Bluefin reels for San Diego 2020 summer season

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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All,
I have noticed a TON of inquiries recently on a variety of social media platforms about what tackle is appropriate for the bluefin biting during the 2020 summer season.
Specifically, most of the questions seem to be coming from anglers who are pretty well set up for local yellowtail and local species, and even "school size" tuna in the 15-50 pound category.
Its understandable that people don't want to spend a ton of money on gear that they may only use a few times, but since 2015, the summer/fall appearance of 75-150 pound bluefin has been pretty consistent.
Getting gear for this grade of fish should probably be considered "the new normal".
I am adding this thread topic for discussion of the different PENN models that should be considered depending on the price point, line category, techniques, and of course size range that may be biting.
 
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tunanorth

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These are the most-frequently discussed PENN sizes for better-grade SoCal bluefin:
Upper left- Torque TRQ60LD2
Upper right- Torque TRQ40NLD2
Lower left- International 16VISX
Lower right- International 12VISX


1592174721544.png
 

IronMikeAC

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Aug 2, 2013
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torrance, ca
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Mike
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Vagabond
These are the most-frequently discussed PENN sizes for better-grade SoCal bluefin:
Upper left- Torque TRQ60LD2
Upper right- Torque TRQ40NLD2
Lower left- International 16VISX
Lower right- International 12VISX


View attachment 1156948
Good info Steve. Last few reports I heard the Captains said folks getting spooled, losing all their line. I assume that was on smaller reels. Norm F got a bigun today on an 80lb sinker rig, so fish heavy
 
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tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Good info Steve. Last few reports I heard the Captains said folks getting spooled, losing all their line. I assume that was on smaller reels. Norm F got a bigun today on an 80lb sinker rig, so fish heavy


Yes, another popular topic recently has been from experienced anglers who already have a 16VISX, and wonder if they need to go up to 20VISX.
The usual answer is that the 16VISX is more than enough for even "cow" grade fish over 200 pounds, but "if" you find yourself with 250-plus pounders under the boat, a 20VISX is the way to go, though its more tiring to spend all day/night at the rail with it.
That discussion is secondary right now, as exemplified by the Tomahawk's latest trip, which saw 45 fish hooked, and only 5 landed.
The "rank and file" anglers out there still are not quite "geared up", and seem reluctant to take the plunge even on a Fathom FTH40NLD2 to get themselves in the game for 100-plus pounders.
 

ColinSD

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Mar 16, 2020
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Colin Farrelly
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Triumph 195
I have a VISXS12 right now. How do you recommend setting it up? 100lb braid to 80lb floro top shot?
 

tunanorth

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I have a VISXS12 right now. How do you recommend setting it up? 100lb braid to 80lb floro top shot?



My suggestion would be to go with a good brand of 80-pound braid [ex: Berkley Pro-Spec] so that you can get additional yardage. Top brands of 80-pound braid normally have an ABS of well over 100 pounds.
Yes, 80-pound topshots are perfect, though if the bite is finicky and you need to go down to 60 or even 50 pound fluoro, the reel will perform extremely well.
 
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ColinSD

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Mar 16, 2020
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Colin Farrelly
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Triumph 195
Thanks for the quick reply. I’m goi g to upgrade my braid and top shot based on your suggestions.
 

Pjstevko

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Nov 12, 2015
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Three Rivers California
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PJ Stevko
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I just got a Fathom 40nld2 and it's gonna be loaded with JB soild 80# braid and go on a Okuma PCH-C-74xxh. I'm gonna use it for yo-yo, big baits and flat falls.
Hoping that setup will put me in the medium (150#) tuna game!
 

IronMikeAC

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Aug 2, 2013
572
598
torrance, ca
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Mike
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Yes, another popular topic recently has been from experienced anglers who already have a 16VISX, and wonder if they need to go up to 20VISX.
The usual answer is that the 16VISX is more than enough for even "cow" grade fish over 200 pounds, but "if" you find yourself with 250-plus pounders under the boat, a 20VISX is the way to go, though its more tiring to spend all day/night at the rail with it.
That discussion is secondary right now, as exemplified by the Tomahawk's latest trip, which saw 45 fish hooked, and only 5 landed.
The "rank and file" anglers out there still are not quite "geared up", and seem reluctant to take the plunge even on a Fathom FTH40NLD2 to get themselves in the game for 100-plus pounders.
Well Steve, the RP got a 200lber today, so they're out there. For these size fish I. Prefer at 30sw or 50.
 

aznboy619

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Apr 25, 2006
546
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Alhambra
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Victor
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I guess I will be ready for my 7 day in 5 day. The 12 and 16 visx should be able to handle most of the fish.

2020-06-14.jpg
 

vipertom1970

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Oct 26, 2015
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Inland Empire
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tom
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2018 Parker 2320 SL
I have landed 15 BF the last 4 trips all over 120# and one at 285# on VISX 30 and VISX 50. the 120#-180# BF took no more then 15 minutes to bring in, the 285# took 4 guys to bring it in and took about 45 minutes on Penn VISX 30. All were caught on private boat but might have taken longer time to bring in on sport boats. The 120#-180# BF was no match for Penn VISX 30 preset the drag with a scale at 27# with 130# braid.
 
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ripped

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Dec 5, 2007
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Gary
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I have landed 15 BF the last 4 trips all over 120# and one at 285# on VISX 30 and VISX 50. the 120#-180# BF took no more then 15 minutes to bring in, the 285# took 4 guys to bring it in and took about 45 minutes on Penn VISX 30. All were caught on private boat but might have taken longer time to bring in on sport boats. The 120#-180# BF was no match for Penn VISX 30 preset the drag with a scale at 27# with 130# braid.
:appl:
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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A couple of very popular "40 pound reels" showing the size contrast.
Left= Torque TRQ15XNLD2
Right= Torque TRQ25NLD2


1592250117062.png
 
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Pitchinwedge

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Aug 7, 2016
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Is the spool/frame diameter on the 15xn larger than the 25? Looks like the 15xn is about the same in diameter as the 40n?
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Is the spool/frame diameter on the 15xn larger than the 25? Looks like the 15xn is about the same in diameter as the 40n?


No, just an effect of the camera angle.
The sideplates of both models are identical, only the spool/frame width is different.
 
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richardblufin

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Jun 23, 2009
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Bigger is Better Thats what she said
I will take one of each, please. Steve how is your book coming along? Waiting in Diego.
 

Pitchinwedge

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Aug 7, 2016
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Got my 25N filled with 65lb, too. No topshot, just a short leader.

Only thing keeping me from adding a 15XN to my collection is the 400y/50lb line capacity. I wish it held a tiny bit more line. Maybe it's enough, but I'd just feel better if it was 500/50lb. :D
 
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