ebay for around $50, and a used 6/0 senator for about same. If you want big AJ and grouper, its hard to use anything else. But if you had 60# class conventional you could use it. You can use this outfit for chunking too.

    If you go with less than the four, you will have to make some compromises. What you choose to settle for is a personal decision on what tools you want for which specific job, and you budget. If you have to throw poppers, need a spinner, but if not, I would go with 40 and 60 class gear. You can likely borrow 80 from someone. BTW, I don't recommend throwing topwaters on your first trip. Chunking seems to be the highest percentage hookup and landing technique for new guys. And you really want a YFT on the deck your first trip, don't you? Save topwaters until after you have the blood from a few tuna on your hands.
     
  4. TxBuddha

    TxBuddha Junior member

    11
    0
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Looks like what I may need to do is look at a jigging outfit with 85# braid and a topshot to jig and chunk with and a bottom drop outfit with 130# braid and a topshot.

    Jig, I like your thought about needing to "catch a few" before I worry about poppers. I like better odds!!
     
  5. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

    5,457
    206
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Looks like what I may need to do is look at a jigging outfit with 85# braid and a topshot to jig and chunk with and a bottom drop outfit with 130# braid and a topshot.

    Jig, I like your thought about needing to "catch a few" before I worry about poppers. I like better odds!!


    I can chunk with my jigging rod if i ever have the desire(spinning or conventional) as well as bait fish,deep drop.

    With a popping rod like the Tuna sniper, a 600g jigging rod and one Stella 20000 with 80lb braid All you are worried about could be solved(chunking can get tricky with a egg beater but it can be done)

    As far as chunking and getting a few under your belt, I have been on the Big E and the topwater bite was the only thing happening for the night, then the next night the chunk bite was off the hook while the topwater bite was non exist. I would suggest you be flexible and see what method is catching the majority of the YF and go from there.

    d-a
     
  6. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    40lbs is too light for yellowfin on a party boat. dont be the guy who fights a 50lb fish for an hour with 12lbs of drag only to lose it at the gaff.
     
  7. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

    366
    0
    I would highly recommend that if you have at least 2 outfits, one is a popping rod. I've been on too many trips where popping is the #1 technique, even to the point of live flying fish being ignored. Granted there are plenty of times popping is a tough grind, to me it's the most productive day in and day out.

    If I only had 2 outfits, it would be one popping and the other an 80-100lb heavy conventional setup. You can jig with your popping rod just fine, and the conventional lets you chunk and easily bottom fish.

    If you have the budget for 3 outfits, i'd get the 2 above plus a 50-80 lb jigging outfit. You have those 3 you're covered for Texas party boat tuna.
     
  8. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    you can easily jig the bottom up to about 400-500' with relatively light jigs unless there is heavy current. no need to 5lbs of lead and a live hardtail most of the time ;)
     
  9. spineyman

    spineyman Senior Member

    2,030
    57
    I have a guy that comes down from Atlanta and fishes with me and he uses an OTI popping rod 600Gr and a Stella 20000, It would get heavy after a while but I have jigged with it and had absolutely no problems. So you could jig and pop and chunk with the same rod.
     
  10. lordhell

    lordhell Moderator

    4,723
    61
    It's not fun to fight a big bottom dweller (AJ, grouper) with a 7'6" popping rod, take my word for it. Stick to the shorter rods for that application.
     
  11. spineyman

    spineyman Senior Member

    2,030
    57
    I never said it was fun, I just said it could be done. I have seen him make short order of a 50# aj on it.
     
  12. TxBuddha

    TxBuddha Junior member

    11
    0
    Great info!! Keep it coming, I like the variety of answers and opinions!!
     
  13. TxBuddha

    TxBuddha Junior member

    11
    0
    FWIW, I really have a dislike for spinning tackle but having said that sometimes there's no good substitute.

    I'd like to keep my initial outlay down to 2 outfits for a number of reasons not the least of which is I absolutely hate cheap tackle:mad:
     
  14. jig

    jig Senior Member

    1,321
    3
    40lbs is too light for yellowfin on a party boat. dont be the guy who fights a 50lb fish for an hour with 12lbs of drag only to lose it at the gaff.


    Yes, but its perfect for everything else, esp jigging blackfin, and most of the stuff I target during the day. I would not leave it at home.
     
  15. jig

    jig Senior Member

    1,321
    3
    FWIW, I really have a dislike for spinning tackle but having said that sometimes there's no good substitute.

    I'd like to keep my initial outlay down to 2 outfits for a number of reasons not the least of which is I absolutely hate cheap tackle:mad:


    I hate spinning tackle too. But for tossing baits at YFT, I have only seen a handful of guys who can do it with trinidad class reels. You need to get too far out, and 99% of the people backlash. Horrible situation if a YFT picks up your bait.

    If you have to throw baits, get a Spheros 14000FA off ebay ($140), upgrade the drags ($10), and search for an affordable 60-80# class 7' spinning rod.

    Your 80# outfit can be had for $100, and that is good tackle.

    Then decide on either 40 or 60 class for your third. If you go really high end, I would go with 60# HX or 665 two speed. They are light enought to jig with if you use spectra and topshot. 80# specta backing, then windon leader loop to loop in 40 and 60 class.

    BTW, for 40# you don't need 2spd. You can get a used newell 533 or 454 for $60-80 on ebay, and put it on a 6.5' Ugly stik 30-50 class rod ($25 on ebay).

    You're set for around $1000 with very good tackle to cover every situation. And if your 60# rig is a penn senator on a heavy ugly stick, now you are down to around $500 for everything.

    ANd I would rather have all four in single speed, than one high end Accurate 665w 2spd. You can break into the high end gear gradually.
     
  16. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

    1,025
    7
    Some ideas

    Popping: Stella 20000 with tuna sniper 80. I have heard good things about the tuna sniper, but I haven't used or seen one. If you ever need to travel, you will be happy to have a 2 piece rod. The stella FA is great and a big upgrade from the saragosa 1800, IMO. The stella SW is too expensive for my tastes and for the amount of fishing I actually do. None the less, the saragosa is a little cheaper, readily available, and very nice. If budget minded, and not necessarily looking to whip every 100 pound tuna, then consider the cabo 80. The saragosa and stella can also be used for jigging.

    For chunking and bottom fishing, a 2 speed shimano 30, 50, avet sds, and similar sized penn, daiwa, or accurate will do the trick. You should see which reel fits your tastes the best and purchase it. I would match the reel to a 80-130 class calstar or seeker rod. All the seekers and calstars, even the old fiberglass series, are great, IMO. You can always go off the beaten trail and try one of the new John Baker JB 4 or JB 6 two speeds for both jigging and chunking and bottom fishing. I am not sure how well the reals have performed, but they look impressive on paper. Also, the alutecnos gorillas look impressive on paper and might work for chunking and jigging. I would match them to a heavy jigging rod such as a OTI 600 gram rod.

    Best of luck and tight lines!!
     

    Attached Files:

  17. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    1,568
    18
    My JB 12 has preformed flawlessly so far. I have only been using it for trolling, bait dropping and chunking. I tried it for jigging and it works fine. I just have a 665 for that already...
     
  18. hstsw

    hstsw Senior Member

    968
    116
    I never said it was fun, I just said it could be done. I have seen him make short order of a 50# aj on it.
    Agree - "You can don't mean you should" :D
    I did use a 7'6" for bottom fishing - forgot to bring shorter rod(s) etc... it is possible but it also a real work out for me to land AJs
     
  19. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

    2,835
    107
    Some ideas

    You can always go off the beaten trail and try one of the new John Baker JB 4 or JB 6 two speeds for both jigging and chunking and bottom fishing. I am not sure how well the reals have performed, but they look impressive on paper.

    It is a good looking reel. Very well made and very heavy duty. But, the two speed shifting device sucks. I sent it back in for the fix. If felt better on dry ground. Once over the water, the thing wouldn't stay in gear. Neutral works great. Two trips, two miscues, no fish. :mad: I'd stick with the single speed JB until a good fix for two speed is found. It does come with a two year warranty, so I'll send it back before it expires. I think John Baker is very honest and will continue to work on the problem until it's perfected. Maybe I just got a lemon. It's being punished right now, as it sits in the back row in the corner of the rod racks watching all his other buddies go to the fishing grounds.