HELP! Swimming in Rod Choices!

Das Droz

Newbie
  • Oct 26, 2021
    5
    9
    51
    Las Vegas, NV
    Name
    Hoyt D Tanner
    Boat
    Ranger 85
    I am new to West Coast Offshore fishing and I have been out of H&M(San Diego) for Yellowfin, Yellowtail, Dorado and LOVED IT. I have 5 setups for every situation and size fish aforementioned (see below). My next trip my buddies and I are looking to go Large Bluefin Hunting, which I have never done before, and I am SWIMMING in rod choices. I will be pairing the rod I buy with a Penn International VISX 20-2 Speed with 100lb or 130lb Braid. I want it to be a rail rod that can survive being used as one. Below is what I have researched so far. Which one should I choose, why, and why SHOULDN'T I choose the others? GO!

    WHAT I HAVE SO FAR:
    1.Penn Fierce III 6000 Spinning Reel/Fierce III Rod (7'/Med-Hvy/Fast)
    - I use this for casting out lures to kelp patties and live baits for smaller Yellowtail & Dorado and smaller Yellowfin that are at surface (up to around 30lb-35lb).
    2.Penn Slammer III 10500 Spinning Reel/Penn Carnage II Rod (7'/Hvy/Moderate) - I use this for casting out lures to kelp patties and live baits for medium to larger size Yellowfin & Dorado and for Yellowfin that are at surface(up to around 50lb).
    3.Shimano Tranx 500pg Baitcaster/Shimano Terez (6'6"/Hvy/Xtra-Fast) - I use this for casting out live baits away from the boat (I SUCK at casting out with a conventional reel-for now) for medium to larger size Yellowfin & Dorado and for Yellowfin(up to around 50lb).
    4.Penn Senator 114H 6/0 Conventional Reel/Penn Slammer III Conventional Rod (6'6"/Hvy/Moderate) - I use this to drop over the side with a live bait/dropper loop weight, jigs and such. I figure this is good for small Bluefin & larger Yellowfin(under 150lbs).
    5.Penn Senator 115L2 9/0 Conventional Reel/Fiblink Offshore Trolling Conventional Rod (6'/Hvy/Fast) - I use this for trolling Daisy Chains, Nomad MadMacs, Magbay Jett Head Lures, etc.


    WHAT I HAVE RESEARCHED SO FAR FOR MY INTERNATIONAL VISX 20:
    DiawaProteusTuna SpecialPRTB74XXXHF80lb-∞XXXtra HeavyFast7'4"
    DiawaProteusBoat ConventionalPTB70XXHF80lb-∞XXtra HeavyFast7'0"
    SeekerOSPOSP-4xOSP4X100lb-200lbXXXXtra HeavyNA7'3"
    SeekerOSPOSP-2x4OSP2X480lb-130lbXXXXtra HeavyNA7'3"
    SeekerOSPSuper Seeker-3x5SS3x5-7'C80lb-130lbNANA7'0"
    UCChallenger XtremeRCX 76 ViperRCX76Viper80lb-130lbNANA7'6"
    UCChallenger XtremeRCX 76 InvictusRCX76Invictus100lb-150lbNAFast7'6"
    PhenixAxisAxis Rail RodHAX-C 760X3H80lb-130lbXXXtra HeavyMod.Fast7'6"
    PhenixAxisAxis Rail RodHAX-C 760X4H80lb-200lbXXXXtra HeavyMod.Fast7'6"
    OkumaCustom SeriesConventional RodPCH-C-741XXXH80lb-130lbXXXtra HeavyFast7'4"

    From Reading Forums & Talking to SoCal Tackle shops I have been directed to :
    Seeker OSP-2x4
    UC Challenger Extreme Viper RCX76
    Phenix Axis Rail Rod 760X3H (was told phenix has the best lifetime warranty)
    Why wouldn't I want to go up in class to the :
    Seeker OSP-4x (rated 30lb-50lb drag - which the VISX 20 has)
    UC Challenger Extreme Invictus RCX76
    Phenix Axis 760X4H
    *** My thought process for going up in class (and I could be very wrong and under-educated here since I am kind of new to this class of offshore fishing) is that I am not going to run anything under 100lb-130lb braid, since I already have the Penn 6/0 and 9/0 rigged for that, and at some point might want to go over 130lb braid. ***
    No one seems to be a fan of or know much about the Diawa Proteus' & the Okuma - which is unfortunate since they are MUCH CHEAPER LOL !!!
     
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    lazyfisherman

    Member
  • Nov 28, 2006
    910
    1,004
    Garden Grove
    Name
    Bobby
    Boat
    Cattle Boats
    100lb braid = RCX Viper
    130lb braid = RCX Invictus

    Not all rods are the same. When fighting larger fish, the rod will play a larger role in fighting the fish since you'll definitely be using the rail. Rod recoil is important, and no other manufacturer has been able to get the same recoil and lift that the UC Railrods provide.
     
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    10,062
    9,323
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    Viper 76 for the 20 visx fishing 100# leaders at ~33# of drag. Invictus 76 for 130# at ~45# of drag. I also use a pch 74xxxh with an HXW Raptor fishing 100# for flat falls and trolling.
     
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    Mr. DRE

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Sep 23, 2019
    1,870
    2,370
    West Hills, CA
    Name
    Andre
    Boat
    Private
    The UC Viper can pretty much handle just about anything targeted in Southern California. I have one paired with an Accurate super 12T for jigs set at 35 pounds of drag and one paired with an Accurate 6 for live bait with drag adjusted depending on leader used. I actually caught my biggest BFT cow on an OSP 4X but it was on a kite set up. Two things to consider is the weight of the set up and weather you can realistically fish 50 pounds of drag on stand up gear.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    751
    1,921
    Junction City OR
    Name
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    7'6" UC Viper all the way. Absolutely brilliant for 100# and 130# leader. All the lift and recoil you could possibly want. I do not think you can physically pull hard enough to bottom out this rod. Last May I used my Viper/Mak 20 SEa to land a 185# BFT in 19 minutes, finished the fight at 40# of drag, this stick was not even close to bottomed out. Using 100# braid/100# fluoro leader, and a big Circle Hook.

    I would not go up a class to the Invictus unless you are purchasing a dedicated Kite Rod. The softer tip of the Viper is generally more useful unless you are fishing very heavy line/drag.

    For a good read on this topic check out this BD thread. Jamie @ Bob Sands Tackle has quite a bit of experience, and he gives the highlights better than I can:

     
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    Das Droz

    Newbie
  • Oct 26, 2021
    5
    9
    51
    Las Vegas, NV
    Name
    Hoyt D Tanner
    Boat
    Ranger 85
    Well seems the UC is the overwhelming opinion on what to go with. Does anyone have an opinion on the Diawa Proteus Boat Tuna Special? I can't seem to find anyone that does.
     
    2Rotten
    2Rotten
    A friend has a couple of the Daiwa Proteus rods, likes them just fine. His are 30/40/60# sticks. If I had to choose between the Daiwa Proteus and the Okuma PCH, I would opt for the Okuma PCH line.
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    4tunate

    Almost A Member
  • Sep 26, 2021
    129
    314
    Reno, NV
    Name
    Brent
    Boat
    LowKeys
    I have a UC Viper paired with an Accurate ATD30 with 100# Jerry Brown braid, it's a beast~! I don't know about the Daiwa Proteus - I do know that if you pull the trigger on the Viper you won't regret it. Perfect match for your VISX20.
     
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    Bryantttt

    Almost A Member
  • Jun 8, 2021
    111
    101
    32
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Bryant
    Boat
    Bayliner Ciera 2252
    I've heard good things about the Okuma PCH as a budget special (I picked up a few as 'loaners' for friends who come fishing with me). So far, I'm happy with the cost.
    Have Phenix trout rods, but for some reason I've heard their rail rods have a less than Steller reputation.
     
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