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I got myself a fighting post...now onto BFT rod and reel selection

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I got myself a fighting post...now onto BFT rod and reel selection

Old 09-05-2017, 07:37 AM
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Default I got myself a fighting post...now onto BFT rod and reel selection

For the last year I was trying to figure out the best way to outfit my boat for BFT fishing and this is what I came up with. I opted for a fighting post as opposed to swivel rod holders due to the fact that my deck is a little crammed because I have a doghouse, and my gunnels would have had to be reinforced significantly to take the load. Lastly, there was simply too much stuff on the back of the boat where the line could potentially get caught - outdrive, small swim platform, trim tabs, transducer, etc, etc. In theory the fighting post should work great, but I won't know for sure until I attempt to use it.

Now I need to figure out what rods and reels do I need to get. The challenge is that I am looking for something "dual-purpose", which can be used with the fighting post, while keeping the option for stand-up open.
The rod selection is less of a problem because both the fighting post and the stand-up harness would work better with a short bent butt rod. I had a very long conversation with John from Pinnacle Marine this morning and I he recommended a Deep 50 or 80 with a #4 short bent butt. Unfortunately this seems to be the most expensive option, but it sounds like it would do the job.
The reels on the flip side are a challenge. I have my heart more or less set on the Okuma Makairas for a number of reasons, but I can't decide between a 50 and 80... The 50's are capable of up to 85lbs of drag, and if I spool them with 130lbs hollow core I should get about 900yds of line capacity. They are small, light, fairly compact. Perfect for stand-up. Unfortunately hollow core is really, really expensive. I will be looking at $250 per reel for line, all set and done (hc, top shot, splicing, etc). I figured out that there is less than $100 difference between the Okuma Makaira 50WII spooled with HC vs the Okuma Makaira 80WII spooled with straight up mono.... On the flip side, the 80W's are really not a good choice for stand-up fishing. But then again, I fish primarily North of Cape Ann (Ipswich Bay, Jeffrey's) so how much stand-up fishing could I possibly be doing?

What do you guys think?
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:02 AM
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Lose the anchor.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:05 AM
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I would scrap the standup idea on a small boat targeting tuna north of cape ann. On all but the calmest days I wouldn't want to be strapped into a harness running 30+lbs of drag on a small boat.

Guys certainly do it, and I intended to fish that way when I started chasing tuna, but it is risky without regular experienced crew.

I would go with a chatham special xl to make sure you clear that anchor during the up and down part of the fight. I switched from 50ws to 130s this year and haven't looked back.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by the123 View Post
Lose the anchor.
That's on the list. I am wondering if I can get away with leaving the anchor bracket/roller in place or if that has to go as well.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:10 AM
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Get out there quick before the quota is closed.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:09 AM
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Chatham Special
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Devil_Inside View Post
or if that has to go as well.
Yes.

On the 50-80-130 thing, like everything else it is a matter of reducing risk. Yes, you can stop a decent fish with a 50, heck guys do it with spinning reels. How many you are willing to lose is another story.
Mostly depends what's around sizewise I guess.

Last edited by the123; 09-06-2017 at 05:57 AM. Reason: left out "to"
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:25 PM
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I wasted a lot of money buying smaller gear. I read a million posts on here touting the merits of smaller gear, modern drag numbers etc. Not sure all those posts I read originated from fishermen that fish for GBFT in the northeast. Spent a few grand on light tackle setups and spooling and gas to stellwagen and terminal stuff. When I finally did hook up I got spooled fairly easily. Obviously there's a lot of bad luck involved there-and there are a ton of smaller fish I could have hooked in to, but the fish up here can be huge. I just switched my setup to 3 Penn International V 80 VSW's, 200# hollow core braid backing with a wind-on 200# Momoi mono topshot, to a 180# 15 foot wind-on fluoro leader to a crimped 11/0 circle hook. Rods are CMS Chatham Specials XL (clearance w/ outboard) with Winthrop guides. This is for drifting live bait on Stellwagen bank. Sure, you can go cheaper, but I'm done messing around. If I hadnt had to buy stuff twice I'd have had the money for 4 complete setups instead of 3.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:32 PM
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Forgot to ask about the fighting station. I have a similar boat and love the idea of that station--just wondering how well it will work when the tuna gets close to the boat. In 3-5' rollers with the low bow rail I have, it might be a little tough to have 2-3 people on the bow trying to stick that fish and get a tail rope on him. I can barely lay down and clip my mooring onto the bow eyelet. Anyone have any advice for how the end of the fight might go. Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:22 PM
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The end game is still "to be determined"... a second person will fit on either side of the walkaround to take a shot with the harpoon, but I am not so sure about gaff, tail rope, etc. I was hoping to harpoon the fish from the bow and drag it back to the rear of the boat, but that's probably easier said than done and it comes with a risk of losing the fish at the very end...
My bow rail is average height, but my walkaround section is fairly deep, which provides for some stability. I won't be fishing in 5 foot seas so that shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:30 PM
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For a reel, best multipurpose would be the Penn 70. Great drag, ability to use it standup or in a chair/post. Won't kill you standup like an 80. 130 is chair or rodholder only.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:44 PM
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That rod and reel setup in the picture is what u need....X 3 of them....and it looks like u got a fish on at the dock??...lol....just bustin ur ballz.....looks good bud.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:20 PM
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I like the post. Where did you source it?
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by liquid plumber View Post
That rod and reel setup in the picture is what u need....X 3 of them....and it looks like u got a fish on at the dock??...lol....just bustin ur ballz.....looks good bud.
Your short bent butt rods are almost a perfect fit...considering one of them has spent more time on my boat rather than yours, I'd say I only need 1 or 2 more lol Oh and I put your bucket to good use to simulate some weight


Originally Posted by rparkssos View Post
I like the post. Where did you source it?
Thank you, I like it too. Since a few people reached out to me inquiring about the fighting post I will share some details. This particular model is no longer available for purchase new. It was made by CJ Marine and they are no longer in business. A friend of mine had two on his boat and he gave me one of them.
As far as I know there are only a handful of companies that still make them. The best of the bunch is Arrigoni Design which cost about $1k
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for the info. Good luck with it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:16 AM
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Don't bring a knife to a gun fight buy used 80w's or used 130's on 130 lb rods. Your never going to lift an 800 pound slob with a pee shooter rod. Catching those fish on a 50 can be done but your going to lose allot of fish doing it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:14 PM
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if you are targeting GBFT there's only one right thing to say and its been said - don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Go big and look to get the best quality you can afford or don't waste your time. You can hook and fight and maybe even the stars will alighn for you on lighter or smaller gear (we landed an 84" 400lb BFT on a Shimano Terez w/ a VS300. We were targeting smaller rec fish and got extremely licky when the fish made a 180 back towards the boat in its first run just before it spooled us - giving us a chance to get a lot of line back on the reel and have a fighting chance) but if you are set on a GBFT, go prepared.

I'm also not loving that bow mount. Way too much in the way (pulpit, anchor, railing). I'd also be weary about the mount itself - swivel base (?). Attached to what ? Also, don't underestimate the power of these fish or the chaos that is the last 10 minutes. Sometimes if the rod's out on the bow, big fish will end up on one side with the harpoon and the gaff on the other and nobody can reach. Don't want to give the fish any hair of a chance esp in close. It can be much harder to maneuver the fish to where you want to make the landing. Let alone potential sea conditions throwing everyone all over the place out there...
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicknotsebastian View Post
if you are targeting GBFT there's only one right thing to say and its been said - don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Go big and look to get the best quality you can afford or don't waste your time. You can hook and fight and maybe even the stars will alighn for you on lighter or smaller gear (we landed an 84" 400lb BFT on a Shimano Terez w/ a VS300. We were targeting smaller rec fish and got extremely licky when the fish made a 180 back towards the boat in its first run just before it spooled us - giving us a chance to get a lot of line back on the reel and have a fighting chance) but if you are set on a GBFT, go prepared.

I'm also not loving that bow mount. Way too much in the way (pulpit, anchor, railing). I'd also be weary about the mount itself - swivel base (?). Attached to what ? Also, don't underestimate the power of these fish or the chaos that is the last 10 minutes. Sometimes if the rod's out on the bow, big fish will end up on one side with the harpoon and the gaff on the other and nobody can reach. Don't want to give the fish any hair of a chance esp in close. It can be much harder to maneuver the fish to where you want to make the landing. Let alone potential sea conditions throwing everyone all over the place out there...
You make some very good points. I am not targeting GBFT, but I am afraid that the majority of the fish in my area are Giants. This year apparently there were a bunch of smaller fish right in Ipswich Bay earlier in the season, but unfortunately I was away right at that time so I missed out on the action. I had two hookups recently and lost both, mostly due to inexperience, but this got me thinking that I really need to get some decent gear, and more importantly setup my boat for this type of fishing.

The bow mounted fighting post was a compromise. Fishing from a smaller boat, such as mine, doesn't really give me many options. The anchor will be gone, the anchor roller will most likely be removed as well, but I am thinking about getting two of the Chatham Special rods, which are 7'6" long and will definitely clear the pulpit and everything else on it.
The mount is a standard seat pedestal type mount with a 9" base and a 9" steel backing plate. The pulpit area where the post is mounted is 1" thick. The fighting post can be locked in place or it can swivel.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:53 PM
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Like has been said, get the biggest gear you can swing if targeting large fish.

I use to have a post identical to yours floor mounted in the bow of a 24'cc.
I removed it because communication was almost impossible between the guy at the helm and the one fighting the fish. (fishing was almost always done with a 2 man crew)
I updated and replaced with 2 pairs of swivels up each gunnel mid ship.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:26 PM
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If you are targeting recreational sized fish I think you are overthinking things. The setup looks cool but I'd be worried about the area you have to work with up there. I would think being on the bow while going through the end game would be very difficult. The anchor and anchor mount definitely have to go.

I'm not expert, I've never caught a or targeted giants, but I have caught many 55-65" fish on stand up gear, with and without a harness, using 50 class reels on my 23' WA. IMHO stand-up fishing is the most fun / rewarding way to catch a tuna if your recreational.

Of course if I were it for the money (giants), I'd get 130 class reels and they would never leave the swivel rod holders.
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