Ultralight BFT Fishing

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by pametfisher, May 9, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    It's raining here this morning and I just tied a leader onto my Striped Bass setup to see if I could find some early schoolies.

    The reel is a Stradic 5000 FH and the rod is a G.Loomis PBR843S. The key specs are:

    Reel: 240 yards of PE3, max drag 25 lbs.
    Rod: 10-25 pound

    So I'm thinking why can't I catch a 100 pound Bluefin tuna on this setup. Here's my plan (okay, not really):

    -10' 50 pound leader, Mid knot connection to the PE3, 42 pound actual breaking strength

    -Drag set to 18.75 pounds well within Shimano's spec so that's not a problem ;) , bottom of spool drag just before the line breaks would be 35 pounds

    -Spool will be iced on long runs

    -Rod angle will be kept shallow so that it doesn't break

    -Boat motor will be kept running in case I get too near the bottom of the spool

    -Fish will be lifted during the final spiral with the Ksong back saving (in this case rod saving) method

    What is going to keep this plan from succeeding?
     
  2. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    I think it might work for one fish. The Stradic isn't exactly designed for that size fish. Kiss the drag goodbye after one fish. Do you really think you can maintain 18#'s of drag on a Stradic 5000 for 30 minutes?

    I use a Stradic 2500 for catching bait. I accidentally hooked up to a 25# Jack Cravelle once. I only had 12# test line on the reel. It took over an hour to get the Jack to the boat. The drag was smooth for the first half hour as I pushed it to about 10#s. I was really hoping to lose the fish. The drag started to chatter towards the end of the fight. The rod I was using was only rated to 15#s. I had to point the tip at the fish most of the battle.

    What I am trying to say is, If you have the time and just want to try your experiment out, then go for it.
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I think it might work for one fish. The Stradic isn't exactly designed for that size fish. Kiss the drag goodbye after one fish. Do you really think you can maintain 18#'s of drag on a Stradic 5000 for 30 minutes?

    I use a Stradic 2500 for catching bait. I accidentally hooked up to a 25# Jack Cravelle once. I only had 12# test line on the reel. It took over an hour to get the Jack to the boat. The drag was smooth for the first half hour as I pushed it to about 10#s. I was really hoping to lose the fish. The drag started to chatter towards the end of the fight. The rod I was using was only rated to 15#s. I had to point the tip at the fish most of the battle.

    What I am trying to say is, If you have the time and just want to try your experiment out, then go for it.

    I think you're absolutely right. As I was lashing it up I realized I didn't know what the drag was so I looked it up. It says 25 lbs. As you point out, what's missing from the spec for this reel and every other reel I have is how long it can put out its stated drag. Kind of impressive that by the bottom of the spool, if it's not cooked the drag would get into the 30s. Then I wonder about the bail, shaft and anti-reverse, etc.

    I think even if I ice the spool, the washers are so small they'll disintegrate or cook themselves. Still, as I posed the question, I'm staying within the limited spec on the box.

    I forget what you fish but I've had the Stella 20K FA drag apart. If the heat flows out of that drag stack not too fast and not too slow, it looks as good as some big conventional reels. It'll be interesting to see how it does with 150 lb. plus fish this summer. I'll keep the ice handy for this one too.

    The rain's coming down harder and what I really want to do is get out for some smallies.
     
  4. fishingeek

    fishingeek Senior Member

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    It is worth trying. If you need to cool off the drag then buy a couple cans of compressed air from Staples. Turn the can upside down and the the air comes out freezing cold but don't spray the line or it may freeze and break.

    Keep us posted.
     
  5. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    It is worth trying. If you need to cool off the drag then buy a couple cans of compressed air from Staples. Turn the can upside down and the the air comes out freezing cold but don't spray the line or it may freeze and break.

    Keep us posted.

    Mr. Bill is probably right that this is a fool's errand, and I'm only half serious, but I just pulled the drag apart to count the number of washers. There are three drag washers and three steel washers. They look like they're the same size and thickness as the Saragosa 18K which has 5 of each.

    I think there's room for a fourth steel and drag washer in the Stradic. I've got a spare spool which came with the reel.

    The weak links look like: the drag cap is plastic and contacts the top steel washer. I need to find an insulator. And 240 yards of line doesn't sound like quite enough. And I wonder if the ARB and shaft can really hold off 25 lbs. of line pressure like Shimano says ...

    I like your idea of compressed air. It reminds me that the electronics industry uses cold spray to cool parts during testing, maybe a can of that.

    If I try this later in the year, it won't be single-handed. I think I've got to have someone else at the helm.
     
  6. fishingeek

    fishingeek Senior Member

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    Definitely requires more than two hands, where are you fishing? If you are going out off the Cape let me know and I can be your compressed air sprayer and camera man, it might just work or you will fry the drag on the first run, you never know until you try it.
     
  7. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Definitely requires more than two hands, where are you fishing? If you are going out off the Cape let me know and I can be your compressed air sprayer and camera man, it might just work or you will fry the drag on the first run, you never know until you try it.

    I usually head to the SWC, Stellwagen. I just ran some numbers on the bail arm. It would have to withstand 25 lbs. of force at 18 lbs. drag. It doesn't seem like it could handle that. Still ... Shimano says it can handle 25 lbs. drag which would be about 35 lbs. on the bail arm.

    Lots of whales in the Bay now, tuna can't be too far behind, maybe a month?
     
  8. fishingeek

    fishingeek Senior Member

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    I live in MA, shoot me a PM if you need some crew this Summer.
     
  9. fish4stripers

    fish4stripers Senior Member

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    Not sure why you want to bother unless you mean just hooking one by accident when you're bass fishing. Middle of this month on into the summer out at the bank I always bring a tuna rod
     
  10. A.whitman

    A.whitman Senior Member

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    i love testing the limits of gear. sounds like fun!
    upgrade to ctex drag washers and you will have a better chance. i might do the same thing but with big blacktip sharks. i know my cabo 60 can handle them so we'll see what a smaller reel will do. as long as the drag goes first the guts shouldn't be hurt. easily replaced.

    good luck and keep us posted
     
  11. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Not sure why you want to bother unless you mean just hooking one by accident when you're bass fishing. Middle of this month on into the summer out at the bank I always bring a tuna rod

    I bring the tuna rod/reels too. Like I was saying in the first post, the Stradic spec says 25 lbs. maximum drag. It got me to thinking about whose specs I should believe. Can that reel even withstand 25 lbs. for ten turns?

    Then I began thinking if it could put out even 18 lbs. of drag, well below its "spec", how long could it do that?

    In addition to the other comments I made, I pulled the spool again this morning. The shaft is tiny, with no bearings in the spool. So IF I were to use it for BFT, it would have to be well greased and regularly.

    For me, the whole point is to know ahead of time what I can expect. Going to the other extreme, it looks to me like the Stella 20K could be used to land a Giant BFT, which would be an Ultralight reel for that fish.

    With 90# actual breaking strength line, and leaders and spliced connections, and if I were to cool the spool with ice, I'm now pretty confident that the 20K could produce the drag needed for an indefinite period.

    Where I fish, there's a small chance I could hook one. I want to be ready to at least get it near the boat. If it was one of the days I was single-handed, god knows what I'd do then ... you can always dream ...

    i love testing the limits of gear. sounds like fun!
    upgrade to ctex drag washers and you will have a better chance. i might do the same thing but with big blacktip sharks. i know my cabo 60 can handle them so we'll see what a smaller reel will do. as long as the drag goes first the guts shouldn't be hurt. easily replaced.

    good luck and keep us posted

    What is Ctex material, who makes it and where can I get it? I'd like to find out the Thermal Conductivity of all the drag washer materials. If anyone knew where to find that, I would be grateful.

    In the case of the Stradic 5000, if the washers get so hot that they fail, I bet the spool becomes a thow-away too since the grease will have evaporated and the spool might freeze to the shaft.

    In addition to the ice, I might have to pump oil into the drag cap ... ;)

    Like you said, knowing the real limits of your equipment puts you at an advantage.
     
  12. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    I personally dont like tests like this because you know what will happen as the fishing gods will have it ... you will definately tie into a huge fish which will fustrate you to hell LOL or at least thats what my luck would be

    I would fool around and end up with the fish of a life time on the line that i cant land LOL
     
  13. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I personally dont like tests like this because you know what will happen as the fishing gods will have it ... you will definately tie into a huge fish which will fustrate you to hell LOL or at least thats what my luck would be

    I would fool around and end up with the fish of a life time

    You are SO right. Mr. Murphy of Murphy's Law fame, is always ready to pounce!

    After fishing all last fall with 30# braid (unknowingly due to a tackle shop error) and bringing four 57-60" fish to the boat, I swore I would know my gear and be prepared. The Stradic idea is not as real as my thought that I could well hook a giant while jigging for a school fish, they're there where I fish.
     
  14. LST-Ray

    LST-Ray Junior member

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    Hey Pamet,
    Did you ever consider talking to the folks at Smooth Drag ... "Smoothies"? They may be able to upgrade you drag system. I updated an Old Luxor Crack reel a few years back. I had to machine the washers that they supplied (Also used Cal's Drag Grease) as well as the spool to get and extra washer in there. As far as a the insulator that you mentioned ... the is a material called phenolic (spelling ?) which is a type of fiberboard that is smooth but will handle high temperatures. Good Luck .... Ray
     
  15. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I am not new to testing tackles to the limit. :)
    Howeever, I do it when I have reasonable confidence that the tackles I use can handle. The Stradic is not a bad reel, but I wouldn't use it even for testing for big tuna in 120 - 150 lbs tuna which will be frequent in Cape Cod Bay this year though they claim it has 25 lbs max drag.

    I am going to test new Jigging Master PE4 reel for them though.
    While playing with it on recent tip to Panama and RI, I get to like the reel a lot and my confidence is building the reel can handle big fish as it is only Avet SX size. It has twin drag system as well as dogging system with 27 lbs max drag.( in fact, I can get over 30 lbs drag if I want to).The inside parts of the reel seem very strong for its size. The only issue is the line capacity. But by using ultra thin PE line like Varivas Big One PE5 (78 lbs breaking point), I could get about 300 yards.
    If I catch 120 - 150 lbs tuna with this tiny reel, this reel is going to be the first reel which can be used from flounder to tuna. :)

    comparison of Satiga 15 and JM PE4
    [​IMG]

    comaprison of JM PE 4 with Accurate BX 400 (Boss 270 size) and BX 500 (boss 870 size). The size of PE 4 is in between 400 and 500) though it weighs 19.5 oz while BX 400 weighs 23 oz.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. thenewkid

    thenewkid Senior Member

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    I think ctex is short for carbontex (carbon fiber) smooth drag is a place where you can get 'em. I think there better than the smoothies
     
  17. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I serviced the reel today to get it ready for bass fishing and tested the drag. It only produces 13-14 lbs. of drag with a full spool not the 25 lbs. in the specification. On the Stradic 5000 if the drag is 13 lbs. at the top, then it's 25 lbs. when the spool is nearly empty. I guess Shimano specs max drag as the bottom of spool figure. (Now I'm going to go check the Stella 20K. If it tracks, the top of drag max would be about 21 lbs. not the 55 lbs. in the spec.) That said, the whole reel seemed like it would (barely) handle the 13 lbs.

    Also as I serviced the reel I noticed that the spool has a fair amount of play on the shaft. Since there are no bearings, it would be tough for this reel to see a lot of service at max drag. Everything is well greased and oiled. Time to go catch some bass and blues with it. (Okay, and maybe try it if some 50 lb. BFT show up.) ;)