Sixteen Day trip. Do you need a 50W reel?

ZZZZZ

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Dec 11, 2003
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Brad
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Back in the day, the kite set ups were short heavy rods with gimbals mated to even heavier reels. Long kite rotations were painful. I think a smaller lighter 50w with a beefed up drag is a welcome evolution. Was actually thinking of bringing a plate with the pin pulled just to rest the butt when on kite anyway. More relaxing that way.

I would use a shoulder strap clipped to the reel. To hold the rod weight. 80 not necessary now

But

Pulling out the 80 cal makes the 50 cal look puny :D. My 80 had 200lb hollow with 200-300lb leader. Slow trolling a dead flyer close to the boat with 300lb seaguar LOL Under 10 minute fish.

My other Penn 80 granny gear calstar baja boomer kite fish. Had 3 big kite fish on the 80 via kite on 2 different trips. Might had been a squeaker cow. Didn't weigh. Under 10 minute fish

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ZZZZZ

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 11, 2003
9,789
13,082
Costa Rica from San Diego
Name
Brad
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Yamaha FX SHO
I bought my ATD-80 from Jack. full 200# Izor. Everyone is different. Nothing makes me more happy than to hook a big one on that reel, but that is just me.

Before ever meeting the man RIP. He loaned me a few cowfish reels for my 1st big trip through another friend. So cool of him

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Out of my 18/18 YFT over 140lbs. 4 were kite fish.

I wanted to go skiff fishing for wahoo back in the day before Karen on our last day of fishing. Big man told me to stay on the big boat and do not gift my kite rotation coming up. Even though it was slow. I listened and deployed double caballitos for a 198lb on a Accurate 50W mid day, easy fish. That is Jerry Brown in the corner and his bite was a 240lb cow next. The big man knew that the big fish were about to bite! JB had a custom metal plate made to hold the rod. No harness straps. Fights the fish up and down, locked into the rod plate, with the rod on the rail

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Cubeye

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Jan 26, 2007
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Just got off an 11 day, packing to go I decided scale down and leave my 50 and 50W at home,
(Usually not needed on that short of trip..)
Wouldn’t you know we made it down to the lower banks, and I got “smoked” on my 30 chunking which I always do with my 50..
So I say if you have one take it!!
And it was probably your Super Cow #2.
Lesson learned..............take everything with you.
 
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hucklongfin

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Jul 3, 2003
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MarkT
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Ok, earlier I meant Tracy melton used an OTR harness. This is like a history lesson. But the pic below shows some of the plates and harnesses I have . Don’t need to show or complicate with the Braid and Sumo varieties.

I will probably go with John’s advice but likely only use the small pad daily and the large plate without harness on kite because, to be honest, I’m old and lazy. And because I can:)

View attachment 1444432
I pretty much have the Smitty soft pad on all the time once I start fishing. I’ve taken a nap with it still on. Light flyline to kite, it’s all I need!
 
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BlueFinGrin

Bad Things Happen On Big Fish...
  • Apr 8, 2006
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    Been at this game for awhile. I’ve seen EVERY manufactured and “Hot-Rod” brand of the 30 size reel dumped on to a backup - and in few cases, quickly spooled before the backup even got attached… (non crew issue). I own a number of 30’s in various flavors, however I’ve relegated these size reels to troll duty only - “when” in the zone. Some anglers get lucky on this gear, i.e., Mike L., 405 YFT. That one was an absolute beast. You earned it Mike!!!

    “Bad Things Happen On Big Fish”…, and I certainly don’t wish to have this happen while on a 30.
     
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    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
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    It really depends on if you are going to make a habit of going LOOOONG Range....I made the mistake of using boat gear ONE time and that whole setup was fubar from the get-go so I decided to get a dedicated kite rig and after various combinations of rods and reels I finally got the kite rig I wanted.....Seeker WDS 4X paired up with a Baker Framed 80 Narrow Penn that Cal dropped the low gear into and dialed it in and this thing is a stump puller not to mention it has about a mile of braid....Izor 135Lb topped off with 200Lb.
    Having confidence in your gear is half the battle
    Have fun and turn the handle
    Let’s make a deal, let me use your kite outfit, I’ll loan you my troller. :)
    I’m loaded for bear, plenty of ammo
    17884771-F94B-44BB-AE7F-129929558BA1.jpeg
     
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    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
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    Been at this game for awhile. I’ve seen EVERY manufactured and “Hot-Rod” brand of the 30 size reel dumped on to a backup - and in few cases, quickly spooled before the backup even got attached… (non crew issue). I own a number of 30’s in various flavors, however I’ve relegated these size reels to troll duty only - “when” in the zone. Some anglers get lucky on this gear, i.e., Mike L., 405 YFT. That one was an absolute beast. You earned it Mike!!!

    “Bad Things Happen On Big Fish”…, and I certainly don’t wish to have this happen while on a 30.
    When I was pre much still a novice at this, we were at Clarion and I pinned on a bait on a Penn 30S, 100# Premier on a Seeker Black Steel 6463XXH. Got bit pretty good and as I was getting my ass handed to me one of the deckhands strolled by and literally commented: “Hah, brought a knife to a gunfight.” And he just kept walking. No offer of help of any kind, no backup, no skiff, just left me there at the rail. As the years have gone by I realize he knew there wasn’t going to be any way to win that one.
     
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    Double Eagle

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    Nov 22, 2020
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    How much can you crank? I'm taking two 50s (reg & wide) on my 16 day rooming with H20buffalo (above). Additionally they each have 3 speeds; high, medium and come to papi. Then again I pushing 80 so I'll probably need an 80/3 soon enough. DependsLOL
     
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    BlueFinGrin

    Bad Things Happen On Big Fish...
  • Apr 8, 2006
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    When I was pre much still a novice at this, we were at Clarion and I pinned on a bait on a Penn 30S, 100# Premier on a Seeker Black Steel 6463XXH. Got bit pretty good and as I was getting my ass handed to me one of the deckhands strolled by and literally commented: “Hah, brought a knife to a gunfight.” And he just kept walking. No offer of help of any kind, no backup, no skiff, just left me there at the rail. As the years have gone by I realize he knew there wasn’t going to be any way to win that one.
    Steve, indeed a lot of novice anglers have and will continue to pay heavily by this one act. The 30’s have their place here.., kinda like a 7 iron in your golf bag - you only use it when the situation calls for it. Can’t tell you just how many times I witnessed a full spool of brand new spectra… disappear off of a 30 while down at Clarion.
     
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    Ksurg

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    Ok, I’ll probably get beat up over this but I don’t think you can compare some of the new 30s with the even the blueprinted 30s we used to fish with “in the day”. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a 50, 70 or 80 on a super cow. But the line capacity and drag on my new VISX 30 exceeds what I had on my Penn II 50 W when I got my personal best( 286lb) at Clarion. Lastly, even though a little different situation plenty of supercows have been landed in PV on NTNC using Mak 30s.

    My take, 50s are the new 80s and 30s the new 50s. Hard to justify the purchase of a 70 or 80 these days for long range. If I get spooled on a super cow on my upcoming HB trip I promise to make a public apology on this board
    😁
     
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    Ksurg

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    Also to add, I will have blueprinted Penn II 50 W, VISW50, VISX 50, and a Duel 6-0 in addition to VSIX 20s x2 and a 30. If I get spooled on anything it will be because of line capacity and not drag. All have as much drag as I can handle in sunset.
     
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    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
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    I know the expression “friends don’t let friends fish” (you pick it, 100, 80, 60)

    Just as it turned out badly fishing the 30S, I enjoyed success at Hurricane Bank last year fishing 60#. Situational awareness is key.

    On the day I got nearly spooled on the 30S, one of the guys sent a bait out on a bobber balloon and caught one right around 360+. I failed to note the quality of the fish that others were catching.

    At the bank last year, middle of the day, the flyline fish just weren’t that big. Some of the kite fish were 150+ but mostly smaller ones were being caught. The outfit I used started with a BX2-600N, super tuned by an Accurate Pro Staffer, backed with 500 yards of 60 lb Cortland C-16. Rod was a pretty beefy one I built on a Rainshadow blank, RCJB90XXH, rating I think too broad in the description 50-100, but it pulls just right for 60# and I will even fish it with 80#. Hooked one, brought it to gaff. Thoroughly enjoyed the fight.
     
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    JohnTFT

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    Feb 11, 2007
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    For years I fished a topless ATD30. Caught lots of fish on it including several cows.

    I always believed 30's were nice flyline reels. Good size. Lots of line and nice drag.

    MAK30 changed all of that. Its a 50 in a smaller frame. My current 30 is a 30VISX. Holds like 875 yards of 100lb Western Filament hollow. I think max drag is like 50-55.

    Same handle as the 50 sized reel. Caught my first cow on it in 2021. Like it a great deal.
     
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    thinman

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    Nov 12, 2017
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    O.K. here is my take on this discussion. Only you can decide if you need a 50 size reel. If you have one and think it is an advantage to fish with, by all means use it. I personally take one with me but only use it on the kite because of its line capacity. All my other reels are MAK 30s and 20s. These reels have all the line capacity and drag that I will really ever need while fly lining a bait. I have caught plenty of big mean fish on these reels and never once did I wish I was using my 50. It really comes down to technique when catching larger tuna, you're not going to muscle one in whether you are using a 50 or a 30 size reel. Again, is all personal preference. you decide.
     
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    Workplacesafety

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    Jeff, never known you to beat around the bush! ;)
    If your on the Rooster, faced with using "The tractor" kite gear then I'd say absolutely. That big Accurate 80 is getting to be to much for me. Don't buy a wide 50. Someone on the boat probably has one you can use.

    Do not throw that rod and reel over the side.
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    Costa Rica from San Diego
    Name
    Brad
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    Yamaha FX SHO
    O.K. here is my take on this discussion. Only you can decide if you need a 50 size reel. If you have one and think it is an advantage to fish with, by all means use it. I personally take one with me but only use it on the kite because of its line capacity. All my other reels are MAK 30s and 20s. These reels have all the line capacity and drag that I will really ever need while fly lining a bait. I have caught plenty of big mean fish on these reels and never once did I wish I was using my 50. It really comes down to technique when catching larger tuna, you're not going to muscle one in whether you are using a 50 or a 30 size reel. Again, is all personal preference. you decide.

    Give me a tractor kite fish. Lottery won :D

    Going to disagree with this. Reason why less then 50% are landed non kite fish

    I hooked a 283 sardine fish on a Tiagra stock 30w with 130lb. Such a gnarly fish. Beyond bad ass

    Next bite a 298 on a 50 with 130lb line on a mackerel. The 298 was easy. 5 other fish hooked. I was on my own. I called for gaff 😂 literally. 1 crew stuck the fish and 2 other passengers stuck the fish also :D
     
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