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Lighter Leader and Bigger Tuna - Rail Tips and Equipment - Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by 2Rotten, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. 2Rotten

    2Rotten Newbie

    Location:
    Junction City OR
    Name:
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat:
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
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    Leader sizes 25-30-40-50 & 60#. BFT sizes - sometimes you just don't know. Getting ready for a 3-day on the New Lo-An this November, and hopefully more and longer trips in the future.

    I have started assembling my quiver, currently have a UC Tilefish Jr. for 25 - 30#, a UC RUS 76HP for 40 - 50#, and an older Calstar 770H for 60#. None of these are "Rail Rods"; they all have ~ 12" foregrips.

    My gear question is, should I consider extending the foregrip with a couple wraps of cork grip tape, and cover it with cold shrink? The Calstar should be plenty strong enough for use as a Rail Rod with 20# of drag, shouldn't it? It is not clear to me whether the UC GUSA rods are built to handle leverage applied this way... Just wondering the best way to fight a bigger Tuna on lighter line, if I should be so lucky as to have this problem! Do people just put the butt under their arm pit, or do you use the short EVA grip on the rail? Would it be useful to extend the foregrip on my UC rods as well as my Calstar?

    Final question, if I added another stick, should it be something like a 7'6" Predator (same non-rail design, fits between my 40 and 60), or should I jump up to something like a Raptor (true rail rod, a little more rod than my Calstar)? FYI I am borrowing a "Heavy" rod/reel (130#) for the Flat Fall jig fishing; no need to cover real Heavies in this thread.

    Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions, I hope this wasn't too many questions crammed into 1 thread. And Yes! I know I am over-processing!
     
  2. InDeepShip

    InDeepShip Ah ship

    Location:
    Ventura/Vallejo
    Name:
    Adam
    Boat:
    In my Dream's
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    Honestly, any rod is a rail rod. You just put it on the rail and grind most rods work find for it but i might mess up the cover for them
     
    Olddog8, 2Rotten and Mike Nall like this.
  3. DC61

    DC61 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    Paul L.
    Boat:
    33’ Blackfin
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    Generally speaking you do not need to put the rod on the rail when fishing anything less than 80# test. The rail is really helpful when the pull of the rod is so strong that you simply need the “extra” help.

    Fishing 40-60# line doesn’t usually require the Angler to use the rail and frankly the rods aren’t designed for it.

    For your heavier lines, absolutely the rail is your friend. Rail rods built with a longer foregrip are really useful.

    If I were building a rod that I wanted to fish heavy line (80 and above) I would absolutely put a longer foregrip on it i would not consider modify my current rods.

    If I had a budget for tackle, I would spend it on a two speed reel and fill it to the top with spectra and use a 20’ piece of flurocarbon tied to a circle hook.

    Next I would go to the back yard and learn to cast my reel with a small sinker to simulate a sardine. Being able to cast a conventional rod and reel will be the best thing you can do to increase your catch.
     
  4. 5-20

    5-20 Poseidon Group's Back Up Trident Thrower

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    5-20
    Boat:
    L2 Fish
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    The rail is really helpful even when you're fishing #30. A nice 70-80 lb. BFT could end up being a 45 minute fight. And then when you've done it several times throughout the day, the rail is a really nice asset. It really depends on your physical strength and ability to fight big fish for long periods of time.

    Every rod loads up differently. Tie a 15 or 20 pound dumbbell on and lift it off the floor and try to lift it higher and you'll have a better idea of where the rod shuts off. Some rods especially those that have more of a parabolic design shut off very high up the blank and even though it may have a "rail" design with an extended foregrip. Those rods aren't really the best to use on the rail because with it shutting off so high up the blank, you can't really leverage the fish at all.
     
    Olddog8 and ripped like this.
  5. spongehead

    spongehead "ONE FISH AT A TIME"

    Location:
    garden grove, ca
    Name:
    David
    Boat:
    Maria
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    Im with 5-20 it all depends on ur physical (dis)abilities. Im building new 30 to 150 rods right now and theyre all 14" or longer foregrips. My back is bad even on a 40lb bft last year. Just cant pull as hard as i used too fighten standup. U can put tuna cord or corktape down, add xtube/ coldshrink. Then tear it off if u dont like it. Rail forgrip just spreads the load on a blank protecting it from breaking from sharp point. Found myself scrapin the top 3rd down on my last bft it was unavoidable. Seeker blacksteel 6463x3 just took the licken and kept on ticken.
     
  6. SouthBayKiller

    SouthBayKiller I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    Name:
    Robert
    Boat:
    none
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    Just fish them. Any decent rod builder can fix them if needed, but probably not needed unless you hang Godzilla or are super aggressive on the rail. Hypalon is some pretty durable stuff.
     
  7. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known "Member"

    Name:
    Dude
    Boat:
    None
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    I a
    I am far from an expert LR fisherman but have caught a few 100 lb BFT and lesser as well. The last one was on the New Lo-An. Being an older guy I must admit I put the 6480H on the rail 1/2 way through the fight fishing 40lb set with a scale. There was a while where it was a stalemate an pulling could not gain line in a back and forth struggle. The rod had a short fore grip like you described and it worked fine. I just had to use control in the situation. Personally if I am fishing 60 lb. for big fish I am planning on using a rail rod of some type, I have a couple (1x3 and 2x4) and some rods with longer foregrips and hypalon with shrink tube. There are guys that don’t find it necessary to use the rail with 60 lb. on up much less 40 lb. but if you haven’t hooked a bigger sized fish it helps to be prepared for something you can’t really appreciate until you have experienced it. Just me sharing.
     
    ripped likes this.
  8. 2Rotten

    2Rotten Newbie

    Location:
    Junction City OR
    Name:
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat:
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
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    Thanks for the feedback guys, my boat pulls in 200-300 Albacore each year mostly on jigs and dead bait with the engines off but I am a Newb when it comes to rail fishing for bigger Tuna
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  9. 2Rotten

    2Rotten Newbie

    Location:
    Junction City OR
    Name:
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat:
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
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    Fwiw I am 61 and in pretty good shape. For Albies I rip jigs all day long, and don't quit until we are plugged or it is getting seriously late (sometimes Dark and we come in with the electronics). I love fishing!
     
    5-20 likes this.
  10. lasparky11

    lasparky11 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Ontario, CA USA
    Name:
    Gene
    Boat:
    X-wife she's so fat she floats
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    Aren't we the all knowing long range fisherman! Who says you don't need the rail to fish 60#? I do, makes it a lot easy to bring them in. The last YFT I got was 155# on 7400XH with one of Cals custom built 12's. That fish would have never hit the deck if I didn't use the rail. Everyone is difference, maybe you don't need the rail but let the rest of us do what works for us.
     
  11. DC61

    DC61 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    Paul L.
    Boat:
    33’ Blackfin
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    LaSparky,

    Your catch of a 155 YFT on 60# is impressive, congratulations. Your delivery in your post is offensive. The original poster asked a question about spending hundreds of dollars to retrofit his current rods. The intent of my post was to educate him and keep him from wasting his money.

    Judging by the "likes" after my post, it's apparent that others also feel the same way. Irrespective of that, these forums are about offering opinions. When someone has a differing opinion, you earn more credibility by simply making your counterpoint, not insulting or attacking. You might give that a try. (Read highwayman and 5-20's posts) they clearly have a different opinion than me and they made their point professionally. I see (and now agree with) their post.

    After 18 trips of 15 days or more (and numerous trips for bluefin on my own boat), I feel I have the credibility to offer an opinion. In the end that's all it is, an opinion. Judging from the ratio of "likes" to my number of posts I can assume most of the posts I make seem to make some sense to a great number of fellow anglers.

    Ironically, there was a post made recently ( I am not sure of the day as I returned yesterday from a 15 day trip) about the lack of posts in this section. It's comments such as your's that keep anglers from sharing their opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  12. 2Rotten

    2Rotten Newbie

    Location:
    Junction City OR
    Name:
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat:
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
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    DC61 good points thanks for sharing. My reels are all 2-speeds loaded with Spectra in very good condition. Lee (Keta) is going on this trip with me, and he does outstanding reel tuning. My reels are Penn Fathom 25nld2 & Fathom 30 ld2 with loads of 50#, Avet HX/2 filled with 60# and a Fathom 40nld2 (530 yards 80#).

    I cast IQF anchovies quite a bit in Oregon for Albacore, tossing small baits with a lever drag reel is not a problem. Before my first--and-only trip out of San Diego last November I spent quite a bit of time practice casting a swimbait tail on a bare hook with my borrowed 100# rig. On the NLA my live sardine casting was pretty good (self rating - Ha!). Butt hooking dines with a circle hook was an adventure but it got easier after about 20 or 30 baits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  13. DannyNoonan

    DannyNoonan Smarter than I look...

    Location:
    3rd dumpster on the right
    Name:
    Jim
    Boat:
    Somebody Else's
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    Rod - you have some great rods. I wouldn’t monkey with them - fish them as-is. You may encounter a situation where you’d like to set them on the rail, in which case they’ll do fine. Those are all solid rods with reputations for durability...

    I just had a 7’ 20-25# rod wrapped for my wife (her first), and opted to leave the fairly long foregrip uncut at 14”. She’s probably not going to “rail a hundred pounder” on it, but It gives her a higher hand hold when pulling stand-up, and if she does need to take a rest during a tussle it gives a little more room to help prevent scratching up her pretty maroon thread wrap...

    How long of a grip is best for you depends a lot on your stature, fighting style, and the boats you intend to fish on, but IMO a little longer is better than a little too short. I suggest getting with an experienced rod wrapper and treating yourself to a custom stick for your next setup. They can help you understand the various pros and cons and SHOULD be able to tailor it to your needs.

    BTW, I can highly recommend both the Predator and Raptors - I fish mine at 60 and 80, respectively. My suggestion to you would be a 7’6” Raptor. With that, you’d easily be set for anything under 200# on your Nov trip...
     
    Juanba likes this.
  14. Bill W

    Bill W tunaholic

    Location:
    Chino Hills, Ca.
    Name:
    Bill Walsh
    Boat:
    Red Rooster
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    You can put cold shrink on most fore grips and you only need about 12 inches to cover the contact area with the rail. Most damage to grips is when you slide the rod down the rail. (hint... crew slides your rod down the rail) Some guys install hard tubing above the grip just for that. 3M 8428 will go over the big reel seats and 8427 can be installed over the smaller diameter reel seats.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...Desc=0&_sop=15&_osacat=0&_odkw=3m+cold+shrink
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
    stephen campbell and RichG like this.
  15. No Cal Lou

    No Cal Lou No Cal Lou

    Location:
    Green Valley, Az
    Name:
    Lou Salatich
    Boat:
    none
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    Fishybuzz likes this.
  16. spongehead

    spongehead "ONE FISH AT A TIME"

    Location:
    garden grove, ca
    Name:
    David
    Boat:
    Maria
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    I would recommend adding a 80/100 live bait rod. Mak20 penn 20visx (600yds 100lb spectra) paired to ss 2x4 or viper 76. Raptor is a 60lb rod & centaur 80lb imo.

    Ull want a tbar handle on ur heavier gear hx or penn if ur going that direction. Ive seen a fathom 40nld2 80lb with [email protected] paired to calstar 770xh took 4hrs on 150-200lber and pulled hook(both deckies and angler yankin) just not proper reel on bigger grade. Yes on smaller tuna. And def bring the 130 for flatfall. Goodluck in Novemeber! Good ur prepping early.
     
  17. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    sf, ca
    Name:
    aaron
    Boat:
    NA
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    The short fore grips are harder to use the rail for sure and the longer ones make it easier to lift the fish as the fulcrum is farther down the rod. But it can and has been done. It doesn’t much matter what line size you have, but more the size of the fish compared to the line and rod. An 80lb tuna will take a while on 30 to 40lb test, so you will likely use the rail. Same tuna on 100lb test, you won’t need the rail, could just be a 3 minute fight. But a 200lb fish on any tackle you would benefit using the rail. Drag and fishing conditions also matter. I’ve put the rod with my sx raptor and 40lb test on the rail many times on fish as small as 20lb yellowtail when fishing tight drag and trying to keep them off the rocks. And just to stir the pot a little, I’ve almost never put my spinning rods on the rail no matter what the line rating :).
     
    MAG0121, Fishybuzz and caveman like this.
  18. screamingreel

    screamingreel Long Range Fanatic

    Location:
    San Leandro CA
    Name:
    Jeff Burroughs
    Boat:
    Long Range and Private
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    Rod, there are other ways to adapt your rod to rail fishing without changing the entire grip. You can wrap 4-6" of tuna cord (covered with rod finish) above the hypalon to extend the grip (guides allowing). I have used rods set up this way and it works. Not easy on the hands, but very durable. Food for thought...

    - Jeff Burroughs
     
    Bill W and 2Rotten like this.
  19. swami 805

    swami 805 I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    805
    Name:
    Bill
    Boat:
    sunk it
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    Also think about the rear grip. If you’re fishing the rail a longer butt end allows you to stick the end in your armpit for better leverage. A normal stand up rod has a pretty short butt end, makes it harder to fish on the rail. Be nice if someone made an extension to go on a gimbal, I could use a few for some of my stand-up rods
     
    RichG and Highwayman like this.
  20. 2Rotten

    2Rotten Newbie

    Location:
    Junction City OR
    Name:
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat:
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
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    Hi all, thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts! I have spent so many hours reading up here, and on the search tool, Great Site!

    I think I will build up the foregrip on the Calstar 770H to 18", and fish the UC rods the way they came. Still pondering the next stick for the quiver, leaning towards a Raptor (could use my Fathom 40) or a Centaur (would need to buy something like an Avet HXW/3 Raptor). Looking forward to writing a trip report come November!
     

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