New Opinions on 25# Rod for Trinidad 14a

Mar 16, 2022
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Brandon Beard
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24’ Skipjack
What’s up guys, similar question has been asked 1,000 times, but looking for fresh and more specific opinions on a new rod I’m looking for.

I just picked up a Trinidad 14a. Most likely will spool with 40lb braid, maybe maxcuatro. I almost always fish short fluorocarbon leaders. I’m fully covered on nice 30# and up setups. Looking for something a little lighter. Call it a 25# setup that could fish 20 or 30 if I wanted.

What would be your choice 8’ super seeker, Calstar grafighter/GG, or United Composites rod? Looking for more of a “fun” rod, but will hold up to a slightly bigger fish being hooked. Say 40ish pounds. Targeting schoolie tuna and kelp paddy yellows/mahi. But there’s always that chance of hooking in to an 35-40# Bluefin… Also, want something slightly more parabolic, not super crazy fast action, since I don’t fly line with mono much anymore. Appreciate all your opinions.

I do have an old seeker pinhead 36-8’ (15-30) I could use for this, but it seems like it may be on the lighter side for what I’m after. What do you guys think? Biggest fish someone has caught on that specific rod?
 
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wts

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Dec 11, 2021
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I fish my 14a(25) or 16na(30) on a RCE-900 Mega (20-40)

Fun rod to fish bait or sniper type jigs.
Very parabolic. Soft enough to fish 20lb test.

For slightly faster action go U.C. US Series.
 
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Mar 16, 2022
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3
31
Garden Grove
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Brandon Beard
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24’ Skipjack
Calstar 800L will do all that and more!
Nice! One of the rods I’ve been considering. Been really looking at the 800L and 800ML, but also I’ve read a lot of people like the 800XLH and it fishes heavier than it’s rated. Anyone know how these 3 Calstars compare in their actions? Just researching and narrowing down my search, will obviously pull on all of them before buying. Currently stuck on the tug boat working another 2 weeks though and have some trips planned right after I get home.
I have a 8’ RCE mega for that… calstar 800m too
Copy that. Was thinking RCE 800 MAG too. But will try and pull on the mega as well.
I fish my 14a(25) or 16na(30) on a RCE-900 Mega (20-40)

Fun rod to fish bait or sniper type jigs.
Very parabolic. Soft enough to fish 20lb test.

For slightly faster action go U.C. US Series.
The 900 you fish is an Elite Composite series right? A 9’ sounds like it could be fun too for this setup.
 
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Cole418

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    Nice! One of the rods I’ve been considering. Been really looking at the 800L and 800ML, but also I’ve read a lot of people like the 800XLH and it fishes heavier than it’s rated. Anyone know how these 3 Calstars compare in their actions? Just researching and narrowing down my search, will obviously pull on all of them before buying. Currently stuck on the tug boat working another 2 weeks though and have some trips planned right after I get home.

    Copy that. Was thinking RCE 800 MAG too. But will try and pull on the mega as well.

    The 900 you fish is an Elite Composite series right? A 9’ sounds like it could be fun too for this setup.
    The RCE line runs on the lighter side so I actually got the mega thinking it would be my 30lb rod but felt a little softer for that so moved it for 20-25 and have a super seeker 670-8 for my 30 which is a rad rod
     
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    Mar 16, 2022
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    Brandon Beard
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    24’ Skipjack
    The RCE line runs on the lighter side so I actually got the mega thinking it would be my 30lb rod but felt a little softer for that so moved it for 20-25 and have a super seeker 670-8 for my 30 which is a rad rod
    Awesome. Good to know. Thank you.
    Yes the 900 is an Elite Composite Series.

    I have a GUSA 80 Mag that is a killer 25lb stick too. Faster action
    Roger that!

    I have one United composite elite series Del Mar rod I really like and the 9E jig stick I really like and have gotten a 105# on. I have been heavily considering a Calstar for this stick though. Still would like to know more on how the three Calstar rods I mentioned above are in their actions and how they hold up to their ratings.
     
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    OGFishKiller1

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  • Mar 16, 2004
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    My 800L has had these notable catches;

    37 lb Yt that I fell into the water fighting at Catalina.

    52 lb Halibut.

    32,30,29 lb web. YFT up 20 lbs.

    Nothing wrong with pulling power. However, the UC Challenger elite series is lighter in weight. The actions do seem faster. The 9-10 ft rods have good action.

    There is also other series rods they make. I have an old 8 Ft. GUSA 12-25 lb. Great bass rod. But the Phenix is lighter
     
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    wts

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    I have one United composite elite series Del Mar rod I really like and the 9E jig stick I really like and have gotten a 105# on.
    I have both the 900 Del Mar and the 9E.
    I prefer the Del Mar for throwing Iron. It loads up better for my style of casting.
    I use the 9E for poppers.
    It really boils down to what feels right to each angler.
    Fortunately we have some of the top rod/reel companies and tackle shops in our back yard.
     
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    lazyfisherman

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    Here's my take on the Calstar vs UC. The gf800 series is great, but tend to have a stiffer tip than the UC Challenger elite series rods. The UC Challenger elite series fishes better on the lower range of it's ratings while calstar fishes on the higher end. The 800mag is to me, a 20-25lb stick, similar to the 800xlh but lighter tip.
     
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    Mar 16, 2022
    9
    3
    31
    Garden Grove
    Name
    Brandon Beard
    Boat Name
    24’ Skipjack
    My 800L has had these notable catches;

    37 lb Yt that I fell into the water fighting at Catalina.

    52 lb Halibut.

    32,30,29 lb web. YFT up 20 lbs.

    Nothing wrong with pulling power. However, the UC Challenger elite series is lighter in weight. The actions do seem faster. The 9-10 ft rods have good action.

    There is also other series rods they make. I have an old 8 Ft. GUSA 12-25 lb. Great bass rod. But the Phenix is lighter
    Awesome info! Thank you.

    Thanks everyone for your opinions. @OGFishKiller1 @Let em eat 74 @wts @lazyfisherman @Cago @Hammertime86 @pinhead_carlton @stillapinhead

    I think I'm currently set on a Calstar grafighter. I already have a lot of Seeker and UC rods. Only one Calstar in my collection. Still unsure if I'll go with an 800XLH, 800ML, or 800L. I

    Anyone that can comment on how these rods fish their designated ratings and how their actions compare that would be really appreciated. Thanks.
     
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    Hoeyfashoey

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    I rock a Trinidad 14a spooled with 40lb spectra and about 50 yd 25 lb mono. The rod I pair it with is a super seeker 806H (Long Beach, if it matters) which fishes 25 perfectly but its more than capable of fishing 30. I landed a 35 ish lb bft a few weeks ago on it fishing 25 but it wasn’t fun. I wouldn’t fish 20 on it. Last season tried dropping down to 20 on it and I pulled most of my hooks
     
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    spaf

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    I've been on the hunt for a 30# rod (for inshore and offshore) and have pulled on a few rods recently. Mainly for bait fishing (flyline, dropper loop, etc..), jig and artificial use is a secondary consideration.

    I also have a 14a, which will be on temporary 30# duty until I get something a little bigger; knowing that the 14a will move to 20-25 later I've been keeping that in mind when looking for a rod.

    IMHO good 25# rods (I'm not sure any of these would be good choices for tuna larger than schoolie size, but I don't have much tuna experience):
    * Calstar 800ML
    * UC GP 80 Mega
    * Okuma PCH 801MH

    30# rods:
    * Calstar 800M
    * UC GP 80 Tilefish JR
    * Rainshadow 80M
    * Okuma PCH 801H

    I pulled on a US Mega and CE Mega and thought they were both better for 20. The CE is very parabolic.

    I wish for 30# I would've pulled on a US 80 Tilefish JR but didn't think to ask. It's blank only, not sure if you were considering custom or not.

    Since I want to potentially use this (30#) rod for tuna fishing, I'm leaning towards the GP Tilefish JR (800M second). If it was more of an inshore rod, local rockfish, halibut, WSB I think I might prefer a US Tilefish JR (need to pull on it).

    For 25# I currently like the GP Mega the best altho I didn't really have any issues with any of the rods I listed for 25#, they're all nice.

    Another slightly different way to break them down... (this doesn't mean you couldn't fish them lighter or heavier in a pinch, this is just what I would pick as best for each).
    * 20-25: 800ML, GP Mega, 801MH
    * 25-30: 800M
    * 30: GP Tilefish, 801H (I think both of these stretch to 40 better than 25 IMHO)
    * 30-40: 80M

    If I wanted a do it all, bait and small iron and swimbaits:
    25: GP Mega
    30: 800M or Tilefish JR

    Also, something else to think of if you're going with pre-wrapped....The ergonomics are very different between all the rods...
    * Calstar: Blanks are larger diameter, I prefer them deckhand. I don't like they way the shape they hyp and they're already noticeably heaver than the UC/PCHs
    * Okuma: X-wrap in 8ft, Hyp foregrip in the 76s. The al Alps reel seats are nice, but I'd prefer a simple Fuji for 25# and lower.
    * UC GP: The GPs listed above I tried were graphite reel seats and hyp size/shape that is smaller and more to my preference. You can get the Mega with an al reel seat, but I wouldn't want that.
    * UC US: I don't like the wrapping (color), or hyp (larger and kinda roundy shaped); but that's just me.
     
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    HighWildFree

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    I’d fish the pinhead! I have that rod and it’s a great 25 stick. Maybe have the guides replaced to lighten it up. I have an 80mega UC that sits on the rack. I usually fish a Seeker American Series 270-h8. Can’t put it away! Also have a Calstar 270-8 (15–30) that is a lot of fun and would fit the bill.
     
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    Bob Sands

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    Hi CB,

    Great question.. As you can see there are tons of options that each angler feels is best for them.. As always, this becomes a your thing.. The real question will be is this rig going to be used more for White seabass, Bluefin, yellowtail or ??

    Your note about you like more parabolic rods may not work as well for leveraging Bluefin or Yellowtail near structure but might work great for White Seabass or Halibut. A rod that fishes equally well at 20 as it does at 30, if drag settings are correct, may not actually exist.. Yes, there are rods that can fish that range but they may not be best at one of the two ends of the range.

    Based on what you asked for I really love any of the RGP or GP 80, 85 or 90 Mega rods or blanks... With this rod you can fish top, mid and bottom water conditions.. Though not at home with 20 pound test string it will fish the 25 and 30 pound test brilliantly for most of the species noted... While the GP XF or Mag will work the lower end of the spectrum especially for softer mouthed critters..

    At the end of the day, pulling on a rod, trying to emulate the conditions you are seeking and knowing how to pull properly so you can feel the nuances of the rod is where a great tackle shop can really help you assuming it has the variety of rods you are considering..

    If you are ever near Bob Sands Tackle in Van Nuys, Come on in, especially on a Saturday and we can do side by side testings on most all of the rods or blanks that have been recommended on my post as well as the majority of other suggestions by other anglers... After all, this rod is for You to use so it might as well feel right in your hands.. If you do come in, bring your reel with line on it so the rig can be set up for various drag setting against a pull scale..

    Best of luck with your decision.

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
     
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