Dexter Outdoors
Apr 2, 2021
3
4
27
Eureka
Name
Aaron Walker
Boat
Lavro
Hello Everyone,

I am new to bloody decks, I live in Humboldt County where I mainly target salmon and steelhead. I also do a little halibut and rockfish fishing as well. I really want to do a multi day trip out of San Diego, targeting bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail. I have no idea where to start on selecting equipment, and I understand there is rental gear, but I really want to have my own stuff.

So my question is what would you pick for 3 starter combos for anything up to a 5 day trip? I want 3 rod and reel combos that can be versatile for multiple situations and price isn't an issue.

Picture of my dog Loomis and a steelhead.

Thanks and tight lines!

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 4.46.26 PM.png
 
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CooldadE

Newbie
Mar 28, 2010
70
45
Antioch,Ca
Name
Ed
Boat
13'4" Gregor
Hello Everyone,

I am new to bloody decks, I live in Humboldt County where I mainly target salmon and steelhead. I also do a little halibut and rockfish fishing as well. I really want to do a multi day trip out of San Diego, targeting bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail. I have no idea where to start on selecting equipment, and I understand there is rental gear, but I really want to have my own stuff.

So my question is what would you pick for 3 starter combos for anything up to a 5 day trip? I want 3 rod and reel combos that can be versatile for multiple situations and price isn't an issue.

Picture of my dog Loomis and a steelhead.

Thanks and tight lines!

View attachment 1268852
In the Fishing gear section under Penn University, Tuna north lists 5 rigs... don’t leave the dock without. Good place to start. Also I believe there is an informative vid with him on tackle talk Thursday. On the searcher website...

Cool
 

malanx

Royal Star 200# Club
Sep 28, 2011
194
143
Mountain View
Name
Jonny
Boat
SD landings
Such a great looking dog and fish!

You're asking the blond, brunette or redhead question...

The two setups that I use for most situations are:

Okuma Makaira 10SEA with 50pound solid braid, on a Phenix PHD700H
This is my go to live bait real for 30 to 50 pound line. It has good free spool, and the guts to handle a 100+ pound fish. Any reel in this size range is good, and other reels in this class that are great options - Shimano Talica 10, Avet MXL6/4 Raptor. Penn reels are also great, but I'm not familiar with them in this size range.

I'm partial to Phenix rods, but you're going to get lots of suggestions for good United Composites rods as well. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these manufacturers.

Avet JX Raptor with 60pound hollow braid, on a Phenix PHD700XH
This is my go to iron set up, for fishing for yellowtail and flat falls for tuna. It does double duty as a 60 pound live bait real. Again, lots of good options here, but you're looking for a higher speed reel, with capacity for ~400 yards of 60# hollow.


With these big bluefin around, if you want a reel for them, that you can also use for dropper loop and trolling:

Okuma Makaira 16SEA or 20SEA with 100 pound hollow braid, on a Phenix PHD700X3H
The Penn VISX series is also a great option - go put your hands on those and the Makairas and see which one you like. Again a 16 or 20 sized.

The 16's will be easier to fish, so I recommend that, but the 20's have a little more stopping power and line capacity.
 
hucklongfin
hucklongfin
I like those reels, not those rods as used! A 700H is a 30-40# rod, a XH is a 50# rod at best, I use the x3h for 80#, 100# is really pushing it. My phd760XH is my goto for 50#, the phd700x2h for 60# with the Mak 15T, and the phd700x3h or UC Centaur 76 for 80# with the Mak 16.
Upvote 0

FlatPack

Online Angler
Sep 22, 2016
2,429
1,862
City of Angels
Name
Rexor
Boat
"CATTLE BOAT"
If on a Budget...... my best bang for the buck 3 set ups are...

1) Penn Fathom 15LD2 on Okuma PCH 801 MH 15-40lb rod

2) Penn Fathom 25NLD2 on Okuma PCH 80XH 30-60lb rod

3) Penn Fathom 40NLD2 on Okuma PCH 74XXH or 701XXH rod


If money is Not a problem then...

1) Accurate Valiant BV2-300 on UC RGP80 Mega 20-50lb rod

2) Accurate Valiant BV2-500 on UC RGP80 HP or Tilefish rod

3) Accurate Valiant BV2-800 on UC RGP76 Predator rod.

Or Penn Torque Reels if your going the United Composites RGP series rods.

Anything below 40lb set up you can do Star drag like the Accurate TERN or Penn FATHOM II Star drags.... But its just me and like the smallest 2 speed I could have. jmho.
 
Last edited:
Dec 5, 2011
431
254
Santa Monica, Ca.
Name
Tony O'Connell
Boat
Hardcore
Most of the longrange boats have loaner gear that is a step up from "rental" and you can prearrange this when you book your trip. The crew will help you square it away as they are experts and know what is happening at the moment. Most longrange guys are happy to show you their gear, give advice, and many will let you catch a fish or two on their tackle. You will come back from the trip with a wealth of knowledge and first hand experience that will enable you to select the right tackle the first time so you can kick ass on your second trip. This being said I would suggest a Calstar 700H and a Penn Fathom 25 ld2sp with 65# braid as your first basic setup. You can then tie on a short top shot of 25-60 FC to adapt to the bite.
 

Garrison

Garrison
May 21, 2008
420
236
Temecula
Name
Garrison
Boat
Mikelson 43’
Despite my tackle buying issues, a Penn Baja Special loaded with some braid and a fresh top shot, (now the US113 and maybe not quite as good in the anodizing department) is all I have ever really needed. If I had only one to take, I would happily ditch all the many thousands of dollars I have spent on fancy engraved, dual disc lever drag, machined from one piece of aluminum, etc, etc, ect and keep a well tuned Baja on a longish Calstar rod. That set up would rarely leave me wanting for more, on any fish Mother Nature gifted me offshore. Trolling, yo-yoing, throwing iron, running bait, dropper looping at the island, it has done it all, no problemo.

An old gold, Trinidad 30 would be a close second.
 
Last edited:

Blind Luck

Member
  • Feb 14, 2015
    327
    763
    Temecula
    Name
    Mike Grieco
    Boat
    MALAKAS
    Most of the longrange boats have loaner gear that is a step up from "rental" and you can prearrange this when you book your trip. The crew will help you square it away as they are experts and know what is happening at the moment. Most longrange guys are happy to show you their gear, give advice, and many will let you catch a fish or two on their tackle. You will come back from the trip with a wealth of knowledge and first hand experience that will enable you to select the right tackle the first time so you can kick ass on your second trip. This being said I would suggest a Calstar 700H and a Penn Fathom 25 ld2sp with 65# braid as your first basic setup. You can then tie on a short top shot of 25-60 FC to adapt to the bite.
    I agree...get a feel for long range trips using the boats equipment...the LR boat I fish has all those Penns available...
    Make sure you like long range trips....
    Check out other equipment people are fishing
    See what you're comfortable with...
    Then you can go out and spend a fortune like I did
     

    RichG

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jan 20, 2007
    1,165
    1,325
    California
    Name
    Richard G/
    Boat
    none
    Well Aaron, I bet you’ll be more confused as everyone offers there two cents. We all have our bias. First, are you sure you will continue the long range trips for many moons. To invest in gear, then decide this isn’t your cup of tea is really a waste of $$. Next is the gear you buy comfortable in your hands.

    the high end rods and reels are usually quality made, but do you like the way they fish. I feel all the reel manufacturers have pluses and minuses. US made, Penn (somewhere back east). Avet, Northridge, CA. Accurate, Corona CA. Foreign, Okuma, Shimano, Daiwa are all out of Japan but do have service centers in So Cal.

    then you have the Star drag, (Avet and Accurate introduce a few the last few years. Then lever drag, single speed vs two speed.

    Rods, my personal preference is Cal Star, but there is nothing wrong with the other major brands.

    I agree with Tony, the long range boats have loaner stuff and most guys bring too much and would let you try their outfit.

    my suggestion is to find a reel sponsored trip and compare then to what others are using. That way you will have a better idea of what suits yo

    if you really want to just buy, then I’d suggest two 30/40 pound set ups. Those are your go to set ups on most 5 day trips.

    wecome to our addiction and keep asking questions.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    471
    1,059
    Junction City OR
    Name
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    Buy once, cry once. My experience on 3-day trips, and a friend's experience on 10-12 day trips, indicates that the rental rods are sometimes a mixed bag at best....

    The recommendations below are the choices I made a couple of years ago when I found myself in your situation (fished many years in Oregon for just about everything; just started fishing San Diego 3 years ago).Very happy with these choices.

    A UC Tilefish Jr. with a Fathom 25 nld2 will handle anything you will ever want to catch in the 30# segment. I have caught BFT up to 60# easily on this rig. About $560 for the combo if you look around and find a sale. In Nor Cal you can use this combo for everything from Albacore trolling to Halibut.

    A UC RGP Terminator with a Fathom 40 nld2 will handle everything from 40# up to light 80# work beautifully. Casts a 'dine great, tons of backbone, light in the hand. Really shines in the 60# fly line/sinker rig/Yo-Yo mission. About $660 on sale for the combo. Of course this combo handles big deep water Halibut with ease.

    Because the BFT are getting BIG I would make my 3rd rig big enough for serious work. Heavy sinker rig if the Bigs are in the area, and Flat Fall jigs at night. Either a 7'6" UC Centaur with a Makaira 16 SEa, OR a 7'6" UC Viper with a Makaira 20 SEa (I have both). About $1,000 for the combo but you can find better deals if you look around... These combos are heavy in the hand, not something you will use on home waters. However, when the BFT are running 200-300# and maybe even bigger this season, serious gear is in order.

    You can certainly find less expensive "starter" combos, but these rigs you will not outgrow or feel a desire to upgrade any time soon...

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited:

    wils

    lazy-ass well known "member"
    May 31, 2003
    9,188
    5,833
    not a spoiled bitch from san diego
    Name
    bill
    Boat
    I hate boats
    If "price isn't an issue" get 5 moderately priced rigs for a 5 day trip. The total price would be quite a bit less than your "price isn't an issue" 3 top-of-the-line rigs.

    All of the upper echelon boats have "rental gear" that is "quality stuff". Consider this before purchasing a rig for 100#+ tunas/guadalupe dropper rig.

    PS: If you have never been on a LR/5 day trip, do NOT leave the price tags on your new perfectly matched set of rods & reels when boarding.
     

    screamingreel

    Long Range Fanatic
    Jan 14, 2006
    2,476
    3,022
    Walnut Creek CA
    longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
    Name
    Jeff Burroughs
    Boat
    Long Range and Private
    Hello Walker Fish Talker,

    The options are almost endless and very subjective to your personal preferences. For 3 long range rigs, I recommend the following:

    1. 25-30 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800ML
    2. 40-50 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800H
    3. 60-80 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 15TII SEa on a Calstar GF775XH

    Since you fish steelhead, I bet you would enjoy a "surface iron" jig set-up too:

    4. 40-50 lbs. surface rig: Penn Fathom II 25NSD on a Calstar GG90J

    I live near Oakland with many rigs available. If you ever want to try casting a few, let me know. We could go out on a salmon charter and I could bring a few with me too. PM me if you are interested.

    - Jeff Burroughs
     

    Yellowtail Dan

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Apr 10, 2006
    3,700
    4,160
    53
    Roseville Ca
    Name
    Dan
    Boat
    Excel, American Angler
    If this is something you really want to get into booking a trip that is sponsored by one of the reel manufacturers is a great tip. Penn does several and Steve Carson their rep brings everything and the kitchen sink. The other manufacturers do as well. Don't be afraid to use the boat gear either as a test. The American Angler has all Penn rental gear that is top notch quality.

    You can save yourself some cash/mistakes the more time you spend handling as many options as possible. Take Jeff up on his offer, I think he has his own private tackle shop and knows his stuff
     

    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
    Apr 10, 2012
    689
    951
    The 505
    Name
    Nick B
    Boat
    African Queen
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to bloody decks, I live in Humboldt County where I mainly target salmon and steelhead. I also do a little halibut and rockfish fishing as well. I really want to do a multi day trip out of San Diego, targeting bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail. I have no idea where to start on selecting equipment, and I understand there is rental gear, but I really want to have my own stuff.

    So my question is what would you pick for 3 starter combos for anything up to a 5 day trip? I want 3 rod and reel combos that can be versatile for multiple situations and price isn't an issue.

    Picture of my dog Loomis and a steelhead.

    Thanks and tight lines!

    View attachment 1268852
    Hello Walker Fish Talker,

    The options are almost endless and very subjective to your personal preferences. For 3 long range rigs, I recommend the following:

    1. 25-30 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800ML
    2. 40-50 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800H
    3. 60-80 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 15TII SEa on a Calstar GF775XH

    Since you fish steelhead, I bet you would enjoy a "surface iron" jig set-up too:

    4. 40-50 lbs. surface rig: Penn Fathom II 25NSD on a Calstar GG90J

    I live near Oakland with many rigs available. If you ever want to try casting a few, let me know. We could go out on a salmon charter and I could bring a few with me too. PM me if you are interested.

    - Jeff Burroughs
    If you could swing it, Jeff's generous offer would be well worth it. Having rods/reels in hand goes a long way to helping someone make a purchase decision. He is a fount of knowledge about LR fishing. He might even have written a book or two about it. :D
     
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    Montaukmaniac

    Thats my son, not me.
    Feb 8, 2011
    873
    796
    Westchester NY
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    miss ion/fish on, "Wish on"
    Such a great looking dog and fish!

    You're asking the blond, brunette or redhead question...

    The two setups that I use for most situations are:

    Okuma Makaira 10SEA with 50pound solid braid, on a Phenix PHD700H
    This is my go to live bait real for 30 to 50 pound line. It has good free spool, and the guts to handle a 100+ pound fish. Any reel in this size range is good, and other reels in this class that are great options - Shimano Talica 10, Avet MXL6/4 Raptor. Penn reels are also great, but I'm not familiar with them in this size range.

    I'm partial to Phenix rods, but you're going to get lots of suggestions for good United Composites rods as well. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these manufacturers.

    Avet JX Raptor with 60pound hollow braid, on a Phenix PHD700XH
    This is my go to iron set up, for fishing for yellowtail and flat falls for tuna. It does double duty as a 60 pound live bait real. Again, lots of good options here, but you're looking for a higher speed reel, with capacity for ~400 yards of 60# hollow.


    With these big bluefin around, if you want a reel for them, that you can also use for dropper loop and trolling:

    Okuma Makaira 16SEA or 20SEA with 100 pound hollow braid, on a Phenix PHD700X3H
    The Penn VISX series is also a great option - go put your hands on those and the Makairas and see which one you like. Again a 16 or 20 sized.

    The 16's will be easier to fish, so I recommend that, but the 20's have a little more stopping power and line capacity.

    Most of the longrange boats have loaner gear that is a step up from "rental" and you can prearrange this when you book your trip. The crew will help you square it away as they are experts and know what is happening at the moment. Most longrange guys are happy to show you their gear, give advice, and many will let you catch a fish or two on their tackle. You will come back from the trip with a wealth of knowledge and first hand experience that will enable you to select the right tackle the first time so you can kick ass on your second trip. This being said I would suggest a Calstar 700H and a Penn Fathom 25 ld2sp with 65# braid as your first basic setup. You can then tie on a short top shot of 25-60 FC to adapt to the bite.

    Hello Walker Fish Talker,

    The options are almost endless and very subjective to your personal preferences. For 3 long range rigs, I recommend the following:

    1. 25-30 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800ML
    2. 40-50 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 10II SEa on a Calstar GF800H
    3. 60-80 lbs. rig: Okuma Makaira 15TII SEa on a Calstar GF775XH

    Since you fish steelhead, I bet you would enjoy a "surface iron" jig set-up too:

    4. 40-50 lbs. surface rig: Penn Fathom II 25NSD on a Calstar GG90J

    I live near Oakland with many rigs available. If you ever want to try casting a few, let me know. We could go out on a salmon charter and I could bring a few with me too. PM me if you are interested.

    - Jeff Burroughs

    If you could swing it, Jeff's generous offer would be well worth it. Having rods/reels in hand goes a long way to helping someone make a purchase decision. He is a fount of knowledge about LR fishing. He might even have written a book or two about it. :D
    Clearly you are an experienced angler, but getting started in SDLR.

    Jeff has made an offer that is quite generous & you should not let be seen behind your stern... You could do a LOT worse, in getting a SDLR tackle mentor!!!

    IMHO: As noted above TRY it, then buy it for your second adventure.
     

    RichG

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jan 20, 2007
    1,165
    1,325
    California
    Name
    Richard G/
    Boat
    none
    When you go to San Diego, remember that the tackle stores and boats also have there preferences. Ask a lot of questions and comparison
     
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    Spear or rod

    Member
  • Aug 31, 2008
    316
    123
    San Francisco
    Name
    Tommy T
    Boat
    Anything that floats
    Despite my tackle buying issues, a Penn Baja Special loaded with some braid and a fresh top shot, (now the 113 and not quite as good) is all I have ever really needed. If I had only one to take, I would happily ditch all the many thousands of dollars I have spent on fancy engraved, dual disc lever drag, machined from one piece of aluminum, etc, etc, ect and keep a well tuned Baja on a longish Calstar rod. That set up would never leave me wanting for more, on any fish Mother Nature gifted me offshore. Trolling, yo-yoing, throwing iron, running bait, dropper looping at the island, it has done it all, no problemo.

    An old gold, Trinidad 30 would be a close second.
    There was/is a 113 BS in classifieds. All I could do to not buy another one!! Check the Vagabond’s schedule. Mike loans out Fathoms so you can pull on them during a trip. Oh man, welcome to the gear rabbit hole! Have fun.
     

    IronMikeAC

    Member
    Aug 2, 2013
    912
    1,035
    torrance, ca
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Vagabond
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to bloody decks, I live in Humboldt County where I mainly target salmon and steelhead. I also do a little halibut and rockfish fishing as well. I really want to do a multi day trip out of San Diego, targeting bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail. I have no idea where to start on selecting equipment, and I understand there is rental gear, but I really want to have my own stuff.

    So my question is what would you pick for 3 starter combos for anything up to a 5 day trip? I want 3 rod and reel combos that can be versatile for multiple situations and price isn't an issue.

    Picture of my dog Loomis and a steelhead.

    Thanks and tight lines!

    View attachment 1268852
    So this first question is you overall budget. Best options tend to be used tackle from BD or Facebook Marketplace that come with spectra.

    Just 3 rigs? You need
    25 lb rig that go down to 20 or up to 30
    50lb rig that can fish 40 to 60
    100lb rig

    Basic gear would be
    AVET MX or Penn 25 Fathom on a Seeker 6470
    Avet HX OR Penn40 Fathom on a 6470H or similar
    AVET 30/2 ON A 2X4 OR OLDER 6463XXH.

    All in used these will total less that $ 1500 is so, still a chunk of change.
     

    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
    11,562
    7,357
    Bishop
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
    Wow! Thanks for the great advice from everyone, I truly can't wait to get on one of these long range trips. I will be heading down to San Diego this month, and will for sure be checking out the boats and tackle while I'm down there.
    So, Aaron, if you’re going to be in San Diego, you should go fishing while you’re there. There a number of boats in the Long Range fleet that are running day and a half trips, surely you will find an open spot. I know the Angler from Point Loma Sportfishing and the Polaris Supreme, now running out of Seaforth Sportfishing are doing these trips for sure.

    If you can get away for it, the Angler has a trip departing Friday April 16, fishing all day Saturday the 17th and returning early Sunday morning just in time for Day at the Docks. Perfect way to check it all out. And free loaner tackle.



     
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    Apr 2, 2021
    3
    4
    27
    Eureka
    Name
    Aaron Walker
    Boat
    Lavro
    So, Aaron, if you’re going to be in San Diego, you should go fishing while you’re there. There a number of boats in the Long Range fleet that are running day and a half trips, surely you will find an open spot. I know the Angler from Point Loma Sportfishing and the Polaris Supreme, now running out of Seaforth Sportfishing are doing these trips for sure.

    If you can get away for it, the Angler has a trip departing Friday April 16, fishing all day Saturday the 17th and returning early Sunday morning just in time for Day at the Docks. Perfect way to check it all out. And free loaner tackle.



    Oh believe me fishing is always on the mind, but I have to be a good boyfriend this trip. Think I will be making my deposit on a 3 day trip in November while Im down there.
     

    RichG

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jan 20, 2007
    1,165
    1,325
    California
    Name
    Richard G/
    Boat
    none
    Oh believe me fishing is always on the mind, but I have to be a good boyfriend this trip. Think I will be making my deposit on a 3 day trip in November while Im down there.
    Take her to day at the docks, she’ll have to learn and accept you passion. Plus there are some great places to eat near by. Mitches at Point Loma or Point Loma Seafood by H&M. Plus others.
     

    Bob Sands

    BOB SANDS TACKLE
    Advertiser
    Feb 26, 2011
    783
    1,430
    Van Nuys, Ca USA
    bobsandsfishingtackle.com
    Name
    Jamie
    Boat
    #1 Tackle Shop
    Yo FTW,

    You are welcome to come on into the shop on your way down to S.D. We carry a huge inventory of Long Range specific gear.. If you come down on a Saturday, when I am in town, perhaps I can show you some fish fighting and casting techniques that might up your game.. I do seminars most every Saturday showing how to get the maximum out of each rod you might be interested in.

    If you already have reels with line on them, bring them down and we will match some great setups for you..

    If you send me a PM I will send you back my phone number and will be happy to chat by phone with any questions you may have. It would be my pleasure to help in any way I can.

    Have a great season.

    Jamie
     
    Last edited: