What reel to add (already have fathom 25nld2 and 40nld2)

sethmorikawa

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Aug 11, 2022
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Seth Morikawa
I currently own a Diawa BG6500 spinning reel, Penn Fathom 25nld2, and the Penn Fathom 40nld2. I want to add more reels to complete my quiver to cover all fish sizes for 1/2 to 2 day trips out of Southern California. I want to mostly target tuna, yellowtail, and bass. I’m also hoping to keep my quiver to a maximum of 6 reels. I also do not own any rods for the reels I own. I have 3 primary questions:

1. If I wanted to buy a smaller Fathom for fish on the lower weight spectrum should I go with the fathom 12 or 15 (star or lever)

2. What reel should I get next to target fish that the Penn Fathom 40nld2 can’t handle.

3. Rod recommendations for each reel.

4. Line recommendation for each reel.

Thanks!
 
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Steve K

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The Fathom 15XNLD2 is a killer reel! I fish mine with a 25-30 foot top shot of 30# fluorocarbon. Killed it on the kelps fishing Yellowtail.
 
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Senko888

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Similar budget options:

Okuma Pch 801xh or 76xh for the 25nld2, longer preferred if you cast small jigs.
65 lb braid metered. Daiwa j braid.

Okuma pch 76xxh for the 40nld2
80 lb braid metered.

Makaira 20 sea / UC viper 76 heavy setup is what i would get next.
100lb braid metered.

Fathom 15sd for the smaller reel. You won’t need 2 speed for that size. Slightly better freespool. Fish 30lb or under topshot. 50lb braid.
 
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sethmorikawa

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Seth Morikawa
Similar budget options:

Okuma Pch 801xh or 76xh for the 25nld2, longer preferred if you cast small jigs.
65 lb braid metered. Daiwa j braid.

Okuma pch 76xxh for the 40nld2
80 lb braid metered.

Makaira 20 sea / UC viper 76 heavy setup is what i would get next.
100lb braid metered.

Fathom 15sd for the smaller reel. You won’t need 2 speed for that size. Slightly better freespool. Fish 30lb or under topshot. 40lb braid.
Can you troll with the Mac 20 sea?
 
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Fishhead17

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Get a Penn VISX or Okuma Makaira in 20 size filled with 100 LB Braid matched with a 7.5 Ft 100 lb. Rod such as a UC Viper To fish for larger BFT/YFT and a Fathom 15 LD2 filled with 50 lb solid braid fished with a short fluoro leader of various lb. Test from 15-40 Matched with a 8 ft. 15-40 lb. Rod for the pick bite from schoolie to 60-70 lb. tuna and most local yellowtail, dorado, etc.
great casting and better drag and two speed over the star drag version. If you get the star drag, which is a phenomenal caster, go 15 over 12 for more line capacity. you’ll probably use the 25NLD for 40 lb. More often and could always step down to a 30lb leader in a pinch.
Good luck!!!
 
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stuman

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1. If I wanted to buy a smaller Fathom for fish on the lower weight spectrum should I go with the fathom 12 or 15 (star or lever)

12 or 15 star drag cast better. These two reels also have an adjustable cast control to prevent backlash.

2. What reel should I get next to target fish that the Penn Fathom 40nld2 can’t handle.

Penn VISX was designed for west coast tuna fishing.

For bass a saltwater baitcasting reel is better for making a lot of casts. The thumb bar makes fishing easier.
 
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Deadlift500

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    I have both a Penn Visx 12 spooled with 80lb and a Penn 20 Visx spooled with 100lb and I really like them both.

    The 12 is the “lightest heavy frame reel“, and is relatively more comfortable to spend a lot of time deep dropping jigs with, whereas the 20 has even more power and capacity and also comes with trolling lugs.

    while I like having both the 12 and the 20, since you don’t have either I’d recommend considering the Penn 16 Visx, its a little larger than the 12 and is good for 100lb line and has trolling lugs, but a little lighter than the 20.

    As far rods go, keep in mind if you want to fly with them, or store them in sportboat rod racks, 6.5 or 7 foot is probably better than longer, despite longer one’s being the current trend.

    I really like my 7 foot long “extra extra heavy “ Penn West Coast Carnage III rail rod, # CARWCIII80150C70.

    I used that rod with my Penn Visx 20 to reel in the jackpot winning bluefin on my last trip on the Indy back in July.
     
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    kbray001

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    I agree with all the comments above for heavy gear.

    If I was building a six setup quiver I would absolutely have a 400 size baitcaster as a top buy.

    For the trips you listed it will be the most versatile setup you have. Besides when you are fishing big bluefin.

    You can use it to flyline a bait for bass to yellowtail and school size tuna. Use it for plastics for bass. Throw jigs and coltsnipers. Even rockfish.

    I’d spool it to the top with 50lb braid. Match it to an 8ft 20-40 lb rod.
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    I agree with all the comments above for heavy gear.

    If I was building a six setup quiver I would absolutely have a 400 size baitcaster as a top buy.

    For the trips you listed it will be the most versatile setup you have. Besides when you are fishing big bluefin.

    You can use it to flyline a bait for bass to yellowtail and school size tuna. Use it for plastics for bass. Throw jigs and coltsnipers. Even rockfish.

    I’d spool it to the top with 50lb braid. Match it to an 8ft 20-40 lb rod.
    What would be the pros and cons of getting the fathom 400 low profile over the fathom 12 or 15 if I already own a fathom 25n
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Aug 11, 2022
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    Seth Morikawa
    1. If I wanted to buy a smaller Fathom for fish on the lower weight spectrum should I go with the fathom 12 or 15 (star or lever)

    12 or 15 star drag cast better. These two reels also have an adjustable cast control to prevent backlash.

    2. What reel should I get next to target fish that the Penn Fathom 40nld2 can’t handle.

    Penn VISX was designed for west coast tuna fishing.

    For bass a saltwater baitcasting reel is better for making a lot of casts. The thumb bar makes fishing easier.
    What would be the pros and cons of getting the fathom 400 low profile over the fathom 12 or 15 if I already own a fathom 25n
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Aug 11, 2022
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    Seth Morikawa
    Get a Penn VISX or Okuma Makaira in 20 size filled with 100 LB Braid matched with a 7.5 Ft 100 lb. Rod such as a UC Viper To fish for larger BFT/YFT and a Fathom 15 LD2 filled with 50 lb solid braid fished with a short fluoro leader of various lb. Test from 15-40 Matched with a 8 ft. 15-40 lb. Rod for the pick bite from schoolie to 60-70 lb. tuna and most local yellowtail, dorado, etc.
    great casting and better drag and two speed over the star drag version. If you get the star drag, which is a phenomenal caster, go 15 over 12 for more line capacity. you’ll probably use the 25NLD for 40 lb. More often and could always step down to a 30lb leader in a pinch.
    Good luck!!!
    What would be the pros and cons of getting the fathom 400 low profile over the fathom 12 or 15 if I already own a fathom 25n
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Aug 11, 2022
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    Seth Morikawa
    Similar budget options:

    Okuma Pch 801xh or 76xh for the 25nld2, longer preferred if you cast small jigs.
    65 lb braid metered. Daiwa j braid.

    Okuma pch 76xxh for the 40nld2
    80 lb braid metered.

    Makaira 20 sea / UC viper 76 heavy setup is what i would get next.
    100lb braid metered.

    Fathom 15sd for the smaller reel. You won’t need 2 speed for that size. Slightly better freespool. Fish 30lb or under topshot. 50lb braid.
    What would be the pros and cons of getting the fathom 400 low profile over the fathom 12 or 15 if I already own a fathom 25n
     
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    kbray001

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    What would be the pros and cons of getting the fathom 400 low profile over the fathom 12 or 15 if I already own a fathom 25n

    Pros and cons when you start talking about modern day reels come down to a lot of personal preference. Kind of like Chevy or ford trucks.

    For me the biggest difference is the ease of use. A large bait caster. Lexa, tranx, fathom will just be easier to cast and fish than any star drag reel. Yes the deckhands can outcast me but not by much and I don’t get to fish every day. Plus it’s a lot of fun fighting big fish on small reels.

    A fathom 25n is one of the best casting reels on the market. I have one. But it’s a big reel.

    How I look at it when your building a quiver of setups you want a Swiss Army knife when your done. A setup and backups for any situation. A 400 size baitcaster can fill in a lot of those spots and do it better than most. While a fathom 12 or 15 is just a smaller 25n.
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Aug 11, 2022
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    Seth Morikawa
    Pros and cons when you start talking about modern day reels come down to a lot of personal preference. Kind of like Chevy or ford trucks.

    For me the biggest difference is the ease of use. A large bait caster. Lexa, tranx, fathom will just be easier to cast and fish than any star drag reel. Yes the deckhands can outcast me but not by much and I don’t get to fish every day. Plus it’s a lot of fun fighting big fish on small reels.

    A fathom 25n is one of the best casting reels on the market. I have one. But it’s a big reel.

    How I look at it when your building a quiver of setups you want a Swiss Army knife when your done. A setup and backups for any situation. A 400 size baitcaster can fill in a lot of those spots and do it better than most. While a fathom 12 or 15 is just a smaller 25n.
    Sorry, my question was relating to a post that I misunderstood. What I meant to say was what are the pros and cons of getting a fathom 12 or 15 (i.e. FTH**SD) Vs. a low profile fathom reel (i.e. FTH***LP) of a similar size. Are they for different types of scenarios or fish?

    Again, sorry for the confusion. I’m new to trips longer than 3/4 day and only previously owned a Penn Jigmaster 500, a Diawa BG6500 spinning reel, and a few lower end Abu Garcias so please bear with me 🙏

    Appreciate all the help everyone🤙
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Aug 11, 2022
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    Seth Morikawa
    Pros and cons when you start talking about modern day reels come down to a lot of personal preference. Kind of like Chevy or ford trucks.

    For me the biggest difference is the ease of use. A large bait caster. Lexa, tranx, fathom will just be easier to cast and fish than any star drag reel. Yes the deckhands can outcast me but not by much and I don’t get to fish every day. Plus it’s a lot of fun fighting big fish on small reels.

    A fathom 25n is one of the best casting reels on the market. I have one. But it’s a big reel.

    How I look at it when your building a quiver of setups you want a Swiss Army knife when your done. A setup and backups for any situation. A 400 size baitcaster can fill in a lot of those spots and do it better than most. While a fathom 12 or 15 is just a smaller 25n.
    I also have decided to go with (due to the community’s help 🙏) either the visx20 and/or 50 or Makaira of similar sizes for my larger set up so now im trying to decide for my smallest reel since I already have BG6500, fathom 25n, and fathom 40n for the in between. Trying to decide between the low profile fathom Vs regular fathom 12 or 15.
     
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    Senko888

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    Low profile baitcast reel in the 400 size would be for smaller fish: ie bass, rockfish, cuda, smaller yt/dorado.

    Pros:
    Easier to cast small lures. Ie poppers/stickbaits.
    Levelwind for burning lures

    Cons:
    Cranking power
    Line capacity

    If you do a lot of fishing for non-pelagics, then could go with a baitcast. It’s not something you’ll use often for pelagics on a cattleboat as you want to fish the heaviest line you can get away with and get the fish in the boat as quickly as possible.

    You can always catch smaller fish on a larger reel. If they are line shy, you can drop down to smaller leader size.

    I have 15,25n,30,40 fathoms.
    15 star drag is the smallest reel in my lineup, don’t need anything smaller as the applications for me are too narrow.
     
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    sethmorikawa

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    Seth Morikawa
    Low profile baitcast reel in the 400 size would be for smaller fish: ie bass, rockfish, cuda, smaller yt/dorado.

    Pros:
    Easier to cast small lures. Ie poppers/stickbaits.
    Levelwind for burning lures

    Cons:
    Cranking power
    Line capacity

    If you do a lot of fishing for non-pelagics, then could go with a baitcast. It’s not something you’ll use often for pelagics on a cattleboat as you want to fish the heaviest line you can get away with and get the fish in the boat as quickly as possible.

    You can always catch smaller fish on a larger reel. If they are line shy, you can drop down to smaller leader size.

    I have 15,25n,30,40 fathoms.
    15 star drag is the smallest reel in my lineup, don’t need anything smaller as the applications for me are too narrow.
    Exact answer I was looking for, thanks.
     
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    FlatPack

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    Just get the Fathom 15LD2 for your lighter set up if you only have to get one.

    That damn little lever drag reel will cast like its star drag counterpart for some reason. While you don’t necessarily need a 2-speed on that lb class but having it is a bonus especially if you are hooked up with those yt homeguards. Besides Fathom’s price is comparable with those single speed.

    Pair it with the all time favorite Okuma PCH Custom 801MH or H Rod & you have a killer set up. Upgrade?

    Torque 15LD2 on United Composites RGP80 MEGA or RGP80 Tilefish JR.

    For the heavy set up for aything SoCal;

    Penn VISX 16 or Makaira 16 with United Composites GPX CENTAUR…
     
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