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BrianBM

Jigging tuna on a partyboat

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I managed to find a Torque 300 star drag reel for a good price a month ago, and will take advice about the right rod for use on the once-a-year tuna trip I make on whatever Viking boat is chasing tuna.

 

I don't do enough of this (and never will) to justify a custom rod. The boat usually trolls on the way out, but if they trip over tuna, it's not a bad practice to drop a jig while the boat's coming to a stop to deal with the trolled fish. Since the platform's a large partyboat, I want something 7' at a minimum. Not sure what action is optimal for this kind of fishing, either.

The one tuna I took on a jig was twenty years ago and the rod wasn't quite up to it, I was on that fish - it was about 75 lbs - for almost an hour. This did not make friends among the mates or my fellow anglers.

 

A Torque 300 will take close to 500 yards of 65 lb. solid braid and is supposed to have a drag of about 20 lbs., if you screw the beast down. I'll take recommendations for a good solid braid for this use. Most of the tuna I've seen are under 100 and 20lb. drag is more than enough....truth be known, most Viking tuna could be handled on a 4/0 with 60 lb. mono.

 

Anyway, tuna jigging opinions are solicited. Most of the rods I read about are not sized for big partyboats, hence the question.

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This is a tough task picking a rod that is 7 ft. at min., not a custom,  and capable of taking a 100 lb tuna.  To beat, you need a conventional setup.  It would be easier if you needed a spinning setup, because many companies make spinning rods (designed for tuna popping) that are capable of getting the job done if you know what you are doing.  What I really would recommend is a shimano terez rod that would be more than capable of doing the job.  Look on shimano's website for the models offered but it is going to run you at least $260.  


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I saw on a show I think called tuna wranglers these commercial fishermen were jigging for tuna and snatching them out of the water like they were snapper blues. They were using a jigging rod that didn't look out of the ordinary but the best part was that they ddnt have a reel!! They'd hook em n snatch em into the boat... One by one nonstop. They looked to average 50#.

Thought I'd share..

Good luck with your search.

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Check out the (new?) okuma makiara... It's a tuna popping rod, but the guides are an ok size for a conventional, and they don't have a spine, which is different from backbone, something this rod has a ton of. I think the shortest one they make is 7'4" up to 8'6". They run about $200

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The OP is looking for a tuna jigging stick, not popping. The are plenty of conventional models that fit the bill. I personally use the two I recommended on open boats and have landed fish over 130# on both. 


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Brian, how much are you looking to spend on the rod? The seeker hercules SHS70H-7' is what I have (I have 2 customs that I made, this is the production model). That will certainly get the job done for you but it is ~$330. There is an 'XH' model as well that is ~$373. I saw some guys using loomis rods, pelagic series I think but I can't be sure. Those are also in the $300 range.

 

As much as I liked the Seeker I did mainly fish with an 8' United Composites Wahoo (custom). I did prefer the extra length on the 8'er.

 

As far as your reel choice goes, its more than enough. One of my hercs is paired with a 200. Didn't fish with it much but I think the 200 is more than up for the job.

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The OP is looking for a tuna jigging stick, not popping. The are plenty of conventional models that fit the bill. I personally use the two I recommended on open boats and have landed fish over 130# on both. 

 

my post should have read popping/jigging. i know a few people that use it conventional for sharks, good rods.

 

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Cheap SOB that I am, I don't know what I'm going to spend ... but Calstar 700 rods have been around awhile, and if I wait and watch, I can probably find a clean used one this side of September. That'd be good by me. Ditto the Terez, though I will spend extra for a USA-made product. For that matter, the Seeker Black Steel line is no longer their top-of-the-line either, might trip over something that looks good there as well.

 

Hercules pricing is too rich for a once-a-year, twice-a-year rod. The speed with which Chark got his Hercules knockoff Ahi Assassin rods into production annoys me a bit too, I don't think I'll buy one of those either.

 

SteppinOnFlounder, the technique you watched is called jackpoling. It's relatively manpower-intensive, so it isn't much used in this country any more. I suspect it's hard on the lower back, too.

 

Dansmith, a rod without a spine? The only rods I've seen without one are the Shakespeare products made with the Howald process, using an epoxied yarn, rather than a tapered sheet of material, around the mandrel. Is that how they're made?

 

Gents, thank you all.

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For an inexpensive rod for tuna, you might check out the Shakespeare Tidewater line. I have a 6' solid rod BTW60SUNR which is exactly what the Yankee Captains were using for their rental rods on long range tuna trips. I have it paired with a Penn 6/0 reel, 100# mono (Hi-Seas diamond). The last time I went tuna fishing (a few years ago, admittedly) they did not allow braid on the tuna trips, and I can see why. One large tuna can tangle half the people on the boat.

 

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The Viking boats don't generally permit braid either, for the same reason. For general tuna whacking on the Star or Starship, I fish a Daiwa Sealine 900H (400 yards x 80 lb mono) on a 5'8" Sabre Stroker rated at 50-130 lbs. I'd like longer on this too, but ... can't complain, it's been good for 20-odd tuna. For jigging in a crowd, I'm semi-adequately armed, 4/0 Penn and other reels. The rod I use isn't quite enough, though, it's a Fenwick Pacificstick, a very decent Stroker knockoff from 25 years ago when Fenwick still made rods in the US.

It's a bit short, though. Model 1870 ... I think.

 

This is a special-occasion reel, for those occasional trips when the boat will wink if you break out a braid-loaded reel. If what I find by way of rod is a useful improvement over the Pacificstick, well, it'll wear whatever reel the mates require.

 

Jigging with a solid glass rod and a 6/0 reel? Nooo thanks.

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