Choose the best size PENN reel for tuna

tunanorth

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While we go through what may turn out to be a VERY short "off season", I created a list of PENN reel models that may be helpful for SoCal tuna anglers as they plan trips for the upcoming year, based on the anticipated "topshot test".
Depending on your budget, the "Torque" family of reels has equivalent models as a "step up" from the Fathoms.
Fathom FTHII8XNSD [star drag]= 12-15-20; flylining small baits, Slow-Pitch jigging, school-size tuna
Fathom FTH10XNLD= 15-20-25; flylining small baits, Slow-Pitch jigging, school-size tuna
Fathom FTHII12SD or FTHII15SD [star drag]= 12-15-20-25-30; flylining small baits, small dart-type jigs, tuna to 40 pounds
Fathom FTH15LD2= 30; flylining bait; small/medium dart-type jigs, and 15-60 pound tuna
Fathom FTH15XNLD2= 30-40; flylining bait and Slow-Pitch jigging, and 20-90 pound tuna
Fathom FTH25NLD2= 40; best for surface iron; dart-type jigs, and 20-90 pound tuna
Fathom FTH30LD2= 40-50; perfect for rubberbanding 30-100 pound tuna; lighter fall-type jigs
Fathom FTH40NLD2= 50-60-80; perfect for all methods [except kite] and 75-175 pound tuna
Fathom FTH60LD2= 50-60-80; primarily a trolling reel for tuna to 175 pounds
International 12VISX= 50-60-80; approx. same line capacity as 40N size, but heavier frame & spool
International16VISX= 80-100; perfect for heavier fall-type jigs and 100-250 pound tuna
International 20VISX= 80-100-130; heavier fall-type jigs and 150-350 pound tuna
International 30VISX= 100-130; absolute bare minimum for kite fishing.
International 50VISX= 100-150; best choice for kite fishing
 
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tunanorth

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What color International do you recommend?



First and foremost, check with your significant other, Ha-Ha.
However, the popular consensus in recent years is leaning toward the silver finish, which tends to show scratches less.
Inventory shortages at your local dealer could mean the usual choices may be fewer.
 
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tunanorth

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First and foremost, check with your significant other, Ha-Ha.
However, the popular consensus in recent years is leaning toward the silver finish, which tends to show scratches less.
Inventory shortages at your local dealer could mean the usual choices may be fewer.



I should re-iterate; inventory shortages continue, and may continue for awhile longer.
If you see the size you want, I would suggest getting it no matter the color.
 
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Spear or rod

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    Steve-I stumbled across a bnib Fthm 15sd I bought during pandemic & forgot about. I already have the Fthm 12sd for 20# duty & Fthm 15ld2 for 30# duty. I have the 25n for jig stick & 40ld2 too. Is there a good zone for that 15sd or is it a back up? Thx
     
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    tunanorth

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    Steve-I stumbled across a bnib Fthm 15sd I bought during pandemic & forgot about. I already have the Fthm 12sd for 20# duty & Fthm 15ld2 for 30# duty. I have the 25n for jig stick & 40ld2 too. Is there a good zone for that 15sd or is it a back up? Thx


    I'd keep it as a 20-pound rig.
    The lighter line is more vulnerable to damage, and when the school-size tuna are only biting the light line, its nice to be able to just grab another rod, rather than try to change your topshot in the middle of a bite.
     
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    tunanorth

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    Whats the recommended use for a Torque 60 2sp ?


    Pretty much the same as a 40NLD2, but when you want the extra yardage, such as when the tuna at Guadalupe are only biting on a LONG soak.
     
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    tunanorth

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    Where does the 25NSD fit into the mix?



    As a single-speed star drag model, the 25NSD's are more applicable in SoCal to yellowtail fishing, and are especially good for surface iron.
    If you are in a situation where you might feel like the 15SD just does not hold enough yardage, or you have large hands and the 15SD feels too small, the 25NSD would also be a good choice.
    Also, in NorCal or the PNW, where larger tuna are very rare, the 25SD would be just fine for albacore.
     
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    tunanorth

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    bump
     
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    tunanorth

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    Hey @tunanorth I have the fathom 30LD2 and 40NLD2, how should spool / fish these reels ?


    Fill the 30 up with 65 pound braid, and the 40N with 80 pound braid.
    Leave just enough room for the monofilament topshot length of your preference [most boats recommend 50-100 feet, but its your call].
    Depending on what the fish are doing on any given day, adjust the topshot accordingly; the 30 can fish 30, 40, or 50-pound topshots, and the 40N can do 50, 60, or 80-pound topshots.
     
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