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Old 03-14-2010, 03:20 PM
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Question Best Gear For Tuna Fishing At A Low Price?

Hi, I'm looking toward heading out to the bluefin and maybe yellow fin tuna grounds this year, in Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagon Bank and beyond! What is the best reel and line I could get for Penn Senator Rods rated for 80#, for under $500? Or would I have to upgrade everything to handle those fish, and if so what should i get, for under $3000?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:37 PM
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First off you will not be seeing any yellofin tuna near or around CCB or Stellwagon. BFT are the only tunas that come north of the cape. For yellows you will need to go South of Marthas Vinyard.

Now for the waters in an around Mass Bay (CCB/Stellwagon) you are most likely going to encounter BFT from 30 pounds to 600 pounds and a few bigger. However unless you are really targeting Giants Most of the BFT you will catch in that area will be in the 100 to 200 lb class or just over. For this size BFT any desent Gold reel in good working condition in the 30 or 50 lb class will be plenty for trolling. 70 lb class reels are also fine but honestly 80's and 130" are way to big for standup fishing. There are plenty of good used 30 and 50 class gold reels out there for sale that will help with budget.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:36 PM
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Lot's of marlin and big tuna caught with Penn Senators.
I fished with them for a few years until I could upgrade and I am still using a couple for wire line. They are still going strong after hundreds of fish and ten or so years.
I can work on them myself which I don't even think about with my Internationals.
A little higher up the food chain are TLD two speeds. Most of the function of the Tiagra's at a little more than half the cost.
I have been burned with used reels. Usually they need at least a 50 dollar service and sometimes more.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:33 PM
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Try Avet 30 wide with braid line and a topshot ,they have all the drag you need and then some. They are priced about 460 ,but the kicker is the line ,100 lbs braid is expensive, but you do not have to replace every year.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:17 PM
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Make it fun! Go get yourself a budget starter set of rods for tossing plugs and plastics!

Shimano Saragosa 18000 $300
or
Fin-nor OFS 8500/9500 $165

Both will get it done in line capacity, and drag.

There are quite a few rods to choose from for popping or jigging. OTI makes some nice stuff at good prices. Fin-nor also has some nice heavy rods that will handle 200# fish.

I would get one setup with a Saragosa, and two with Fin-nors. You would probably still have some money left over for a pair of TLD 30's for trolling.

Trust me bro, you will have more fun throwing lures than you will dragging plastic.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:27 PM
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You have provided yourself with a budget and in these times that is a smart thing to do. That is admirable

You have two options, buy lower quality gear and regret it after you lose a nice tuna or the reel freezes up on you during the fight with the fish of the year

Solution . . . buy used . . . after all, any new gear you buy will soon be used gear . . . right?

Go to the used fishing equipment forum here on THT and there are lots of Penn and Shimano conventional aluminium 2 speed reels in the 30 to the 50 pound class . . . usually with nice rods

You can get 6 to 8 rods and reels for $3,000 . . . and will have gear that will last you a life time
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:30 PM
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Avet 30wides

www.charkbait.com
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:32 AM
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i agree with crazy8, get yourself a Shimano Saragosa 18000, load it up with 80lb braid, and find a good heavy spinning rod, it seems to me that many fish caught last summer were on spinning gear throwing plastics or poppers...

as far as trolling...
4 rods is plenty to start with, maybe 2-4 spreader bars(i like black and pink, but try everything), and green machines behind birds on the rest

your penn senators should be fine, load them with 80lb braid for added capacity and you should be great!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:56 AM
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Or just wait 2 or 3 years.... Bluefin will be CITES listed and you'll be able to pick up the high end gear penny's on the dollar. Oh wait that wont work
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:00 PM
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With a budget of $3k, I would go for the two speed International/Tiagra..etc. I have bought some new Penn 50VSW's on ebay for $150 less than store new--- $450-499. I would stay away from used reels on ebay(unless you buy older models cheap). Late model used ones usually need some work, and if you can get a new one there for a few bucks more it's not worth it.

Don't be like my buddy....
Friend of mine purchased a bunch(6) of cheaper rod/reel combos($199-250 each) at West/BW three years ago when he got his new boat. Didn't want to spend the money on good stuff. They sucked to use, and by the end of the summer most of them were completely trashed. Total waste of money!! Buy what you can now and just keep adding to it. In a few years you will have everything you need to last a decade or two.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullshipper View Post
Avet 30wides

www.charkbait.com
I'd get these and toss in a 50W or 2 and you're all set.

or take a look at the Shimano Tyrnos 30II and 50II.. You can get into 7 or 8 for you range and I bet will be really happy.

If you haven't bought rods yet, check out Pinnacle Marine on the commercial part of this site. He sells some great stuff, at great prices. I'd say he is the rod vendor of choice on the net.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:26 PM
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All depends on the type of fishing you plan on doing.

CCB BFT = Casting or jigging so high drag (25+#s) pocket reels (Avet Raptor, Penn Torque, Jigging Master PE8 or Shimano Saragosa, *Penn 950SSm *for the smaller ones only)

Stellwagen BFT = Above and/or trolling/kites/chunking/livelining will be your 50 wides (either Shimano 50WLRSA or Avet Pro EXW50) loaded with 600 yards of 130# braid plus 1-200 yards of 130+ mono.

Beyond for YFT can be the above gear or a little lighter if you have 30W or regular 50s already for trolling as the BFT you can run into are bigger than the YFT.

Any way you slice it you are looking at close to a grand per setup; rod, reel, line, terminal tackle, lures. Start off with a casting set up and a trolling set up or two and build your arsenal from there. Do not get any graphite reels and do not skimp on line. You will pay for it and regret it miserably.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:44 PM
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My budget is pretty much entry level (i think) I use Internationals: 1 70 vs, 2 50 tw 1 30 vsw and 1 30 tw. I also have 1 Accurate 500 2 speed, Good Line, 2 flying gaffs, 1 straight gaff. That's it. (I do need a tag stick, If anyone has 1 please let me know) Just buy good stuff, and don't be afraid to buy used, There's alot of good stuff out there.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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The Avet 30 wide will hold as lot of 120 lb spectra and produce up to 40 lbs of drag.

This combination will stop anything out there.

I have 5 of their 50wides. But they are are a bit too big.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:27 PM
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Cool Low cost tuna gear

Do yourself a favor and go with a FIN NOR Offshore spinning reel and a St Croix or Outer Banks 30 to 60lb class rod. This is all sight fishing, top water casting, brother.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboys>5 View Post
Do yourself a favor and go with a FIN NOR Offshore spinning reel and a St Croix or Outer Banks 30 to 60lb class rod. This is all sight fishing, top water casting, brother.
Attachment 106091
Nice fish! Which st croix model are you using? Are you casting with that giant fin nor 95 or stepping down to the smaller ones?
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:07 PM
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CCC

I just ordered the Penn 50VSW this past weekend from Shark River (on the net). It was $444 plus $12 or so for delivery. It was the best price I found. They took my order, but the reel is on back order. They indicate they will ship shortly.

I also recommend Pinnacle Marine Outfitters STX 30-80 rod to go with it. There was a special on THT for $90 delivered - that right - delivered. John is a first class guy but prices will be increased so order soon. It is has Pacific Bay rollers and it is a great rod for the money. They got a lot of good reviews here on THT - do a search.

Hard to beat this combo especially for those people like me just getting into BFT fishing. If I really catch the bug, I'll buy a heavier rod with Aftco rollers and cascade these down for bass/blues with Senators and wire.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:18 PM
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[quote=dannyroche;2855536]CCC

I just ordered the Penn 50VSW this past weekend from Shark River (on the net). It was $444 plus $12 or so for delivery. It was the best price I found. They took my order, but the reel is on back order. They indicate they will ship shortly.

Might want to check into that back ordered 50, I just went on the Shark River website and they announced they can no longer get International reels. Just a heads up!
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:01 AM
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Not the most popular, but I have had good luck and at a decent price, with the Penn 30 GLD reels and Penn mariner stand-up rods - about a $300 combo plus line. the graphite reels won't last as long as the AL units, but they have been working well for several years. have them spooled up with about 450yds of 50lb mono. Only complaint so far was a loose gimble butt on one of the rods, but a little epoxy and was back in business. I also have some Shimano TLD 25 reels, but once you put a nice handle on it, its the same price or more than the Penn GLD. For offshore spinning reels I sugggest the Shimano Spheros FB- half the price of a Saragoosa, and only difference is looks, 1 less ball bearing on handle shaft, different handle, and different gear material. I know the metal forthe gears can make a huge difference, but I just upsized to the 18000 as n overkill to compensate. None of these rigs are probably ideal for the big BF, but should handle 90% of the fish out there.

Edit- one drawback on the senators is the star drag. while out fishing, it is very nice to have a pre-set drag stopper to come back to on the lever drag reels when making adjustments on the fly.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:09 PM
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Sharktripper,

Thanks for the tip. I've got an email out to them. I didn't see the message on their site - but didn't look too hard.
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