New to Tuna/Big Fish: Want advice on rod/reel

Lowkeyriver

Newbie
Jun 5, 2021
6
2
23
Fresno
Name
MW
Boat
N/A
Hey all, after a trip to the channel islands I am truly hooked on wsb/yellowtail fishing. Right now I only have a daiwa lexa 400 paired with a phenix 808 abyss which has 50lb braid on it. That was fine and dandy for the wsb and small yellowtail that were present. However I have since been invited on two lr tuna trips. I was basically looking at getting a rod/reel to deal with 40-50 pounders max and it to focus on live line and irons. I have tried out an avet reel and fell in love with it but am open to other options. Would ideally like to spend less than 400 on the reel and less than 350 on the rod. I was already looking at the Avet mxJ/Jx two speed and the phenix slow pitch titan.
 
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Highwayman

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  • Jun 25, 2015
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    You may not be able to choose the size of the tuna if you are fishing San Diego. A solid 40 and 50 lb outfit are a must. I have Accurates and Penn Fathom 2 speeds. I think 80 lb setup is a must right now. I have a couple older Penn VSX reels for that class. Renting gear is an option and check out the gear while your out there.
     
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    kayakbeast33

    Haven't posted enough yet
  • Mar 9, 2012
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    buena park CA
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    steven
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    Almost time
    This is a tough one Lowkey... if you are fishing a long range tuna trip out of SD chances are your going to run in to some biguns. You really want to plan on #150 tuna min. That means an #80 min #100 preferred. An HX raptor would do the trick, I have an accurate bv-800 I fish at #80 and a makaira 20 I fish at #100. I have the 800 on a uc gp terminator and the mak on a uc 76 viper. I would recommend a rail rod, there are a few to choose from, for #80 or #100 and an appropriate reel. Good luck!
     

    Lowkeyriver

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    Jun 5, 2021
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    Name
    MW
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    This is a tough one Lowkey... if you are fishing a long range tuna trip out of SD chances are your going to run in to some biguns. You really want to plan on #150 tuna min. That means an #80 min #100 preferred. An HX raptor would do the trick, I have an accurate bv-800 I fish at #80 and a makaira 20 I fish at #100. I have the 800 on a uc gp terminator and the mak on a uc 76 viper. I would recommend a rail rod, there are a few to choose from, for #80 or #100 and an appropriate reel. Good luck!
    I plan on renting the larger 80#/100# setups or borrow one of the buddies that invited me for this. Thats why I wanted to focus on a 40-50# setup
     
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    kayakbeast33

    Haven't posted enough yet
  • Mar 9, 2012
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    buena park CA
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    steven
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    Almost time
    I plan on renting the larger 80#/100# setups or borrow one of the buddies that invited me for this. Thats why I wanted to focus on a 40-50# setup
    Then I would recommend a 9' jigstick setup would be the most versatile. Uc gp 9E (reaper) with a tern 500. That should come in right under you budget. And congrats on graduating what is your major?
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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  • Sep 27, 2019
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    Hey all, after a trip to the channel islands I am truly hooked on wsb/yellowtail fishing. Right now I only have a daiwa lexa 400 paired with a phenix 808 abyss which has 50lb braid on it. That was fine and dandy for the wsb and small yellowtail that were present. However I have since been invited on two lr tuna trips. I was basically looking at getting a rod/reel to deal with 40-50 pounders max and it to focus on live line and irons. I have tried out an avet reel and fell in love with it but am open to other options. Would ideally like to spend less than 400 on the reel and less than 350 on the rod. I was already looking at the Avet mxJ/Jx two speed and the phenix slow pitch titan.
    yeah i love slow pitch... for rockfish.

    Definitely don't get a slowpitch rod for tuna man, its crazy fun with small fish and even some yellowtail but tuna are just too much.
    if you are getting a set for tuna and wanna cover a ton of applications get a
    Fathom 25nld2 (or 30 if you like wide reels) on a UC Monster.
    Fathom 40n will also put you in a good position if you specifically want fish over 75lbs also, pair that with an Okuma Pch xxh.

    If not the Fathom the Speedmaster 12ii or an Avet JX raptor will do something similar. Haven't fished the Speedmaster yet but hear some good things.
     
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    stank

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 16, 2005
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    IMHO the best heavy 50# outfit for fishing off of a sport sport boat is a TRQ30LD2 on a GFR700XH. You can pull HARD with this outfit.

    Bait, yo-yo, bomb or even surface iron in a pinch. This has been my go-to outfit for several years.

    It's been my experience that if they'll bite 40# they'll bite 50#, but in any event, I would much rather fish 40# on a 50# outfit than fish 50# on a 40# outfit.

    The reel is a little over your budget, but worth it. Make sure you go an hold before you buy...

    Renting the heavy gear is a good plan.
     
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    IronMikeAC

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    Aug 2, 2013
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    torrance, ca
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    Mike
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    Vagabond
    Hey all, after a trip to the channel islands I am truly hooked on wsb/yellowtail fishing. Right now I only have a daiwa lexa 400 paired with a phenix 808 abyss which has 50lb braid on it. That was fine and dandy for the wsb and small yellowtail that were present. However I have since been invited on two lr tuna trips. I was basically looking at getting a rod/reel to deal with 40-50 pounders max and it to focus on live line and irons. I have tried out an avet reel and fell in love with it but am open to other options. Would ideally like to spend less than 400 on the reel and less than 350 on the rod. I was already looking at the Avet mxJ/Jx two speed and the phenix slow pitch titan.
    Which trips, boat, days?
     
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    1toughfish

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    Mar 11, 2013
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    Young
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    Nice! Envs and legal studies here. A good setup to round you out since you have the lexa and 808 would be a Fathom 25nld2 with any choice of 40/50# rod such as the suggestions above. Okuma PCH is a very affordable series and also the daiwa proteus rods. A 60# setup would be next. Renting the 80/100# is a good idea
     
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    mike garrahan

    TheSabreGuy
    Sep 7, 2007
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    mike garrahan
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    23 ft. crestliner
    You say you want an outfit to fish for 40 to 50 lb fish. That usually means an outfit for fishing 40lb line. There are a lot of reels around for fishing 40lb line that won't cost an arm and a leg. I would look for a Penn Fathom 25 or 30 two speed. Also a used Avet JX or LX 2 speed would work fine and can be found used for around $250. You could also get a used Avet MXL raptor, MXJ raptor or JX raptor. One of those would cost a little more than the non raptors but would work well for fishing 40lb line. Just fill any of the reels with 65lb spectra and you could fish 30, 40 or even 50lb fluro leaders. I have caught many tuna up to 75 and 80 lbs using those reels and 40lb line.
    Any 7' to 8' rod rated to fish 40 lb line would work fine. If I was on a budget I would just stick with the basics, a Calstar or Seeker glass or composite 40lb rod. If it was me I would be looking for a Calstar grafighter 700H or a Calstar 610 or 6480. A Seeker 6470 or 6470H either Classic series or Blacksteel would also be a good choice. You can probably find one on here used for less than $200 and it would last you the rest of your life.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    482
    1,084
    Junction City OR
    Name
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    My favorite in the 40# class is the 8'0" UC Terminator, line rating 30 - 60#. It will fish strong 30 fine, 40 is the sweet spot, absolutely not over-matched with 50#. 60# leader in a pinch. I have mine paired with a Penn Torque 30/2 loaded with 500 yards of 65# braid. This rig will handle 30 - 130# Tuna. Casts a sardine great, excellent lift and recoil, this is probably the best first stick I could recommend. Rent/borrow a heavy to fill out your quiver and you are set.

    Read more about this stick in a previous BD post by Jamie:
     
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    Lowkeyriver

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    Jun 5, 2021
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    Name
    MW
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    N/A
    You say you want an outfit to fish for 40 to 50 lb fish. That usually means an outfit for fishing 40lb line. There are a lot of reels around for fishing 40lb line that won't cost an arm and a leg. I would look for a Penn Fathom 25 or 30 two speed. Also a used Avet JX or LX 2 speed would work fine and can be found used for around $250. You could also get a used Avet MXL raptor, MXJ raptor or JX raptor. One of those would cost a little more than the non raptors but would work well for fishing 40lb line. Just fill any of the reels with 65lb spectra and you could fish 30, 40 or even 50lb fluro leaders. I have caught many tuna up to 75 and 80 lbs using those reels and 40lb line.
    Any 7' to 8' rod rated to fish 40 lb line would work fine. If I was on a budget I would just stick with the basics, a Calstar or Seeker glass or composite 40lb rod. If it was me I would be looking for a Calstar grafighter 700H or a Calstar 610 or 6480. A Seeker 6470 or 6470H either Classic series or Blacksteel would also be a good choice. You can probably find one on here used for less than $200 and it would last you the rest of your life.
    I think I will search for a used avet mxj/jx raptor and a Uc gp 9E (reaper). I will also look into and consider the accurate tern 500. Only problem is that I can only use left hand retrieve really.
     
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    Highwayman

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  • Jun 25, 2015
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    I was thinking about your question and I think the responses were to big tuna. The fish you describe ( 40-50 lbrs ) are almost considered school sized. These fish can be landed all day on a 40lb outfit including the Avet’s you described. A 30 lb outfit would get it done with a little patience. My favorite 40lb rod is the 6480 H, 30-60 though three are others. My favorite 40lb reels are the Trinidad 20, Accurate 870 and 665H 2 speeds and Penn 12 Int Cal Sheets 2 speed. All can be fished heavier if required. Not exactly the latest but adequate, I bought some Penn Fathoms but they are not exactly in the lineup yet. The Penn Fathom 2 speed is made left handed and a great reel.
     
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    calbrewguy

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    Jul 12, 2006
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    Hey all, after a trip to the channel islands I am truly hooked on wsb/yellowtail fishing. Right now I only have a daiwa lexa 400 paired with a phenix 808 abyss which has 50lb braid on it. That was fine and dandy for the wsb and small yellowtail that were present. However I have since been invited on two lr tuna trips. I was basically looking at getting a rod/reel to deal with 40-50 pounders max and it to focus on live line and irons. I have tried out an avet reel and fell in love with it but am open to other options. Would ideally like to spend less than 400 on the reel and less than 350 on the rod. I was already looking at the Avet mxJ/Jx two speed and the phenix slow pitch titan.
    Lots of really good deals on used tackle out there. That's how I started and am still using some of it 20+ years later.
     
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    migelito

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    May 12, 2010
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    Mike
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    For now I would stay away from the 9 footers. If you do hook into something a little bigger you'll have a much better chance of landing it with a 7'- 8' rod. Shop around and you may be able to get two setups for your budget. Maybe just a little bit more. fathom 25 and 40nld a couple of okuma pch or Graphtec rods
     
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