Gulf Tuna Popping Blanks

Discussion in 'Rods and Rod Blanks' started by jedi243, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. jedi243

    jedi243 Member

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    I have seen the question of which blank to build up for tuna popping on a couple of different boards and figured I would summarize the recommendations here.

    For 40 lb (schooley size tuna)
    700m(20-50) - longer and will improve casting distance
    765xl(20-50) - a little more backbone than the 700m but still soft
    above can launch lighter 1.5 oz poppers with ease ... well suited to 4500 size saltiga or 8000 size stella

    50lb(most gulf tuna)
    700H - most popular and well suited for 20-100 lb fish, nice flexible tip for launching poppers
    765L - similar benefits to 700H but easier to fit in a travel tube
    either of the above will handle 20-25lbs of drag... good match for larger stella, saltiga, accurate, van staal

    60-80lb(bigger gulf tuna)
    700XH - difficult to load with poppers under 3 oz but has brutal power for lifting fish. Somewhat hard on the user for a rod this long with a high rating
    765ml - a little harder to cast but with practice and gloves can become a tuna artillery piece. Definitely needs 4 oz poppers, bottoms out at just over 30 lbs of drag... matches well to any of the large spinners fishing 80 lb braid


    txseadog please add if you see points I have missed as I know you have been making suggestions on the other boards as well after building a couple of these
     
  2. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    You might wanna add my favorite blank Seeker CJBF70H for 50#.
    Also consider Kencor Zebra Z66X3080M 6'6" rated for 30-80# got to love this rod. JMO
     

  3. jedi243

    jedi243 Member

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    I was putting the calstars up as that is what I am familiar with, the blanks you mentioned from what I have seen are great as well. Maybe someone with some GUSA experience can add their preferred blanks.
     
  4. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Great thread Jeremy and welcome to 360!

    I like to fish with the lightest equipment that I can reasonably get away with!
    No more TE700 popper reels! LOL!!!

    I love the GUSA rods because they are light due to their all graphite content.

    My favorite blank for offshore topwater is the Monster Mag (30-60). It rates more towards the 50# of its range.

    Txseadog is building a rod for me using the Hastings blank that is the MonMag, but it has about 4% glass instead of all graphite. I'll be putting a Stella SW8000PG on this rod.

    For my jigging/spinner set up, I'm ordering the 6 foot rod from Randy at Angler's Pro Shop. Finished it will be about 5' 10" and should handle anything I can catch in the GOM.

    This is my first rod that's not a GUSA or Seeker, so I'm relying on feedback that I've received from others' experience.
     
  5. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Hey Kil!

    Thanks for the confirmation!

    I spoke with Randy today and finalized the specs!

    Really a nice guy.
     
  6. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Here are some more blank recommendations for casting/popping rods that I have personal experience with (all are 7' unless noted):

    30# (10-13# drag)
    * Seeker SD8 - 8' and will cast a long, long way but better for smaller fish.
    * Shikari BT7030 - 100% graphite with a nice bend, very light

    40#
    * Seeker CBJF70 - a little heavy but is often considered on of the best 7' 40# blanks

    50#
    * Gusa 70 MonMag / United URS-70H-Mega - one of the lightest heavy spinners you will find.
    * Seeker CBJF70H - TJ's favorite
    * Super Seeker CBJF70H - these seems to have much faster action (think Calstar Graphiter) than the black steel models

    60-80# -- you need to be in shape or have a very good technique to use these effectively.
    * Gusa Predator / United URS70XXH - light but powerful
    * Seeker CBJF70xh - can double as a chunk rod but needs the 4oz poppers to cast well.

    General blank observations:
    Calstar - typically have the fastest action and can be a little rougher on the angler but are the gold standard IMO having the best compromise of weight, castibility, durability, cost and fish fighting ability.
    Seeker - more moderate actions than the Calstars but a generally a little heavier than the calstars.
    Gusa/United - are high tech and make the lightest rods of bunch but can be fragile if you don't treat them corectly (no high sticking)

    My custom spinning rod recipe:
    * blank of choice
    * aluminum gimbal
    * 12" hypalon rear grip
    * reel seats -- use a fuji deluxe 24 for lightness or a aluminum to match a color scheme
    * rod ring for using a harness with the 50#+ rods, requires aftco #2 (or comparable) reel seat) -- I suggest getting the 2 piece model so you take it off if you want.
    * 10-12" taper hypalon fore grip
    * Fuji M-frame guides -- 40,25,16,10,10,10,10,10 + 10 tip (use size 12 on the heavier rods) but let the blank decide if you need 4 or 5 running guides (the 10s or 12s).
    Guides - the BMNAG alconites work well but if you spend $500+ on reel you might as well spend the extra $30 a get the MNSG sic guides.

    Total cost:
    These components will be somewhere in the range of $160-300 retail + $60-150 for the wrapping. You can bank on the final cost being somewhere in the $250-$350 range.

    Final thoughts:
    Custom rods look expensive when compared to some of the off the shelf rods that major retail chains carry but are close to the price of the factory rods from the blank manufacturers listed here if there is a comparable model. I can assure you once you fish a custom rod that is assembled correctly you will not look back.

    **
    edit 01/12/07 -- cleaned up a couple of typos and added a little more info
     
  7. bellyup

    bellyup Member

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    Final thoughts:
    Custom rods look expensive when compared to some of the off the shelf that major retail chains carry but when are close to the price of the factory rods from the blank manufacturers listed here. I can assure you once you fish a custom rod that is assembled correctly you will not look back.

    Jeremy, I agree. I have a custom Seeker EX CJBF 65 H rod that I love for topwaters. It loads and casts poppers great and is a very nice 40-50 pound rod. It is uncut, so it is nearly 7 foot long. It has landed 91 and 118 pound yellowfin. It is a blue steel, so hard to find. I would expect it is very similar to the black steel.
     
  8. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    Txseadog,
    You got me excited about another spinning rod. I don't need it but so what. I'm going nuts here with busted up ribs. I would like a seeker CBJF70H blank, Alumn gimbal, 12" hypalon,Gold anodized alumn reel seats w/rod ring - 2 Piece, 10 to 12" Hypalon foregrip, and MNSG guides. Send me a quote and a time frame. I'll probably buy a stella 20K, twinspin or maybe the Saltiga Dog Fight Z6500H to place on the rod.
     
  9. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Gunsmoke,

    How many rig do you have?
    You must be a tackleho.

    Let's hear what you already have.
     
  10. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    It's embarrassing. I keep tackle in three locations. Years ago, people would come over to check out the fishing tackle furniture. Women don't like tackle all over the place, but when it is put into a custom walnut piece's that conceals it they don't mind. I have one piece that looks like a buffet but when you open the doors there are forty full extension drawers with dividers full of tackle. That piece is now at a friends house.

    I'm really not sure what I really own. I know for a fact that I have 3 of the 128qt igloos full of marlin lures. Most are water ready. Some will be classic collector items someday. I do also remember buying 500 mirrorlures at a closeout a few years back. I don't even bayfish. I've just started giving a lot of rod and reels that I don't need or will ever use to needy families. I plan on continuing this as I slowly clean out all the stuff I don't want or think it has a chance of becoming a collectible.

    I also have an igloo cooler problem. I have the capacity to haul 4800 pounds of ice at one time. Last year I bought a 10,000 pound flat bed trailer to haul ice and beer to an annual fundraising party held in Port A.
     
  11. bellyup

    bellyup Member

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    I also have an igloo cooler problem. I have the capacity to haul 4800 pounds of ice at one time. Last year I bought a 10,000 pound flat bed trailer to haul ice and beer to an annual fundraising party held in Port A.

    I think I just found a friend for life!:)
     
  12. mcgolfer

    mcgolfer Guest

    i need to introduce gunsmoke to my wife. maybe he could make her realize that i am not the biggest tackle "ho" in the land....rick
     
  13. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    The biggest tackle "Ho" I came across was last summer on ebay. I bought about 6 calcutta 700's from him. His auctions kept coming and coming. I finally wrote him about his inventory. This guy had no junk. All reels were new in box and all were either cast aluminum or machined aluminum. Penn internationals, Accurates, saltigas, tiagras, trinidads and so on.

    He had built up an inventory of over 360 reels. The funny thing is that he hadn't fished in 15 years. He was obsessed with fishing reels. No rods. Just reels and no lures or any other tackle. He was selling them to pay for a 4 way by-pass because he didn't have any insurance.

    I have a old friend that hasn't fished in 10 years. He still buys reels all the time. Saw him at a wedding last month and he told me he had over 100 tiagras and 85 internationals. He's single so I told him to leave me in his will.

    Mcgolfer you can now tell your wife that you are far from being a tackle ho.
     
  14. Bazztex

    Bazztex Senior Member

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    Gunsmoke

    I bought a new Tiagra 30W LRSA off that guy about 60% of retail because he flooded the market with about 50 new Tiagras.. Awesome deals!

    Anybody fish Shikira rods ... I just got a custom 7ft popper casting rod.

    Bazz
     
  15. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Anybody fish Shikira rods ... I just got a custom 7ft popper casting rod.
    Bazz

    I like them and they're made in Kellyville, OK to boot. I have a bt7030 that is a joy to fish 30# on.
     
  16. Bazztex

    Bazztex Senior Member

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    Hey TxSeaDog

    Thanks for the info.. I had checked out their web site before I bought the rod.. got it off Ebay with shipping for the price of the blank.. Best I can tell it's a BT7040 has plenty of guts.

    I also got a GUSA SW7060XH which was built by Charkbait that I'm going to use for YFT topwaters.. but I'm not sure about them stainless eyes with braid?? Any thoughts on that being a heat build-up problem with braid if we get into some more 150# Class YFT's on the Cinco trip.

    Thanks

    Bazz
     
  17. SSFIREMSN

    SSFIREMSN Senior Member

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    I have a tiger stik Spinning rod 20-50# 7' and a penn 9500ss I was going to use will this work alright with 65#spectra or am I putting to much on this rod? Thanks steve
     
  18. jedi243

    jedi243 Member

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    The 9500 will work fine with that rod and 65#. Just keep the additional antireverse on. I have seen that combo land a number of yellowfins up to 80 lbs.