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· Registered
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hy folks thanks for all the information I ask a lot of questions and rarely have any answers:D

I have JX 6-3 mounted on a CALSTAR 700H GRAFITER that I have been jigging with and has worked great . Now want a new rig & have a 700$ - 800$ budget for a new Popper set up . I know a lot of people will read this & think that I'm a whack job BUT!!!!! I have owned a STELLA 20000 on a SEA MAJCI rod and I could not get use to to the large and cumbersome feel of the rig. I personally have never had the acquired skills to fish with spinning gear.:eek: Locking at the OTI jigging rod for the JX 6-3.
#1 Casting the 700H YES or NO
#2 Conventional type of reel for casting POPPERS
#3 are the OTI jigging rod spungy or stiff
#4 Is 50# mono-floro to big for casting

· Senior Member
208 Posts
I've got the Stella 20k on the popping rod as well and agree it's a bit cumbersome. Ragman had the 8k on his popping rod on the GEM 06 trip and it handled the fish fine. That is a much lighter setup than what we are using. I'm thinking about getting another 8k (have one on a jigger) and a lighter weight, longer rod than my Tuna Hunter Special.

· Senior Member
665 Posts

I think Ragman has the right idea about the 8000 sized Stella for popper fishing! I've picked up the 20000 sized rigs and don't like them. I use a conventional for poppers, a 700H with a JX-2 or a Torium 20 for poppers and they work fine. Having said that, no conventional will give you the distance that a spinner will. More distance absolutely equals more hits!

1. Try casting poppers with the 700H to see what you think. You've got a good reel for it. I've tried a few 8ft rods with good luck, Calstar 6480 and a Seeker SD-8. Both were heavy and unfortunately had cork grips and no reel seats. Not especially good for fighting YFT. They threw farther, but were a handful when the fish got to the boat and just too heavy to cast over and over.

2. Conventional reels? I've had real good luck with the Torium 20 and a Kaikon 3000(same as TN20). The JX-2 is great but almost has too much freespool. I've seen the Torium 20 take YFT to around 120lbs, but also seen several of them break. But you don't need the 40+lbs of drag that a Stella 20000 puts out for popper fishing. Too much drag and you pull hooks or straighten them. On the party boats I've noticed that YFT caught on poppers come to the boat relatively quickly, the boat is rolling towards them, and since they are caught on the surface they rarely get the chance to dive very far so you don't really need huge line capacity either.

3. I've tried the OTI rods, but I wasn't sure if you were asking about for popping or jigging? I use a Shimano Trevala for jigging, but wish I had an OTI instead. The OTI is much stiffer than my Trevala! I've tried the OTI Jigging rods and they are NICE, but wouldn't use one as a popping rod. Wait until they get their 7' 6" Popper rod done, I'm already anxious to try that one and can't wait to see it!

4. 50lb for poppers? You could, but I use 40lb. I've tried straight spectra with short topshot, I've tried 100 yard topshot with spectra backing, and I've tried straight mono. I've about decided that for Gulf of Mexico popper fishing I can get by with straight 40lb Big Game mono with about 18" to 24" of 50lb flourcarbon for a leader. Fishing straight spectra is a nightmare when you backlash, and the 50lb leader helps prevent cutoffs if the fight is long. Using straight 40lb gives better distance than 50lb and has more abrasion resistance against the hull than 65lb Power Pro.

Anyway, just my opinions.

Tom - DBG

· Junior member
7 Posts
Hi Chaps
Interesting thread but could I throw something into the mix here as a slight offshoot.
You might be interested to pop across to the 'Caranx' board and do a search on 'twisted leaders' which I reckon are best way of rigging the front end of the popper set-up especially if you are a braid freack like me. You can substitute your particular breacking strain for the 100 lb (suffix) that used on Caranx.
My first hand experience is that they beat anything except the full wind-ons hands down.

· Moderator
859 Posts
Hey 6x6!

If you can cast poppers with a conventional reel, a spinner rig is a no brainer!!!

I used to use a 700TE (mainly because it had a line winder), but after tangling with a mean 108# YFT (and holding the boat up longer than I should have), I switched to the Stella 8K and an OTI 7' rod.

Dropping to the 8K size reel does bring the possibility of getting spooled into play. But, it makes me pay attention to technique and drag settings to make sure I get the tuna in as fast as possible w/o lollygagging around!!! LOL

The only problem with conventional for me, was having to or forgetting to move the line evenly back onto the reel while I was working the popper!

The TN20 or 30, the Kaikon etc., and probably the 870 2-speed with casting control all are fantastic conventional reels, if you can cast them consistently to their full potential.

For me the spinner is just EASY, especially when you're caught up in the moment of busting tuna, ducking other anglers casting, rocking boat, etc.!

OTI rods are very strong, light, and have just the right parabolic action for each application they are designed for.

I'm a spectra freak like you and I use 65# JB solid with a 2-3 foot mono leader of 60#.

Txseadog showed me the twisted leader, and I'm trying it on my next trip.

Good luck!

· Member
128 Posts
6x6 Did you every try the 700h and tn40 w/40lb set up I have? Do you want to try it on your next trip?

Deposit is only $800 but for you we can probably knock it down to $750 maybe $700 if you smile right.

Did you finish your tackle box? What about mine?
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