Bluefin vs. The Senator.

Barkoff

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 6, 2010
161
49
Hollister CA USA
Name
Mike
Curious for opinion, is the red 6/0 HW loaded up with 100 braid and top-shot, enough drag to handle a Bluefin up to #200 pounds?
 

Rick U

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 22, 2004
200
45
LA
Name
Rick
Boat
Montauk
Interested in what others think but its probably doable and been done. I think the drag on 6/0 reels were made to handle 60# line.
 

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
8,631
5,853
64
Mission Viejo
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MarkT
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Blazer Bay 1860
Probably iffy with stock gear. Plenty of drag if you tank it out with double dogs, stainless gear sleeve, upgraded drags and add a Tiburon or Accurate aluminum frame. Ya know, it's way cheaper to just buy a used Penn 50 2-speed!
 
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tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
Curious for opinion, is the red 6/0 HW loaded up with 100 braid and top-shot, enough drag to handle a Bluefin up to #200 pounds?


It is indeed theoretically possible; and a handful of very experienced anglers in small, fast, maneuverable boats, with skilled captains have done it lately, just to prove it can be done.
Going out on a standard party/charter boat, and trying to do it under the auspices of budgetary restriction would be extremely difficult.
Over the decades, 200-pound category yellowfin and bigeye tuna were hooked on San Diego-based boats on the venerable 114HL, and the landing percentage is extremely low, probably in the single digits percentage-wise..
Again, it's been done, but tuna-ready reels like FTH40NLD2's and FTH60LD2's are available at retail for less than the price of a boat ticket, and most major landings have fully capable rental gear for reasonable prices.
 

fishkilr

.better to be a has-been than a never-was..
Aug 27, 2012
3,423
4,596
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
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alby
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None
It is indeed theoretically possible; and a handful of very experienced anglers in small, fast, maneuverable boats, with skilled captains have done it lately, just to prove it can be done.
Going out on a standard party/charter boat, and trying to do it under the auspices of budgetary restriction would be extremely difficult.
Over the decades, 200-pound category yellowfin and bigeye tuna were hooked on San Diego-based boats on the venerable 114HL, and the landing percentage is extremely low, probably in the single digits percentage-wise..
Again, it's been done, but tuna-ready reels like FTH40NLD2's and FTH60LD2's are available at retail for less than the price of a boat ticket, and most major landings have fully capable rental gear for reasonable prices.
Norman told me about a night they were catching cows ...as they were gaffin a cow midship starboard side they saw a super next to the boat...they pulled the first fish over and went back to what they thought was a free swimmer lost in the lights ...
Pulled the giant over the rail and found it had a line in its mouth...followed the line to the bow and there was a guy pulling out a backlash up there..they said we got your fish back here and he said "fish?,what fish.?"..taped out at 360...that's ultimste fish cooperation...
 
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af dreamer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 16, 2007
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long beach,ca
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tom
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44 luhrs dreamer
Guys,before all the 2 speeds and fancy stuff big BFT were being caught at Lupe!Macks tackle was taking Penn 68s in the late 50s early 60s redoing the drags and putting harness lugs on them.Red senators will do fine BUT they might not do well on the rail!JMHO,Tom
 

Barkoff

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 6, 2010
161
49
Hollister CA USA
Name
Mike
Up here in the Monterey Bay, we have had limited runs in the past, but not many over 60-70 pounds. This year however there has probably twenty or so caught in the 150 pound range. I would be fishing it off of private boats and other than than the current anomaly, can't see investing $500 into a reel that will be much larger than 95% of my fishing. I also have a two-speed HX Raptor loaded with 80lb Braid, I'm thinking that has more stopping power than the 6/0 Then some heavier 100lb class rods with HLW 4/0's for albacore trolling.
Most all other medium set-ups I have can handle albacore and WSB, then a ton of lesser tackle for the lesser breeds. Just trying to make do with some of what I have should the Bluefin start coming around more often up here. If this situation repeats a few times, then maybe I'd be more willing to plop down the wallet.

Thank you for all the opinion.
 

af dreamer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 16, 2007
4,455
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long beach,ca
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tom
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44 luhrs dreamer
Being old,first Lupe trip was 1958,and growing up with the old and now using the new there is no comparison.In 1978 we caught 3 broadbill on wide senators with 80 mono and should have had 2 others except for mistakes at the gaff.Just a week ago a new BFT Avalon TC record was set and a potential WR on 30lb DACRON.Im sure at least 70% that are on this board has never fished dac !We have the best fishing and best tackle avail now!ENJOY it!Tom
 

Contractor.aten

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 10, 2016
275
211
52
Highland, Ca
Name
Tito Saldana
Boat
Defiance 290
ok here is my 2 cents!!!! 1995 on the Producer hooked and landed a 98 pound Blue Fin on 40# test with a Jig Master. So why not on the 6/0.. I forgot to add... The reel wast toast after that 1 hr battle.
 
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Barkoff

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 6, 2010
161
49
Hollister CA USA
Name
Mike
Oh man, on a jigmaster?
Those have got about 25% of the stopping power as a 6/0
I have changed the drag washers out on my Senators and my six Pen Mags the old 970, 980 and 990 before, always thought they had pretty beefy drags, but have not torn into any modern day reels to compare them to with.
 

AKSalmon

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Jul 15, 2006
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Juneau, Alaska
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Bill Brown
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Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
As others have said, it's certainly possible but not fun and likely to end in failure. One problem no one has addressed is that if you have a stock Penn graphite frame, you'll likely pop out the side plate screws during a long fight under heavy drag. That wouldn't end well. If you have a full aluminum frame, your odds would improve but not everyone on the boat would appreciate waiting around while you fought the fish.
 

MATTANZA

old man of the sea, in training.
Aug 23, 2004
5,433
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Cali the state of confusion, the state of shock
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RICK
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Boston Whaler 25' Outrage "MATTANZA II", 34' Radovcich "AMY ANNE" {when it needs to be fixed}
one of the best fishermen i've ever met said this to me once..." some guys need technology to catch big fish others only need talent. " you can get a big bft on a 6/0, now that there's spectra, heavy drags washers, aluminum frames etc. it will just take a little longer. back in the old days they caught big bft on knuckle busters.
 

Contractor.aten

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 10, 2016
275
211
52
Highland, Ca
Name
Tito Saldana
Boat
Defiance 290
Oh I forgot to add...... The Capt gets on the horn to tell us that he is metering some big fish down deeper and suggest that we put on some weight with heavier line>>>>> So my dumb ass grabs my 9 ft jig stick with 40 on it tie on a hook and whaalaa i am in business... That was a day to remember..
 

SouthBayKiller

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2003
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Long Beach, CA
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Robert
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none
I saw a guy got a cow on a tranx this week. Lots of stuff can happen, but I wouldn’t bet on it. A 6/0 is a lot of reel, but a 200lb bluefin is a lot of fish...if you can’t keep a steady 25lbs minimum drag on him for a few hundred yards of sustained fast running, you have to get lucky.
 

T.O.T.W.

Time On The Water
Dec 23, 2005
1,008
1,224
San Diego
Name
Chris L
Boat
Leo's
As everyone has said, you could land one on the Senator. This also could be your only shot at trophy bluefin—this year or even ever. If it were me I’d be stacking the odds in my favor as much as I could.
 

tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
Up here in the Monterey Bay, we have had limited runs in the past, but not many over 60-70 pounds. This year however there has probably twenty or so caught in the 150 pound range. I would be fishing it off of private boats and other than than the current anomaly, can't see investing $500 into a reel that will be much larger than 95% of my fishing. I also have a two-speed HX Raptor loaded with 80lb Braid, I'm thinking that has more stopping power than the 6/0 Then some heavier 100lb class rods with HLW 4/0's for albacore trolling.
Most all other medium set-ups I have can handle albacore and WSB, then a ton of lesser tackle for the lesser breeds. Just trying to make do with some of what I have should the Bluefin start coming around more often up here. If this situation repeats a few times, then maybe I'd be more willing to plop down the wallet.

Thank you for all the opinion.


An interesting bit regarding bluefin in Monterey. The bluefin tagging information garnered by Dr. Barbara Block shows that the bluefin are in Monterey every year, and generally stay as late as November.
Whether they stay deep and "off the radar", or it's just that nobody has been looking for them is hard to say. Having proper big bluefin gear might become standard issue for Monterey anglers from now on.
 

Yellowtail Dan

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Apr 10, 2006
3,136
3,138
52
Roseville Ca
Name
Dan
Boat
Excel, American Angler
I had some friends out there fishing for them this past weekend, have to check in and see how they did