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Ideal Popping reel size for New England

  • 18000H

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • 14000XH

    Votes: 4 66.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I’ve been lurking on this board for a couple years now and I’ve enjoyed reading all kinds of great info but I couldn’t find the answer to my most recent question so here I am.

Here it goes. I have a beautiful new Tuna popping rod built on the Thrasher TRMF-76H blank (built by Zack) and I have this sweet Daiwa Saltiga 18000H to go with it but…

Would I be better off going down to a 14000XH instead? The difference in gearing isn’t a big deal (2” difference in retrieving rate) but the weight is huge! The 18000H is almost a half pound heavier than the 14000XH! I spent the big bucks and had Fuji Torzite Titanium guides put on so I’m kinda thinking the reel weight is blowing that weight savings (however small it is).

So right now I’ve got the 18k spooled with 65lb braid and it looks like I’d lose about 100yds if I stayed with 65lb on the 14k. Would I be better off moving to 50lb on that reel? This rod was specifically built as a Tuna popping rod for MA and RI waters on private boats or small charters as I have NO Tuna experience (and two small boys who can’t drive the boat yet) but I’m excited to get out there even if I have to charter.

If I went down in reel size I could use this rod for Stripers as well and not wear myself out, but I’ve got others reels I could use instead (VR200 and assorted Saltist and BG’s and Spinfishers). So tell me, Tuna experts, would I rather have the extra line or extra weight savings? I have no idea how likely I would be to encounter a monster in these waters but I do know they have been pretty close to shore the last couple years.
I maybe I should just MAN up and swing the bigger reel? Opinions??

Thanks for taking the time to read all this crap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depends on target size. Less than 70 inches, go with the 14K, greater than 70 inches go with the 18K.
If only I could pick one size fish my preference would be the smaller (not sure how I’d fit a 70”+ fish on my boat!) but I’m not sure I really get a choice and I’m not sure what’s more common in my area. I’m tempted to go 14K just to be able to more comfortably use it for other applications since I already have conventional jigging outfits. Thanks for the reply!
I’m kinda surprised that this question has had over 100 views but only one person voted so far.
 

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That's a 20-100 Rod. For me, I'd go 18K if I were running 100# and 14K if I were running 60/65# Talk to Zac about his recommendations on what would be the sweet spot for that rod but I'd guess it's closer to 65 than 100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a 20-100 Rod. For me, I'd go 18K if I were running 100# and 14K if I were running 60/65# Talk to Zac about his recommendations on what would be the sweet spot for that rod but I'd guess it's closer to 65 than 100.
I like the weight of the 14K but 300yds of 65lb just sounds so short to me. Am I wrong to want more line for tuna of unknown dimensions (Especially as a beginner)?


Get both reels. Spool the smaller reel with 50lb and use it to chase smaller fish. Keep the bigger reel and bigger capacity for when the commercial fish are around…
I wish I could justify buying another Saltiga. I have thought about trying my Van Staal VR200 on it to see how it feels but that reel lives on my GSB surf rod and is currently loaded with 40lb Suffix 832. The Saltiga is just so buttery smooth I figured I’d sell the 18k to buy the 14k. Of course talking to one of the local charter Captains has me thinking of trying it out jigging (I do have a Star spinning jigging rod with a Daiwa BG6500 on it but I haven’t tried it out yet) In which case it could serve double duty in a pinch (although I really prefer keeping my reels on the Rod I bought it for).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you don’t mind the weight just get an 18k and buy a second spool- they pop up used from time to time. That’s what I did. 400yds of 100 on one. 500yds of 65 on the other.
It was the weight I was trying to cut down. I already have the 18k but I’m thinking of replacing it with a 14k spooled with Threadlock 50lb. I could use it as my “one rod to rule them all” setup. I don’t envision chasing monster tuna with it realistically as I’ve been told that this area sees trolling as #1 and jigging as #2, bait #3 and popping not as frequently but hopefully not to cows. I love the rod and just think I’d love it more if the reel weren’t so heavy but didn’t want to screw myself by going to small.

I did speak to Zack today and he said the 14k should be great. He’s got NY and NJ guys using 10k’s because it’s not that deep out here where I’m fishing.
 

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Take it down to the Goose or send it to Basil and I'm sure they can get as much line on there as possible for you-I had gotten about 350 yds of JB 65 on a 14K Certate before I sold it. About all the options you have until someone makes a 16k haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Take it down to the Goose or send it to Basil and I'm sure they can get as much line on there as possible for you-I had gotten about 350 yds of JB 65 on a 14K Certate before I sold it. About all the options you have until someone makes a 16k haha
I love the Goose but damn that’s a long drive to NOT fish (1-1/2 hour without traffic)! Maybe I’ll take the trip next month. I bought a couple things from them at the Saltwater Fishing Show this year. Good people!
 

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I would stay with the 18, you can not control the size of the fish but you can be better prepared for the bigger fish when it happens. When you get more experience you may want to start messing around with different class set ups but for now you might want the added security of the 18. The weight doesn't bother me and I fish mainly east of the Cape and there is always the chance of something 200lb plus so I run all 20k or VS 275's and I love em.

For what its worth I also use Basil and would recommend him without a doubt. I do however spend a lot of time at the Goose, great guys always willing to talk fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would stay with the 18, you can not control the size of the fish but you can be better prepared for the bigger fish when it happens. When you get more experience you may want to start messing around with different class set ups but for now you might want the added security of the 18. The weight doesn't bother me and I fish mainly east of the Cape and there is always the chance of something 200lb plus so I run all 20k or VS 275's and I love em.

For what its worth I also use Basil and would recommend him without a doubt. I do however spend a lot of time at the Goose, great guys always willing to talk fish.
Thanks, I’ve been struggling with it back and forth. I’ve been told to keep it and put it on a jigging rod and buy the 14K as well but I don’t think I’m ready for another jigging rod just yet. I wish I could cast them side by side to see if it made a big difference. The other suggestion was to buy a Saltist MQ in 14K and keep the 18K for big fish. I like that idea too.
 

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I keep thinking I need some 18k’s for smaller tuna but I can not justify the price when I feel the 20k gives me more versatility as far as fish size goes. Off the Cape we can hook into giants at any point so I like to be on the safer side. I do know guys that have been spooled on a 20k class reels and one that had the reel lock up it was getting stripped so fast.
I say fish until you feel like you have to get something different. When you can’t take it anymore then you’ll know what you want.
 

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i am getting the 18K with a spare 20K spool. have also been going back and forth with the 14k. But have decided to get the 18k (and 20K spool) so i can catch anything. if later i find it really is too big to keep using i will get rid of it for a 14K.
What did you end up doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I kept the 18k but there’s a 14k for sale nearby for $750 and I’m VERY tempted to pick it up. The problem is that I don’t really care for the slick knob of the Saltiga and the color is awful, dark blue doesn’t go with anything. I’ve been using my VR200 on the same rod and I much prefer the light weight and the silver looks great but the line capacity is a little short for bigger game. I know that looks shouldn’t matter that much but I spent a good deal of money on custom rods and picked out the colors that looked good with the black blank. Maybe if it were a white blank tied with blue and gold trim…hey, wait a minute. Maybe I DO need another ROD! I haven’t fished the 18K yet so it’s just sitting there waiting. It’s really the 1/2 pound of extra weight that I’m opposed to dealing with. At the end of the day I just really don’t have enough experience to make the best judgment on the choice but decided to stay with the 18k so I could carry the extra line in a heavier weight braid.
 

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I agree with you on the looks. Everyone says what a stunning looking reel, but to be honest i think it looks a bit gaudy and tacky myself with all that gold bling and metal flake, But cant argue with its performance, one h&ll of a reel.

Maybe get a custom rod , dark blue (same colour as saltiga) with gold thread... may actually look pretty good then

I really wanted to get the van Staal VSX 250 Bailed (stunning looking piece of machinery) but the drag is a problem, they are just no where up to the standard they should be for such a high end reel. I was thinking to try putting greased carbontex drag washers in and see if that helps at all.

i actually fish low butt style (see link below) so the weight of the 18k is not an issue..

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, that’s a pretty interesting reel setup. Kinda like a fly rod. I‘m a lefty and I tried for years to get a right hand VSX but only managed to finally get one in a VR. It’s a decent enough reel but yes, the drag can be a little sticky. I was eyeballing the Certate SW as well since it’s basically the same as a Saltiga except for the rotor, and in my opinion, a better handle. I’m not a fan of the MagSeal though. I’m sure it works well enough but I do like to service my own reels and it’s just not possible now. I’m still watching that 14K though.
 
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