Proper reel for 200-250 gram flatfalls, targeting unknowns...

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,222
8,862
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
Ok. Things up here in the PacNW are continuing to change and we are seeing/experiencing more big critters. Most are not being landed or even seen. Had some 60-90# BFT caught last year and reports of 100-200#ers seen this year.

All we’ve been targeting were our plentiful 15-30ish pound albies. What I have is more than suitable. But, I had something eat a flatfall at 100’+ and proceed straight down taking 180 of my 185 yards off my tranx300 Before the hooks pulled. Had her cranked to the full 22# and used my thumb.

So, fuck that. I’m gonna start focusing on dropping 200-250 gram flatfalls ALL day. Need a light weight reel that won’t suck for jigging all day. 300-400 yards of 80-100#.
Suggestions?
 

Fishhead17

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 20, 2017
139
81
Northern CA
Name
Mike
Boat
Willie
If there is the potential for fish to 200 lbs., I would go for a size 16 or 20 for both cranking power and line capacity.
 

heatsource

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 28, 2018
204
335
41
nevada city, ca
Name
dave
Boat
north river
Try slow trolling macs or other hardy baitfish on the dr at depth you’re marking
You can always stop the boat and drop flat Falls if you see a lot of marks and your bait will still be working
 

TUNATICO

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 4, 2007
166
24
San Diego
Name
Tunatico
Boat
none
Wow... Big BFT in PNW. Benefit of global warming I suppose.

This is a perfect scenario to employ a two-speed size 3/0 reels. Penn , Shimano, Okuma ... Have solid performers but my go to here is the Tiburon SsT size 6. Auto-shift (smart shift) from high to low depending on line's Tension which makes it easier to grind on the big ones and still hold it with 1 hand, at least my hand.

Use heavy heavy Fluoro leader. Use Glowbacks for the night bite.
 

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,222
8,862
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
Try slow trolling macs or other hardy baitfish on the dr at depth you’re marking
You can always stop the boat and drop flat Falls if you see a lot of marks and your bait will still be working
oh hell no. I hate trolling. And access to macs isn’t like y’all have. We’d have to find some, then catch some, then get bored AF Trolling them.
My anglers will be catching albacore after albacore while I jig and jig and jig for nada... cause now that I’ll have appropriate gear, I’ll never hook up again. Hahahah
 

Pacific Jigger

You’ll never know unless you go
Sep 16, 2019
342
485
45
United States
Name
Bud
Boat
Formula 233
I really like the Maxel Ocean Max reels. Not well known here on the West Coast but they made the Jigging Master reels for years. The parts are even interchangeable.
I’m familiar with the Depoe and Ilwaco bluefin catches, what other stories about the no see ums can you tell us? I love hearing about unexpected big stuff offshore.
 

Pacific Jigger

You’ll never know unless you go
Sep 16, 2019
342
485
45
United States
Name
Bud
Boat
Formula 233
For those who haven’t seen it, the above link makes some interesting reading.
 
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SouthBayKiller

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2003
7,340
7,590
39
Long Beach, CA
Name
Robert
Boat
none
The smallest reel I’d use would be a fathom 40N sized reel. Will get you enough capacity and cranking power to handle a 150lb fish for less than $300. Next size up would be 16 sized reel but those cost a lot more. Those would kill a 200lber pretty easily on a small boat.
 

tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
6,022
4,115
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
As noted the Fathom/Torque 40N 2-speed has pretty much become a "don't leave the dock without it" tool in the San Diego angler's arsenal. Holds 500-600 yards of 80-pound braid [depending on line brand and preferred topshot length].
As standard loaner/rentals at landings like Seaforth, they pretty regularly handle 75-175 pounders even in the hands of inexperienced anglers.
At just 25 ounces, they can be fished comfortably all day [or night].
Plenty of 200-plus pounders have also been caught on them, though as noted, a 16VISX-type reel is a far better choice when tuna get into that "cow" category.
 
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cozenone

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 25, 2020
382
374
northwest
Name
joe
Boat
none
I agree with the Penn suggestions, I also like the Mak15t, but It's a bit heavier
 

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,222
8,862
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
I think 25 ounces would be max weight. It will become my primary fishing set up, at least until I get tired of catching nothing while the rest of the crew stacks up 30-50 albies...

Some of the reports are 200# shapes showing up... more and more reports each year the past few years. I figure it’ll keep getting better. Sadly, our albacore sprung have gone from 35/40 miles to 65/90 miles. :(.
 

kwik_wurk

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2012
222
151
Indianola & Browns Point
Name
kwik_wurk
Boat
Montauk, Sailfish 2360, and Johnson18
Interesting, I had the same conundrum at the start of the PNW season. i went with Avet HXJ 5/2 loaded with 80lb hollow to floro as a pure jigging/flat fall reel. (it’s a narrow body spool, and the reel clamp is nice and small, 25 oz dry, narrow spool is little easier to wind in IMO). - Thought about the regular size or W and Raptor version, but it starts to cross the capacity vs drag vs size/weight and ease of use. And i have several other reels that would have overlapped too much.

Only dropped 170 grams last time out, seemed ok. And it was not like i was dropping on big marks, just dropping deep (~150’) for fun. — But the setup is intended to be the go-to jig if something bigger does show up. (I have never seen big marks.) Granted a 200lb BFT is more of a dream than a remote likelihood, or even a possibility for the amount of albacore fishing i’m doing.

The website says the reel holds 300yd of JB-80, box says 470yd of 30lb mono, it took about ~380yd of 80lb seaguar hollow, plus ~20yds of floro. (And it had a little more to go.) — If something really big does get hooked, the plan is a lot of driving around, hopefully it won’t dive too deep.

I have some bigger 2-speeds, but jigging those for more than a couple hours would be exhausting. In hind-sight i probably should have gone with Raptors to have better drag (but still only 80lb line). May up a couple of those next season.
 
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wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,222
8,862
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
What about an Accurate Valiant BV2-600 or Boss BX2-600 (both with 32# of drag and 20/26 ounces, respectively?

or, a Talica 16-2, 41# drag and 26 ounces.