Tuna on PENN Torque and Fathom 15LD2's

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
The little PENN Torque TRQ15LD and Fathom FTH15LD2 have become important tools when encountering finicky tuna in the 50-80 pound category.
Even bigger tuna are definitely possible; please post photos of your largest on either model, and describe your line system.
 
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tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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I caught this 84-pound yellowfin on my Torque TRQ15LD2 aboard the Shogun's just-returned 7-day trip to Guadalupe Island.
Line system was 350 yards of 40-pound Pro-Spec braid, 25 yard topshot of 30-pound Big Game mono, and 5 feet of 40-pound Pro-Spec fluorocarbon, with a #4 Owner Gorilla J-hook.


Steve 84 tuna.JPG
 

Sawmill killer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 11, 2015
201
112
43
Vancouver
Name
Steve
Boat
Zodiac
I caught this 84-pound yellowfin on my Torque TRQ15LD2 aboard the Shogun's just-returned 7-day trip to Guadalupe Island.
Line system was 350 yards of 40-pound Pro-Spec braid, 25 yard topshot of 30-pound Big Game mono, and 5 feet of 40-pound Pro-Spec fluorocarbon, with a #4 Owner Gorilla J-hook.


View attachment 1098855
What rod were you using?
 

Juanba

CR
Apr 11, 2014
326
189
Pt Loma
Name
John John John
Boat
Kayak,Gregor, Panga, Long Range SD
Tunanorth,
Here is a #100 Yellowfin caught
using a Penn Torque 15 ll rigged with 50 lb solid spectra and 20 ft of Seguar 50 lb spectra , #1 Owner mutu circle hook and Seeker Hercules 80h 30-60
rod.

Thanks for all the great gifts and prizes
on your Penn trip on the Shogun.

John from PL

F412B9CA-E46D-4E8F-B266-AD558B7CC66C.jpeg
 

Corndog

Landlocked
Sep 22, 2009
4,854
1,606
Northern Colorado
Name
Jason Jones ( Lone Shark)
Boat
Century 1801, Hobie PA14 & SoA
I have a slew of torques because I know if I take care of a quality Penn I will be able to give them to kids or nephews some day just to like I still drag some of my late Father's internationals on trips still.

This little 15 usually doesnt see a ton of action because if I have decent sized Sardines to work with. I never fish tuna below 40lb and usually fish 50/60 without issue getting bit.

But this last Pac Voyager trip 99% of the sardines were small.

When things got tough I fished those little dines on the 15 LD2 as well as star model. 20/25 on the star 30lb Premier on the 2 speed. Both on Black Diamonds 760mh and 760h respectively.

Both 40lb lzor braid.

Hooks I've used various small mustad circles and the big tuna were on I think an owner hybrid ringed mutu hook of some sort. Smallest size that I could see in the landing shops...I was nervous the whole time of bring back a straightened out paperclip.

After catching the big bluefin on that reel which took over 3 hours I'm sold 100% on that little reel. It held up awesome. So much so that I went right back out after a few bites of chow. Hooked handed a yellowfin off. Ate more cold lunch. When I got the rod back caught back to back bluefin to finish out the trip when the school was biting straight yellow lol. Mark O was laughing his ass off in disbelief :D

Also included a near 50lb Yellowfin caught on 20lb on the star drag that started off my trip.

Also a close to 100lb fish on the 30 using 60lb flouro to 65lb braid and 3/0. Charlie Brown circle. (My go to for normal nice sized sardines)

15nld2 and 30ld2 are my 2 favorites of mine of all my torques.

20191125_114627.jpg 20191124_172701.jpg 20191124_113027.jpg 20191124_113045.jpg 20191123_142857.jpg 20191122_142236.jpg
 

bliss

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Jun 23, 2009
215
91
Torrance
Name
Brandon
Boat
22 key west bay reef
70-ish Bluefin on the Fathom 15NLD2, when the good size Bluefin were off Ensenada in May of this year. Had it loaded with 50lb PP spectra and a 4 ft 30lb flourocarbon leader.

First run took about 3/4 the spool but I was never concerned that I was going to get spooled. Went on to land another (a little smaller) with that reel that same trip.

E61D6292-BF69-4E38-AA32-A0FD3018D9A8.png 7899A524-F629-42A7-A530-981CE7EF65C1.png
 

Corndog

Landlocked
Sep 22, 2009
4,854
1,606
Northern Colorado
Name
Jason Jones ( Lone Shark)
Boat
Century 1801, Hobie PA14 & SoA
70-ish Bluefin on the Fathom 15NLD2, when the good size Bluefin were off Ensenada in May of this year. Had it loaded with 50lb PP spectra and a 4 ft 30lb flourocarbon leader.

First run took about 3/4 the spool but I was never concerned that I was going to get spooled. Went on to land another (a little smaller) with that reel that same trip.

View attachment 1098920 View attachment 1098921
Good God Brandon! That looks like a surf rod :D
 

Pitchinwedge

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Aug 7, 2016
382
138
So Cal
Name
Sammie
Boat
None
Line system was 350 yards of 40-pound Pro-Spec braid, 25 yard topshot of 30-pound Big Game mono, and 5 feet of 40-pound Pro-Spec fluorocarbon, with a #4 Owner Gorilla J-hook.
Nice fish!

I've heard different opinions for using a long mono topshot to fluoro vs straight braid to short fluoro. The idea that braid is more visible to the fish than mono being the most common. Wondering your reasons for choosing this line set-up?

Also, do you think your ability to pull-hard on fish was limited to knot strength and/or the mono line strength? I'm thinking I probably would have had strike set at 15lb's or less. This means the drag capability of 15LD2 would never be the limiting factor here. Could you share how you fished the 15LD2?
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
The 25 yards of mono is primarily for stretch, but also casts a little easier than braid, particularly when dry.
It appears that sometimes with super-finicky bluefin, going the full 20-25 yards with fluorocarbon may help, but for yellowfin, just the last 5 feet or so of fluoro seems to be enough.
I calibrate the drag to 10 pounds at "Strike" [1/3 of the line test], which gives 12-13 at "Full", and then 15 pounds at "Sunset" [50 percent of the line test]. Popping back and forth often between "High" and "Low" to make sure the maximum amount of line is put back on the reel.
I let the fish run around and tire itself at 10 pounds until it settles in straight up and down, then move it gradually up to Full, and pretty much stay in "Low".
If the fish is stubborn, I may lightly thumb the spool, but try to avoid going all the way to "Sunset" unless the fish just won't come up.
 
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Pitchinwedge

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Aug 7, 2016
382
138
So Cal
Name
Sammie
Boat
None
Awesome, thanks for the input. Many ways to catch fish so it's nice to hear what's working!
 

Mark Bingham

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Sep 5, 2016
178
92
California
Name
StormFishing
Boat
Wet Dream
I originally got the F15LD2 for my son for Xmas a few years ago. Chad over at Tackle Express turned me on to it. Figured it would be good for him if he was having trouble turning the handle he could hit that second gear. Well I ended up stealing it so often I had to get one for myself . I was adding 80 braid to a talica so I used the 65 on it to fill my 15. All the way to the top with a short floro leader 25-40 depending on the bite. I cough thus fish in about 30-45 mins never close to the bottom of the spool. Rod was Okuma Cortez H.

FB_IMG_1576887072800.jpg
 

tunanorth

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Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
Karl Sanders battled this 75-pounder for an hour on a TRQ15LD2 with a 30-pound topshot, before it came aboard.


Karl 15LD2.JPG
 
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tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
Thanks for sharing tunanorth. Can you please tell us why the step up from the 30-pound mono top shot to 40-pound Pro-Spec fluorocarbon?

This is for abrasion.
Theoretically, the 40-pound fluoro is no more visible to the fish than 30-pound mono, but short piece of heavier fluoro is not enough to affect the way the bait swims.
 

onehottip

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May 8, 2006
1,048
708
So cal
Name
Guerms
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18.5 Wahoo cc , Evinrude Etec V6 135 HO
This is for abrasion.
Theoretically, the 40-pound fluoro is no more visible to the fish than 30-pound mono, but short piece of heavier fluoro is not enough to affect the way the bait swims.
What knot do you use mono to floro? Mono to spectra?
 

birdie800

ReelBigFish
Jul 11, 2009
139
86
LA County
Name
Chay
Boat
N/A
What knot do you use mono to floro? Mono to spectra?
Most people use the Seaguar or double/triple surgeon's knot for mono to fluoro connection. There's a lot more variation for the braid to top shot connection, but I find the RP knot to be the best balance between fast and strong. The uni-to-uni knot is one of the easiest to tie but it's a bit weaker while the FG knot is very strong but much more difficult to tie, especially on a rocking boat.
 

JamesTaylor

Question Everything
Jan 7, 2019
323
299
27
Cypress, Ca
Name
James Taylor
Boat
Not yet
Would a fathom 12 star drag with 350 yards of 30# braid be good for finicky medium grade bluefin? Sorry to bump an old thread
 

_dayday

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Mar 5, 2017
250
435
San Diego
Name
Dylan
Boat
17ft CC "Gringo Mandingo"
Would a fathom 12 star drag with 350 yards of 30# braid be good for finicky medium grade bluefin? Sorry to bump an old thread
Ive caught smaller 25-40# and one 50# on my 12 star drag. I spooled it with 40# power pro and had a short 5' 40# floro leader. I am on a private boat so it was a little easier but these reels have some solid drag and can hold up to some bigger fish.
 

Roadrunner

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Oct 3, 2004
303
238
61
San Diego
Name
John Gleaves
Boat
20 foot, Westcoaster, Roadrunner
Would a fathom 12 star drag with 350 yards of 30# braid be good for finicky medium grade bluefin? Sorry to bump an old thread
? = define "medium grade"
2nd = many mixed sized schools

I would say no as had a fathom 15 star drag, 25 lb mono, on not so heavy rod. Had a 70 lb BFT bite instead of the smaller models. Got it to the boat many times but it took up 1.5 + hours and there were no other fish biting for the others. Luckily a 6 day trip. Pole did not have the lift power, no 2 speed to help, and fish had its way by taking out 50 feet of line each time I got it up close.

Buttoned drag and thumbed spool in do or die time to get all back fishing. Line snapped. Fun battle.

EDIT: also was on 90 foot sportfishing vessel, not private boat so we could not chase it - major difference in this battle