5 to 8 day rod & reel recommendation list [updated]

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tunanorth

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It's been a couple of years since I first posted this list.
Below please find a general list with updates, and I will add a few revised versions based on specific boats.



5-8 DAY TRIP ROD & REEL COMBO RECOMMENDATIONS

1. 25-30 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO


Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ15LD2, PENN Fathom FTH15LD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 15-40 pound mono lines

Applications- Albacore, dorado, wahoo live bait, school size bluefin and yellowfin tuna live bait

2. 40-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ25NLD2, PENN Fathom FTH30NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 20-50 pound mono lines

Applications- All around live bait use for tuna to 100 pounds

3. 50/60 POUND JIGGING COMBO

Reel- PENN U.S. Senator 113N, PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ40NLD2, PENN Fathom FTH40NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 40-80 pound mono lines

Applications- Yo-Yo jigging for yellowtail and tuna, casting wahoo bombs/jigs, dart-type jigs

4. 60/80-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ40NLD2, PENN International 2-speed 12VISX

Rod- Conventional 6.5 to 8-feet, rated for 40-100 pound lines

Applications- Larger-grade tuna to 175 pounds with live bait, medium fall-type jigs, medium-duty dropper-looping

5. 80/100-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN International 2-speed 16VISX, or 20VISX

Rod- Conventional 5.5 to 7.5 feet, rated for 50-130 pound lines

Applications- Larger-grade tuna to 300 pounds, heavy fall-type jigs
 
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tunanorth

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Here is a GUADALUPE ISLAND-specific list from Captain Russ Brazwell on the Shogun, based on his recommendations at the 2017 Fred Hall Show.



SHOGUN GUADALUPE ISLAND ROD & REEL COMBO RECOMMENDATIONS

1. 40-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO


Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ30LD2, PENN Fathom FT30LD2 [80 pound braid backing]

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 30-60 pound mono lines

Applications- Line shy smaller tuna, catching bait

2. 50-60 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Torque TRQ40NLD2, PENN Fathom FTH40NLD2 [80-pound braid backing]

Rod- Conventional 7 to 7.5-feet, rated for 30-80 pound mono lines

Applications- Live bait yellowfin tuna 100-150 pounds

3. 60-POUND JIGGING COMBO

Reel- PENN U.S. Senator 113N, PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ40NLD2, PENN Fathom FTH40NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7-feet, rated for 40-80 pound mono lines

Applications- Yo-Yo jigging for yellowtail and tuna

4. 80-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN International 2-speed 16VISX

Rod- Conventional 7-feet, rated for 50-100 pound lines

Applications- Larger grade tuna to 150 pounds-plus

5. 100-130 POUND DROPPER LOOP COMBO

Reel- PENN International 2-speed 20VISX or 30VISX; 100-plus pound braid and 50-150 feet of 130-pound mono

Rod- Conventional 7-feet, rated for 80-150 pound lines

Applications- Heavy-duty dropper looping for yellowtail
 
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tunanorth

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Captain Mike Lackey of the Vagabond also changed things up slightly from the original list during conversations at the 2017 Fred Hall Show.



VAGABOND 5-8 DAY TRIP ROD & REEL COMBO RECOMMENDATIONS

1. 25-30 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO


Reel- PENN Fathom FTH25 [20-25 pound lines], Fathom FTH25NLD2 [30 pound lines]

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 15-40 pound mono lines

Applications- Albacore, dorado, wahoo live bait, school size bluefin and yellowfin tuna live bait

2. 40-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Fathom FTH30NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 20-50 pound mono lines

Applications- All around live bait use for tuna under 100 pounds

3. 50-POUND JIGGING COMBO

Reel- PENN U.S. Senator 113N, PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ40NLD2, PENN Fathom FTH40NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 30-60 pound mono lines

Applications- Yo-Yo jigging for yellowtail and tuna, casting wahoo bombs/jigs

4. 50-60 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ30LD2 [50 pound lines], TRQ40NLD2 [50-60 pound lines]

Rod- Conventional 6 to 7-feet, rated for 30-80 pound lines

Applications- Guadalupe Island yellowfin tuna, better grade bluefin tuna

5. 80-100 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN International 2-speed 16VISX, or 20VISX

Rod- Conventional 5.5 to 7 feet, rated for 50-130 pound lines

Applications- Larger-grade tuna to over 150 pounds, heavy-duty dropper looping
 
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tunanorth

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Captain Art Taylor of the Searcher could not attend the FHS this year, but I got his updated recommendations via e-mail.



SEARCHER 5-7 DAY TRIP ROD & REEL COMBO RECOMMENDATIONS

1. 25-30 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO


Reel- PENN Fathom FTH15LD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 15-40 pound mono lines

Applications- Albacore, dorado, wahoo live bait, school size bluefin and yellowfin tuna live bait

2. 40-POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Fathom FTH30LD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 20-50 pound mono lines

Applications- All around live bait use for tuna under 100 pounds

3. 50-POUND JIGGING COMBO

Reel- PENN Fathom FTH40NLD2

Rod- Conventional 7 to 8-feet, rated for 30-60 pound mono lines

Applications- Yo-Yo jigging for yellowtail and tuna, casting wahoo bombs/jigs

4. 50-60 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN Torque 2-speed TRQ40NLD2

Rod- Conventional 6 to 7-feet, rated for 30-80 pound lines

Applications- Guadalupe Island yellowfin tuna, better grade bluefin tuna

5. 80-100 POUND LIVE BAIT COMBO

Reel- PENN International 2-speed 30VISX

Rod- Conventional 5.5 to 7 feet, rated for 50-130 pound lines

Applications- Larger-grade tuna to 200 pounds-plus, heavy-duty dropper looping
 
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Big_Tuna_

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Why all 2 speeds and the most expensive Penn reels out there? International and Torque?!? The Fathom could easily play those roles just fine. I'm not saying the international and torque are bad reels, just not everyone's cup of tea to spend a fortune on a fishing reel. I think it would be cool if you came up with a more "budget friendly" list of rods and reels!!!!
 
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tunanorth

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Why all 2 speeds and the most expensive Penn reels out there? International and Torque?!? The Fathom could easily play those roles just fine. I'm not saying the international and torque are bad reels, just not everyone's cup of tea to spend a fortune on a fishing reel. I think it would be cool if you came up with a more "budget friendly" list of rods and reels!!!!



Not quite sure what you are asking, there are a number of Fathom models listed.
It is true that everything 40 pound test and over is a 2-speed. The first list is mine, and the rest were made by the skippers named, and you can see that a growing number of skippers now like to see a 2-speed even for 30 pound work, given the quantity of 50-65 pound tuna in recent seasons that were only willing to hit 30 pound tackle.
If we ever go back to an "albacore cycle", going with single-speed reels for 30 pound and possibly even 40 pound will be workable.
 
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tunanorth

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Thanks for your reply. Where does the PENN Fathom FTH60LD2 fit in?



The "60" size holds about 200 extra yards of 80 pound braid over its skinnier brother, the "40N" size. All other gear ratio and drag specs are the same.
There are obvious advantages to having extra line capacity in many situations, although the wider 60 does not fit in the hand quite as comfortably, and requires a bit more "thumb" effort in levelwinding.
The biggest advantage of the FTH60LD2 over the FTH40NLDN comes for trolling. The 60 has a top bar on the frame, and "switchblade" pop-up harness lugs, making it much easier to use with a trolling strap.
 
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jonhjax

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The "60" size holds about 200 extra yards of 80 pound braid over its skinnier brother, the "40N" size. All other gear ratio and drag specs are the same.
There are obvious advantages to having extra line capacity in many situations, although the wider 60 does not fit in the hand quite as comfortably, and requires a bit more "thumb" effort in levelwinding.
The biggest advantage of the FTH60LD2 over the FTH40NLDN comes for trolling. The 60 has a top bar on the frame, and "switchblade" pop-up harness lugs, making it much easier to use with a trolling strap.
Is the fathom 60ld2 a suitable reel for trolling for wahoo, and what other applications would it be good for?
 
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tunanorth

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Is the fathom 60ld2 a suitable reel for trolling for wahoo, and what other applications would it be good for?


Yes, it is excellent for wahoo trolling, along with striped marlin, dorado, albacore, and also trolling for most other species, with the exception of large blue/black marlin, and the largest sharks.
 
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jonhjax

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Yes, it is excellent for wahoo trolling, along with striped marlin, dorado, albacore, and also trolling for most other species, with the exception of large blue/black marlin, and the largest sharks.
I'm an old chater boat mate and light tackle fisherman from the Florida Keys back in the day and have caught a few fish like 30 lb. grouper on 20 lb. spin tackle back in 1979-83 with the gear we had then, such as a Spinmaster or Shakespeare spinning reel or a Penn 750ss if we were lucky. Penn Senators were used on the boats that wouldn't pay for Internationals and very occasionally you'd see a Fin Nor Regal or a tycoon on a charter boat .I was thinking that if you fish 80 lb. or even 60 lb. braid on that reel and the boat follows the fish you can probably catch about 90% of the fish in the world. Thanks for your prompt response to my post. You guys have a great thing going out there in Cali and if I get really lucky one day I might be able to do a trip out of San Diego. Once again, you guys really rock!! I love reading about this.
 
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tunanorth

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bump
 
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