My new Tuna Popping Spinning Rod

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by ksong, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I just got Shimano 9' Tiralejo spinning rod (TRS-90MH2).
    Line weight is 15-30lb (mono) and 20-65 lbs (braided line), and
    Lure weight is 1-3 oz. The rod weight is only 14.5 oz.

    This rod is definitely too light for big tuna, but I think it handles tuna upto 100 lbs if you treat the rod gently.
    I purchased this rod just for bluefin tuna popping on the Stellwagen Bank and Cape Cod Bay where you have to cast very light and small poppers in 1 - 3 oz range.

    I made a decision to buy this rod after I used the Shimano's 10' Tiralejo to land a few yft on the Gulf of Mexico trip and I heard of Capt. Terry of the Ridtide's success with St Croix's 7' Premier Saltwater rod rated 20-40 lbs. He landed over 50 bluefin tuna on the rods this year alone.

    OTI (360tackle.com) introduced new 7' tuna popping rod recently, but I can not comment on the rod as I didn't see it yet.

    If money is not an issue, I highly recommend to buy Japanese popping rods. But high price tag of over $600 is not for everyone.

    I ordered two piece St Croix bank( PM70HF2) rated upto 65 lbs for popping tuna. I think this blank can handle tuna in 100 lbs range.
     
  2. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    Kil- you really need to check out OTI's spinning rods... they are light enough to cast those smaller popper, with enough backbone to land 100 pounders.
     

  3. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    Kil,

    I opened up a USPO shipped tube that had an OTI 7 foot popper rod in it and handed it to you when we were in Louisana before the Capt Tomeny trip...

    Black with yellow trim... It had a nice rod sock too.
     
  4. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Kil,

    I opened up a USPO shipped tube that had an OTI 7 foot popper rod in it and handed it to you when we were in Louisana before the Capt Tomeny trip...

    Black with yellow trim... It had a nice rod sock too.
    It was funny that I was looking for an opportunity to test the rod on the trip as I knew you would get one for the trip. But I forgot about the rod while fishing on the trip. :confused:
    I bented a few popping rods while we were at Tomeny's lodge. The OTI rod could be one of them. I might thought it was one of the expensive Japanese popping rods. :)
     
  5. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    I forgot about lots of things on that trip... It was an endurance trip for me. How long can I stay awake and fish. LOL!

    In a word that rod is "SWEET"
    It does remind me of a much more expensive Japanese rod. That is part of why I like it so well.
     
  6. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Tony,
    While casting for several hours on the trip, the reel and rod weights became a big factor for me. That is one of the reason I choose the light rod for bluefin popping even I might encounter a 150 pounder. ;)
    I heard Sami got a 50-60 lbs bluefin on a popper today.
    I have a trip on Tuesday. We are going to troll for scouting. While trolling, we are going to jig when we see some marks in deep and throw poppers when we see some surface action. There is no way tuna escape us as we cover everything. :)

    I hope I can show you some bluefin pictures caught on poppers or jigs after the trip.
     
  7. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    I wish you good weather and great fishing. :)
     
  8. stickbom

    stickbom Member

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    Hi Kil, so how many of the Tiralejo surf rods do you have now and how would you rate them? I might be keen to order one myself and would like to hear some reviews from folks I am familiar with :)
     
  9. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Hi Kil, so how many of the Tiralejo surf rods do you have now and how would you rate them? I might be keen to order one myself and would like to hear some reviews from folks I am familiar with :)
    I have two. one is TRC-100MH2 and the other is TRS-90MH2.

    TRC-100MH2
    It is 10' casting rod. Line weight is 17-40 lbs mon0 / 20-65 lbs braid and lure weight is 3-5 oz. It weighs 17 1/2 oz.
    The tip part is as thick and strong as 500 g jig stick.
    I originally purchased this rod for popping yellowfin in Gulf of Mexico.
    I landed three yft on the recent Gulf of Mexico trip though they were not big.
    The rod is very strong and I feel I can land any tuna under 100 lbs with this rod. Fighting tuna with long 10' rod is not easy, but it is not that difficult as many people think if you know how to fight.

    TRS-90MH2
    It is 9' Spinning rod. Line weight is 15-30 lbs mono / 20-65 lbs braid and lure weight is 1-3 oz. It weighs 14 oz.
    The tip part is light and looks fragile to fight big fish.
    I purchased this rod to cast light one or two oz poppers for bluefin in Cape Cod Bay, MA. Though it doesn't look strong to fight tuna, I decided to buy this rod as I have to throw one or two oz poppers and there are reports that professional guides there catch bluefin regularly with similar action St Croix spinning rods. The rod is very light (14 oz) and cast pretty good.
    After I caught a 80 lbs bluefin on this rod, I am convinced this rod can handle a tuna upto 100 lbs if I treat the rod very gently. :)
    This rod has a life time warranty and I can use it for other purposes if I break it whiling fighting tuna and get a replacement. :)
     
  10. papio

    papio Senior Member

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    Ksong, I assume the rods are one piece. Are there any 2-pc popping that could handle an 80-100lb tuna or AJ? Is this a custom build issue? I'm looking for long rod but space dictates a 2-pc for me.
     
  11. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Ksong, I assume the rods are one piece. Are there any 2-pc popping that could handle an 80-100lb tuna or AJ? Is this a custom build issue? I'm looking for long rod but space dictates a 2-pc for me.
    They are two piece rods.
     
  12. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Ksong, I assume the rods are one piece. Are there any 2-pc popping that could handle an 80-100lb tuna or AJ? Is this a custom build issue? I'm looking for long rod but space dictates a 2-pc for me.

    I met with a Japanese rod builder at a tackle shop last month that had 7- 8 ft popping rod in 2 pieces that had a flexable tip for throwing swim baits but you could lift a horse with it. It was amazing. Some type of custom S glass blank

    They said people catch 150+ tuna on rod very easily...if there is such a thing


    ***there is a smith 80/35 popping rod that is very popular that Randy sells**
     
  13. papio

    papio Senior Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  14. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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  15. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    I had the opportunity to try out on a limited basis, two prototypes of the OTI 7 1/2 foot rods. I say limited, because our captain did not want us blind casting and the tuna were mostly out of range while we were chunking. So our party was unable to hook up with one. I saw Captain Eddie pitch an OTI Wombat Chugger way way out there with one (I am not a good caster at all, and I get only about 165-180 feet on all rods I have tried--Smith, Calstar, and OTI. Also, Fred (gimmedeal) was able to load the slower of the two rods (he did not cast the faster of the two) and was very pleased with it.

    These OTI rods are different animals from the seven foot which Fred owns and I have seen. They are two piece (in the Japanese fashion with a butt joint) and the two we tried out only weighed 18 1/2 ounces, which is about 4 ounces more than an 8 foot Smith I own. And I think most of that weight differential is in the material of the upper grips, so it isn't out there on the end exerting leverage on you. An engineer might correct me, but I think that matters. Also, even though they weigh somewhat more than the 80P/35, they can handle FAR more drag and provide superior fish-fighting ability for larger fish. The lighter Smith is limited to 11 pounds maximum drag and I personally deadlifted 15 pounds with both prototype OTI rods which they took without blinking (I will post photos later). And, as everyone knows, the developers of the blank have lifted far more than that on them. Uncle Russ is just plain chicken. (I don't want my doctor to tell me my erectile disfunction was caused, not by high blood pressure, but by particles of carbon in my...but you get the picture.)

    The butts are much thinner than those on the heavy Calstars and Smiths. (I did not have calipers so did not measure them.)

    I have not yet checked the weights of the heavier rated Smith Ltd rods (mostly GT sticks) but I intend to tomorrow, and I strongly suspect that the OTI final edition will compare favorably in weight with the Smiths, Carpenters, and Fisherman rods of comparable line-rating.

    At least two and maybe more of our party will almost certainly buy the finished product if it is relatively fast and heavy, and if the price point is comparable to the other OTI rods. (Because of the nature of the rod, it is almost certain to be more expensive and understandably so.)

    Russ
     
  16. The lighter Smith is limited to 11 pounds maximum drag ........

    Russ

    Hey Russ, correction! WRC80P/35 is not limited to 11lb drag, I used it for 4 solid days of GT fishing in Africa with 8-9kg (16-18lb) initial drag setting and making half a turn or more during the fight. Heres a over 75lb GT I caught with the rod.

    [​IMG]

    Although I do not have extensive experience in Tuna popping but the few trips I made lately makes me think that the key importance for an all round tuna casting rod (different scenerio i.e.; oil rigs, surface feeding etc) is casting distance. And as most tuna available to top water plugs rarely go beyond 100lb, power of the rod is secondary. During the GOM Trip organised by Kil, I landed a few tuna between 40lb and 70lb, they all came in easy; pound for pound not even close to a GT's fight. My biz partner Sami who landed a few nice tunas was also surprised they are so easy to land. As such, I think a longer rod rated for PE5 will do the job in general and the next important factor of a popping rod is weight; any season casting angler will know how important it is to have a light setup to counter casting fatique.

    I have now gotten myself a Zenaq FC86-4 for tuna casting, that extra 6" and lighter action rod will make casting 60-100g lures much further.

    During the GOM trip I had the chance to fiddle with Tony's (Deep Sea Gull) OTI popping rod, the finishing was great and felt like a very strong rod but was not impressed in the weight department. It would be nice to see a rod at half the price of Japanese rods that will function just as good.

    Gman,

    casting rods made of 100% glass is history in Japan; just like monofilament, most rods for popping and jigging are made from carbon or carbon composites.
     
  17. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Thanks for the correction, Randy. My mistake. I meant to say 11 kilograms, which would of course, be 24 pounds--not 11! That is the "maximum drag" stated on the rod itself, and you are certainly approaching that with 18 pounds.

    I was in no way trying to disparage the 80P/35. I love it and have no doubt that feeling will grow as I get to use it more. My only point was that I had made a weight comparison in which it is lighter than the shorter OTI rods and wanted to point out that for that 4 ounces, I have no doubt the shorter, heavier rods would handle more drag. And no doubt, even with the correction to my mistake, that would be the case. I in no way intended to say that you would need much drag for Gulf tuna but just trying to make the weight comparison fair. Also, while I like the OTI handles, I do think they probably add some of the weight.

    Russ
     
  18. No worries Russ, I figured you meant 11kg.

    I totally agree with you on the OTI rods, they are indeed very strong rods, if distance and weight is not an issue as to some taller and bigger built anglers, this is the perfect rod for gulf tunas.
     
  19. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    I suspect the fairer comarison would be with the Tokara (which you wouldn't let me buy for my own good!--now I am glad I have the 80P.)

    Russ
     
  20. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    If OTI 7 1/2 ft rod weighs 18 1/2 oz, it is a little heavy for me as I feel I need one lighter than WRC80P/35. :)