Spectra Experts: A question for Tuna Gurus

SemperFishing

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Hey folks, (the question has been edited to be clearer)

A request for help from a "noob." I going for my first tuna over a 100lbs this august on a American Angler 7 day. They've been getting quite a few over 100 so far this season and Im not sure what to do about my spectra/flouro connection.

Im big on the Penn 16vsx (sorry to the Accurate/Avet fans, Im not knocking them, it just that this one feels right to me).

I want to fish 80 or 100lb flouro, so I am thinking of having 100 lb solid spectra connection with one of those Sato Crimps ( or a chinese finger trap method). I dont know the technical details, does any one know if this connection would work? Do I need a shot of hollow to connect it? Does any one know a good tackle shop who really has good expertise on this subject? Im told that that I can take down 100 tuna on 40-60lb, and I have that rig covered. I do want this outfit to cover my 80-100lb outfit range.

Also, what brands of spectra do you guys reccomend, I like Tuf-line, other brands like powerpor or Izor (at least in green color) are too stiff.

Any and all opinions on this are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Dave
 

Pangamaster

Cow Town Here I come!
Jul 1, 2008
1,938
1,119
San Ramon, CA
Name
Dave
Boat
SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
Hey Dave, You will have no need except maybe dropper loop for a 100# rig in August on a 7 day. Most of the 100 pounders are being landing on 40 or 50# test. Focus your effort on this class of rig. Something like a Avet LX with 60# spectra connected with a Tony Pena knot to 4'-5' of 40 or 50# fluro. Good luck.
 

kml

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 29, 2008
283
19
Vista
Name
Kyle
Boat
66 MUSTANG
Dave, I'm no expert but you dont need 100# spectra for 100# tuna. I see you are in C-bad, go up & talk w/ Ken @ kens custom reels is O-side, he's a good guy w/ tons of time on the water. He will take care of your needs.

For what its worth, I got lucky last fall & landed a 100#er on an Accurate 2 speed 665 backed w/ 65# spectra, a bimini loop w/ a short length of 60# flouro............. even that rig put the screws to that fish.

good luck, & go see Ken........
 

johndtuttle

Angler/Client
Mar 20, 2008
5,574
1,758
Carmel, CA
Name
john
Boat
not crazy enough yet
yea, like above. 100lber is really no big thang. Pro set up would be JB Hollow 60 and loop to loop to a wind on. It tests to 90lbs when spliced, you can't break that with a 16vsx pretty much no matter how hard you pull. This is very underestimated line for big fish.

A 16vsx is a mini Cow reel imo (fish to 200lbs for sure you might get spooled on a larger/demon cow is all). You'll be tractoring in anything at the Rocks. A sweet little reel that can do heavy duty for a bunch of years trolling etc just not strictly required.
 
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TShooter

Team Cheesy Poof
Mar 24, 2004
413
20
Alpine
Name
Robert Peterson
Boat
Yak, Cheesy Poof
Ditto with the thoughts above, I personally like to connect that size line class with either a uni to uni or a worm knot. If the fish are really eager to die, then you can go up to your 100#, we were on a trip where we tried to see how heavy we could go and get bit, made it up to 150#. But normally 40# will be the go to.

T
 

fishnrust

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 30, 2007
425
0
Vegas
Name
Rusty
Boat
none
Like they all said above, you won't get bit on 100# at the rocks. 40-50#, they will chew- maybe, sometimes 60#. I like using the worm or uni/uni to connect the floro. Sometimes hollow floro will roll on itself while tying the worm. This could cause it to slip under load so check it carefully.

For future trips, where you may need 80-100# topshot, you will want to splice some hollow onto that penn. This way you can use the crimps by feeding the floro directly into the hollow, or making L2L topshots. You can search this forum if you need help doing that, I believe there are a couple of tutorials floating around. Now go cathch that 100#er. Good luck!!!
 

fishordie

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 31, 2005
2,101
1,379
65
Calabasas CA
Name
Jamie
Boat
2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Yo Dave,

Since you are new to this aspect of the sport I highly suggest you go with Hollow J.B. 60#. You can splice on top of that 50 or so yds of 80 pound and then another 50 yds of 130# hollow. Until you learn how to do the splices make sure you go to a reputable line winder outfit and have them do what you ask. Though Hollow is more expensive it is a superior product for West Coast Long Range. It allows you to easily cut out and resplice abraded or worn out sections of the Spectra where ever it occurs. It allows a 100% loop to loop connection with no knots. This knotless loop in the main line allows a very easy change out of top shots as with the 16 you can fish anywhere from 40 to 80 pound string with no problem.

Though you probably have no experience with hollow spectra it is very easy to learn all the different splices and connections. You can still tie the same knots as you would in Solid spectra until you learn the hollow techniques but once you learn you will not go back. Remember, Spectra could last a decade or more so why not buy right the first time. Once you are on the boat there should be some folks who can teach you what you need to learn about hollow or you can go to the web site below. Basil, the owner of the site can also do the line for you if you send your reel to him. You will also be able to find information on this site to enable you to learn the various connections. After that the folks on the boat can just help you tweak your technique.

http://www.bhptackle.com/index.php

Best of luck on your decision.

Jamie
 

SemperFishing

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Great advice from everyone, thanks guys! I think I'll put either JB 100# or 80# for the vsx and use that as a "heavy" rig, and use 40-60 outfit for the 100lbers (per everyone's reccomendation.

What size range do tuna schools come in on long range trips (10-18 days). Are they mix 60-100lbers, 150-200, etc? I like the idea of ranging my tackle to match the size of the fish.

Thanks for help again!
 

SemperFishing

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Thanks FishOrDie,

Is hollow thicker than regular spectra? I am thinking that 100lb JB regular should be used with a splice so I can have that extra line capacity, I dont want to lose the that when using hollow (or is it that big of a difference?).

Dave

Yo Dave,

Since you are new to this aspect of the sport I highly suggest you go with Hollow J.B. 60#. You can splice on top of that 50 or so yds of 80 pound and then another 50 yds of 130# hollow. Until you learn how to do the splices make sure you go to a reputable line winder outfit and have them do what you ask. Though Hollow is more expensive it is a superior product for West Coast Long Range. It allows you to easily cut out and resplice abraded or worn out sections of the Spectra where ever it occurs. It allows a 100% loop to loop connection with no knots. This knotless loop in the main line allows a very easy change out of top shots as with the 16 you can fish anywhere from 40 to 80 pound string with no problem.

Though you probably have no experience with hollow spectra it is very easy to learn all the different splices and connections. You can still tie the same knots as you would in Solid spectra until you learn the hollow techniques but once you learn you will not go back. Remember, Spectra could last a decade or more so why not buy right the first time. Once you are on the boat there should be some folks who can teach you what you need to learn about hollow or you can go to the web site below. Basil, the owner of the site can also do the line for you if you send your reel to him. You will also be able to find information on this site to enable you to learn the various connections. After that the folks on the boat can just help you tweak your technique.

BHP Tackle - Wind-On Leaders - Topshots - Fluorocarbon Wind-On Leaders - Hollow Spectra

Best of luck on your decision.

Jamie
 

johndtuttle

Angler/Client
Mar 20, 2008
5,574
1,758
Carmel, CA
Name
john
Boat
not crazy enough yet
Thanks FishOrDie,

Is hollow thicker than regular spectra? I am thinking that 100lb JB regular should be used with a splice so I can have that extra line capacity, I dont want to lose the that when using hollow (or is it that big of a difference?).

Dave
FYI JB100 and JB80 are actually the same breaking strength for all intents and purposes so there really is no place for JB80 that I know of. Just a note for future reference.

The difference in JB 60 Hollow as compared to solid is like 10%, so on a 16vsx you're talking like 60-70 yards more with solid.

Not worth it as you can fish higher drag with Hollow as your connections are so much stronger. You are not going to stop a fish in that extra 50 yards before it's all over but you can stop that fish with heavier drag.

ps: the number of over 200lbs tuna caught on even the longest trips are never more than 5% of the Tuna that come over the rail per documented catch records.
 
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lasparky11

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 7, 2008
1,472
353
65
Ontario, CA USA
Name
Gene
Boat
X-wife she's so fat she floats
Great advice from everyone, thanks guys! I think I'll put either JB 100# or 80# for the vsx and use that as a "heavy" rig, and use 40-60 outfit for the 100lbers (per everyone's reccomendation.

What size range do tuna schools come in on long range trips (10-18 days). Are they mix 60-100lbers, 150-200, etc? I like the idea of ranging my tackle to match the size of the fish.

Thanks for help again!
I have a 16VSX from the factory there are a great 60# reel. If your going to put anything heavier than that send it to Cal. Cal set mine up to fish 80# with a lower gear. You don't need to do that to fish 60#. I have 500 yards of 100# Izor solid spliced to 150 yards of Blackwater 100# hollow. Put a 50/60# top shot on it and have a good time. If the reel is new have all of the factory grease cleaned out, relube it, and grease the drags. That makes a big difference in how the reel performs. At the rocks on 7 day it should kill just about everything around. What rod are you going to use?
 

fishordie

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 31, 2005
2,101
1,379
65
Calabasas CA
Name
Jamie
Boat
2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Yo Dave,

The reason I noted what I did is for long soaks at either the Lupe, should it open again or the Rocks or ??? You will want the line capacity. Next reason is the 80 pound hollow is the most expensive or at least has been the most expensive of all the weaves. Additionally the 130 for your final topping of hollow is one of the easiest to make hollow connections with. You can certainly fill it with 100 and then top it with 130 for ease of use but you will be losing significant line capacity. Now,
if you are using it as a dedicated dropper loop or yo yo jog application or just heavy drop application then the 100 with the 130 topping is great but do not limit yourself as this reel can do multiple duty. Though the 16VSX would not be my first or even second choice for normal 40 - 50 pound work if that is what you have or already purchased then make it as multipurpose as possible. If you have not purchased this reel I highly recommend you look at other options as there are better options on the market for your 7 day trips.

Jamie
 

SemperFishing

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
thanks Gene. Its prob too late to get it back in time from cal at this point, but for sure will look to get this extra work done before I roll on a longer trip. The rod is a CalStar BTG 6465XXH (or something like that), wrapped by Takas. Its F*&^KING great! This is the first tuna rod that I can pull on and it doesnt hurt my back or life me up. I cant wait to pull hard on something with this!

Dave

I have a 16VSX from the factory there are a great 60# reel. If your going to put anything heavier than that send it to Cal. Cal set mine up to fish 80# with a lower gear. You don't need to do that to fish 60#. I have 500 yards of 100# Izor solid spliced to 150 yards of Blackwater 100# hollow. Put a 50/60# top shot on it and have a good time. If the reel is new have all of the factory grease cleaned out, relube it, and grease the drags. That makes a big difference in how the reel performs. At the rocks on 7 day it should kill just about everything around. What rod are you going to use?
 

SemperFishing

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Thanks Jaime,

This is rig I had in mind is more of a utility rig to fish 80-100lb, whether its long soaking a bait or dropper rig. I guess I should have specified it as such as it looks like its not necessary for 100lb tuna.

The 40-60lb outfit is covered (avet HX 5/2 or Penn 4/0, old school stuff).

Dave

The
Yo Dave,

The reason I noted what I did is for long soaks at either the Lupe, should it open again or the Rocks or ??? You will want the line capacity. Next reason is the 80 pound hollow is the most expensive or at least has been the most expensive of all the weaves. Additionally the 130 for your final topping of hollow is one of the easiest to make hollow connections with. You can certainly fill it with 100 and then top it with 130 for ease of use but you will be losing significant line capacity. Now,
if you are using it as a dedicated dropper loop or yo yo jog application or just heavy drop application then the 100 with the 130 topping is great but do not limit yourself as this reel can do multiple duty. Though the 16VSX would not be my first or even second choice for normal 40 - 50 pound work if that is what you have or already purchased then make it as multipurpose as possible. If you have not purchased this reel I highly recommend you look at other options as there are better options on the market for your 7 day trips.

Jamie
 

Outhouse

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 13, 2007
2,643
568
Germantown, TN
Name
Jon Scobey
Boat
Titanic
Jamie's recommendation of BHP Tackle is spot on. His prices are as good as any, his service unmatched and he ships quick. He has the line diameters on his website.
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
5,476
6,921
67
Chino Hills, Ca.
Name
Bill Walsh
Boat
Red Rooster
The lighter 2 speeds like a LX-2 or the new Saltist 2 speed or many of the small Accurates work better for the 40-50# and sardine flyline, your reel as stated works really well for 60# up to 80#. One option would be to use the VSX for balloon or dead squid for tuna. Sometimes the tuna really go for that. Go to a party store or 99 cent store and purchase punching balloons. They already have a nice rubber band attached. Then have the crew fill your balloon up and set the balloon up. Works with very low wind.
 

Sactotuna

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
136
sacramento
Name
jim
Boat
Royal Star
I'm a real ACC fan, but I've got a 16vsx too. Excellent reel, plenty of drag for what you want to do. Load it with 80# Jerry Brown hollow, actual break strength is 88#. Again, plenty for what you want to do and plenty of line capacity. Fish it with a 60# topshot, 80#, even 50# if things get picky.
You've got lots of guys down there that can help you get set up right. The whole splicing/topshot thing is really easy, you'll never do anything else. Have someone show you how to make a loop on your reel with a piece of 27# single strand wire doing the "Jerry Brown Flip", buy some topshots from Basil at BHP tackle, done. Go catch fish!
 

lasparky11

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 7, 2008
1,472
353
65
Ontario, CA USA
Name
Gene
Boat
X-wife she's so fat she floats
thanks Gene. Its prob too late to get it back in time from cal at this point, but for sure will look to get this extra work done before I roll on a longer trip. The rod is a CalStar BTG 6465XXH (or something like that), wrapped by Takas. Its F*&^KING great! This is the first tuna rod that I can pull on and it doesnt hurt my back or life me up. I cant wait to pull hard on something with this!

Dave
I have mine on a 7465M. My whole body is F**ked up bad. Nice thing about that rod is you can put it on the rail or use a rod belt. I would give Cal a call he might be able to turn it around or call Ken's your just looking for a clean & service. Fish it see how you like it, then if you want to hot rod it send it to Cal for a complete rebuild, blueprint + lower gears & upgraded bearings. The 16 is a kick ass 60# reel.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,355
6,893
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Amazing how many of us Gurus get a DSL connection up here in the Himalayas,;)

Alijos has been kicking out a good number of 100 lb plus Yellowfin this season. On 40 lb, you might get one. I had one on the 40 lb gear; 870 with 4:1 gears, 60 lb hollow, 25 ft of 40 lb fluorocarbon on a 6470. My fish and several other heavies were just too big to move on this lighter tackle resulting on prolonged battles, pulled hooks and break offs or chew offs.

I'd be fishing the flyline with 50 lb and a good stout rod with enough backbone to pull on those big bastards. Your HXJ will do it, on any rod with that familiar 30(50)80 rating. Something like a 6465H or a 6470H would be my choice.

If I were setting up another reel for an Alijos trip like your 16VSX, I'd back it with about 500 yards of JB Hollow 100 lb and then top it off with enough JB Hollow 80 lb to fill it to within 1/4" of the lip of the spool. Put your 20-25' 60 lb fluoro topshot on that. I'd then be fishing that outfit in the gray or if it just goes WFO.

Now you have the flexibility to take the reel to Cal for some blueprint work after the trip and he can set it up to fish something like 80-100 lb with 20-24 lbs of drag at strike and it will still freespool. Finally, you can go back and remove the 80 lb hollow and replace it with some 130 lb hollow and you'll then be set up for those bigger tuna. Not necessarily a cow reel, but a good tool to have in the case.
 

johndtuttle

Angler/Client
Mar 20, 2008
5,574
1,758
Carmel, CA
Name
john
Boat
not crazy enough yet
Amazing how many of us Gurus get a DSL connection up here in the Himalayas,;)

Alijos has been kicking out a good number of 100 lb plus Yellowfin this season. On 40 lb, you might get one. I had one on the 40 lb gear; 870 with 4:1 gears, 60 lb hollow, 25 ft of 40 lb fluorocarbon on a 6470. My fish and several other heavies were just too big to move on this lighter tackle resulting on prolonged battles, pulled hooks and break offs or chew offs.

I'd be fishing the flyline with 50 lb and a good stout rod with enough backbone to pull on those big bastards. Your HXJ will do it, on any rod with that familiar 30(50)80 rating. Something like a 6465H or a 6470H would be my choice.

If I were setting up another reel for an Alijos trip like your 16VSX, I'd back it with about 500 yards of JB Hollow 100 lb and then top it off with enough JB Hollow 80 lb to fill it to within 1/4" of the lip of the spool. Put your 20-25' 60 lb fluoro topshot on that. I'd then be fishing that outfit in the gray or if it just goes WFO.

Now you have the flexibility to take the reel to Cal for some blueprint work after the trip and he can set it up to fish something like 80-100 lb with 20-24 lbs of drag at strike and it will still freespool. Finally, you can go back and remove the 80 lb hollow and replace it with some 130 lb hollow and you'll then be set up for those bigger tuna. Not necessarily a cow reel, but a good tool to have in the case.
Steve, don't underestimate how hard you can pull on JB 60. it tests to ~90 lbs. upgrade your top shot is all you should have to do. JB 60 is Cow ready. :).
 

yft1979

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 7, 2004
2,135
102
41
Murrieta
Name
Garrett
Boat
-
Steve, don't underestimate how hard you can pull on JB 60. it tests to ~90 lbs. upgrade your top shot is all you should have to do. JB 60 is Cow ready. :).
Idk bout that, I hooked a cow on jb 60 hollow last season at the potato bank. Didnt work out to well. The spectra parted after about 30 minutes on.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,355
6,893
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Idk bout that, I hooked a cow on jb 60 hollow last season at the potato bank. Didnt work out to well. The spectra parted after about 30 minutes on.
Uh, yeah. John you go right ahead. Let me know when you land the next one.
 

Cybertuna

Admiral
Dec 1, 2007
129
47
Tucson, AZ
Name
Rodger
Boat
bath tub
Steve - good advise. I just got back from the rocks - got one of the big bastards on a two speed 500 on a SS 6470 (a lot stiffer than the BS 6470).. Had the reel spooled with 60 hollow, spliced to 80 hollow, loop to loop connection to a 40 # flouro top shot, EC 7/0 circle hook, sardine.. Was a friggen war - easily took over an hour.. Like you pointed out - lots of fish were lost to worn line, AND sharks. F'n sharks were all over. Having a two speed reel was huge.

What's required: flouro and and enough line to get your bait way away from the boat and still have enough not to get spooled after first run. The fish at the rocks are MEAN - they will go. It appeared that most of the guys who hooked a monster (95lbs +) on a 1 speed 40 set up lost their fish (esp since most of those reels had 6:1 ratios).. Lots of guys went to 50 and 60 esp after they saw the guys with 40 get worked, and seemed to do ok..

One thing you said I'm not sure I understand: On my 60 pound set up - I have mostly 80 hollow spectra spliced to 100 yds of 100. You recommend the other way - seems wierd.
 

Wahoosnofish

now thats a galley fish
Jun 17, 2009
428
2
USA
Name
Dave
Boat
no
Maybe I am missing the boat but whats the point of fishing 80 or 100 pound spectra to a 40 or 50 pound leader. In almost all applications the pound test of the leader becomes your line class. Sure you could be abraded by the port corner because you were in the starboard corner, but everyone can follow there fish so surely that would not happen. 60 hollow should suffice for the rocks, of course there can always be manufacturing defects and unseen line damage that can cause a parting of ways. As for rods hook your favorite 40 or 50 pound set up to your bumper and see if you can bottom out your rod before your break the leader, or should I say if you can break the leader. I am not speaking of knot failure, break the spectra or Fluoro. If you bottom out the rod easily maybe bump up. You will be surprised how hard you can pull and hard pressed to break your leader clean ( not due to a connection failure) JMHO
 

lasparky11

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 7, 2008
1,472
353
65
Ontario, CA USA
Name
Gene
Boat
X-wife she's so fat she floats
Amazing how many of us Gurus get a DSL connection up here in the Himalayas,;)

Alijos has been kicking out a good number of 100 lb plus Yellowfin this season. On 40 lb, you might get one. I had one on the 40 lb gear; 870 with 4:1 gears, 60 lb hollow, 25 ft of 40 lb fluorocarbon on a 6470. My fish and several other heavies were just too big to move on this lighter tackle resulting on prolonged battles, pulled hooks and break offs or chew offs.

I'd be fishing the flyline with 50 lb and a good stout rod with enough backbone to pull on those big bastards. Your HXJ will do it, on any rod with that familiar 30(50)80 rating. Something like a 6465H or a 6470H would be my choice.

If I were setting up another reel for an Alijos trip like your 16VSX, I'd back it with about 500 yards of JB Hollow 100 lb and then top it off with enough JB Hollow 80 lb to fill it to within 1/4" of the lip of the spool. Put your 20-25' 60 lb fluoro topshot on that. I'd then be fishing that outfit in the gray or if it just goes WFO.

Now you have the flexibility to take the reel to Cal for some blueprint work after the trip and he can set it up to fish something like 80-100 lb with 20-24 lbs of drag at strike and it will still freespool. Finally, you can go back and remove the 80 lb hollow and replace it with some 130 lb hollow and you'll then be set up for those bigger tuna. Not necessarily a cow reel, but a good tool to have in the case.
I don't about that, I killed one over 200# with mine. True I sent it to Cal for complete work over. With the lower gear it's a great big fish reel.

Steve - good advise. I just got back from the rocks - got one of the big bastards on a two speed 500 on a SS 6470 (a lot stiffer than the BS 6470).. Had the reel spooled with 60 hollow, spliced to 80 hollow, loop to loop connection to a 40 # flouro top shot, EC 7/0 circle hook, sardine.. Was a friggen war - easily took over an hour.. Like you pointed out - lots of fish were lost to worn line, AND sharks. F'n sharks were all over. Having a two speed reel was huge.

What's required: flouro and and enough line to get your bait way away from the boat and still have enough not to get spooled after first run. The fish at the rocks are MEAN - they will go. It appeared that most of the guys who hooked a monster (95lbs +) on a 1 speed 40 set up lost their fish (esp since most of those reels had 6:1 ratios).. Lots of guys went to 50 and 60 esp after they saw the guys with 40 get worked, and seemed to do ok..

One thing you said I'm not sure I understand: On my 60 pound set up - I have mostly 80 hollow spectra spliced to 100 yds of 100. You recommend the other way - seems wierd.
I put close to 500 yards of 100# Izor solid with 150 yards of 100# hollow. Never had any problems with the splice. Seems kinda weird to do the other way around.
 
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