Advice is solicited. Wanted: a star drag reel with lots of torque for cranking a three pound sinker up and down in 900' of water.
I made a first tilefish trip yesterday, I liked it, but cranking two and three pound sinkers on a Penn 349 is not something I will do again. No lever drags need apply, the business requires a lot of drag to get the tilefish out of their holes, and besides, setting the hook against a 3 lb. sinker requires you to overcome a lot of inertia. I'm not keen to squash the side bearing in a lever drag. Best gear ratio is about 4/1, which excludes the Torque star drags and Okuma's star drags too. I note that the Penn site no longer shows alternate gear sets with lower ratios, and I'd rather not start off by buying a reel and then a new gear set. If Daiwa's Saltiga star drags were still in production .... but they're not.
The inventory does include a 113MTL, and that's what I will try next, but I'm curious as to what the cognoscenti like for this application.
Gulf of Mexico anglers who have to dig grouper out of deep water have the same mechanical needs, I think. What are they buying?
Hmmmm, no leverdrags, slow gearing of ~4:1. I'm coming up with the USA Senator series...and not seeing anything else that hits the mark. There's a lot in the 6:1 ratio or close to it, not much below 5:1 now. An LD with higher drag capability will prevent the bearing crunch you mention.
This sounds very much like the problem Alaska halibut fishermen face up here. I agree with Chark that the Penn US Senators will work -- and may be the only option for a star drag reel -- but up here, a much more popular choice is the Avet HX single speed. It's got a 4.2:1 gear ratio, and enough drag to handle 100 pound halibut without crushing the pinion bearing.
Chark, ak-fish, thank you. The HX single speed hadn't occurred to me.
Must correct myself. Daiwa Japan has, I read, introduced a new series of Saltiga star drag reels for the JDM market. Perhaps next year they will be here, but at least for now they're 6.2 to 1 reels. I don't know why all the world's tackle manufacturers think that no one does anything save work a jig vertically in the water column, but that's the market on which they seem fixated.
Any grouper fishermen with a comment?
Penn Versa-Gear kits are still available for Torque star drags, although they are 4.8-1 [or 5.4-1].
If star drag is wanted, then indeed the Penn U.S. Senator would be an excellent choice.
Having cranked up plenty of 3-pound sinkers while fishing in AK, there are times when I think having a 2-speed is nice just to keep making some progress while being in "Low".
If so, the Penn Torque FTH40NLD2 would be the ultimate if budget is not an issue, although the Fathom FTH40NLD2 is an amazing value, and the FTH40NLD is it's single-speed version.
Wouldn't the Penn Fathom level wind with it's star drag and 30 pounds of max drag be an option?
The Penn Fathom Level wind has a 4 to 1 retrieve.
Thank you all again.
Waaaay back when Chark was unloading his last 113MTL Senators, I got one. It ate 500-600 yards of 65 lb. solid braid as recommended at the store that spooled it (the owner, seeing it, said immediately "that's a good reel") and that will be the weapon of choice on the next outing. And if I again have no use of my right arm for a day or two after getting home, I WILL spring for the Torque 40 LD. Darn it anyway, I like eating those tiles and I want to catch'em a lot more.
The 40 would be sweet indeed! Glad you scored one of those Penn MTL reels. They were nice pieces and boy did I make a great score on that inventory. Cleared Penn out! That was one of the best offerings we've come up with over the years. But, we've kept at it and when there's an opportunity like that out there I tend to jump in with both legs. Like the current deal on the Okuma Cedros reels. Gobbled up about 300 reels on that one, pretty well cleared out Okuma. Excellent reels, and wonderful opportunity for folks. Just like the score on the MTL Senators, the old Baja Specials, Accurates and some Avets over the years. Oh, and I forgot about the buy on the old Penn 130's a few years back. That was a wonderful score for folks who needed that sort of piece (most went to Hawaii). There's a reason to check the Weekly Specials page...
Maybe electric.... Pretty cheap these days.
The nice ones ain't that cheap. And until partyboats appear with well-shielded 12 volt outlets along the rail, an electric tilefish reel
means dragging at least one 12V auto battery, or equivalent. Given a need for bunches of two and three pound sinkers, I won't go there until the choice is an electric reel or no fishing.
The tanacom 1000 @ 599 is the choice reel for florida deep dropping. I use mobility scooter batteries on short trips and
Gel cell 60ah on 3 day trips. Less of a workout moving a battery than all that cranking.
Old post, but the last message about the scooter batteries for the Daiwa Elec reels is a good one. Talked to one of our clients who also made use of those batteries, they last a long time and are priced right. Good suggestion.
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