Which reel for big SoCal Bluefin?

Michael L.

Newbie
Aug 25, 2019
16
9
27
California
Name
Michael Leon
Boat
Hobie Outback
Looking to get a reel for the larger model bluefin here in socal, primarily a sinker rig/flat fall reel. I have seen people suggesting an older penn international or maybe even tiagras, which I am not opposed to, however they are big, heavy, and clunky in my opinion. I was looking at getting a penn fathom 60 ld2, but wanted to know if 735 yards of 100# braid and 40lb of drag is enough? I am hesitant because these reels are less than half the price of other big game reels. I have a fathom 15 and 40 nld2 and like them a lot, but have never seriously strained them with 100+ lb fish. I have also seen the penn squall lever drags, which is at an incredibly low price point for a reel of that size. Are the squalls reliable? Hoping to get an accurate big game reel one day, but that's way out of the budget in this point in my life.
 
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Jun 25, 2018
27
20
65
van nuys
Name
Alan
Boat
whatever boat my son is the captain of !
My son is a captain on a charter boat out of Mission Bay and his loaner gear for the Bluefin are Fathom 60's , landed many 200 pound plus Bluefin without any problems
 
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Cody B

Almost A Member
Feb 21, 2018
142
93
So Cal
Name
Cody
Boat
NA
Take a look at the Shimano speed master as well. Love my Fathoms, but have heard you want a sturdier frame for the big fish. Haven’t fished the Speed Master yet. Anyone have any thoughts for this being an 80-100 pound reel?
 
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Shane R

Almost A Member
Jul 30, 2020
120
97
Yucca Valley
Name
Shane Reil
Boat
Next year hopefully
I have a couple penn fathom 60 for 80 and 100 lbs set ups. For big fish over 200 went with 50 international and a unlimited class rail rod. Have not fought anything on the 50 international/unlimited yet. It is heavy and after a couple hours of jigging a flat fall it's a workout.
 
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2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
482
1,082
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
If you are on a budget your Fathom 40 nld2 loaded with 500 yards of 80# braid will do fine, if mounted on a strong 80#/100# stick. Don't think you need the extra capacity of the Fathom 60; the Fathom 60 is just a wide 40.

Better options for big BFT are VISX 20 or Mak 20; heavy frame reels designed for killing big fish. I have the Mak 20 and Mak 16; definitely would pick the 20 for the grade of fish we are seeing lately.
 
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F.I.S.H.Y

Fishermen.
  • Sep 27, 2019
    1,816
    806
    San Diego CA
    Name
    Erick
    Boat
    None
    Take a look at the Shimano speed master as well. Love my Fathoms, but have heard you want a sturdier frame for the big fish. Haven’t fished the Speed Master yet. Anyone have any thoughts for this being an 80-100 pound reel?
    They don't seem to bad, maybe the 20 would work for 80 but wouldn't consider but a true 80lb reel.
     
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