School Tuna Popper Outfit

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by gmack, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    First of I would like to make a formal introduction of myself. Name is Gary and I live in South Louisiana. I've been reading, researching and doing searches on the site before asking questions. Great information for people without experience with jigging/popping.

    Before finding this site I purchased myself a couple of budget jigging setups. So I'm good in that department..........at least for now. I haven't really been able to try them out yet due to the weather. So if I really love the style of fishing I may upgrade later in the year.

    I am able to make a couple of overnight trips a year to the "floaters" on a friends boat. I only have one trip under my belt so far, but hope to do a few more. My boat is not capable of a trip out that far. Although I don't have "bluewater" fishing experience I have been fishing inshore and near shore (with live bait mangrove snapper fishing being my favorite) all my life.

    My inquiry is about a popping setup to be used for the school size yellowfin and blackfin tuna we catch at night. I want a reel to spool with 50 or 65# braid (300 yards +/-). I must admit that I am a fan of Daiwa products. Because of the limited use I want to purchase a mid-priced (expensive to me) reel. It will be paired with a OTI 7'6" rod.

    The reels that have caught my eye are the Daiwa Saltiga Blast 4500, Daiwa Catalina 4500 and Shimano Saragosa. I'm willing to shell out the extra money for the Daiwa's IF they are better products. If the Shimano is actually better (and cheaper) than that will be my reel. Can any of you comment on what would be the better reel? Are the 4500 Daiwa's large enough for my intended use (remember I have limited experience)?

    I have seen the Quantum Cabo mentioned, but I owned a 20 size reel I used for inshore and near shore fishing. I take great care of my products and it quickly deteriorated cosmetically and lost it's "smoothness" in quick order. So I have decided to pass on the Quantum.

    One last question is about the rod. Again limiting my budget is the OTI popper the best rod in that price range? It sure does look sexy! Does the 2 piece design limit it's strength or longevity?

    Sorry for such a long post. I'm sure it's due to not being to sleep in over 24 hours (dang oilfield).

    Once again great source of information here guys!

    Thank you for any help/direction you can provide.
    Gary
     
  2. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    First, the daiwa saltiga blast 4500 only holds 140yds of 20lb mono, and that doesn't get you to 300yds of 65lb spectra. If you're willing to spend what it takes to get a Blast 4500, I'd go another direction.

    On ebay, if you're willing to shop around, you can get an original Stella 16000F for around $400. This would be my first choice.

    Another option is the Shimano Twinpower 8000HG. I've never fished w/ a Saragosa, so don't have an opinion on that.

    One thing to remember about the higher end gear like the stella: if you take care of it, it will lose very little value over time. On the "cheaper" up front stuff, not so much.
     

  3. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    So you think going for a used top shelf reel is better than buying a new mid-grade reel?

    I'm just afraid of what I would get used off of ebay.

    Gary
     
  4. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    gary I've bought alot of very good reels on ebay, as long as you buy from someone with a good track record you will be fine. The saragosa is a good reel and the OTI rod is a great choice
     
  5. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    Looks like I can get a pretty good deal on a brand new Stella FA from a tackle shop. He only has 6,000 and 20,000 in stock. Will be getting more 10,000 in a couple of weeks and a month or two for 8,000. What size reel should I get for popping and what OTI rod (50# or 80#)? This will be used at the "floaters" in Green and Mississippi Canyon.

    Thanks!
    Gary
     
  6. Muddskipper

    Muddskipper Senior Member

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    Looks like I can get a pretty good deal on a brand new Stella FA from a tackle shop. He only has 6,000 and 20,000 in stock. Will be getting more 10,000 in a couple of weeks and a month or two for 8,000. What size reel should I get for popping and what OTI rod (50# or 80#)? This will be used at the "floaters" in Green and Mississippi Canyon.

    Thanks!
    Gary

    Either the 10 K or 20 K....you wont need it till you get hooked up with the monsters in the canyon......
     
  7. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    gmack: I don't think anyone has answered your question about the rod yet--I do not own one, but I pulled on a couple of prototypes, and I do own the earlier, lighter, 7 foot version plus a couple of CalStars and a couple of higher end Japanese rods with removable butts--from my perspective (limited by a relative lack of experience compared to some on this board) you cannot do better than the OTI in terms of price point. Moreover, I own popping rods in the 7 foot, 8 foot, and 9 foot lengths, and to my way of thinking, 7 1/2 feet would be just about ideal.

    Second, the butt joint is not vulnerable in any way--someone else correct me if I am wrong, but if you were able to break this rod, it would not be at that joint--but at the tip by high-sticking it.

    With regard to the choice of reel, having fished out of Venice and been challenged only by 70 pound class tuna, if I had the good fortune to live there, I would put off a trip or two and use the money saved to buy a Stella 20K, 10k, or a Twinspin 20 or 30 with a minimum of 65 pound line. Sooner or later you will run into a big fish. That is the consensus of all the research I have done on this and other boards.

    Russ
     
  8. fishr1989

    fishr1989 Senior Member

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    I'd say take the 10k Stella if you can a get a good deal on it, the OTI rod is perfect for the fishing you want it for, the butt joint is nothing to worry about, many of the high end japanese popping rods are built off this design
     
  9. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys! Next week I'm going to pick up an OTI rod. I plan to spool up with 65# braid. Would you go with a 50# or 80# rod? I'm also going to pickup a used jigging rod when I see one pop up on here or other forums.

    I'm torn on what reel to get. I lust after the Daiwa Saltiga, but the price is up there. The Stell FA actually seems like a good deal at $500-600 new. The twin spin is another reel I would consider. I need to visit a shop that has all of them so I can "feel' the differences in them.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to make a jigging trip to the deep South Timbalier, Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon blocks. Well at least if the weather holds.

    Gary
     
  10. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    I don't know how the heavier rod casts lighter poppers and I am challenged as to casting distance. Again, I will throw out the caveat of my limited experience, but having fought a few medium-sized tuna--all on a 50-wide with 130 pound line and a 6 foot roller rod--my choice would be in favor of the heavier rod--I would personally take fish-fighting ability over a little extra casting distance. Having said that, given the 7 1/2 foot length, the lighter rod, by bending more, might take some of the pressure off you during the fight.

    Russ
     
  11. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    Russ,

    That's just plain mean, kinda like huntin' whitetails w/ a .338 Lapua. ;)


    having fought a few medium-sized tuna--all on a 50-wide with 130 pound line and a 6 foot roller rod

    Russ
     
  12. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Would you go with a 50# or 80# rod?
    Gary

    I think the 80# rod is more of a special purpose stick and the 50# is a better all around choice.
     
  13. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Crappie: If you took that analogy a little too far, I have seen a lot more dog-sized hill-country whitetails dropped in their tracks with .243 s, .257 Weatherby's, and .270 s, than with say, the big .340 s or .375 s. :D In the same vein, there were guys hauling in the same class fish on my trips with lighter tackle in less time.

    gmack: Between my opinion and that of Txseadog, I would definitely lean to his opinion about rods--he makes 'em! :)

    Russ
     
  14. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    Gary, welcome to the board!
    As previously posted, you cannot rule out hooking up w/ a big fish.
    the 7', 50# OTI spinner backed up w/ a Quantum Cabo PTs-70 is my
    rig of choice. plenty of drag & backbone should I get the big hookup,
    and still plenty light enough to really enjoy the blackfin,snappers, kings, etc.
    I have pesonally seen this combo slay tuna to near 90#!
    I bought the reel new on ebay from ohya sales for $165 shipped
    I think I paid $180 for the rod, and got 315y of 65# braid on it for $65
    total $410.00------ Less than a USED stella:D
    tight lines & maybe we'll hook up in Venice!
    -Brian

    Forgot to add, I can throw a 4oz. popper nearly 100y with this rig, and I'm sure that will get better
    as I get more experience.
     
  15. crazyjigr

    crazyjigr Senior Member

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    Gary,
    I'd go with the 80lb OTI and a stella 10000 (which will work great on that jigging rod too)you'll be go to go when big mama comes around and if you ever decide you dont need or want it you'll get most of your $ back out of them they will both hold high values.