Which reel?

    Which reel?

    Hi Guys

    Can you recommend any reels that are suitable for trolling for Amberjack, Kingfish, Barracuda, Sailfish etc? Can you also pop for them? Would such a reel also be suitable for Marlin in Sri Lanka? If not what reels are needed for Marlin?


    Informationen unser Partner
    Hi Rob,

    first I have to say that you search a real allround-reel and I think such a reel don´t exist. For Amberjack, Kingfish and Barracuda a 20lb-reel is enough. For sail you have to start with a 30lb-reel (better 50lb) reel and for a Marlin it starts with a 50lb-reel.

    But mostly the problem is to find a compromise. So I would recommend you the follow: If in the waters are Sail and Marlin, but the frequent species are smaller (Kingfish, AJ, Barracuda) I would buy a good 30lb-reel and put on it a 50lb-line. So you have a little bit reserve for a bigger fish and you are not oversized.

    Please notice that this is a recommendation from a sportifshermen. So my goal is not to catch the fish for every price, I prefer a sporty fishing.

    This are some fundamental thoughts without recommendations about a special mark. I think there are a lot of very good companies in the fishing industry. Some examples..... Accurate, Penn, Shimano, Avet and some more.

    Which lures do you want to troll? Do you use baitfish "skirted" too?

    Best wishes,


    the old dilemae: baggage allowance and budget

    Dear Rob,

    have a safe and enjoyable trip to SriLanka.
    I envy you for a destination promising versatile fishing.

    Now you have a nice problem to solve:
    23 kgs baggage allowance

    Your choice:
    - Once in a life time Marlin;
    … stock up 50 lbs standup rod'n'reel (BPS 600 plus) and load with 80 lbs line
    - Sails and other Surface Game Fish, but no larger than 100 lbs;
    … 30 lbs standup rod'n'reel (BPS 480 apprx) perhaps load with 50 lbs line
    - mid-water AJs, Tuna and bottom dwellers Cubera Snapper and Groupers
    … over-dimensioned Spinning Gear strong enough for deep jigging (BPS 400 plus)

    Obviously, the two billfish categories promise some more overlap, but you still need separate spinning gear, I feel, because the retrieve of a SHIMANO Tiagra30WLRSA is too slow for significant jigging and also the rods are so different from each other, that no one gear can serve the variety of purposes.

    In the arsenal (Lucky me): If I were in your lucky dilema situation, I would bring my "sailfish terrorizer" shimano STP3050 and the tiagra30WLRSA (600yds 80lbs braided backing plus 150yds 50lbs mono top shot) plus the beastmaster STC travel spin 30 and penn SSM 850 filled with 50 lbs braid. It's anything but perfect, but it sits ready in my arsenal.

    For the deep jigging and/or popping far better rods and reels exist, but even with the South Atlantic in my "front yard" I find it difficult to part with yet another 1,000 USD…

    Tight Lines, Bloody Decks and Screeeeeeming Reels.
    Looking forward to you trip report!

    si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses


    Hi Rob
    I guess I'd also have to echo Uwe and Jan's comments - without compromising in some way it's next to impossible to find the characteristics you want to tackle that range of species in a single reel. Especially in Sri Lanka where I suspect you’ll be fishing from local craft. (Although not Sri Lanka there is here a very interesting photo-essay on this site - bluewaterfishing.eu/e_start.html - under Trip Reports, against Malediven 2007 illustrating possibly the type of craft, tackle – all of which Stephan would have taken with him – and species encountered you might well encounter.)

    Um ... let me explore compromises though.

    The Sailfish will tend to be large, but most could comfortably be taken on conventional 30lb trolling gear as illustrated in that article.

    However Sails, unlike Marlin, are rarely solitary fish – there’s usually at the very least two together, occasionally a ‘pack’ – and it is possible, using small livebaits, to hook up the free swimmers – often not visible on the surface - on spin gear. (In other parts of the Pacific, in single engine boats that don’t back too well, I’ve taken them on 16lb test matched to a 20lb rod.) Bear in mind though, with those BIG pectoral fins, they can on occasions go deep and just sit above the thermocline. Then you’re really forced to manoeuvre the boat to change angles and force them up. And then your point about poppers. If they’re there in numbers they will respond aggressively to poppers but, given the way in which they normally track lures from behind, are difficult to hook. You would need to cast to one side of the fish to attempt to get them to attack at a 90 degree angle, or ‘going away’, where you’d get a hook up in the scissors.

    Sticking with spin gear then.

    The reel would, I suggest, minimally need a capacity of around 250 metres. Most fish, in my experience, will rarely run more than 150 yards without running out of ‘puff’. (The only time I’ve ever had a fish, this time from the Atlantic, get near to 200 yards from the boat was when we had a ‘double’. They went in totally opposite directions! And, given that I was using the lighter tackle and that – the other – was the first my friend had hooked, I eased my drag right off.)
    If you wanted to compromise and use it for trolling with baits it would need some form of free spool capability. I know you can use a drop back loop from the ‘rigger clip but I’d additionally leave the bail arm open just using a ‘hook’ of soft rigging wire to prevent line spilling off the spool. (Hope that makes some sense.) You could of course alternatively use a reel with a ‘bait runner’ facility.

    I guess the reason, other than it being a great deal of fun, for mentioning spin gear is that you could use it for popper fishing for the other species particularly the Jacks (and, um ... GTs).

    Probably the other option is to use some form of smallish multiplier with a casting capability – something like an Avet or a Shimano Trinidad (or even a Calcutta if you were prepared to risk going lighter) – that would ‘double up’ for conventional trolling and casting large poppers.

    As to the Marlin - are most around Sri Lanka Striped Marlin? I’d feel inclined to fish a 50lb lever drag for those. Which make though (as with spin reels) would largely depend on your budget or what reels you currently own.
    Honorary Life President
    Sportfishing Club of the British Isles
    Informationen unser Partner

    Thanks for the advice guys. Basically I am looking for a rod reel set up that is capable of tackling marlin assuming we arent talking thousands of dollars.

    I currently have a Torium 16 with 300m of 25lb braid. This is OK for the UK but its weak for Sri Lanka, even shore fishing. Most of the guys going out on boats are using at least 500m of 50lb line and sometimes get stripped. My uncle has an old reel with 450m of 45lb line and if he gets a large GT there is a risk of it being stripped at the shore.

    So I could do with something strong enough to fish there once a year or so as the local boats dont supply tackle. I can also use it for conger here. Next time I want to make a concerted effort to go out to the continental shelf off Colombo and I believe there are marlin there, there are certainly sharks, 100lb tuna and bill/ spear fish types (they call them seer fish). The budget is not 'at any price' but I can certainly get a decent reel. I also need a rod, would a standard 50lb rod do or do you need something designed for heavier 'abuse'? I think the fishing they prefer to do is a mixture of trolling lures and muppets and livebaiting small fish.

    Can you recommend any individual reels? (or rods for that matter?). There is also the prospect of a trip to cape verde or the canaries at some point depending on finances.

    Thanks for the advice guys, sorry I didnt reply earlier but I was busy in the week.


    Post was edited 2 times, last by “kentpaul” ().


    Getting tackle that performs well for game fishing on a budget isn't easy, especially if you're talking about going after the bigger fish. I have a feeling from having fished a bit in the Indian Ocean (on the other side across from you in Phuket and in Indonesia and in Mauritius) that your main species are going to be Spanish mackerel and giant trevally inshore, dorado, wahoo and yellowfin further offshore. I'd expect sailfish inshore and blue marlin offshore.

    A heavy 30 class outfit covers you for the smaller ones and 50 class for the bigger ones. Problem is you tend to want to fish more than one lure when trolling so you're going to need more than one outfit, multiplying your cost by at least two. If cash is really tight I think Penn 6/0 reels spooled with 50 lb class line will still serve well for general trolling and for larger yellowfin and blue marlin the 9/0 with 80 lb class line is the heaviest gear most people can handle without the benefit of a fighting chair. (the equivalent Daiwa star drag models are the 450H and 900H) They are little used now because the lever drag/two speed reels are so superior but plenty of fish were caught with them back in the old days and plenty of fish are still being caught with them today especially in places like Mexico where fishing is done out of open panga boats and tackle is treated brutally. Of all the reels that have a decent track record catching gamefish Senators can be acquired the cheapest. The reels themselves will still give good service BUT after you land a big yellowfin or blue marlin or indeed a good sized shark on one you will probably be hurting enough to want to get a lever drag two speed reel no matter how much it costs. In this sort of fishing the most expensive gear tends to work out the cheapest in the long run. I'd look out on Ebay for Shimano TLD30s and for the older Penn International 30SW and 50SW models (two speed). Shimano Tiagras are superior but will cost more. I'd put 40lb overtest line on the TLDs, 50 lb line on the 30 wides and 80 lb line on the 50 wides. Blue marlin are quite capable of humbling you even on the heavier gear but the answer to that primarily lies in correct boat handling. Incidentally if you can give us some idea what sort of boats are available for charter and how they are equipped (outriggers, rod holders, etc) that would be very useful.

    best regards

    kentpaul wrote:

    So I could do with something strong enough to fish there once a year or so as the local boats dont supply tackle. I can also use it for conger here. Next time I want to make a concerted effort to go out to the continental shelf off Colombo and I believe there are marlin there, there are certainly sharks, 100lb tuna and bill/ spear fish types (they call them seer fish). The budget is not 'at any price' but I can certainly get a decent reel. I also need a rod, would a standard 50lb rod do or do you need something designed for heavier 'abuse'? I think the fishing they prefer to do is a mixture of trolling lures and muppets and livebaiting small fish.

    Can you recommend any individual reels? (or rods for that matter?). There is also the prospect of a trip to cape verde or the canaries at some point depending on finances.


    Hi Rob
    I think if I’m right, the Seerfish that they’re describing are in fact King Mackerel that grow to 100lbs in weight. Although it’s not the best of images there’s also a brief description of them here - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scomberomorus_guttatus

    Dustin makes a very valid point about the local boats.

    Most I suspect will be single engined so ‘backing down’ on big fish will be at best a ‘sedate affair’. Probably the most practical way of recovering line will be to turn the boat and attempt to follow them, at least initially. But do watch out for the impact of the resistance of several hundred yards of line in the water. There’s often a significant curve and it’s essential for the boatman to follow the line as opposed to the fish, if that makes sense.

    In the past I have seen reasonably effective outriggers constructed from bamboo and guy ropes but they’ll probably be most effective fishing livebaits. The pressure from a Marlin or Tuna strike on a rubber bands attached to either the ‘rigger clip, or end of the stinger line, set to break at say 25lbs will demolish most other than conventional, and correctly fitted, outriggers. That said though, and Dustin (Patudo) is best to comment here, some charter boat skippers in places like Madeira and the Azores do use very light initial striking drags – no more than to prevent an overrun – and allow the fish to turn away from the boat, holding even a hard headed lure, before pushing the drag up to the ‘conventional’ strike position. It definitely works, I’ve tried it on a small number of occasions! And you normally allow up to 5 seconds.

    The other thing in terms of the boat – and I’ll leave the topic of chairs to one side – are the rod holders. Um ... again there’s a phenomenal strain on those when a strike occurs and I would just recommend that, irrespective of the quality of fitting, you use a safety line.

    So a chair. I have seen reasonable home make efforts constructed from angle iron and equipped with a free pivoting gimble. But the stanchion – for heavy tackle - does need to be securely fixed to something solid, like the keel. (I remember talking to an Aussie friend who, many years ago, had had a chair collapse on him when he pushed the drag forward on a Great White. Rolph virtually landed on top of it!) Probably a more practical alternative is to invest in a set of good quality stand-up harness, something like the New Zealand 'Black Magic’. When I last checked you could buy a set for around £100, postage paid. (There is obviously import charges and VAT – in the UK - to consider that can add around 27 per cent to the bill.)

    Rods and reels? I accept Dustin’s point about star drag reels and, looking back at the ‘old’ IGFA gamefish records, many were established on such reels. But the drags do get extremely hot, even after just say a 100 yard run. And although technology has changed the ‘old’ drag plates were small and when heated could easily start to judder. So, in my opinion, it’s better to use a larger reel for the defined line class.

    So secondhand equipment, is that something you’ve considered? Gold, lever drag reels on somewhere like EBay do unfortunately seem to command, often unjustifiably, premium prices. So it’s worth looking around in angling magazines, etc.

    I have however - and it’s not something I’m promoting, just commenting on – just seen a note in our Club’s latest newsletter advertising two Shimano Tiagras, a 50 and a 50 wide. It looks as if from the image, although it is not explicit from the text, that they are two speed models. They’re priced at £170 and £190 respectively, or £300 for both. (There is a valid reason for the sale. The guy is currently working, on a consultancy basis, for a company who own Penn Reels!) In addition he has three game rods constructed on Key West Tuna trolling blanks equipped with Stuart Black and Gold detachable butts and Gold roller guides. They’re rated at 20-30, 30-50 and 50 – 80 and priced at £500 for the three. Although I understand he is prepared to sell the rods and reels complete, as a package, for £700.

    So it’s as much as an illustration. They may have already been sold, or there may be better bargains around. Let me know by Private Message if you’re interested and I can pass his contact details on. By the way he lives in Swindon and works in the West Midlands.

    Just a couple of concluding points. I know I've gone on enough! You'd probably find those reels and rods I've commented on will over-power the average UK Conger. And in terms of charter boats in Cape Verde and the Canaries most would be equipped with reasonable 'heavy' gear - 80s and 130s - although, for preference, I'd always use my own lighter gear.
    Honorary Life President
    Sportfishing Club of the British Isles
    Informationen unser Partner
    If you're after bigger game fish eg marlin or tuna the boat and its capabilities are pretty much the most important thing. I have some fond memories fishing with my dad in Indonesia out of some pretty rough locally built boats (my dad still has the heavy wall pvc rod holders we took along in case the boat we were to fish out of didn't have any) which was a lot of fun at the time but pretty brutal. With experience you can work around a lot of difficulties and if I could go back in time with what I know now we would have fished a lot more effectively but we knew very little at the time and inexperienced anglers find it difficult to catch a big gamefish without guidance even when fishing on boats designed for that purpose.

    Just some general thoughts - I actually think bamboo is a good material for making outriggers with, but for big game trolling you need the right bamboo, heavy walled and extra stiff, like the stuff used in making construction scaffolding, or something not too far short of it. The right kind of bamboo is nature's own fibreglass. Of course obtaining the poles is one thing, getting them set up to fish is quite another.

    I don't think chair components are too difficult for a decent metalworker to make up. If you look at the old books, the pioneers like Zane Grey, Farrington, Lerner and so on caught some huge fish out of chairs that were really quite primitive. But again the person giving the metalworker the instructions really needs to have a bit of experience. In many respects knowledge is the most difficult commodity to acquire.

    Luckily for most of us, catching smaller gamefish isn't all that difficult even if fishing out of fairly inadequate vessels. My first decent fish fishing with my dad was a 17kg giant trevally on a 20 lb rod and reel with 30 lb line on a Penn high speed 4/0 senator (I still have that reel which has now brought in lots of smaller gamefish including yellowfin and wahoo to 40+ lb) and many spanish mackerel to 24kgs. Lighter tackle gamefishing can be done out of all sorts of vessels, the fish and the tackle both are easier to manage whilst still being a lot of fun (I often think my all time favourite line class for sportfishing would be either 20 lb or 30 lb) and doesn't demand stupidly expensive tackle. Your torium matched with a 20 lb class boat rod would be fine for skipjack tuna, kawa kawa and other small tunas up to around 30 lb. A 50 lb wahoo or spanish mackerel on a Penn 6/0 will certainly give you a good fight, the kind of fight that the great majority of anglers will never ever experience. You don't need to target the big game fish to have shedloads of fun. Some of the most enjoyable fishing I've ever had was catching skipjack tuna and kawa kawa with baitcasting rods and Abu 8000C reels filled with 10 to 12 lb line. Since I got infected by the blue marlin bug I tend to use my time away from work to fish for those but I really miss the light-tackle fishing.

    I don't really like casting nor jigging, but a heavy spinning outfit is always worth having on a boat. My old skipper in Phuket used to have quite a few of these which got used for all sorts of things - casting to giant trevally, bottom fishing, pitching baits to sailfish, I caught my largest kawa kawa on one whilst working a metal jig, etc etc. I hate carrying them around though so you might want to get a stout fibreglass two piece rod about 8 feet and a Penn 8500SS spinfisher reel (tough as old boots) and leave it in Sri Lanka. I've gaffed wahoo to 35kg caught on outfits like this. If I had to wander around the world and was allowed to bring along only one rod and reel that's what I'd take with me.

    Post was edited 1 time, last by “Patudo” ().

    Guys thanks again. Ill have to have a look into it in the week. Im not in any rush as the Sri Lanka trip would be in December.

    In Sri Lanka most of them are going out in the fibreglass boats shown here:

    Sri Lanka report

    They catch GTs, Barracuda, Spanish Mackerel etc. I think they live bait flying fish for tuna so its a bit more complicated.

    I think there are also sail fish, sharks and marlin off Colombo, there are definitely Marlin off the West coast, but its shut for the time being.

    It would seem that a 50lb class outfit with 500m or so line might work? I dont think these are large marlin and I dont think they are that common.

    Jack you said you prefer to use lighter outfits in Cape Verde etc, please can you clarify what you mean by that.

    I want to get new kit, and I can pay up to £200-300 for a reel and a similar amount for a rod if thats what the price is, if less than great. I dont know if I would buy 2 sets as I would be going out with another fisher so there would be 2 rods fishing at a minimum.

    For further out on the drop off of the continental shelf, about 10-12 miles out there are small wooden trawlers 30ft or so (you can see some moored ones in the report linked above), but they dont have seats and Im not sure it would go backwards that easily, but maybe it would. Its pretty rudimentary outhere!


    Very interesting stuff. Maybe the next time I visit family in southeast Asia I'll make a stopover. You mentioned the weather patterns which have a great influence over all fishing in the Indian Ocean including Phuket island where I spent a lot of time fishing in the past. December to April is roughly the season of the northeast monsoon and June to September the southwest monsoon.

    You'd need to be extremely careful going offshore in a vessel like that 18 footer in your photo, especially if you have to venture through reef breaks like was the case in Mauritius the last time I was there. From reading your report I'd guess that the locals probably use that type of vessel for fishing inside the reef. The larger vessels actually don't look too bad compared to some I've fished from. They look like they should at least get you outside the reef. Is that the style boat that the locals catch yellowfin tuna from? From the charts I've seen it then drops away very quickly to 500 fathoms and more. Do you know how they go about their livebaiting?

    best regards
    Informationen unser Partner
    no i think they spend a day catching flying fish and then a few days fishing for tuna. I have asked Zal, a freind, to take a look at the thread and comment so hopefully he will see it next week.

    in the Dec-March season the sea on the east coast is pretty flat, but I agree the 18ft boats are a bit exposed, they dont even have fish finders, radios or lifejackets!

    kentpaul wrote:


    Jack you said you prefer to use lighter outfits in Cape Verde etc, please can you clarify what you mean by that.

    I want to get new kit, and I can pay up to £200-300 for a reel and a similar amount for a rod if thats what the price is, if less than great. I dont know if I would buy 2 sets as I would be going out with another fisher so there would be 2 rods fishing at a minimum.


    Hi Rob

    Um ... unfortunately other than the star drag options Dustin has suggested I suspect you’ll struggle to buy game rods and reels within your suggested budget.

    However for the lighter 30lb option it might well be worth looking at Rokmax’s site - rokmax.com/index.php. They do on occasions, and currently have end of line options on reels like Avets that fit your budget. (Bear in mind though that the prices they’re quoting are all EX Vat.) Veals in Bristol - veals.co.uk/ - do also have end of line reels at discount prices so it might similarly be worth contacting them. They don’t always I understand show ‘the bargains’ on their web site.

    The other option, and sticking with a lever drag reel, would be a two-speed Shimano TLD. Here it’s worth searching the Web and even EBay for the best prices. They are though graphite bodied. So, for preference, given the destructive forces of mono under tension I’d fill the reel with Dacron with a 100 to 150 yard ‘top shot’ of mono. (The Web will identify how you join the two lines with the mono pushed inside the Dacron.) They are a real workhorse and many gameboats do use them, especially for their bait rods. Shimano do do a TLD50, and I know that’s the size, all of us have suggested for the smaller Marlin but, for preference, I’d always use one of the (perhaps over-engineered) ‘gold’ aluminium reels.

    Again it’s all about personal preferences I suppose but I prefer, and have, one manufacturer’s reels for all my line classes – Penn in my case, but with an ‘old’ Fin Nor that has sentimental value. So to explore that, and going up marginally from your budget, there are the Everol reels. Stan Massey imports them into the UK so that might be a possibility. Have a look at his web site - alba-rods.co.uk/. He also builds game rods and might well be worth talking to to see if he could come up with a package for the two rods and reels to get close to your budget.

    Now I know I’ve ‘banged on’ about second-hand equipment, whereas you’ve expressed a preference for new. But seriously to get the quality of gear, within your budget, I still believe that represents your best option. And just looking I did pick up this ad - london.craigslist.co.uk/spo/1192638324.html - for a whole host of Penn second-hand equipment – four sets of 50s and three of 30s. (I suspect there’s a valid reason for the sale and the chap may well be intending to upgrade to newer models.) Alright he is advertising it at £1100 but you could probably negotiate and then sell the surplus equipment bringing you nett outlay down considerably. Just a thought.

    In terms of second-hand equipment the things I’d consider would be the overall state of the anodising on the reels. You’d expect minor scuffs or nicks which go down to the base aluminium but they are superficial and do not detract from the reels performance. (If the reels have been looked after properly though just check there’re no obvious signs of saltwater corrosion.) Pay particular attention though to where the reel’s body connects to its seat – they’re different types of metal, so look for any corrosion.

    Then there’re the drag plates. Just a little thing initially make sure the lever’s set to free spool and the knurled pressure nut unwound. (It’s something I always do AFTER I’ve used and cleaned to prevent any possible distortion of the drag plates.) If everything’s OK the spool should spin quite freely. You should then fit the reel on the rod, set the drag and pull against a spring balance. After a couple of test pulls you should find, if the reel’s OK, that the drag is consistent in pressure and, importantly, doesn’t judder. However even with poorly maintained plates, providing the reel is essentially OK, you can replace them for a small outlay.

    Then, if you were to consider those, test each reel and check the roller guides on the rods. If they’ve been properly maintained they should roll, not stick.

    I mentioned the Black Magic harness. Here’s its web site - blackmagic.co.nz/ - and just to illustrate it in action some images of a set in use in Ascension Island – one’s on a set of conventional trolling 16lb, the other a stand-up 50 - both Yellowfin Tuna - and the other's a 400lb Blue Marlin on 50. The final image is, just for interest, the second-hand equipment I described in an earlier post in action, in Kenya.

    Finally Rob – I got there in the end – Cape Verde.

    All of the boats, least-wise when I was there, appeared to be equipped with adequate 80 and 130lb set of gear based on lever drag reels. However only the more expensive charter boats are likely to have quality lighter gear – 50s and 30s. But the majority of the Marlin – and of course I know they do occasionally encounter ‘granders’ – are small in the 200 to 400lb range. On the heavy gear they’re fairly easy to ‘crank in’ so I personally prefer to use 50s – you get better sport with the average fish but also a sporting chance if you hook one of the biggies. There is of course a counter-argument that using the heavier gear you release the fish more quickly, stressing it less. So it really is a case of personal preference. The 30s of course ideal suit the Wahoo.

    Tuna do of course show up as do big Tiger Sharks and here the tackle you determine to use is down to personal preference. Going back to those images the Yellowfin I was playing on the 16 was certainly over 100lbs in weight and, even though I thought I was winning I popped the line - too much pressure - after what was a near two hour fight. My friend though got his 75 pounder (YFT) in in 15 minutes.
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    Honorary Life President
    Sportfishing Club of the British Isles

    Mix and Match?

    Hi Rob
    After my earlier comments about my preference for a matching set of reels I remembered the tackle I fished with on my friend's boat in Costa Rica. The majority of the billfish he encounters are either Sailfish in the 80 to 120lb range mixed in with smaller Marlin, mainly fish from 2 to 400lbs. He uses smaller TLD30s spooled with 20lb line for the majority of his trolling with small, Ballyhoo deadbaits together with two sets of 50s - Penn International Wide Spool 50s - fished short with lures. There's also a third 50 rigged with a larger deadbait - something like a Black Skipjack - also kept in reserve for Marlin. Anyway you can see images of his set-up on post 5 of this thread - Papagayo - Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

    Terry also uses the 50s for the large Yellowfin Tuna that show up off that coast and, although there's a full chair - when his boat was in Florida he also used it to fish Bahamian Marlin tournaments - virtually all of his fishing is stand-up style.

    Perhaps reels like that, but spooling the TLD30s with 30lb test, would suit your requirements?
    Honorary Life President
    Sportfishing Club of the British Isles
    Informationen unser Partner
    Thanks guys.

    So to clarify, forgive my cluelessness. Jack is recommending some decent second hand equipment as an entry level purchase (certainly makes sense economy wise). The old style star drag is a bit inconsistent on the drag and the two speed lever drags are more consistent and easier to work with given the double speed options.

    I guess it boils down to this, pay £200 for a second hand tiagra or thereabouts or pay £250 for something like this:


    Pay a bit more for a new reel online:


    Equally they are selling Penn Int TRQ300LD reels on Ebay

    Or get an older style Penn like this (which my friend recommended partly on cost)


    I dont need it until december so I can afford to wait and see what happens. I have contacted the craigns list advertiser and PanamaJack to see what happens.

    I suspect ill stump up for a new reel online from the US and I would like a bit of advice on the rods as well if you can.

    What kind of rods do you also need, I take it that reasonable trolling rods for 50lb line arent so expensive as the reels?



    Post was edited 1 time, last by “kentpaul” ().

    ... equipment for life...

    ... is what I wanted to buy, but on a tight budget.

    Ahoi Rob,

    the other parameters I needed to squeeze the tackle into is
    - robust
    - light
    - brakes for prolonged fight standup and 80 lbs lines
    - mantainance free... or almost
    ... and all this for our fishing team in Angola in 6 plus 2 issues.
    ... and two more rods 30-50 plus matching WLRS30

    Shimano lever drags in the WLRS version never let us down.
    The budget solution Shimano rods have a problem though with
    under-sized Roller Guides. The 80 lbs bimini knot hardly squeezes
    through those guide... We fish them as long as they hold, but
    some time in 2010 we will have to look for new guides/new rods

    Considering speed and customs issues I can recommend
    Deportes Pineda on the Canaries as a solid source for
    mail order:

    Try this standup rod in the range 50-80 lbs.


    and you'll find a good deal on the matching Tiagra 50 WLRS
    (which we have fished two flawless seasons ca. 60 times)


    If you decide to use the AVET equivalent, congrats:
    My junior bosun's (Sacha 13 years old) favourite is
    The AVET ProEX 50/2, which we shot at about 500Euros.

    Should you feel this equipment is a class too heavy,
    You might want to select the 30-50 standup and a rock solid
    TIAGRA WLRS 30/2.

    What I recomemnd is a 600m braided line backing plus a mono topshot.
    Its not cheap, but You increase your range by 30 to 45%.
    TIAGRA 50 WLRS takes 550 yrs of 80 lbs mono,
    ...but 750m of 110lbs braid plus 200yds 80 lbs topshot

    TIAGRA 30 WLRS should take 580 yds of the 50 class mono,
    ...but 700m of 80lbs braid plus 150yds 50 lbs mono topshot.

    Why all this?
    We regularly fish the WLRS versions from a small boat in standup mode.
    Weight counts when your being tossed around in a small craft, while
    maneuvring quickly around a larger Sail or even Marlin. So we use the
    up-sized line class on the TIAGRAs, which have breaks that can handle
    the stress of a higher breaking power over etended periods of dirty
    Marlin fighting.

    What I cannot recommend:
    - less than 700yrs line reserve on the Big Game reels
    (two good mates bringing in 4 to 6 rigs takes 90 seconds, in which you cannot
    maneuvre hard to follow the racing Marlin..... which by then has spooled you)

    Hope this made sense to you, Rob. PM for details, if you wish.


    si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses
    Thanks Pargo Man. So the stand up rods weigh less than the trolling rods? I would be fishing 18ft fibre glass boats or 30ft wooden trawlers, I dont know how well they reverse, probably not that great, and in a stand up harness. Hopefully cathing something in the 50-200lb range as well, but maybe not!
    Informationen unser Partner

    ...as said BIG Churchill: Never surrender!

    ... so why back down on the fish...

    honestly, being a hobby skipper of a 21ft sports boat, I dont back down, but manoevre with the fish.

    kentpaul wrote:

    Thanks Pargo Man. So the stand up rods weigh less than the trolling rods? I would be fishing 18ft fibre glass boats or 30ft wooden trawlers, I don't know how well they reverse, probably not that great, and in a stand up harness. Hopefully catching something in the 50-200lb range as well, but maybe not!

    Reversing into the fish is something for the Yachts, not for agile sports craft in the 20 to 30 ft range.

    When we hit billfish, I merely keep the 21ft "Djamila2" straight to clear the "spread" of 5 or more remaining baits & lures, then we turn sharply. You only have two or three lines in, even faster will you be able to chase after the fish.

    As soon as the lines are cleared, I turn towards the fish, locate, and slowly approach in a very tight angle while the angler keeps me alert of any slack in the line.

    It helps me enormously to use the HiVis fluorescent mono topshot, ours is Momoi IGFA 80 lbs in HiVis Yellow. I see the aspect and I navigate in respect to the line entry at all times i.e. within 15 to 45 degrees to my course through the water.

    Once we get the animal tired and slowing down, I manoevre in tighter circles over starboard till we get the fish alongside or at least in reach for leadering.

    Always eager to tag and release quickly, we lost plenty of the 200 lbs plus marlin "last minute" in the prop, also because I forgot to lift the engine, that due to erratic last runs in 90 degrees to the course... best one was a 600 plus Blue, which was so overwhelmed by our manoevring that we had her by the boat in 30 minutes... just to be taught a lesson on why to avoid green fish... :wacko:

    The real big ladies will give you those manoevres, if you try to bring them to the boat while they're still green.

    There is risk in using the short 6'5" or even 5'5" rods: one can just not quickly enough lean over board and stick the rod deep in the water to let the fish pass harmlessly under the boat without chaffing the line under the keel barnacle / prop…

    si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses
    cheers. there are certianly decent GTs, barracude, spanish mackerel. i believe there are marlin off colombo and tuna but the locals live biat tuna and dont seem to fish for marlin. anyway Ill do a bit mor eresearch and pick something. ps. pargo do you work in the offshore sector in angola? if so do you ever spearfish the rigs?
    Informationen unser Partner

    industrial developers

    Ahoi Rob,

    sounds like a very versatile fisheries.

    I'm onshore in Luanda representing a German Industrial Developer.

    No, I dont spearfish, but it's a favourite hobby of many out here all year round. I recall a thread over at the worldseafishing.com, where our PanamaJack is chief moderator.
    and perhaps on the climate and country

    Also the RSA spear fans at sealine.co.za have a thread or two on spearing off the Angolan oil riggs.
    or how about an Angolan Blue Marlin speared by the riggs?!

    Some pretty big stuff came out there, but I cannot feel uhmuhm "comfortable" diving offshore because of the big shark out here...
    8| :P ;)

    ... and just when you loose all fear... you're being watched by a crazy Marlin

    Cordially, Pargo Jan

    si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses

    Post was edited 1 time, last by “Pargo Man” ().