First, let me say what a great resource this is for me. I am tickled to be able to interact with knowledgeable folks to discuss fishing stuff. I want to thank you for devoting your valuable time and energy nurturing it. I consider it a very noble undertaking.
I was drawn to your site while searching for information about a reel I just purchased - Fin-Nor OFC16LW. Specifically, I found your post about maintenance/servicing/upgrading the reel. I had just read another review posted by someone in the UK about the reel. I have found the data provided most interesting and informative in terms of my assessment of the reel and whether or not the purchase was a good one - which I thought to be a no-brainer at the time.
Due to my investigations, and your expert review, what I now know is that I should probably upgrade the drag system to carbontex washers and perhaps perform a lubing to all bearings and key moving parts on the reel (per your step-by-step pic guide). Interesting because when I researched the reel before purchase, I was under the impression the drag "system" on these units was solid and dependable (comparatively speaking anyway). Now, however, I am concerned and questioning it.
This leads me to some general questions I have about reels and which ones you would endorse and what to stay away from purchasing - which is the cruxt of my fact seeking mission here. Specifically, I have recently purchased a lot of reels and if possible I would like to get your assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of each and perhaps what I should be looking to purchase instead as applicable. I should add that most of the fishing I do is not heavy duty like tuna, but more geared towards sturgeon, striper, halibut, salmon and rockcod (bottom fishing). However, I do fish the Gulf of Mexico every year and I am looking to expand my horizon to seek more big game species in the coming years.
I mentioned the Fin-Nor OFCLW... I also had a chance to pick up a Marquesa at a good price - which I assed on after reading some reviews which were mostly unfavorable. Once again, interesting and enlightening. I've always been a fan of Penn reels for saltwater because of their durability and dependability (built like tanks). For instance, I purchased some Penn 320 GT2 reels cheap a year ago and have used them a lot for bottom fishing and they've held up very well, as further testimonial. But I had heard that Penn was recently bought by Shakespeare or something...and to stay away now. This was after I had just purchased a used but like new Penn TRQ300 for a very good price. Are you familiar with this reel and what is your opinion of it? I also picked up a brand new Shimano Trinidad 30
for half price because it was so... Same question.
Also, in terms of fishing for tuna and big game species, is it most desirable to own a 2-speed reel which provides the power and torque necessary to land big fish or can you get by with single speed models like the Penn TRQ? Do you have any favorite 2-speed reels which you would recommend me to purchase?
Thanks so much (again)...This forum is "off the hook" - as the utes of America would say...lol!
-Ron aka "norcalifishnfool"
Great to see a NorCal angler find Chark's excellent site; when you go fishing in San Diego, be sure to visit the store.
Penn became part of "Pure Fishing" over 4 years ago, and more than a dozen major fishing brands fall under that umbrella [including Shakespeare], and has flourished as a result; quite the opposite of a "stay away" caution.
The 320 is a true stalwart in the NorCal arsenal, but there are many new Penn models that fit more specialized and higher performance needs.
To answer your specific question, the TRQ300 will be a great reel up where you are for big SF Bay sharks like the Cal Dawn has been catching, as well as for albacore trolling whenever they are around.
For San Diego/Baja use it is excellent for fishing yo-yo jigs for big yellowtail, awesome for throwing bombs for wahoo, and very good for tossing live mackerel at striped marlin at the East Cape and Cabo resorts.
It is more than robust enough for tuna, but once the tuna start to consistently be over 75 pounds I personally do prefer a 2-speed.
To get good recommendations, it is helpful if we know where/when/how you will be fishing, along with what lines you may plan to use.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Steve Carson,
Here's an AMAZING field-test report about the new Penn TRQ30 and TRQ40 reels from Captain Steve Lassley of the Bad Company in southern Baja.
“Found a school of huge Striped Marlin 100 miles above Mag Bay in 68 degree water. None under 135 lbs and several over 200 lbs. Raised 60 marlin using only 2 bridge teasers and pitching 5 inch greenies to em. It was sick. Those new Torques 30’s and 40’s are epic! Have caught a couple hundred on 1 reel with zero issues. Drags are still like new......Capt. Lassley
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