20# Class Reel

Pangamaster

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Jul 1, 2008
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Hey Guys,
Lots of post about heavy gear. What reel are you using for your 20# rig? Lots of reports the last few years on the bluefin only biting 20#. I’m thinking great free spool. Probably a star drag....single speed.....gasp! My 25 year old Newel 220 I don’t think is up to finessing in a bluefin. It still casts farther than most reels today thanks to modern bearings and lubricants.....I just don’t think the drags are up to the task.

Thoughts? Recommendations?
 

r8rs4lf

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 17, 2017
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Tree Juan ho
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Al
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Salty AF
Trinidad 10a with 50# Max

Guaranteed to catch fish in hi vis yellow!
 

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
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Then put new drag washers (ht-100 or Carbontex) in that 220 and get it back in the game!

My 20# reels are Penn Fathom 12, 525 Mag, Pro Gear 255 or an Avet SX
 
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stella marina

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Nov 21, 2011
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Andrew
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Parker 2320, 16 Klamath cc, 10 ft Livingston "bass slayer"
Love my lexa 400, avet sx is great. Komodo 463
 

Warlord

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Ocea Jigger 1500HG with 40# JBraid and FG knot to a 20# flours leader. But you may have brought a knife to a gunfight!
 

Pangamaster

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Jul 1, 2008
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You don't need much drag for 20 lb test. You could probably stop at Wal-Mart and find a reel up for the task.
Lol...I guess your not picking up what I’m putting down. My Newel is pretty sweet....looking for something modern that might replace it.

Some other good suggestions so far.
 

surfgoose

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Jul 29, 2010
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whichever has the longest bunk
A 20#-class reel is easy for everything EXCEPT finicky Bluefin. If those are the target, then you are going to want more line capacity than is needed for other fish. I fought one Bluefin that only went about 35 pounds but almost spooled me three times on an Avet SX. Not a fun fight. If tuna are the target, I suggest something that holds 400 yards of braid and a topshot of mono to cast. I use a Penn 113 "Baja Special" for my "light" Bluefin reel. I have never once been in a fight with a Bluefin and thought, "Rats! This will be too easy!"
 

Pangamaster

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Jul 1, 2008
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Trinidad 12A. Holds 300yd of 30lb spectra. Killed MANY BFT last couple years on 15-20lb when no one else can get bit or cast out enough to get bit. Super fun reel and have landed BFT upto 40LB on it so far.
This is the dope I’m looking for!

I know the use for 20# on a true long range trip is limited.....as I previously posted we ended up on my last 16 day trip fishing for local 20# class bluefin tuna....even my bait rod was too heavy....
 

Fishdood

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CDRPLG

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Okuma Metaloid 5 II speed. Holds 300 yards of 50 lb spectra. 17 pounds of drag in strike and 23 in full. Caught a lot of smaller grade bluefin on those reels.
 

mcrae

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Maxcuarto on my Pro Gear CS 500, 501,or 551s. All of them work with 50lb Maxcuarto or 40 lb test Power pro.
 

George Mara

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Accurate Valiant bv300. Will hold a ton of 30 or 40 maxquatro. Great smooth twin drag. Top it with Izorline xxx 20 or 25 Tip it with a little fluorocarbon. Trinidad 12 or 14 will do equally well but bluefin over 50 will require finesse, time and some luck to land especially on a full boat. But fun as hell.
 
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Yellowtail Dan

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If I had to go to 20lb it would be on my Accurate 270 backed up with 40lb solid. Worked with a 30lb top shot for the yf below on my last 12 day. Probably want a rod with more backbone than the one I was using though......

242F59F7-ACAE-4684-8156-500B47F971AB.jpeg
 

maurice escobedo

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Oct 25, 2016
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I use a progear V32. Casts as far as a Newell and puts down epic drag.
Landed a 60lbr on 20 last year.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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I run a Trini 14A for 20-30lb. I have landed a bunch of BFT (up to 80lbs) on that reel. Not fun on the bigger models, but it’s a great reel.

That said, I’m curious how the Lexa 400 would do in this role.
 

hucklongfin

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I also have an SX for 20# but I don't particularly like it. I got an 85# BFT 2 years ago on 30# on an Accurate DX2-400 so no, you don't need 400 yds of spectra to catch a 30# BFT. Several people mentioned a BV-300 as well. Mine has 300 yds of 50# Maxcuatro with a 40# topshot for jigging. I've used a Lexa 400 for bait but it's easier to manage the bait with a conventional. When I go out next weekend I'll be using the Fathom 12 with 40# spectra and a 20# topshot.
 
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norcaltunaclub

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Hey Guys,
Lots of post about heavy gear. What reel are you using for your 20# rig? Lots of reports the last few years on the bluefin only biting 20#. I’m thinking great free spool. Probably a star drag....single speed.....gasp! My 25 year old Newel 220 I don’t think is up to finessing in a bluefin. It still casts farther than most reels today thanks to modern bearings and lubricants.....I just don’t think the drags are up to the task.

Thoughts? Recommendations?
I've been using my Okuma Citrix 364 on these small / mid grade (25-30lb) class BFT. Plenty of horsepower with 25lbs of drag....but yet perfect in size when fishing 20-30lb line. If you want to step it up, get the Komodo.... they're both awesome.
 

Fishybuzz

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Fishing 20# line the smoothness and durability of the drag is IMO more important than the amount of drag a reel produces as with 20# line one will be fishing only 6# to 8# of drag.....IMO a critical component of this endeavor is the choice of rod which has not been discussed very much..........
 

Kevin Helfend

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Aug 15, 2012
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My go to flyline reels when fish are touchy are still the Diawa SLs.Still have a pair of each of the 20 and 30s.The best chovy casting reels ever made IMO.And yes even over the Newells.Tom
I have a pair too. I use them all the time for local stuff. I wish I remember where I saw the add where they were selling SL20s fo $79. I would love to have a brand new one.
 
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tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Assuming you will always use the reel for 20-25 pound line, dropping your braid test down to 30 will add a lot of yardage to your line capacity.
PENN's 12 and 15 sizes hold a lot of 30 braid, so it really boils down to how much yardage will make you comfortable.
The 12 size is equivalent to a Newell 220, and the 15 size is equivalent to a Newell 229. In the old days, a 220 held 200 yards of 20 pound mono, and a 229 held 290 yards of 20 pound mono.
Using 30 pound braid, you can easily get over 300 yards on the 12, and nearly 400 yards on the 15, with room for a short topshot of 20 pound. I have actually been able to get close to 400 yards on the 12, using a lot of tension and a small diameter braid.
As Tom and a few others have noted, the graphite-spool 220/SL20's still cast best, but the Torque 12 [or 15] is the ultimate anchovy caster among aluminum-spool reels [99-percent as good as the vintage reels], and of course you get all the modern upgrades.
If the budget dictates, the Fathom 12 or 15 are great bang for the buck.
 

SCHeadhunter

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VERY HARD to beat the small trinidads. Expensive but you get what you pay for. The new Penns are nice too. I like the 16 for 20-25 as it has good capacity and the gears/drags are so smooth. Choice of rod is also key as someone else has already talked about.
 
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Bill W

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Jan 12, 2006
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Fishing 20# line the smoothness and durability of the drag is IMO more important than the amount of drag a reel produces as with 20# line one will be fishing only 6# to 8# of drag.....IMO a critical component of this endeavor is the choice of rod which has not been discussed very much..........
From that point of view a twin drag would be my choice... (lever drag)

But if casting is your primary consideration, hard to beat a Diawa SL.
 
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