Which Makira

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
891
315
Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
Boat
Excel
Need help form the pro's. This Texan is gearing up for some long range fishing enjoyment from 10 day
trips to 15 day cow trips. I have a Penn 30VSX and 50VSX that will be sent to Cal's for hotrodding.
They will be used for big baits, chunk, jigs, kite, and trolling. I need to purchase 2 reels for casting
sardines. Which of the Mak's would you recommend and what size rope would you put on them?
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
5,101
5,976
66
Chino Hills, Ca.
Name
Bill Walsh
Boat
Red Rooster
I have two Makaira 20's, one is the original gold and one is the new one. They both cast a sardine fine for me, but it takes skill to cast a big reel. I would recommend the Makaira 16 although I do not own one yet. The 16 I would put 80-100# hollow and fish short 80# fluro topshot.
IMO...
Most guys coming out do not set the drag tight enough, thinking they will loose the fish or can not handle the high drag. The fish then can not be stopped or the fight goes on until the fish chews you off. I would put at least 28# straight pull on 80#.
 

screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
2,367
2,581
Hayward CA
longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
Name
Jeff Burroughs
Boat
Long Range and Private
Need help form the pro's. This Texan is gearing up for some long range fishing enjoyment from 10 day
trips to 15 day cow trips. I have a Penn 30VSX and 50VSX that will be sent to Cal's for hotrodding.
They will be used for big baits, chunk, jigs, kite, and trolling. I need to purchase 2 reels for casting
sardines. Which of the Mak's would you recommend and what size rope would you put on them?

Hello Albin,

Since you have the other Penn reels, a Makaria 16 SEa and 20 SEa would be good additions for sardine rigs. Matched to the appropriate rod, they should cast better than the Penns. As Bill W stated, it depends on the user's skill level. Much of the selection process is personal preference and ergonomics.

Good luck on your next trip!

- Jeff Burroughs
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
2,589
3,679
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
I myself have the 20's and the 30's in the Mak's.......... I think I would have to agree with Jeff and Bill. Get a 16 and a 20. Load the 20 up with 100 JB hollow. If you like a bigger real the 30 works just fine also. I have 130 on my 30. The 16 is new so I would check out what line to put on it. I would say 80lb JB.
 

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
891
315
Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
Boat
Excel
I have this really bad habit. I'm a firm beliver in the bigger the better. I'm not going to take a gun to a gun fight...I'm going to take a howitzer. Isn't the Mak 16 a fairly new reel to the Mak family? Has it proven itself to drag in a cow? And again it depends on the person working the reel. I have big hands. Larger than most guys. Which I think helps me to cast a reel. As far a casting a reel. I'm decent at it. I'll birdnest the shit out of a reel from time to time. If you guys tell me the 16 will drag in a cow...or maybe a super cow...that's one reel that I'll buy. I went to Africa in 2005 on a safari. I told the PH when I got over there that I didn't come to Africa to kill record book animals. I came to Africa to enjoy the country and take some decent animals. That's the same as I feel about long range SD fishing. I want to catch some nice fish. If I catch a cow...great...if not I'm not going to bitch and moan about it...but when I do go I want to be prepared in case I do latch on to a big one.
 

okie man

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 24, 2006
3,869
633
new palestine indiana
Name
kerry way
Boat
18' javalin
i'd add 2 makaira 20's filled with 100#spectra on a seeker 2x4 or calstar 770xxh. state the art cow gear!the makaira 30 is just too wide for my taste. if i'm gonna fill a reel with 130# it will be a 50
 

backlashjack

Scallywag
May 14, 2007
1,821
733
Alta Loma, CA
Name
Jackson
Boat
Sold the boat, now I just rent a stateroom on the EXCEL
get 'em all! Then decide which YOU like best
 

offshore6

Where's the tuna?
Aug 20, 2006
482
225
Indialantic, Florida
Name
Eric
Boat
Boat Ho
Why not stick with Penn? If you want to cast a sardine, ask Cal about lightening the spool of your 30VSX. Or go with a 16VSX - the freespool on them is fantastic and I got 700 yds of 80# hollow on mine. I am waiting for my lightened 30VSX to come back from Cal but I am hoping to get 800 yds of 100# on it. That is what he says it will hold with about a 25 foot wind-on.
 

ReelDealAngler

Born To Fish
Apr 21, 2013
652
350
Dana Point,CA
Name
Garry
Boat
Reel Estate
Why not stick with Penn? If you want to cast a sardine, ask Cal about lightening the spool of your 30VSX. Or go with a 16VSX - the freespool on them is fantastic and I got 700 yds of 80# hollow on mine. I am waiting for my lightened 30VSX to come back from Cal but I am hoping to get 800 yds of 100# on it. That is what he says it will hold with about a 25 foot wind-on.
X2 on the 16VSX for the fly line sardine 80lb cow set up, I own 2 of them and IMO this reel is setup perfectly right out of the box for this application (just clean out the grease from spool bearings and re-lube with a fine synthetic oil like Speed-X and you are good to go... it will cast a large pen cured sardine well and the reel is LR proven as it has landed many cows and a "super cow" as well). The Penn is going to be heavier in weight than the Mak 16, but you stated that you have big hands so I assume you are a big guy and overall weight is not a big factor especially in this smaller size 16 reel. Penn's big game reels are heavy by design (thicker frame, side plates, gears, etc.), but as far as wear and durability goes over the long haul my money will always be on Penn products being the last to hit the junk pile.

The big game 20 or 30 size reel is a different story... the Penn 30VSX has a heavy spool (again by design) so without the custom shave down upgrade by Cal it does not compete with the Mak 20 which is a taller, narrower reel that has a lighter spool and larger line capacity, and the Mak SEa (LR tuna) model comes with open bearings lubed with a fine synthetic oil rather than grease. The Mak 20SEa is a perfect 100lb fly line sardine cow reel IMO with zero mods needed. Cal's hot rodded Penn 30VSX with the shaved down spool and other custom touches is also a great reel, but again it is heavier in weight and will cost considerably more than the Mak 20SEa after Cal's upgrade charges.

My 3 cents ("inflation")... your actual mileage may vary.
 

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
891
315
Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
Boat
Excel
I have a 16VSX as well. I wasnt aware it was capable of dragging in a cow. So if I used the 16 for a cow reel, would there be any need to have the 30 and 50 worked on by Cal?
 

ReelDealAngler

Born To Fish
Apr 21, 2013
652
350
Dana Point,CA
Name
Garry
Boat
Reel Estate
I have a 16VSX as well. I wasnt aware it was capable of dragging in a cow. So if I used the 16 for a cow reel, would there be any need to have the 30 and 50 worked on by Cal?
It is all about angler preference. The 16VSX casts sardines well and can handle cows (in most instances) with good fighting technique, the 30VSX is truly the better choice for cow size tuna as you have larger gears, larger drag, better low gear cranking power, and more line capacity, but you then sacrifice in casting plus it weighs more which becomes a factor for many after spending long hours at the rail. To me the Cal "cow" upgrade on the 30VSX makes more sense than doing it on the 50VSX as the upgrade lightens the spool and increases line capacity so you then can cast the smaller to mid size live baits better than the stock reel, and the increased line capacity is never a bad thing when fishing in the YFT cow arena on a 30 size reel with 100lb string. The 50VSX is not going to cast a sardine well no matter what upgrades you do to it (spool is just too heavy) so the upgrade there is primarily for line capacity and making the reel slightly lighter in weight. The 50VSX is better suited to a big bait or a weighted sardine application while fishing 130lb string in my way of thinking.

Hope this info helps. I would highly recommend that you talk with Cal as he will give you the straight scoop on where to spend your money best if you do decide to do any of the mods discussed on this thread. He also spools line on reels and can give you some good advice on line capacity using various pound tests for specific applications on all the Penn products you own.

Good luck with your decisions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tbev

Sactotuna

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
134
sacramento
Name
jim
Boat
Royal Star
Wait a minute here. Just how far do you think you will be casting a sardine with a 100 or 130# topshot? And, what do you think that bait will look like after landing? Talk to any capt in the LR fleet and they'll admonish you to just gently lob the sardine a few feet out underhand.

Now, look at your key considerations: 1- a good drag 2- the ability to move a big fish toward the boat when you're near the end

I think your Cal'd 30 and 50 VSX's will be perfect, and the 16 should sit in the rack ANY time the really big fish are around. Sub 150's the 16 will be safe and fun.
 

shajcl

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 16, 2005
1,246
178
Alameda
Name
JL
Boat
n/a
Sometimes you will have to use a lighter setup to get bit. However, talk to anyone who has caught a cow using smaller reels like the 16vsx, and an Raptor HWX, they will tell you they wished they had larger reels.
The fact is one can get the job done, but with lots of skills and LUCK fishing small reels for cows. Just my 2-cents.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
1,975
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
If you are only going to get two, I would get two of the 20 SEas. The difference in size is relatively little, but the extra capacity may make a difference. The price is the same, and the performance is OUTSTANDING. I own four Maks, and I am about to take delivery of my fifth. Personally, I love them!
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
1,975
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
Why not stick with Penn? If you want to cast a sardine, ask Cal about lightening the spool of your 30VSX. Or go with a 16VSX - the freespool on them is fantastic and I got 700 yds of 80# hollow on mine. I am waiting for my lightened 30VSX to come back from Cal but I am hoping to get 800 yds of 100# on it. That is what he says it will hold with about a 25 foot wind-on.
By the way, while I do not share Eric's passion for Penn reels, he is one heck of a fine angler, and his collection of Penns is something to see. I am not about to tell you that my opinion is any better than this one. I just happen to really love my Makairas.

If you decide you would like to consider the Penns, talk to Eric. He knows more about them than anyone else I know personally.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,214
6,606
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Wait a minute here. Just how far do you think you will be casting a sardine with a 100 or 130# topshot? And, what do you think that bait will look like after landing? Talk to any capt in the LR fleet and they'll admonish you to just gently lob the sardine a few feet out underhand.
Ba Da Bing, Ba Da Boom!
 

alan760

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 7, 2003
506
334
Encinitas, CA
Name
Alan
Boat
American Angler
I bought the Mk 20 sea this year and Baja Fish Gear put 600 yds of 100 hollow and 100 yds of 130 hollow. Not much room for a topshot so I might have to adjust but >600 yds of spectra...not sure you could ask for more in a 20 size reel. Also I got the Mk 30 sea last year and I think I got 600 yds of straight 130 hollow. Haven't got a big one on these yet but I think I am ready to roll with these.

FYI: I heard Cal Sheets helped Okuma design the Mk series.
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
5,101
5,976
66
Chino Hills, Ca.
Name
Bill Walsh
Boat
Red Rooster
Wait a minute here. Just how far do you think you will be casting a sardine with a 100 or 130# topshot? And, what do you think that bait will look like after landing? Talk to any capt in the LR fleet and they'll admonish you to just gently lob the sardine a few feet out underhand.
Jim,

The under hand lob is great for those who do not hook the bait in the shoulder. The butt hooked bait will swim down and away from the boat and is the great equalizer to getting bit. Bobber balloon works also. The key is to get away from the boat.

One skill set that can increase your catch is to get in a zone that the other guys are not... Shoulder hooking a bait only works if the bait is cast away from the boat as the bait will most likely run under the boat when lobbed. As far as any captain goes with what you say, you have not seen Julio or Nick on the Rooster to agree with you as they can cast a sardine quite a ways with a big reel.

I agree about the racking the small reels when the big fish are around, I will fly line a 50 with 130# then....
 

migelito

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 12, 2010
598
214
So Cal.
Name
Mike
Boat
Indy
I would go with the another 50 and either a 20 or 30 leaning towards to 30, depending on how you plan on fishing it.
Fishing big baits for BIG fish you will want the capacity and cranking power of the 50
Short top shop go with the 20 longer wind on go 30
Personally for long range I would wait on the 16 till I had enough heavy setups
 

Sactotuna

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
134
sacramento
Name
jim
Boat
Royal Star
Jim,

The under hand lob is great for those who do not hook the bait in the shoulder. The butt hooked bait will swim down and away from the boat and is the great equalizer to getting bit. Bobber balloon works also. The key is to get away from the boat.

One skill set that can increase your catch is to get in a zone that the other guys are not... Shoulder hooking a bait only works if the bait is cast away from the boat as the bait will most likely run under the boat when lobbed. As far as any captain goes with what you say, you have not seen Julio or Nick on the Rooster to agree with you as they can cast a sardine quite a ways with a big reel.

By throwing some slack line in the water as fast as you can for a few seconds your sardine will swim away from the boat even when hooked behind the head. The resistance of pulling line off the reel is too much and will send him back towards the boat.


I agree about the racking the small reels when the big fish are around, I will fly line a 50 with 130# then....
 

ReelDealAngler

Born To Fish
Apr 21, 2013
652
350
Dana Point,CA
Name
Garry
Boat
Reel Estate
Wait a minute here. Just how far do you think you will be casting a sardine with a 100 or 130# topshot? And, what do you think that bait will look like after landing? Talk to any capt in the LR fleet and they'll admonish you to just gently lob the sardine a few feet out underhand.

Now, look at your key considerations: 1- a good drag 2- the ability to move a big fish toward the boat when you're near the end

I think your Cal'd 30 and 50 VSX's will be perfect, and the 16 should sit in the rack ANY time the really big fish are around. Sub 150's the 16 will be safe and fun.
Just to be perfectly clear here Jim I don't believe Bill W (who has caught a lot of cows, way more than most on here) or myself who has caught only 5 cows (two of mine in one day) was talking about using a 100lb or 130lb "top shot" to cast sardines? I think we were talking about smaller size big game reels filled with 80lb/100lb Spectra to a short fluoro leader of 80lbs or 100lbs, and if you use Seaguar Premium that 100lb is the same diameter as others 80lb and much softer too. Not sure what experience you have Jim with casting a 12, 16 or 20 size big game reel coupled to a soft tip rail rod but there is zero doubt in my mind that I can fly line "cast" a large pen cured sardine considerably further on my 16VSX or my Tib SST 16 or 20 mounted on my 7'3" ring guided 2x4 rail rod with a short leader of 100lb fluoro than you ever will be able to using your preferred shorter 7465H or XH all roller, shorter butt end, harness and plate designed cow rod matched to your ATD 50... and I'll bet the entire farm on this.

And as far as what the bait will look like when landing please consider that an angler can cast sideways from either stern corner if clear or further up the rail prior to the house (this is a more vertical rod swing rather than a traditional horizontal rod swing commonly used in throwing jigs) with a lower trajectory using a nose or back hooked sardine, and an angler can also start the cast on a smaller big game reel with a pre-rotation of the spool via a thumb flick. I can cast a large pen cured sardine 15-20 yards away from the boat (depending on wind factor) over my shoulder via a modified version of the traditional cast or in the sideways mode noted with the reels mentioned above using a short fluoro leader of 80lb or 100lb (pick your poison), and my bait will land just fine and swim as good as your 5-10 foot underhand lobbed bait will using the same hook. I suppose those sardines that a deckhand flings out of a small brail net with a fast, full force swing while standing atop the bait tank all die from shock as they hit the water 10 to 20 yards away (depending on wind factor)?... I personally don't think so.

For those of you who actually own and have used any of the new Mak SEa models designed specifically for LR tuna fisherman with a tuna on the side of the reel instead of a billfish... why do you think Okuma made them with "open" spool bearings lubed with a fine synthetic oil rather than the regular greased sealed spool bearings like most every other big game lever drag reel on the market today?... perhaps for greater free spool when casting or under hand lobbing the most commonly used bait in the LR arena, the pen cured sardine? And why does Cal spend the time and go through all the effort to accurately shave down and then re-anodize a heavy, large diameter arbor Penn International 30VSX spool (designed more for trolling than for casting) and offer bearing upgrades for greater free spool?... perhaps so they cast better and have greater line capacity for the angler who does not want to hold a heavy, bulky 50 at the rail for long hours 4 or 5 days in a row?

As far as the 12, 16 or 20 size big game reels landing cows, all I can say there Jim is they have been proven to be able to get the job done numerous times over the past 7 or so years. OK so it is easier to land a cow on a 30 or a 50... that's a true no brainer IMO. But it is certainly not as far of a stretch to get a cow on a Penn 16VSX as you think it is or make it out to be... IMHO that reel has plenty of smooth drag (30lbs at strike and 40lbs at full right out of the box so just perfect for 80lb braid the way I see it) and it holds 700-725 yards of 80lb braid and is built like a tank with large stainless gears and a well proven shift mechanism. The newer big game reels in the smaller sizes certainly have the balls to do get it done on cow size YFT... its just a matter of whether or not the angler has the balls and mindset to do it with a 16 size reel. I am 6'2", 225lbs, athletic build, fairly strong (can bench press 300lbs a good 6 reps) and I cannot break 80lb braid on a straight pull using any of my cow rods, and 700-725 yards of line will get it done most of the time when cow fishing (IMO). Then you have to remember that a smaller diameter spool is easier to turn under load if gear ratios and handle lengths are similar, now granted IPT is less on the smaller diameter spool but the reel is easier to crank so its a slow but steady process once the fish goes vertical, unless of course you are using your rod for lifting via leverage and/or rod recoil and are winding down on slack line as reel size become even less important when taking up 2-3 feet of slack line on the wind down. Today's higher quality big game reels in the smaller sizes also have way better drag systems than the smaller big game reels of old so they don't get anywhere near as jerky when they heat up. I got an estimated 170lb class YFT to the boat on a C&R in PV two years ago with my 16VSX filled with 80lb solid to short 100lb fluoro leader on a 7465M rod and that fish was boat side within 45 minutes time (so there is truly no doubt in my mind I can land a cow YFT on my 16VSX in suitable conditions). Heck, Fishybuzz who is in his 60's and who is not known as one of the larger or stronger LR anglers here on BD got a "Super" on a Mak 16 fishing on the Maximus (sport boat with a rail) in PV... Ok, so it was a "group effort" as far as the fighting and pulling went but that big boy YFT still hit the deck when all was said and done, and I believe that Mak 16 size reel was filled with 80lb Spectra... so go figure. I also fully understand that conditions are a major factor in this equation as well, so the angler has to take that into consideration as to whether getting your bait further away from the boat with lighter gear is worth the extra effort on the fighting end or even needed to get bit for that matter, obviously if the jumbos are rolling close to the boat or in tight moving up the chum line or the boat is drift fishing in a fast current or there is a steady breeze than leave the 16 finesse casting rig in the rack and go with the 30 or the 50 size reel and make life a lot easier on yourself.

To each their own as they say, and some anglers truly enjoy challenges that go beyond the "norm"... so I say why not go for it as long as you don't interfere with other anglers and stay within the "realm of reality". And how many LR trips get numerous fish over 250lbs anyway? or over 300lbs?... my bet is the majority of the LR cow trips end up with way more fish caught in 130 to 175lb range than fish caught over 250lbs, and 300lb YFT's are pretty rare in my mind. So is the captain and other LR anglers onboard seriously going to talk shit and criticize the angler who takes an hour or longer to land a 200lb cow on a high quality 12,16 or 20 size reel coupled with a lighter action soft tip rail rod used for casting fly line sardines, but all will applaud and commend the angler who lands a 200lb cow via straight power cranks on an 80 size reel coupled with a 4X broom stick action rod using a large hook and a kite presented bait in less than 20 minutes... I don't really think that's the way it goes down in real life, at least not on the LR boats I've fished on over the last 35 years.

BTW Jim, I believe it was your favorite LR captain from your favorite LR boat who not that long ago was commending and admiring in his daily fish report some smaller stature Thai anglers for their fighting technique and fierce determination while using today's modern single speed, limited line capacity "spinning" reels for catching 150lb+ YFT's while in ''cow town"... and that gear provides a lot rougher ride and a much longer journey on the road to success for the average LR angler targeting cow YFT tuna than today's smaller size big game 2-speed, lever drag conventional reels used in conjunction with today's composite rail rods in my mind.

Happy 4th of July!
 

BirdnestBill

Farmer
Jan 7, 2010
331
168
61
La Guaira Bank, Los Roques, Eastern Pacific
Name
Bill
Boat
Porque' No?
Just to be perfectly clear here Jim I don't believe Bill W (who has caught a lot of cows, way more than most on here) or myself who has caught only 5 cows (two of mine in one day) was talking about using a 100lb or 130lb "top shot" to cast sardines? I think we were talking about smaller size big game reels filled with 80lb/100lb Spectra to a short fluoro leader of 80lbs or 100lbs, and if you use Seaguar Premium that 100lb is the same diameter as others 80lb and much softer too. Not sure what experience you have Jim with casting a 12, 16 or 20 size big game reel coupled to a soft tip rail rod but there is zero doubt in my mind that I can fly line "cast" a large pen cured sardine considerably further on my 16VSX or my Tib SST 16 or 20 mounted on my 7'3" ring guided 2x4 rail rod with a short leader of 100lb fluoro than you ever will be able to using your preferred shorter 7465H or XH all roller, shorter butt end, harness and plate designed cow rod matched to your ATD 50... and I'll bet the entire farm on this.

And as far as what the bait will look like when landing please consider that an angler can cast sideways from either stern corner if clear or further up the rail prior to the house (this is a more vertical rod swing rather than a traditional horizontal rod swing commonly used in throwing jigs) with a lower trajectory using a nose or back hooked sardine, and an angler can also start the cast on a smaller big game reel with a pre-rotation of the spool via a thumb flick. I can cast a large pen cured sardine 15-20 yards away from the boat (depending on wind factor) over my shoulder via a modified version of the traditional cast or in the sideways mode noted with the reels mentioned above using a short fluoro leader of 80lb or 100lb (pick your poison), and my bait will land just fine and swim as good as your 5-10 foot underhand lobbed bait will using the same hook. I suppose those sardines that a deckhand flings out of a small brail net with a fast, full force swing while standing atop the bait tank all die from shock as they hit the water 10 to 20 yards away (depending on wind factor)?... I personally don't think so.

For those of you who actually own and have used any of the new Mak SEa models designed specifically for LR tuna fisherman with a tuna on the side of the reel instead of a billfish... why do you think Okuma made them with "open" spool bearings lubed with a fine synthetic oil rather than the regular greased sealed spool bearings like most every other big game lever drag reel on the market today?... perhaps for greater free spool when casting or under hand lobbing the most commonly used bait in the LR arena, the pen cured sardine? And why does Cal spend the time and go through all the effort to accurately shave down and then re-anodize a heavy, large diameter arbor Penn International 30VSX spool (designed more for trolling than for casting) and offer bearing upgrades for greater free spool?... perhaps so they cast better and have greater line capacity for the angler who does not want to hold a heavy, bulky 50 at the rail for long hours 4 or 5 days in a row?

As far as the 12, 16 or 20 size big game reels landing cows, all I can say there Jim is they have been proven to be able to get the job done numerous times over the past 7 or so years. OK so it is easier to land a cow on a 30 or a 50... that's a true no brainer IMO. But it is certainly not as far of a stretch to get a cow on a Penn 16VSX as you think it is or make it out to be... IMHO that reel has plenty of smooth drag (30lbs at strike and 40lbs at full right out of the box so just perfect for 80lb braid the way I see it) and it holds 700-725 yards of 80lb braid and is built like a tank with large stainless gears and a well proven shift mechanism. The newer big game reels in the smaller sizes certainly have the balls to do get it done on cow size YFT... its just a matter of whether or not the angler has the balls and mindset to do it with a 16 size reel. I am 6'2", 225lbs, athletic build, fairly strong (can bench press 300lbs a good 6 reps) and I cannot break 80lb braid on a straight pull using any of my cow rods, and 700-725 yards of line will get it done most of the time when cow fishing (IMO). Then you have to remember that a smaller diameter spool is easier to turn under load if gear ratios and handle lengths are similar, now granted IPT is less on the smaller diameter spool but the reel is easier to crank so its a slow but steady process once the fish goes vertical, unless of course you are using your rod for lifting via leverage and/or rod recoil and are winding down on slack line as reel size become even less important when taking up 2-3 feet of slack line on the wind down. Today's higher quality big game reels in the smaller sizes also have way better drag systems than the smaller big game reels of old so they don't get anywhere near as jerky when they heat up. I got an estimated 170lb class YFT to the boat on a C&R in PV two years ago with my 16VSX filled with 80lb solid to short 100lb fluoro leader on a 7465M rod and that fish was boat side within 45 minutes time (so there is truly no doubt in my mind I can land a cow YFT on my 16VSX in suitable conditions). Heck, Fishybuzz who is in his 60's and who is not known as one of the larger or stronger LR anglers here on BD got a "Super" on a Mak 16 fishing on the Maximus (sport boat with a rail) in PV... Ok, so it was a "group effort" as far as the fighting and pulling went but that big boy YFT still hit the deck when all was said and done, and I believe that Mak 16 size reel was filled with 80lb Spectra... so go figure. I also fully understand that conditions are a major factor in this equation as well, so the angler has to take that into consideration as to whether getting your bait further away from the boat with lighter gear is worth the extra effort on the fighting end or even needed to get bit for that matter, obviously if the jumbos are rolling close to the boat or in tight moving up the chum line or the boat is drift fishing in a fast current or there is a steady breeze than leave the 16 finesse casting rig in the rack and go with the 30 or the 50 size reel and make life a lot easier on yourself.

To each their own as they say, and some anglers truly enjoy challenges that go beyond the "norm"... so I say why not go for it as long as you don't interfere with other anglers and stay within the "realm of reality". And how many LR trips get numerous fish over 250lbs anyway? or over 300lbs?... my bet is the majority of the LR cow trips end up with way more fish caught in 130 to 175lb range than fish caught over 250lbs, and 300lb YFT's are pretty rare in my mind. So is the captain and other LR anglers onboard seriously going to talk shit and criticize the angler who takes an hour or longer to land a 200lb cow on a high quality 12,16 or 20 size reel coupled with a lighter action soft tip rail rod used for casting fly line sardines, but all will applaud and commend the angler who lands a 200lb cow via straight power cranks on an 80 size reel coupled with a 4X broom stick action rod using a large hook and a kite presented bait in less than 20 minutes... I don't really think that's the way it goes down in real life, at least not on the LR boats I've fished on over the last 35 years.

BTW Jim, I believe it was your favorite LR captain from your favorite LR boat who not that long ago was commending and admiring in his daily fish report some smaller stature Thai anglers for their fighting technique and fierce determination while using today's modern single speed, limited line capacity "spinning" reels for catching 150lb+ YFT's while in ''cow town"... and that gear provides a lot rougher ride and a much longer journey on the road to success for the average LR angler targeting cow YFT tuna than today's smaller size big game 2-speed, lever drag conventional reels used in conjunction with today's composite rail rods in my mind.

Happy 4th of July!

Garibaldi...heeeeee's baaaaaaack!
 

titan05

Pelagic Terminator
Apr 7, 2004
3,828
3,462
San Diego North County
Name
Jim
Boat
Chelsea Rae
Garibaldi...heeeeee's baaaaaaack!
Just like a herpes flare up....at least he is using his real name this time.

He does enjoy calling people out and dropping names so its just a matter of time before he implodes.....again