I know this is controversial and I'll probably get many differing opinions. But, I'm really trying to figure out how I can improve my fish-whooping capabilities.
I live in Texas and fish the gulf of Mexico on private boats. I've been doing the offshore fishing thing for about 6 years. We do a fair amount of bottom bouncing for snapper. We also cast around the weedlines or other structure and I've been out on overnight trips for tuna. I like active fishing rather than fishing a dead bait. We catch some dolphin, kingfish, ling, etc. I had a couple AVETs for the bottom fishing and loved them. I also had a casting rod, so I recently bought an Avet SX MC. It's a lot of fun for casting, but I have very hard time working an artificial lure (working the rod while also managing to level wind). How do you work the lure and wind the line properly? Is there some special way to hold things?
Or for this type of fishing is a non-level wind not really the correct approach? I doesn't help that I'm used to reeling left-handed with spinning gear and fly rods, and my casting reel is right-handed.
The real reason I started this thread is that I've been out a couple times for tuna and want to get a rocking set-up of my own. The couple times I've been, we were casting poppers.
I understand the drag capabilities and fish fighting power of conventional reels, but just can't understand how I'd be able to effectively fish them in this style of fishing.
Am I missing something or for the type of fishing I'm doing is a spinning reel the best bet?
Spinners have some advantages for tossing poppers. First off, they can deal with lighter weight lures more easily. Secondly, leveling the line isn't an issue so that's one hurdle cleared. Having said that, a spinner with a great drag system and robust construction is a more expensive proposition than a conventional reel, and with the conventional reel you gain the option of going two speed. For larger grade fish, that's a real blessing. The issue of leveling line can be overcome through use and practice. And, use of larger and heavier poppers overcomes the issue of casting distance limitations of conventional gear and light weight lures.
One of the issues you encountered probably was partially based on the size of the SX. Not much line comes back per crank so you've got more leveling to contend with. A taller spool at a fairly fast retrieve would make life a bit easier. The MX might have been a better call, rather than the SX for this on.
Questions you need to consider are:
1. what pound test line you intend to fish
2. size of gamefish you are targeting.
Thanks for the insight. I want to get a set-up that will work well for yellowfin. Likely size would be 40-80 lbs, maybe a up to 100 lbs. I realize there is a huge amount of difference in these guys at each of those weights. I also want a rod that is good for casting at a cobia or dolphin. I'm thinking a fairly long spinner to get the distance.
I guess I have to admit my lack of experience when it comes to line test. I just don't yet have a good feel for what's needed for fish in those sizes or how much drag I could expect to be able to handle. Does 80 # braid sound about right?
Mark gave some sage advice re; spinner or conventional.
Like many things, it can boil down to price.
The basic formula is that you need to spend double on a spinning reel to get equivalent performance to a conventional reel.
For the size fish you describe, that means a mid-price $219 spinner like the Penn Conquer 8000 will be about equal to one of the many $100-$150 conventionals, and would be the least expensive spinner to properly tackle those tuna.
One of the "Super Spinners" like a Penn TRQS7 at around $700 would have the same capabilities as one of the many $300-$400 compact powerhouse conventionals.
Bear in mind of course, that spinners don't give the 2-speed option, nor can you "rail" the fish, so you must weigh the relative importance of those two things vs. easy casting, retrieve speed, etc.
Where folks have real issues is when they buy a huge spinner at Wal-Mart for only $39.95, and trouble inevitably follows.......
BTW, this week a group of South African anglers tag-team fought a 700-pound black marlin for 3 hours on their Penn TRQS7, using 130-pound braid. The fish finally escaped after breaking the 200-pound leader, but the reel was none the worse for wear.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Steve Carson,
I am in the same situation. I live in the DFW area and drive to the gulf. I was raised on S. Cal so conventional casting is second nature. The key is to wrap your left hand araound the foregrip and use your thumb or thumb and forefinger to guide the line. It does become second nature with practice.
I was taught that coffee grinders were tabu. However, I have gone to the dark side and enjoy using a spinner for poppers and swimbaits.
Recently, I decided to invest in a new conventional outfit because I missed using them. I purchased the Makaira 8i with 65 lb braid and a short 50 lb topshot paired with a Phenix 700XH. I had planned to test the combo this last weekend on YFT but the trip was cancelled due to high seas. I have another trip scheduled in a few weeks. Good luck. Ken
For Texas tuna spinning tackle works well. Often a very fast moving jig gets bit and the chances of hooking a monster tuna are slim. The conventional reel offers easier fights and the spinner more bites. I always bring both and find myself using spinners for jigging and popping. All other duties are best left to conventional reels.
Not having fished Texas and the Gulf, I still think fishing from a private boat using poppers a Toro Winch may be a levelwind option for you. And it's available in left hand. Although line capacity may me a problem, they boast 22# of drag, and with the gulf being fairly shallow, if in risk of being spooled you could always have your private boat back down on the fish. If you're still an open spool avet fan, I'm with Chark. Moving up to a LH version of the MX or better yet an LX will give you more spool height, a two speed option, and more usable drag. The LX being a wider spool would allow for more room for mislaid line guidance while you learn proper technigue through practice. Food for thought...
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