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Jul-20-2008, 06:46 PM #1
Light Tackle record hunting with the SX
We have recently been doing some ultra-light tackle world record hunting on 8lb line class spooled on Avet SXs and encountered a problem with drag levers which caused us to bust off a number of sailfish.
We tease up sails and the anglers drop back circle hook rigged skip-baits with the reel in free-spool and the angler thumbing the spool to prevent an over-run. When the billfish eats the bait, we let them turn and swim off, then the angler eases up the drag and the circle hook does its thing. The problem is that the SX has no strike button and in the heat of the moment, its easy to accidentally push the lever past the strike position. We mark the reel casing with lines to indicate various pre-set drag settings but the drag increases significantly with even a little movement of the drag lever. Given that at this stage we are charging backwards after a tail-walking sail in a hail of flying spray, staring intently at the reel and nudging the drag lever 1mm up is a bit tricky.
It seems that if you set the strike drag at 2lbs and then push the drag lever even half way to sunset, you are suddenly up at 6/7lbs of drag and its bye-bye sailfish on 8lb line.
These little SXs would be the perfect ultra-light record hunting reel if we could just get round the steep drag curve.
Anybody know of a way to tweak the reel so that you can get say, 2lbs at strike and say, 5lbs at sunset ?
Jul-20-2008, 07:06 PM #2
Adrian, I've captained my wife to 4 world records, 3 current. She has the current 8 lb line class thresher record at 95 lbs and the current 6 lb thresher record at 46 lbs. Avet offered me free reels to pursue records on. I tested them out and as you've found they would be the perfect size, but you can't get the appropriate drag setting for ultra light fishing. The lightest setting you can get is like 2 lbs and that won't work on 4 lb. You need 1 lb or 1.25 lb to fish 4 lb. Also, the drag cam is too steep and as you noted, no strike button. These reels were designed for spectra fishing, not IGFA line class fishing for world records.
Your best reel currently in production for your needs would be the Shimano TLD 15. I'd fill it half full with backing such as 50 lb mono and then put tape over that and tie your line class line over that. If you can find a good used TLD 10 or TLD 5, those are excellent reels for this purpose. Anyone of those reels can be set for 1 lb at strike, even less. They are also graphite and thus lightweight which is good for long fights.
Jul-20-2008, 07:46 PM #3
Have you considered trying to get two pounds at full, then when you strike the fish just go all the way to full ?
or maybe that reel just wont work for your application. Best of luck with those records.
Jul-20-2008, 09:55 PM #4
Jul-20-2008, 10:30 PM #5Skipper
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@BiteMeFiji ... replace part #6 (Pusher Bushing) with an adequate number of belleville washers [4 in ()() alignment] and you will have a softer drag curve.
Jul-21-2008, 01:00 AM #6
Hi guys, many thanks for all the great advice. I'll have a look at the pusher bushing but failing that I'll go back to the good old TLDs with a backing packed spool. Pity they don't still make the TLD5. (Nice thresher on the 8lb Steve !)
Jason - Interesting idea to set sunset at max drag wanted but I think we will end up with free-spool at way past strike position. I'll try it though !
The reason we tried the avets it that we fought a YFT for 4 hours and 5 minutes last year on a TLD5 and just as we had the fish within 50 yards...the spool imploded. Blew the ratchet clean out of the boat. Graphite spool just couldn't cope with all that compressed line. Hence looking for a small but stronger reel. There just doesn't seem to be the perfect ultra-light lever drag reel out there.
Jul-21-2008, 07:07 AM #7Captain
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- cape cod
You can even just try changing your washer configuration. Change it from ()()() to ((())) or (()()) and you might be able to get lighter settings. Or even remove 1 or 2 washers and see what happens. I would do that before buying new reels....
Jul-21-2008, 08:51 AM #8
I understand your search for a stronger reel. As someone suggested, they've come out with a small Tyrnos, but I suspect the drag cam is designed for spectra. Maybe check out the pricey Torsa which has interchangeable drag cams including one designed for ultra light tackle. I have the Torsa 30 and these are very sweet reels. Anway, good luck with your efforts.
Jul-21-2008, 02:27 PM #9Drunken monkey
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- St Maarten
there has been a number of world records going down here recently with a 100kg striped marlin caught on 1kg mono.......
they are using the small tyrnos reels for all of their light tackle stuff so may be worth a look
I use a duel speedy12 for 6kg yellowtail fishing as well as a torium 14 for 4kg light tackle stuff. maybe worth a look
Jul-21-2008, 04:37 PM #10Fly Navy
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- Fallbrook, CA
A lever drag, any lever drag mind you, has about 90 to 120 degrees of lever travel to go from free spool to full. Most any star drag reel has at least 720 degrees of travel from no drag to full.
If incremental increases in drag are the norm for that style of fishing, why would you mess with lever drags?
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