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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a rod to pair with an 18/20K reel and PE10 that can handle larger class bluefin in the NE and OBX. Versatility an important factor; at the moment, I'm not looking to have dedicated rods for stickbaits vs poppers. Obviously, there is a trade off in softer or stiffer tips for working these baits. I'm hoping to find something that handle both, even if not perfectly ideal for either.

After doing my research, I'm looking at the Monster Ledge 250 and Ripple Fisher Big Tuna 76 as possible candidates. I'm hoping that anyone with experience with these rods can lend some insight. I like that the Ripple Fisher is rated for a lighter range of lures (60-180 grams), as most of the stuff I throw is solidly in that range. The Monster ledge 250 is rated at 120-220 grams, which seems like it would exclude a lot of the mid-range baits. Does the RF still have the backbone to compete with the ML in turning 72"+ tuna? How often do you guys find yourselves throwing stickbaits over 180 grams? So far, I have fished in the NE exclusively and haven't thrown anything heavier than a Deep Seductress 185, but I'm curious to know if people find themselves frequently reaching for heavier baits.

Finally, how do these rods compare in their ability to work stickbaits and poppers, respectively? Any insight appreciated!

I'm also open to other suggestions, if you want to nominate a different rod.
 

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I have some experience with both. I feel you can probably fish SB with both rods that is what they are designed for both have a fairly "soft" tip I think larger stickbaits and smaller poppers will be fine. Of course I am partial to the RF for many reasons, if I am spending that kind of money I demand a made in Japan 100% rod the fit finish etc is not duplicatable elsewhere. The RF rod will hold its value and there is a ready market for resale if you should decide to part with it for any reason. RF is a true manufacturer and in fact they are a 40 year old company that makes ovens, rollers and production equipment for the industry at large. If you look at overseas serious popping circles its all Carpenter and Ripplefisher they are 99% of the high end market for good reason - the value in the products. If you look my youtube I have some video on both rods in action you can better decide from there as well


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BT! I appreciate the information. I'm definitely leaning towards the RF, either the 710 or 76. The 710 would probably cover most of my bases, but I want a rod that can handle the occasional giant. Is the 76 overkill for 60-70 inch fish?
 

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I can see we have a serious sales pitch going on here. I own all 3 rods mentioned and have caught fish on all... RF 710 & 76 and ML 250 regular as well as ML 250 ST.

Do not get the 710 for giants... I have been in some dog fights with it w 70-80" and boy do I wish I had my monster ledges. I think the two brands are super comparable in terms of quality and output. Would 100% buy a monster ledge over either of the two Rippfishers mentioned, your butt section will feel more natural compared to length of blank and there is more lifting power as well as more length... The RF 76 would be comparable in power to the 250 and a smidge above the power of the 250st... but I wouldn't sacrifice the length. The 250 is my favorite rod for the NE and Cape Cod and can be sized down w a 14k if needed yet still deliver the power to land large fish. Comes down to how you like to fight fish and your strengths as an angler. I have caught dozens of fish on my 76 and 710 big tuna and think the world of them as well but if you want to play w giants and get best of both worlds go SWT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can see we have a serious sales pitch going on here. I own all 3 rods mentioned and have caught fish on all... RF 710 & 76 and ML 250 regular as well as ML 250 ST.

Do not get the 710 for giants... I have been in some dog fights with it w 70-80" and boy do I wish I had my monster ledges. I think the two brands are super comparable in terms of quality and output. Would 100% buy a monster ledge over either of the two Rippfishers mentioned, your butt section will feel more natural compared to length of blank and there is more lifting power as well as more length... The RF 76 would be comparable in power to the 250 and a smidge above the power of the 250st... but I wouldn't sacrifice the length. The 250 is my favorite rod for the NE and Cape Cod and can be sized down w a 14k if needed yet still deliver the power to land large fish. Comes down to how you like to fight fish and your strengths as an angler. I have caught dozens of fish on my 76 and 710 big tuna and think the world of them as well but if you want to play w giants and get best of both worlds go SWT.
Thanks Will! I appreciate the perspective. Just to be clear, do you primarily fish the 250 or 250st? My only concern with the 250/250st is that so many of the stickbaits I find myself using are under the stated lure rating. Do you find that the relative stiffness/faster action of the monster ledge is an issue when fish are keyed on smaller/medium sized baits?
 

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Treble - Np. Where do you fish mostly? Most of my exp w the line comes from 250 regular.. just picked up ST last season. 710 RF will throw 2oz better then the ML 250... But at that point I really prefer a lighter setup with a 14 or 8k. The RF 710 pairs better w 14k imo. I threw the Rave 180 and Siren Bolt with ML 250 just fine. If it were me, I would get ML 250st... they are are better for true floating stickbaits and have the power to land giants yet have caught plenty of 45-50" tunas for me this year on lighter lures while still providing good action and parabolics. They just restocked and had been sold out for at least a year for good reason.

I would compare the power of RF 710 to the Racepoint 150. But would much rather have RP 150 for the length, its best stickbait rod for lighter lures and has landed fish up to 84" in under 90 mins. If you want best of both worlds go 250ST.. if you want a big stick that has more foregiveness to power ratio then anything else in its class get the 250 regular. The 250 regular was designed for the Siren 185 ds and works sinking stickbaits and medium to large poppers very well.

All comes down to how you like to fight fish, both RF and SWT present lures as good as the best out there... but if you like to put the heat on fish and can lean into a fish to end the fight with confidence in short time, I would go SWT all day. Not to mention its easier to warranty and there's a custom builder / repair guy in long island if you have any issues for short $.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Treble - Np. Where do you fish mostly? Most of my exp w the line comes from 250 regular.. just picked up ST last season. 710 RF will throw 2oz better then the ML 250... But at that point I really prefer a lighter setup with a 14 or 8k. The RF 710 pairs better w 14k imo. I threw the Rave 180 and Siren Bolt with ML 250 just fine. If it were me, I would get ML 250st... they are are better for true floating stickbaits and have the power to land giants yet have caught plenty of 45-50" tunas for me this year on lighter lures while still providing good action and parabolics. They just restocked and had been sold out for at least a year for good reason.

I would compare the power of RF 710 to the Racepoint 150. But would much rather have RP 150 for the length, its best stickbait rod for lighter lures and has landed fish up to 84" in under 90 mins. If you want best of both worlds go 250ST.. if you want a big stick that has more foregiveness to power ratio then anything else in its class get the 250 regular. The 250 regular was designed for the Siren 185 ds and works sinking stickbaits and medium to large poppers very well.

All comes down to how you like to fight fish, both RF and SWT present lures as good as the best out there... but if you like to put the heat on fish and can lean into a fish to end the fight with confidence in short time, I would go SWT all day. Not to mention its easier to warranty and there's a custom builder / repair guy in long island if you have any issues for short $.
Thanks! This is extremely helpful. I fish mostly in Cape Cod and NJ. Looking to do my first OBX trip this year. So, is there ever a situation where you would rather reach for a Ripple Fisher than a SWT rod? Or, with your style you always prefer a SWT? I'm a young/strong guy, but 65" is the biggest fish I've had on spinning gear to this point. I'm sure my technique could use some more refinement, but I don't think a faster action SWT will be too hot to handle for me on bigger fish.
 

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No problem. I'm a cape guy and fish NJ here and there. If you're doing OBX I would go heavier or use the guides gear.. not sure who you're fishing w down there or if you're trailering.. The Big tuna 76 or ML 300 are best tools for down there. ML 250 will be fine but you need big spool as those bigger headboats down there dont chase the fish down like CCs. I pick up the ripplefisher 710 if I know the fish are under 65" and I really want to work a mid sized stickbait. It has slightly better action I'd say w smaller stickbaits then ST. I will grab the 76 if I know its going to be bigger fish and I have a popper on or I know casting distance isn't an issue (ie fish are approachable and actively feeding). All else equal I'll grab my SWT rods 9/10 just for confidence in fight / end game. This year was a story of giants and small footballs on the cape with not much in between. So I found I was either fishing my lighter rods or my ML 250s mostly depending on the class.
 

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Tomo's up north in Salem MA has great selection of RF along w tuna tangler. If you PM I am happy to share more or send videos / bend in action of both.
 

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Hey Will you seem super knowledgable and I certainly don't want to get in a pissing match with you or anyone else but always two sides to any discussion. Its true the SW rods are designed to be a bit faster yes if you are in the shape to take advantage of that yes it can be an advantage, by design the RF and Yamaga rods are "softer" they are more bendy and tend to be easier on your back. Different weapons same end goals. In terms of the warranty I will comment that your milage may vary, your dealing with a single shop and a very unique and colorful owner, if he likes you no issues, however if you're not in the "crowd" your milage will and does vary. I can name and won't plenty of guys that have been turned away when it comes to a warranty claim and/or given an outrageous replacement cost again your milage will vary. With RF you are dealing with a Corporation, one over 40 years old that not only makes rods but makes the manufacturing equipment to roll and bake those blanks. Also the way RF rods are made, in Japan, the tolerances are so tight and exact that if you bust a tip section or your dog decides to chew on your handle section you can order a new one and it will fit perfectly. Repair wise we routinely source these tips and handles from RF its a pretty easy and fairly priced process, in terms of "Authorized" Repairs we too have the luxury of a great number of builders in our backyard like Mike Garone who performs repairs, replaces guides, et al.

 

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Boston Tangler - Good to know on warranty and repair stuff for RF. Such a historied company. Wouldn't want to get in a pissing match either, I have limited experience compared to some on this site. One can't go wrong with either rod. As always, appreciate your contribution to the site and forum!

Cheers,

Will
 
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