Which rod/reel combo to troll with and why?

Deadlift500

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  • Jan 12, 2022
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    So I recently went on a fun three day trip on the Excel, and it was the first time I think I encountered an “open trolling” scenario on a sportboat, in that passengers were welcome to put out their own trolling gear. up to five people could have trolled at a time, but less than five passengers ever did. One guy who brought his own gear caught a couple fish doing it, and I want to be able to use my own gear instead of relying on a shared loaner from the boat on the next trip.

    I am currently considering two very different Penn reel/rod combos I could bring to troll with, at opposite ends of the price and quality spectrum:

    (1) A cheap Penn Special Senator 114H2 6/0 with a 6’6” Penn Slammer rod rated for 30-80lb line, the reel will be spooled with 60lb mono; and

    (2) A brand new Penn VISX 20 with a brand new 7-foot West Coast Penn Carnage III model rated 80-130 [CARWCIII80130C70], the reel would be spooled with 100lb braid with a 100ft 100lb mono top shot.

    Obviously the VISX/CARNAGE combo would be the best choice if a really big fish hits the trolling lure, but I am concerned that hours spent trolling from a sportboat may put extra wear and tear, exposure to the elements, etc., on my nicest set up that I also want to be in perfect working order for using the heavy tuna jigs at night.

    Which One would you strap onto the rail for a turn trolling, and why would you pick one over the other?

    The cheaper Penn Senator one that might otherwise go unused during the trip, and that only costs about one fifth as much as the nicer one?

    Or would you use The best set up possible in case a great fish strikes?
     
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    Tunahead

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  • Aug 11, 2006
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    #1 is all you need, but if on a shorter trip,
    that's usually what the boat trolling rigs are.
    I've even caught 2 BigEye Tuna in my life
    on boat trolling rods, so they work too.LOL

    I have a custom 7ft roller rod a friend gave
    me with a Shimano TLD20, 80lb PP Spectra
    and Izorline 80lb Mono topshot. Right now
    Bluefin are hitting the Purple Cedar plug
    (in my bag with plain one.) so I'd bring mine. It's a 2-speed reel. Those 2 bigeye kicked my ass on 1 speed Penn.
     
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    Deadlift500

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    Thanks Tunahead, one of the boats trolling rods was with a Penn Senator reel but the rod itself was a Seeker brand.

    Can you recommend a particular brand/make/model of purple cedar head?
     
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    4tunate

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  • Sep 26, 2021
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    'Or would you use The best set up possible in case a great fish strikes?'


    Personally I would always use the best setup possible. Why risk potentially losing a fish of a lifetime? Your VISX/Carnage combo can work double duty as a FF/knife jig setup for nighttime jig action. Extra wear and tear or damage from the elements? If it's on the boat, it's in the elements. Use it hard and have the reel serviced at the end of the season. Sure you might get a bit of boat rash, but that reel is practically bulletproof and will serve double duty rather than have a 'specialized' rig just for trolling.

    That being said, I generally use the boat troll rods on my rotation (unless I want to use something different on the wahoo grounds).
     
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    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
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    Thanks Tunahead, one of the boats trolling rods was with a Penn Senator reel but the rod itself was a Seeker brand.

    Can you recommend a particular brand/make/model of purple cedar head?
    SeaStriker one of the best.....
    Melton Tackle has pre-rigged Cedar Plugs for
    10.99...Even Walmart and Amazon sell them
    for different prices. Melton was best price.
    Here...
     
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