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Avet HXW Raptor for Trolling Tuna

Old 02-03-2017, 06:05 AM
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Default Avet HXW Raptor for Trolling Tuna

I'm considering using two of these reels for trolling bigeyes and med bluefin (50-150+ lb range). I have them spooled with 80lb braid and 80 lb mono top shot (about 650 yds total). On paper they seem like they would work with the advertised 50 lb of drag. I was impressed with how they made short work of a 150+ lb mako last spring but that was drifting, not trolling. Anyone had success with larger tuna or maybe wahoo using these reels or am I kidding myself? Thanks,
Jim
Old 02-03-2017, 07:44 AM
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That reel will be fine in that application. Set drag properly with a scale.
Old 02-04-2017, 06:13 PM
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Interested to see if any first-hand experience. Would be a nice lightweight combo
Old 02-04-2017, 07:31 PM
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Dang fine reel!
Old 02-05-2017, 12:54 AM
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I went thought this last year and ended up going with the HXW's not the raptor version though. I use them for chunking for tuna, trolling, white marlin, and sharking. My drags are set light 8-10lbs maybe (sharking i do turn the drags up). Haven't had a problem being spooled or close to it. Could it happen...sure but I've been spooled on larger reels thought too. I wanted lightweight set ups that the girls and kids could enjoy. I have around 450 yrds of 100lbs JB hollow with around 150 yrds or 60lb momoi diamond mono spliced. Clicker is plenty loud for everyone on the boat. The only thing that's a pain is to turn the clicker off its on the other side of the reel vs the 30's and up its on the same side and can be flicked with a finger. Not a huge deal though. I did go back and forth and almost sold them all and went to 30's but I am happy I kept them.
Old 02-05-2017, 05:27 AM
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I would say it would be similar to a Talica 25 or Marquesa 40 or 50 where it's super light but powerful so an excellent option. We set our drags at 23lbs for bigeye.

Really - when you are fighting a fish in a harness at 23+ lbs of drag the rod becomes more important than the reel IMO. So a lot has to do with what you pair it with.
Old 02-05-2017, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by swellhunter View Post
I would say it would be similar to a Talica 25 or Marquesa 40 or 50 where it's super light but powerful so an excellent option. We set our drags at 23lbs for bigeye.

Really - when you are fighting a fish in a harness at 23+ lbs of drag the rod becomes more important than the reel IMO. So a lot has to do with what you pair it with.
Swellhunter- what type of rods would you suggest?
Old 02-05-2017, 07:13 AM
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I have a couple of the HX Raptors as stand up combos and I really like them. I go with 30 lbs of drag at strike and they are fine. I wish I had purchased the wides so I would have more capacity.

I had a Talica 25 (same setup) and I like the Raptors a little more.
Old 02-05-2017, 07:23 AM
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Wife killed a 50lb class yellowfin on a regular HX 4.2 (not wide, not raptor) spooled with 50lb mono (no braid) in Panama. Her first big fish and it never got much below half spool.

An HXW Raptor full of braid will kill BIG fish.
Old 02-05-2017, 07:27 AM
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Hey door- whats types of lures/bars are you trolling on your tac25 set-ups, and up to what size/class fish are you catching? Was wondering how the smaller reels hold up to the drag/resistance of trolling (and subsequently having a tuna etc tearing line off the reel).... seems to me smaller reels may not dissipate the hear as well, resulting in earlier/more frequent gear/component failure?
Old 02-05-2017, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mphdws1 View Post
Hey door- whats types of lures/bars are you trolling on your tac25 set-ups, and up to what size/class fish are you catching? Was wondering how the smaller reels hold up to the drag/resistance of trolling (and subsequently having a tuna etc tearing line off the reel).... seems to me smaller reels may not dissipate the hear as well, resulting in earlier/more frequent gear/component failure?
When the drag is set at 30lbs. trolling bars or anything else is not going to be an issue. Where we are line capacity is the biggest deal because we are most likely to hook into a giant BTF, that's why I wish I had the HX Raptor wides.

We did hook into a giant once once on the Talica 25 but the fight didn't last long. A member of the crew accidentally locked up the drag and actually exploded the rod. I was pretty impressed with the reel. After the rod exploded it was taking the full force of the fish with a locked up drag with no ill effects. It also tested my crimps ... LOL ... Those mini-lock sleeves are awesome, Also, the 100lb hollow ace was pretty impressive. It wouldn't break and we had to cut it. If we hadn't had a safety line on that Talica would be trailing around behind a fish.
Old 02-05-2017, 09:49 AM
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Wow! Do smaller reels/rods comprise your entire spread? No bigger gold reels? Also- any issues with a fish on and running to the braid backing instantly (with the relatively short top-shot)? Was wondering how the interacts with the other trolled lines- as the fish may run before you have a chances to pull others out of spread, or u could hav mult fish on? Mike
Old 02-05-2017, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by surfNcast View Post
Swellhunter- what type of rods would you suggest?
That's a loaded question depending on what you want to use them for.

Exclusively trolling?

Would not go custom unless you know exactly what you want. So stock you cannot go wrong with Shimano IMO. Tallus if money is an object and Terez if not an object. Stick with straight butts in the 50-100 class or what they call "heavy" in those series. OR go with Calstar Grafighter Tuna Rods in 6' 50-130 class for the same price point of a Tallus. OR go high end with GTS (Melton Tackle) 50-80 with Winthrop tip and SIC guides and Winthrop Adjusta Butts but they are $899.

I fish for a lot of the same stuff you do and I recently replaced two rods. I had Calstar T655XXH blanks built up with Winthrop Wind on tips and SIC guides with #2 Storabutts. They came in around $450 and are really good rods. I like to switch from straight (trolling) to curved (swordfishing) with these rods and these Calstar blanks have a great bend to them. If you want you can PM me and I will send you a shot of them at 25lbs of drag under load next time I am down at the boat.

What guys like the GTS guys (mentioned above) are doing is using jig based blanks. Ralph Craft (Crafty One) is building the same style rods up in RI. Originally developed for deep drop swordfishing where the tip flex is key anglers have found that once hooked up - nothing performs like a true jigging blank in the 400g+ category for large deep diving pelagics. You could probably have Craft build you something equal to the GTS with a Storabutt instead of the Winthrop butt in the $600 range - I have a 450g Crafty One rod exactly of this style as my deep drop rod. Same exact setup DeFusco had a 450lb sword in 2016 on.

All that being said - I still think Shimano Tallus is incredible for the money. They are so light that your setups would be absolutely ridiculous with a 32OZ reel on a carbon butted Tallus. I would take those in a second dude.
Old 02-06-2017, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by swellhunter View Post
That's a loaded question depending on what you want to use them for.

Exclusively trolling?

Would not go custom unless you know exactly what you want. So stock you cannot go wrong with Shimano IMO. Tallus if money is an object and Terez if not an object. Stick with straight butts in the 50-100 class or what they call "heavy" in those series. OR go with Calstar Grafighter Tuna Rods in 6' 50-130 class for the same price point of a Tallus. OR go high end with GTS (Melton Tackle) 50-80 with Winthrop tip and SIC guides and Winthrop Adjusta Butts but they are $899.

I fish for a lot of the same stuff you do and I recently replaced two rods. I had Calstar T655XXH blanks built up with Winthrop Wind on tips and SIC guides with #2 Storabutts. They came in around $450 and are really good rods. I like to switch from straight (trolling) to curved (swordfishing) with these rods and these Calstar blanks have a great bend to them. If you want you can PM me and I will send you a shot of them at 25lbs of drag under load next time I am down at the boat.

What guys like the GTS guys (mentioned above) are doing is using jig based blanks. Ralph Craft (Crafty One) is building the same style rods up in RI. Originally developed for deep drop swordfishing where the tip flex is key anglers have found that once hooked up - nothing performs like a true jigging blank in the 400g+ category for large deep diving pelagics. You could probably have Craft build you something equal to the GTS with a Storabutt instead of the Winthrop butt in the $600 range - I have a 450g Crafty One rod exactly of this style as my deep drop rod. Same exact setup DeFusco had a 450lb sword in 2016 on.

All that being said - I still think Shimano Tallus is incredible for the money. They are so light that your setups would be absolutely ridiculous with a 32OZ reel on a carbon butted Tallus. I would take those in a second dude.
Swellhunter - thanks for all the input. I am far from a rod expert and have been just kinda making due with what I have. I know that I absolutely love using lighter (but capable) tackle. What I want to use them for is 85% trolling and maybe 15% chunking. Don't do much deep dropping and have dedicated jigging setups. Since 90% of the fish we catch are 5-15 lb mahi and 20-60 lb tuna I like the idea of using rods that are lightweight and actually bend on fish like these. I just want to have a decent shot at landing a 200 lb bigeye/bft if and when the opportunity presents itself. I guess how all this translates to rod selection is using something that is sensitive and light but won't break in two pieces when you button the drag down on a big fish? I like what I saw and read about the tallus rods. Would they fit that bill? Keep in mind that the two biggest fish I have personally seen/landed were both on my buddy's old tld 30 with 40 lb mono, a 200 lb blue marlin and and 250+ thresher. I just want something that will "up my odds" a bit while keeping it fun on the smaller fish. Thx
Old 02-06-2017, 08:27 AM
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I troll the mid atlantic with all Avet HXW single speeds. You can get them new for slightly less than 300 each. I have them matched with all roller pinnacle rods and they make a nice stand up combo for a small boat.

While we haven't tangled with any really big fish yet since switching to them - we easily beat some #70 class yellowfin last summer on them. I mean, easily. You can squeeze like 400 yards of 80lb braid and a 200yd topshot of 50 mono on an HXW and i set my drags at about 13/14 lbs.

The raptor is a beast and even the 2 speed HXWs are beastly. The single speeds get it done for me.

If your game is to TARGET monsters (giant BFT / bigeye), big sharks, or big marlin - i would up the game from the avet HXW (even the raptor). However for every day offshore trolling for most things that bites, IMO you cannot beat the HXW.
Old 02-06-2017, 04:58 PM
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My buddy always fishes an HX Raptor...not even a wide, as a flat line. He has it spooled with 100lb Spectra and a short 25' topshot of similarly sized mono. It has plenty of capacity and drag for pretty much anything in the sea. Set up like this you have about 600 yards of line and the ability to use 28-30lb of drag.
Old 02-06-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Pettit Marine Paint View Post
My buddy always fishes an HX Raptor...not even a wide, as a flat line. He has it spooled with 100lb Spectra and a short 25' topshot of similarly sized mono. It has plenty of capacity and drag for pretty much anything in the sea. Set up like this you have about 600 yards of line and the ability to use 28-30lb of drag.
Mine are setup this way but with 80lb hollow. I find it versatile because I can do different things easily.

Trolling or chunking: 100ft 80lb Momoi wind on's that we make up.

Sharking: heavy mono wind on's with a short wire section at the end (John Madison style)

Jigging: Fluoro wind on leaders. I have other jigging gear that is more appropriate, so I don't do this much.

As I said we set them 30 lbs drag at strike and it is no problem for them.
Old 02-07-2017, 02:19 PM
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IMO they are capable for pulling the occasional heavy duty call, but for consistent heavy use and targeting 100#+ larger fish you should consider a proper 30 or 50 2 speed reels. Its tempting to get away with a smaller and much lighter reel but in the long run you may run into trouble.

i actually own 2 HXW raptors myself for past 4 years used as 80-100# flyline live bait pea shooters for stand up fishing for YFT in the 100-180# class and have tested them against a couple dozen quarry while LR fishing out of San Diego (an industry bench test for tackle). Why only I rate them as only occasional HD use? 3 reasons: i) drag fade; prolonged heavy fight at relatively high drags 25#+ (on big fish) can cause a lot of heat and i have experienced significant drag fade where i had to reset the drag, pin the drag to max and still palm the spool. ii) with near all Avet reels, they are prone to pinion bearing & handle bearing corrosion intrusion and failures. On LR trips, my gear all are subject to similar conditions and it is always the Avets that run into these issues and no other reel manufacturers that i own. In fact, Avet parts are the only spare parts i pack. iii) lastly but most importantly, the main shaft is not strong or beefy enough and can bend when subjected to high pressures. Shaft can be bent and result in a noticeable wobble in free spool and/or binding of the spool against the frame. The new generation 2 of Avet's including the HXW raptor is supposedly designed with stronger shaft and frame to combat this known issue. No fix directly from Avet other than replace and buy a G2 reel, but I believe Dave Rocchi and Co have come up with an upgrade to replace the shaft and possibly other things to remedy this issue. I can't remember the upgrade cost, but contact Dave for details.

I do like my HXW's but i'm learning that they are not perfect and may soon be sold and replaced with likely Okuma MK16 SEA's for my use.

I'd suggest for yourself a couple Okuma Mk20's (really the size of most other company 30's). Makairas and Okuma dont' have the history and "prestige" as Penn Int'l or Tiagra on the east coast, but they are gaining huge out west and for good reasons. Do yourself some research onthese reels before dropping your $.
Old 02-07-2017, 02:40 PM
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I'm starting to experience some drag slippage on my Makaira 30 that I had converted to SEA. Also the handle slips occasionally when under load. I have one more trip coming up in a few days then I'm shipping it back to Okuma to get it looked at.
Old 02-07-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bc22 View Post
IMO they are capable for pulling the occasional heavy duty call, but for consistent heavy use and targeting 100#+ larger fish you should consider a proper 30 or 50 2 speed reels. Its tempting to get away with a smaller and much lighter reel but in the long run you may run into trouble.

i actually own 2 HXW raptors myself for past 4 years used as 80-100# flyline live bait pea shooters for stand up fishing for YFT in the 100-180# class and have tested them against a couple dozen quarry while LR fishing out of San Diego (an industry bench test for tackle). Why only I rate them as only occasional HD use? 3 reasons: i) drag fade; prolonged heavy fight at relatively high drags 25#+ (on big fish) can cause a lot of heat and i have experienced significant drag fade where i had to reset the drag, pin the drag to max and still palm the spool. ii) with near all Avet reels, they are prone to pinion bearing & handle bearing corrosion intrusion and failures. On LR trips, my gear all are subject to similar conditions and it is always the Avets that run into these issues and no other reel manufacturers that i own. In fact, Avet parts are the only spare parts i pack. iii) lastly but most importantly, the main shaft is not strong or beefy enough and can bend when subjected to high pressures. Shaft can be bent and result in a noticeable wobble in free spool and/or binding of the spool against the frame. The new generation 2 of Avet's including the HXW raptor is supposedly designed with stronger shaft and frame to combat this known issue. No fix directly from Avet other than replace and buy a G2 reel, but I believe Dave Rocchi and Co have come up with an upgrade to replace the shaft and possibly other things to remedy this issue. I can't remember the upgrade cost, but contact Dave for details.

I do like my HXW's but i'm learning that they are not perfect and may soon be sold and replaced with likely Okuma MK16 SEA's for my use.

I'd suggest for yourself a couple Okuma Mk20's (really the size of most other company 30's). Makairas and Okuma dont' have the history and "prestige" as Penn Int'l or Tiagra on the east coast, but they are gaining huge out west and for good reasons. Do yourself some research onthese reels before dropping your $.
Good info, appreciate the depth of this post. I already own two of the hxw raptors, but after reading this post I may test them more before I buy more. We are just (for now) trying to complete a bigeye spread with the best options that we have to choose from (tld 30's and a 50, tiagra 30's, exw 30's, and the raptors) and not buy a bunch of 50w's if I don't need to. I expect to get maybe a few shots at bigger tuna this season. If I end up putting them into service for bigeyes I'll prob just set the drags at 30 ish at strike and back off a click or two when trolling- and until the fish finishes it's initial run. Then increase as needed. Once again thank you, learning alot from this thread.

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