GBS

Beginner bluewater rod/reel suggestions

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Ritter look for a used reel with good reputation. Or get a Redington Behemoth. It is perfectly fine as long as you take care of it and don't bang it around too much.

 

TFO BW or Redington Predator will be fine.

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IMO bluewater is an area where you get what you pay for....these fish are big and much much tougher on anglers and gear than inshore fish. I would look for a used high end reel such as Abel or Tibor.

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I think in blue water one has quite easy conditions in the sense that there is no sand involved and mostly the reels stay dry even. So basically any open drag reel will work as long as it does not mind water (and rinse the stuff with fresh water after the day). I know for example that Behemoth works. It is a bit brittle thou so do not bang it around.

I do not like the Behemoth (due to looks and is a bit wide for my taste), but if I did not have more than around $200 to use, I would go for one if I did not find a good used reel or other sale item. Well, true to be told, I would just borrow a reel from my network of fishing friends.

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I recently got back from bluewater fishing in Costa Rica.  Caught a sailfish on fly - my first.  Pretty stoked.

 

I used the TFO 8'6" 13-15wt with a 600g Leviathan sink tip on an Islander LX4.5.  Worked great.  No tuna, only targeted billfish.  I'm not sure if the way we did it was standard, but two things I would point out:

 

1) The rod is almost purely for fighting the fish.  There was no real casting involved - just a water haul and flopping the fly behind the boat to switch it out for the teaser.

 

2) My captain recommended that we use the drag to set the hook (pointing the rod at the fish and tugging), then come off it when the fish ran.  That meant that the adjustment had to be smooth and accurate.  Something to think about.

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I think you have too much rod for what you will be after, plus I don't think that model is a good casting tool, at least for lines in the 300 to 500 grain sizes. Look at a lower weight Bluewater. Regarding reels, Penn used to make a fly reel for the type of fishing you are thinking about. I bought 2 on the used market and thought they were perfect for the 25 to 40 pound class of bluefin tuna we had here (north of Boston) several years ago.

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I agree, the MD 13-15 model will be heavy to cast. I think you would be better off with the lighter LD 10-12 model even thou I prefer the handle setup of the heavier models. And I like heavy rods a bit shorter, but that is something that can be fixed, like my friend here does to an older BW LD (pre-SG) rod and made it better (after putting tip top on).

 

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