Need help for 8-10 day trip

Texlee

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Jun 3, 2012
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Vernon, Texas, USA
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Alben Lee
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I am slowly but shurly gearing up for a LR trip. Because of the variety of fish caught on an 8-10 day trip, that is what I want to do first. Then graduate up to 15 dayers. Need help tho. I have a slew of Penn reels, but I will only list the ones I think would be useful on an 8-10 dayer...plus i have 3 odd balls as well. I need you guys (the experts) to give me guidance on what reels I should take, the size braid, mono, fluor per each reel, and rods per each reel. I have also a slew of rods, but Texas GOM fishing is nothing compared to the Pacific fishing. The 5 best rods I have are 2 Lamiglas, 1 Penn senator and 2 Penn tuna sticks that have been chopped down to 4'-6". The tuna sticks make dam good boat rods here in Texas. Here is the list of reels
2 - 4/0 senators
3 - 6/0 senators
1 - SQL60LD Squall
1 - Fathom FTH60LW
1 - Fathom FTH40
1 - Baja 113HN
1 - 16 VSX
1 - 30 VSX
1 - 50 VSX
2 - Daiwa Saltist STTLD50
1 - Shimano TLD 30 2 speed A
On the SD long range forum, guys are talking about anywhere from 5 rod and reel combos to 14 for an 8-10 dayer. Shit, its enough to make my head swim. I dont know where to start. Need help. Thanks, Tex.
 

johndtuttle

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Mar 20, 2008
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I am slowly but shurly gearing up for a LR trip. Because of the variety of fish caught on an 8-10 day trip, that is what I want to do first. Then graduate up to 15 dayers. Need help tho. I have a slew of Penn reels, but I will only list the ones I think would be useful on an 8-10 dayer...plus i have 3 odd balls as well. I need you guys (the experts) to give me guidance on what reels I should take, the size braid, mono, fluor per each reel, and rods per each reel. I have also a slew of rods, but Texas GOM fishing is nothing compared to the Pacific fishing. The 5 best rods I have are 2 Lamiglas, 1 Penn senator and 2 Penn tuna sticks that have been chopped down to 4'-6". The tuna sticks make dam good boat rods here in Texas. Here is the list of reels
2 - 4/0 senators
3 - 6/0 senators
1 - SQL60LD Squall
1 - Fathom FTH60LW
1 - Fathom FTH40
1 - Baja 113HN
1 - 16 VSX
1 - 30 VSX
1 - 50 VSX
2 - Daiwa Saltist STTLD50
1 - Shimano TLD 30 2 speed A
On the SD long range forum, guys are talking about anywhere from 5 rod and reel combos to 14 for an 8-10 dayer. Shit, its enough to make my head swim. I dont know where to start. Need help. Thanks, Tex.
Hey Tex,

I'll try and simplify things greatly for you and pay no serious attention to guys saying 14 rigs is what you need for an 8-10 day. They ARE variety trips, but reality is that your "standard 30-40lb test rig" boats 95% of the fish on a typical 8-10day.

Ok, what is this rig?

When we say 30-40lb rig we mean a setup for fishing that weight leader. This is typically a 3/0 size reel mounted on a 20-50lb rated 7' live bait stick. Spool it up with your choice of ~400 yards of 50lb solid braid and you literally could fish that rig the entire trip and land the 20-40lb Yellowtail and 20-50lb YFT that make up 95% of the catch. This is your live bait rig for fly lining sardines but if it is quality gear it will also cast iron or anything else.

An example of this all purpose setup would be a Fathom 25N and a Calstar 700M. People will have their own opinions as to what this ideal "30-40lb Bait" rig is, but it is all splitting hairs. Some prefer lighter, some heavier or longer, are Shimano guys versus Accurate etc.

A late October 10 day can get into Cows, so guys bring one ~30 size reel. If you are not going then only the 16vsx for fishing 100lb test on a "dropper loop" rig for bottom fishing for grouper is needed for a heavy heavy set up.

One rig for bottom fishing iron (same rig above will do, but people tend to fish faster reels and shorter rods for "yo-yo" iron).

And that is it for the essentials required. Everything else is just variations of those themes or a Calico Bass rod when you fish Cedros/Benitos if you care about Calicos (I don't on a trip that long).

Summary:

1. One 30-40lb Bait rig (reel holds ~400yard of 50lb Braid) on a 7-8' live bait stick.
2. One "yo-yo" iron rig. If high speed doubles as Wahoo casting rig.
3. One 100lb Dropper Loop Rig.
4. One heavy trolling/cow rig.
5. Probably could add one 40-60lb Bait rig in case they start consistently running 75lbs plus (reel should hold ~4-500yards of 65lb Braid). Put this reel on a heavier 7' live bait stick.

After that it is all individual tweaking and tackle ho-ing and extra back ups for your back ups etc. for guys with more money than time they get to go LR fishing. :)

best regards
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Hi Albert,
John Tuttle does a good job of clearing the mist and emphasizing that what the "Tackle Junkies" bring is not what you actually "need".
Certainly "goof off" combos, "experimental", and definitely "back up" combos all have their place.
Once you have actually booked that first 8-10 day trip and have dates, it will help too, because there is a substantial difference between, say, an 8-day in August and a 10-day in December.
Most important however, is that you are very familiar with your arsenal, and can grab what you need quickly, without fumbling with the buttons and levers, or forgetting what size line is on the reel.
John Tuttle's 5 listed combos I might make into 6, by adding:

1. [add to John's list] 30-pound live bait combo- good for dorado, picky school-grade bluefin, and even live-baiting wahoo. The FTH25N John describes is perfect.
2. 40-pound bait combo- will get a TON of use, have an extra backup for this one if you can. Have BOTH your STTLD50 and your FTH40 here.
3. Yo-Yo/wahoo jigging combo- generally used with 50-pound long topshots, your Penn 113HN Baja Special is ideal for this.
4. Mid-heavy tuna live bait rig- generally used with 50/60 pound topshots; should definitely be a 2-speed. Your 16VSX can do this, but a 12VSX or TRQ40NLD2 can get small baits out a little easier.
5. Dropper loop combo- Sometimes bottom fishing with live bait is how all the big yellowtail [and sometimes grouper] are caught [usually 80-100 pound topshots]. Either your 30VSX or 16VSX can do this well, and this combo can occasionally be used for larger tuna.
6. Heavy combo- You don't actually even "need" a trolling combo; all of the boats have good ones to loan when it is your turn. However, on 10-day trips from late October to January, you have a chance at encountering "cow" tuna [over 200 pounds]. Your 50VSX is perfect for live baiting with 100-130 pound topshots.

Also, you could bring almost anything [like a 4/0 Senator] to use for "catching bait" so that you don't chance harming the line on your primary combos, and goofing off fishing for calicos, sheephead, etc can be a nice diversion when its slow.
Your call on how much you want to lug around, but don't risk hitting "decision mind-freeze" when the tuna are boiling around the boat!

Each boat has their own stated preference for mono topshot length, but for novice/intermediates, 50-yards is about right, with perhaps 100 yards for your jigging combos. For your "cow" tuna rigs, don't even put on a topshot until you get aboard, wait for THAT trip's instructions from the crew.
 

Texlee

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Jun 3, 2012
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Thank you John and Tunanorth. That is a wealth of info yawl just gave me. Let me digest it all and I'm sure I will have more questions. BTW - John gave a rod suggestion for the 25N reel. Do either of you have recommendations for the other rods I might need to match the reels?
 

johndtuttle

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Thank you John and Tunanorth. That is a wealth of info yawl just gave me. Let me digest it all and I'm sure I will have more questions. BTW - John gave a rod suggestion for the 25N reel. Do either of you have recommendations for the other rods I might need to match the reels?
West Coast we are primarily Calstar or Seeker guys. Quality sticks that simply will not let you down.

From Calstar their main blank is the Grafighter.

30-40lb Bait, I stick to 7 footers, but for the lightest setup some go 8 footers. Guys are split between the 700m, or 700ml generally. If you go 8' then 800m.

40-60lb Heavy bait 700M, 700MH or even 700H depending on whether you generally fish lighter or heavier. If you don't have much experience offshore I would probably err on the side of heavier so that you are a little less likely to get caught under gunned.

Yo-yo, wahoo bombs, a 765L or 765ML.

Dropper loop can use a "finesse" stick like 765L or 765ML or some use full on 6' 40-100lb trolling sticks.

That should get you started. It's harder to recommend rods specifically because one company's "20-50" rod is not the same as another's and really only time with the rod will tell you if you are happy or want something a tiny bit different.

One nice thing about going with quality sticks is they do hold their resale better if you want to tweak things later.

best

ps here's a link to a site that has the whole Calstar lineup laid out for you to make comparison easy: http://www.charkbait.com/cs/csrodCalstar.htm
 

tunanorth

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Thank you John and Tunanorth. That is a wealth of info yawl just gave me. Let me digest it all and I'm sure I will have more questions. BTW - John gave a rod suggestion for the 25N reel. Do either of you have recommendations for the other rods I might need to match the reels?


Penn makes an excellent collection of west-coast rods in their Bluewater Carnage series.
Rods are difficult to buy without feeling them, since there is so much latitude on what you like.
Very generally you should shoot for the middle of the each rod's line rating, but that is only to get in the general vicinity of what you like.
Suggestions for each combo:
1. CARBW700ML
2. CARBW700M
3. CARBW700H
4. CARBW765L
5. CARBW760H
6. Before deciding on a "cow" rod, take plenty of time feeling not only different actions, but deciding if the rod will also need to do double-duty as a troller [or even shark fishing at home], and if your prefer a "standup style" [fight fish with belt and harness], or a "rail rod" [fight fish using rail as a leverage point].
 

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
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Alben Lee
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Thanks again John and Steve. As far as offshore fishing, down here in Texas, about the longest trip out in the gulf is 60 hours. I done numerous 36 hr trips, one 56 and one 60 hour trip. Alltho I live 11 hours one way from the coast, I've been salt water fishing for 25 years. I love it. I went to Namibia (country above South Africa in 2005) and took 6 animals. I really loved that part of Africa. Now its LR fishing time. Again, I will digest what each of you have suggested and I'm sure I will have more questions.
Best regards. Tex.
 

SouthBayKiller

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Tex, on a 6 day last fall I did 90% of my fishing with a baja special 2/3rds full with 65lb spectra topped with 50lb test.
Match it with a rod like the others have recommended, a 700H 30-80lb rated rod. You can do pretty much anything with that, including: yoyo till your blue in the face, fish 40-50lb bait, and a slide rig for offshore fishing (all "west coast" styles of fishing, but very effective!) What ever you do, don't look at the "40 or 50lb reel" threads, they will make your head explode! Good luck!!!
 

conchydong

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For first time Long Range given that length of trip and season, I would take a 30 lb, for dodo and wahoo on bait, and any other light application. I would also take a 40 lb bait set up that will be your bread and butter outfit. A two speed is nice but not mandatory. A 50 lb out fit that can also be used as a Wahoo jig rig, and one heavy outfit (80lb) in case you want to use it for troling or heavy bottom (dropper loop) fishing. Specialized yoyo and surface iron outfits can be fun but not necessary on your first trip. A second 40 lb outfit with just plain mono is nice if you are fishing for school tuna at places like the Ridge etc, so you don't waste money on expensive and uneccessary Fluoro topshots. Save those (fluoro) for Alijos or Guadalupe where the bigger and more finicky tuna are. Thats my take from a relative but frugal newbie to Long Range fishing.
 

Texlee

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Jun 3, 2012
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Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
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Excel
I appreciate all the replys. The first day in Africa when I was sighting in my rifles, I told the PH that I didnt come to Africa to take "trophy" animals, I came to Africa to take some decent animals and enjoy Africa. That's the same way I feel about doing a LR trip. Catch some decent fish and enjoy "the ride". Thanks guys. I will have more questions.
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Alben,
We still have a few spots left open for our upcoming Penn 8-day trip aboard the Shogun, running June 16-24.
Not likely to encounter any "cow" tuna, but the past few years this trip has seen phenomenal numbers of yellowtail, along with good catches of 15-70 pound bluefin tuna in the area above Cedros Island, and 30-60 pound yellowfin tuna at Alijos Rocks.
Theoretically its also a good time for albacore, but I gave up predicting albies long ago!
This is an excellent trip for first-timers, and I will be aboard with demo rods, prizes, etc.
Here is a link to the Shogun website
http://www.shogunsportfishing.com/
 

tunanorth

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This is a great way to break into Long Range fishing. Steve is very knowledgeable, has been fishing LR **"longer than most on here"** , and it is always nice to be able to test drive different sizes of gear at another's expense. it allows you to fish with different rod and reel variations and specific fishing application outfits that are setup with the proper terminal tackle that you may not own). he will not steer you wrong, and he truly knows the LR game well with its many different angles and "tricks of the trade".

Good fishing!

Thanks.
** [is that a nice way of saying I'm old?????]
 

divegod1

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Jan 24, 2007
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fly out with your clothes, and use the boats gear. It's almost gauranteed you'll win the jackpot. And your right about GOM fishing, It's not even close to SD Longrange
 

conchydong

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I own at least one of every rod model mentioned in this previous post (two of many of these models) and have fished many years with these rod models since they were first introduced by Leon and crew over at Calstar numerous moons ago. I also own and have fished with the Seeker corresponding actions as well. Many actions are unique to each company and some become true favorites over time because they kill fish on regular basis, which brand is actually best suited for a specific application depends on who you talk too and how they calculate the differences between the two major brands. Simply can't go wrong with either brand and many anglers, myself included "cherry pick" between the two brands depending on application at hand while taking into consideration blank action, blank construction, and blank weight.

IMO, when it comes to selecting your long range fishing gear you really need to determine whether you are going on an 8-day trip or a 10-day trip and what time of year you will be going as different species will be targeted during different time frames of the west coast long range sport fishing season depending of course on weather, sea conditions, and forage fish/food sources available at the prime fishing grounds at that specific time.

For an early season 8-day trip I personally would concentrate on having the following "basic" outfits:

1) 30lb leader live bait outfit - My recommendation... Rod: Calstar GF700ML or "M" or Seeker 670 in either Black Steel (G) or Super Seeker (SS) - Reel: Penn 25N in Fathom or Torque filled with 50lb solid Spectra to either a 30lb mono top shot of 50 to 75 yards or to a short 5' to 6' 30lb fluoro leader connected via a Bob Sands or Tony Pena knot which will be outside of your rod tip when you cast. *Key factor here is a softer action rod is easier to cast with when fishing smaller live baits and more FUN when fighting smaller grade fish, also more forgiving on the lighter pound test line being used.

2) 40lb leader live bait outfit - My recommendation... Rod: Calstar GF700MH or "H" or Seeker G6470 or SS6470 - Reel: Penn TRQ 30LD2 or TRQ 30 (with 4.8 to 1 gears) filled with 65lb solid Spectra to 6' of 40lb fluoro leader. This is the one outfit that you should double up on if you can as you will be using it more often. *Having both the star drag design and the 2-speed lever drag design in this line class category gives you better options depending on species, fish size, bait size... the star drag reel used here will allow you to cast surface jigs, articials and live bait better if you determine that a longer distance placement of your bait/jig will get you bit better. If you just go with one outfit in the 40lb line class go with the 2-speed lever drag reel, otherwise I would highly recommend going with both the 2-speed lever drag and the higher quality (lower gear ratio) star drag reel. Best investment you can make for a 7-8 day LR trip is right here IMO.

3) 50lb leader live bait outfit - My recommendation... Rod: Calstar GF700XH or Seeker G6470H or SS6470H - Reel: Penn TRQ 30LD2 or 12VSX filled with 65lb solid Spectra to 6' of 50lb fluoro leader. *IMO there is NO perfect outfit made for fishing both 40lb leader and 50lb leader as you can pull so much harder on 50lb than you can 40lb without breaking it. Therefore your 50lb outfit should have a heavier action rod the way I see things so that you can pull harder when fighting larger grade fish that are eating the heavier line (this is based on my 35+ years of west coast sport fishing).

4) YO-YO jig and Wahoo bomb/jig outfit - My recommendation... Rod: GF765ML (or the "M" for 6X heavies and 5+ ounce bombs rather than the standard 6X Jr. size yo-yo iron and 4 ounce bombs) is going to the best overall rod choice here, Seeker does not have a real good fit here IMO unless you go to their SS6470H which is a 7' rod (great for wahoo bombs/jigs, but most prefer a shorter 6'6" rod when fishing heavy yo-yo iron - boils down to personal preference, I prefer the GF765M for this dual use outfit) - Reel: Penn TRQ 40NLD2 or Baja 113HN (tall & narrow) filled with 65lb solid Spectra to 75 yards of 50lb mono top shot. *Wahoo have very hard jaws so you really need a stouter tip rod for setting the hook effectively on them, yo-yo iron fishing for yellows with heavy iron requires that same stouter tip rod with an action that shuts off fairly fast in order to set the hook hard and then be able to turn them via enough rod backbone to get their head pointed towards the boat when fishing in deeper water over line damaging structure.

5) Dropper loop outfit - My recommendation... Rod: Calstar GF7465M or Seeker G6465XH or SS6465XH (these powerful Seeker rod models are actually a heavier action than their factory line rating indicates) - Reel: Penn 16VSX filled with 80lb solid Spectra to 15' to 25' of 80lb mono/fluoro leader (fluoro more for abraison resistance than stealth). *Again, you need a stout fast shut off rod action for this application in order to pull those jumbo yellows or large grouper away from structure, truly not a "finesse" application the way I see things. This outfit can also be used for live bait, chunks and "big bait" fishing on the larger grade YFT or Bluefin using the heavier string and leader needed to land them if they happen to show and go on the chew.

6) Surface Iron outfit - My recommendation... Rod: Calstar GF800H or Seeker G6480H or SS6480H (deckhand style with cork tape or X-wrap) - Reel: Penn TRQ 30 or Fathom 30 filled with 65lb Spectra to 100 yard 40lb mono top shot (I prefer the TRQ 30 over the Fathom as you can get the lower 4.8 to 1 gear sets for those reels which makes way more sense for the larger grade fish you generally catch on long range trips). *This outfit is opptional depending on how well you can cast and your space/travel considerations, but it is truly one of the most exciting ways to fish for surface feeding yellows and other Pelagics if you have an "educated thumb" and can toss surface iron and other artificials fairly well using a well free spooling conventional reel. There are also some decent spin reel/rod options that can be used here as well if you are not up to casting longer distances with a conventional reel, but most LR anglers will opt for and prefer the conventional reel and rod design for tossing the surface iron at larger grade fish.

For the later season 10-day trips where "cow" size tuna may be in the mix I would definitely add a good 100lb cow outfit to your quiver, and just in case larger cows show, a good 130lb cow outfit as well:

My recommendation...

1) 100lb line/leader Cow outfit - Rod: Calstar GF770XXH (rail) or GF7465H (plate & harness or rail) or Seeker SS 2x4 (rail) or SS6463XXXH (plate & harness or rail) - Reel: Penn 30VSX filled with 100lb solid or hollow Spectra (can always add a section of hollow to the solid line for inserted leader connections if needed) to a 100lb fluoro leader.

2) 130lb line/leader Cow outfit - Rod: Calstar GF770XXXH (rail) or GF7465XH (plate & harness or rail) or Seeker SS 2x4 (rail), SS 3x5 (heavy action rail option if you have the desire to pull harder via heavier drag settings) or SS6463XXXXH (plate & harness or rail) - Reel: Penn 50VSX filled with 130lb solid or hollow Spectra to a 130lb fluoro leader.

There are obviously numerous other quality reel brands that could be used with the above mentioned outfits as well, but you seem to be a Penn guy at heart based on what you currently own (and truly nothing wrong with that IMO) so I stayed with Penn models on my reel suggestions. As far as rods go, Calstar and Seeker own 95% of the Long Range rod business for a good reason: they are well made products (right here in CA), they are very durable and are built to take the abuse that LR fishing dishes out, they have proven blank actions for specific LR fishing applications, and they have the best warranty in the rod biz. With that said, the newer Penn rods are truly great values and are capable of getting the job done, and they have pretty much copied the other two popular brands for the most part with similar actions and even matching model numbers to some extent. However, to be perfectly honest, the Penn rods are made offshore and are not of the same overall quality IMO nor do they have the same lifetime warranty as the two most popular brands when you get down to basics. You truly get what you pay for when talking about higher quality saltwater fishing rods... the more expensive and proven products manufactured by the big two rod makers who have been designing and building west coast fishing rods for a long time will actually hold their value much better if you do decide to switch your gear out or sell it all off when you are done LR fishing... so Calstar and Seeker products are better investments over time in my mind if initial cost is not a deciding factor.

My 2.5 cents worth... your actual mileage may vary.

Good fishing!

That was a great post, Tuna North. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
 

Marc S

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Mar 2, 2012
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Calabasas, Calif. USA
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Marc
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Great information in these posts. One question... Why a shorter, 6.5 foot rod for fishing bombs for Wahoo? You are not winching them off the bottom so why not a 7 foot rod? Also, are the bombs fished with a straight drop or do you still cast them? Thanks guys, love this thread!

Marc
 

johndtuttle

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Great information in these posts. One question... Why a shorter, 6.5 foot rod for fishing bombs for Wahoo? You are not winching them off the bottom so why not a 7 foot rod? Also, are the bombs fished with a straight drop or do you still cast them? Thanks guys, love this thread!

Marc
You don't need the length to cast bombs, just an action that is designed to do it. The 765L casts great and doubles as a yo-yo rig where length is just annoying.

In both cases it is a compromise where you want one rod to do both as we have been trying to simplify what you need to have on hand to reduce the number of rigs

There are slightly better options for both if you want to hyper-specialize but then we get back to taking 14 setups....:)
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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That was a great post, Tuna North. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.



Wish I could take credit, but MYT wrote that one...... but mine was good too [ha-ha]!
 

Marc S

Captain
Mar 2, 2012
79
45
Calabasas, Calif. USA
Name
Marc
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Inflatable
Thanks guys! Great explanations. Now I need to go pull on a 765L and 765M and see which one I like better. I do have a 765XL that I use as a 40lb bait stick, so I am familiar with that action. What I don't have is a good yo yo rod, or a Wahoo bomb rod, and this gives me a good starting point to fill that gap.
One more question... Would one of these rods serve double duty for pulling dropper loop yellows off the bottom at Guadalupe, or is that another rod altogether?
Greatly appreciate the advice and feedback.
 

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
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Vernon, Texas, USA
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Alben Lee
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Excel
Thanks John, Jim, and Steve. Your knowledge of LR fishing and equipment needed for a trip is awesome. Thanks so much. You guys are the pros. I messed around 25-30 years ago and fell in love with saltwater fishing...and i live just shy of 500 miles from it. I live 3 hours in all directions from all the major towns. DFW, OK city, Abilene, and Amarillo. Right in the middle of no dam where. I will however be going thru Houston in May going on down to Galveston to do a 36 hour trip in the gulf. I will stop at a tackle store that handles Calstar rods and see how much money I can spend. Good thing the wife aint going. Again guys, thanks sooooo very much for the info. Tex
 

tunanorth

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Thanks guys! Great explanations. Now I need to go pull on a 765L and 765M and see which one I like better. I do have a 765XL that I use as a 40lb bait stick, so I am familiar with that action. What I don't have is a good yo yo rod, or a Wahoo bomb rod, and this gives me a good starting point to fill that gap.
One more question... Would one of these rods serve double duty for pulling dropper loop yellows off the bottom at Guadalupe, or is that another rod altogether?
Greatly appreciate the advice and feedback.


Well, there's dropper-looping and there's Dropper-Looping.
In many cases you are just presenting your bait down on the bottom for normal-size yellowtail, in which case 50 or so pound line is fine.
In other cases, [particularly at Guadalupe Island or Alijos Rocks] you will be encountering very large yellows up to 50 pounds or even bigger, or the fish may be in extremely rugged bottom terrain.
In that case you may need 80 or even 100-pound tackle, and even then you will lose a lot of fish.
NOW you are figuring out why the wackiest of us long-rangers carry 10-12 or even more combos aboard!
At some point you will need them all, but start out with the minimum [no more than the 5 or 6 combos originally listed] so that you can become very familiar with the operation of your reels, and when to choose which.
The flip side of that is that if you become too minimalist, you spend your time changing your terminal rigs around when the fish are biting, and could miss out on a "quick hit" when a school shows up suddenly.
 

johndtuttle

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The last thing I will add to this is to echo a bit the rationale for "minimalist" versus "maximumalist" (lol).

The beauty of the minimalist approach (not light tackle, just fewer rigs) is that you will catch just as many or more fish than anyone else. There just will be some specific situations like the above example "dropper loop" fishing where you might be under gunned (or others where you might be over gunned a tad not having the perfect backup handy in a hot bite).

So you may not have the perfect set up in hand for the rare fish that really requires it. But that is 1% of the catch.

Many of the guys that have been going for years want to have that perfect set up for that trophy. Can't knock 'em for that.

But reality is on the vastly greater majority of longer trips is that you have so much tonnage of great eating fish boated that it is simply not a worry for most if they get broke off once or twice on mystery big 'uns (will also happen regardless) or you have to use a little more finesse than others that have multiple lighter set ups when the fish are finicky etc.

The poster above that had one great casting star drag with 50lb solid on top and one 7' live bait stick and fished it the entire trip (yo-yo, bombs, live bait on top or the bottom) is absolutely right on. All the rest is simply variety because it is nice to break it up or to use something a little more fine tuned...but that one rig will land 99% of the fish on the trip in capable hands.

best