Tackle for Yellowfin/Blackfin/Bottom

Discussion in 'Pelagics' started by Uncle Russ, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    2
    Gentlemen:

    I have no doubt this post will pose many of the same questions you typically get from new tuna fishermen, but I am going to take a slightly different slant and tell you all what gear I have on hand and ask what more (if any) you would recommend. I will be moving to Rockport in a couple of years and doing a lot of flats fishing--I have done that for many years. I have also fished offshore--strictly bottom fishing for smallish amberjack and snapper.

    However, this summer, I will be doing a 52 hour trip on the Big E, and have never caught a yellowfin or a blackfin for that matter. I intend to do this or something like it once or twice a year until I go belly up, so it won't be a one-time purchase. Rightly or wrongly, here is what I own that might be usable for such a trip (and again, I am focusing mainly on the yellowfin:

    1. Cabelas Standup 50-130 pound (1st roller guide and tip) with the Boss Twin Drag 665 high speed spooled with 300 yards of 100 pound Powerpro with a 75 foot 80 lb. flourocarbon top shot.

    2. Heavy Ugly Stick (normal guides) OR 7 foot tiger (which is a better casting rod) both, having maximum stated capacity of 50 lb line) with the older style Shimano Calcutta 700 with level wind.

    3. Older, Shimano 7 foot spinning rod (15-30 lb) with two Penn SS 8500's and one Salt Striker 80 (325 lb. of 30 lb mono capacity).

    4. A couple of Shimano Calcutta 400 reels with Power Pro and 25 lb. mono respectively.

    My primary question is this: Will I realistically need anything in addition to these rigs for a 52 hour trip on the Big E, for bottom fishing plus whatever yellowfin we might get into. I am assuming that the spinning rigs (and maybe a little heavier duty rod) would be OK for blackfin.

    More than anything, I am interested in whether I need a heavier rig for bigger yellowfin than the 665 setup. Do I realistically need something like an Avet 30 or a Penn or Shimano 50 wide? Or will the Boss handle it? (I realize that many of you would not have chosen that reel, and I'm OK with that.)

    In the alternative, is 300 yards of 100 pound spectra a good choice, given the reel I have? Or would you recommend a greater length of say, 65 or 80 pound.

    Is a top shot desirable or necessary, or maybe just a 6 or 8 foot flourocarbon leader?

    I'm certain I will have rigging questions as well but that's enough for now. Thanks for your help.

    Russ
     
  2. mcgolfer

    mcgolfer Guest

    take the 665 and put it on the heavy duty ugly stick. use this set up for jigging and snapper fishing.

    take the cabela stand up rod and buy a avet 30 2 speed reel and put it on that rod and use it for chunking for yellowfins and amberjack or grouper rig.

    rig the penn spinner with 50 or 65lb spectre and use it for casting poppers and drifting baits for kings. could also be a good snapper or ling rig.

    that would only require you to purchase one reel and that reel will give you all you need to land most any fish in the gulf.

    100lb spectre is a little heavy for the 665. go with 80lb and a short mono or flourocarbon leader. the longer mono top shots are there to keep you from losing any of your spectre to break offs and do add some stretch that can be beneficial in certain situations. i personally use just straight spectre and short leaders.
     

  3. jt2hunt

    jt2hunt Senior Member

    792
    7
    This is what Dr. Shark sent me when I asked the same question. I got an avet instead of the tiagra. I just couldn't find a used tiagra soon enough. I also have his setups listed furthur below. I hope sharkie doesn't get mad at me for posting his secrets.(wink wink).

    Boots that you won't slip on the boat to wear.


    I have the Stella 20000 for casting Top Water Poppers. There is not a perfect rod for the large spinners. FTU has a 40-50 class rod that will do but I much prefer the Calstar 700H blank. I had one built for me for my Stella and had a Rod Ring installed while it was being built. Cost was about $340. That rod with the Stella 20K is the perfect combo. The Rod Ring allows you to hook up the fighting harness when fighting a big fish and makes all the difference since you can't use the rail whit a Spinning outfit. in addition the Calstar has the backbone to handle a big fish once it gets in the Death Spiral. Remember the Quality of the meat on a YFT is much better the faster you can get the fish to the gaff.

    I also have the Torsa 20 that I use for jigging. I origionally put it on a 80-200 Shimano Travala Rod with 60# Spectra but the rod dosn't have the backbone to handle a big fish. I have since bought a 550-650 gram jigging rod from Chris at Islander Custom Tackle in Galveston for $165. I believe it is just about perfect now jigging for big fish. I use 80# Spectra with 17' of florocarbon leader for Jigging.

    My Chunking Combo is a Shimano Tiegra 30W on a Calstar 30-80 Baby Boomer. I use 80# Spectra and about 50" of 60# Top Shot. It is ideal for chunmking for YFT in Texas Waters as will handle 99% of the YFT's we might hook up.

    Then I have a Avet 50sds (narrow) with 130# Spectra on a Seeker 60-100 Rod for bottom fishing for Big AJ's and Grouper.


    CHUNKING:
    Tie Bimini Twist in Braided line.
    Attach 50Yds. of top shot w/
    Reverse Allbright.
    Add 150# ballbearing swivel
    Using SanDiego knot.
    Add 7’ Florocarbon Leader
    Using SanDiego knot.
    Tie on 5/0 or 6/0 Owner Mutu Circle
    Hook w/ SanDiego knot.

    Jigging:
    Tie Binini Twist in Braided Line.
    Add 17’ Florocarbon Leader
    Using Reverse Allbright
    Tie on Jig with SanDiego knot

    Topwater:
    Tie Bimini Twist in Braided Line.
    Tie on 160# Barrell Swivel
    Using Offshore Knot.
    Tie on 18” of 100# Premium Leader
    Using SanDiego Knot.
    Tie on Lure
    Using Mono, non-slip loop knot

    Bottom Fishing w/ Bait:
    Tie Bimini Twist in Braided Line.
    Tie on Premium Snap Swivel
    Using Offshore Knot.
    Attach Premade leaders to
    Snap Swivel.

    Lines:
    Chunking, 80#-130# Solid Spectra.
    Jigging, 65#-80# Solid Spectra.
    Spin Casting, 65#-80# Solid Jerry
    Brown Spectra.
    Bottom Fishing, 80-130# Solid Spectra.

    100% Knots You need to Know:
    Bimini Twist, SanDiego, Revirse Allbright
    Offshore, Non slip Loop Knot, Palamor
     
  4. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

    702
    2
    Welcome to 360tuna Uncle Russ.

    You got some excellent advice from one of the Gulf of Mexico's finest tackle ho's. McGolfer is very knowledgeable both about what is new and what works. Jt2hunt also gives very applicable insight to tuna fishing.

    I feel that the trip is more important than trying to have the newest and best tackle.

    I have bought most of my rods and reels used. I did not get the latest and greatest. I researched several forums and learned what worked for many different folks. I asked pointed questions, as you are, and gained valuable knowledge.

    My biggest screwup was buying rods without being able to try them first. You are in position to pull on several rods before you make a choice. Also, you'll find that folks here are happy to allow you to try their reels too. (Ya gotta pay fer it ifna ya loos her!)

    Make the changes that McGolfer suggested on the rods. You want a 2 speed, lever drag, reel for the heavy rod. I would lean towards finding something used to save the budget and take a trip sooner.

    That tuna don't know what kind of reel you are holding or how the rod is wrapped. Keeping his head up and dragging his backside to the gaff is paramount. That's just my opinion.
     
  5. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    2
    Wow,

    Excellent advice indeed. My thanks to you McGolfer and J2Hunter for the information and to you, Seagull, for the opportunity to participate in such a fine forum.

    I have long been convinced of the necessity of the Bimini Twist, however, I had the expected difficulty tying one with Spectra. After a lot of surfing, I found that folks on the East Coast were using a 40 turn twist, glued after all was said and done, and I got that to work perfectly with Power Pro in the 40-65 pound range. However, when I got the new 665 the other day, and tried to tie a Bimini with only 30 turns, I couldn't get the line to roll up over itself as it should. Oh, it worked, OK, but I'm sure it isn't 100 percent with all those partially covered twists up near the loop. What's a mother to do? Do any of you gentlemen have experience tying a Bimini with Power Pro?

    In future lessons, I will be pressing you to tell me how to knot extremely heavy mono (80-250 pounds). I've read about it but would be interested in what works on the water.

    Thanks again and hoping I don't die of old age before I can contribute something to you guys instead of just begging for info.

    McGolfer: If you are actually a golfer, I will confide right here and now that I used to be pretty good--once had an 18 on a par 3.

    Russ
     
  6. Pope

    Pope Senior Member

    1,635
    178
    Good luck on your trip. Live and learn. There will be guys on the trip to watch and get tips. Learn how to use the rods and reels before deciding on a set up. Remember to follow your fish. This is the one thing that drives me a little crazy when party boat fishing in Texas. You got some good advice already. Have fun and congrats on the soon-to-be move.
     
  7. newman

    newman Senior Member

    100
    0
    Take a scale and attach it to the line of the spinning setup and gage how much pressure the rod gives and how much more it has in reserve with the drag set at 15# on one of the 8500's. If the Shimano rod doesn't have enough backbone then have spinning guides put on the Tiger rod for throwing poppers. Other than that I would rig up like McGolfer said.
     
  8. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    2
    I have a pretty good idea, generally, of what is involved with bottom fishing and with surface poppers and flying fish lures (but of course advice is always appreciated and I have no pride.)

    I am curious about what is involved in jigging and chunking, respectively. With jigging, is there any distinction for what tackle to use between say, diamond jigs and the knife type or butterfly jigs.

    Also, with jigging, do you have to cast very far out to the dark spots? I am horrible at casting, (having used spinners all my life) with even the best conventional reels. So hopefully I won't have to cast all that far with the 665?

    With chunking, do you cast or just let the bait down into the water?

    Thanks to all,

    Russ
     
  9. Snagged

    Snagged Senior Member

    1,374
    5
    You'll find the higher speed reels often work better for both types of jigs.
    For my style of jigging the current and drift makes the difference on casting.
    With chunking you cannot cast, the hook is slipped into a slice in the bait and the line is fed out by hand to allow the bait to fall with the chum.
     
  10. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    2
    Well, as usual with me on forums having to do with areas in which I am interested, I posted my question first then later found a lot of info on the same board: i.e., the fine article by Minnow on rigging for long range trips. Couldn't be much more specific than that. Thanks to all for the good info. May still have more nagging later on. I will basically be following McGolfer's advice as to rigs with the exception that I may go crazy and spring for a Twinspin or a Stella as well. My kids are grown and I really don't give a dog's rear end if they inherit anything or not.

    One question: Are we talking here about the AVET Pro EXW 30/2 with 40 pounds maximum drag or the TRX with 70 pounds. It's a difference of some 10 ounces and $250.00.

    Regards.

    Russ
     
  11. mcgolfer

    mcgolfer Guest

    the exw not the trx. we use the trx 30 and 50 to pull stumps out of the ground up here in oklahoma. 40lbs of drag is more than most of us can handle for any length of time on a rocking boat.....rick
     
  12. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

    558
    5
    One time I tried to see how much drag a human could withstand before he is yanked into the water. I tied an 130 international to an oil rig and set the drag to max. We preloaded about 100 yards of 400 lb mono. Granted, it was a slow day and the group was bored.

    The rule is that you had to be strapped into a bucket harness with straps attached to the lugs on the reel. You had the option to sit or stand. Whoever could last the longest time would not have to pay for dinner.

    It was a blast. I went first and opted to brace myself with my knees against the corner of the transom. WOW, when the boat was full throttled, the mono leader stretched for a couple of seconds and then I was upside down and airborne. It's hard to swim or float with a 130 rig and a bucket harness wrapped around you.

    The next guy decided to sit in the chair. Bad choice. We should have put a football helmet on him. When the mono finished stretching he went head first into the transom. Nobody else attempted the task. After we docked, an ambulance was waiting and he took 29 stitches to the scalp. Lesson learned here is to catch fish so you don't get bored and do stupid things.
     
  13. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

    702
    2
    Note to self:
    Do not bet on dinner with Gunsmoke!
     
  14. mcgolfer

    mcgolfer Guest

    lmao at gunsmoke. so exactly how much drag was that? you port a guys need to fish more and think less.....rick
     
  15. Pope

    Pope Senior Member

    1,635
    178
    I just read the lab tooth loss incident and now this. Gunsmoke, I am starting to have the same concerns as Rick.
     
  16. jt2hunt

    jt2hunt Senior Member

    792
    7
    Gunsmoke!!!! That chit is funny. Man I wish I had some video. How much libations had been downed on that boat before someone got a "bright" idea.

    lmao lmao lmao sides are hurting lmao
     
  17. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

    2,834
    99
    One time I tried to see how much drag a human could withstand before he is yanked into the water. I tied an 130 international to an oil rig and set the drag to max. We preloaded about 100 yards of 400 lb mono. Granted, it was a slow day and the group was bored.

    The rule is that you had to be strapped into a bucket harness with straps attached to the lugs on the reel. You had the option to sit or stand. Whoever could last the longest time would not have to pay for dinner.

    It was a blast. I went first and opted to brace myself with my knees against the corner of the transom. WOW, when the boat was full throttled, the mono leader stretched for a couple of seconds and then I was upside down and airborne. It's hard to swim or float with a 130 rig and a bucket harness wrapped around you.

    The next guy decided to sit in the chair. Bad choice. We should have put a football helmet on him. When the mono finished stretching he went head first into the transom. Nobody else attempted the task. After we docked, an ambulance was waiting and he took 29 stitches to the scalp. Lesson learned here is to catch fish so you don't get bored and do stupid things.

    I happen to have been on this trip. That was the bloodiest deck I have ever seen. Human blood, and lot's of it. I was next up in the rotation. If salamander wouldn't have cracked his head open, I would have nailed that test. Now that I'm a little wiser, I don't think I'll attempt it.
     
  18. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

    702
    2
    !!!
    Momma told me about folks like this.
     
  19. Bazztex

    Bazztex Senior Member

    221
    2
    Uncle Russ

    The Avet Pro 30 is plenty of reel and lighter than the EXW or TRX .. you really dont need the extra line or drag... 20-25 pounds of drag for GOM YFT is plenty.

    Narrower reels are also easier to keep level when you reel in.. the wider reels wobble side to side because the reel handle is so far off the reel seat center. I've got a Tiagra 30W LRSA and it's a pain to reel when a heavy fish takes about 200 yds+ of line out... wished now that I had gotten the narrower Ti 30A instead.

    It's best to stay with lighter weight gear on longrange trips to conserve your energy to fight the fish.. not your gear ... LoL

    Have A Great Trip Yall!

    Bazz
     
  20. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    2
    Bazz: Thanks. That confirms my suspicions on why folks don't go with overkill.

    Russ