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Conventional Reel Opinion

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#1 The Great PF

The Great PF

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:24 PM

I am hoping to undertake my first San Diego Long Range trip within the next year or so. All of my current reels are spinning, so I'll need some 'conventional horsepower' for a 10 day trip. I'm thinking either a 30W or a 50, both 2-speed, and the three reels I'm considering are:

Avet EX,
Alutecnos Albacore
Shimano Tiagra

When considering the 30W, I'm attracted to the Tiagra and the Alutecnos because both are 1.7:1 on the low gear. Of these two, the Tiagra is about $250 less expensive.

When considering the 50, the Tiagra and the Avet have the lowest gear ratios at 1.3:1, while the Alutecnos is only slightly higher at 1.7:1.

Since I began this process of analysis, others have recommended that I look at Okuma Makaira 30SEa, but I know next to nothing about Okuma.

For tuna up to 200+ lbs. and large wahoo, what would you advise? I would imagine that I'd be placing the rod on the rail and winching in the fish, hence the concern over the low gear ratio.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

P. F.

#2 johndtuttle


Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

Whether you harness up or rail fight your fish your reel choices will be the same. For Rail use particularly you really want standard width reels rather than wides. The vast majority of fish you hook will be under 200lbs and the more narrow frame has far better handling.

No need to get too spendy. Solid workhorse like the Penn 30VSX or Okuma 20 (these are about the same size) are your go to reels for 95% of the fish on 10 day or longer trips. The full 50w rhino gear just borrow from the boat and use it during your kite rotation or if super cows are known to be around the boat. Rig with 100lb Hollow and you should have 700+ on those reels. Plenty for 99.99% of the fish.

I would go Penn, and get it "blueprinted" by Cal Sheets. If you go Okuma, you are gtg out of the box.

For Wahoo, your spinning gear is fine. They are speedy, but don't run far.

#3 The Great PF

The Great PF

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:14 PM

Thank you, Mr. Tuttle, for your experienced feedback. By the way, which long-range boats do you favor?

#4 johndtuttle


Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:19 PM

Thank you, Mr. Tuttle, for your experienced feedback. By the way, which long-range boats do you favor?

Pretty much impossible to go wrong. On a real Cow trip all the boats and crews are top notch. I have ridden RP, RS, Shogun, Indy and Vagabond but really want to get on Excel and Intrepid next as they are more spacious than most of those.

But like I said, IMPOSSIBLE to go wrong on a 10 day or more trip. Only the top boats offer them and they know their biz.

5 days then some of the smaller boats might do them (not for me) and only the 3 day and less boats are a little sketchy.

Here, here's a link to the report on my last 7 day: Lots Of Fish RP 9/17-9/24 Fishing with a Legend - BD Outdoors

for a look at the RP.


#5 Locke N Load

Locke N Load
  • LocationMA

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

You can get different ratio gears for Avets. 1:1 low instead of 1.3:1. They also offer a 4:1 high instead of 3.2:1.

When talking about this class of reel it is hard to go wrong. They are all quality reels so it comes down to which one you personally like best.

#6 VaRandy


Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:55 PM

The Okuma Makaira 20 has 55 lbs of drag, so it is not a lightweight. If it handles enough line for a job and the drag is sufficient, you can save lots of weight over other options.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.
--G.K. Chesterton

Predator Fishing Systems
U.S. Distributor for Jigstar rods , Zest lures,
and Hollowpoint big game artificials

Okuma High Performance Reels

#7 Tunanorth


Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:17 PM

I would go Penn, and get it "blueprinted" by Cal Sheets.

Just to clarify, the Penn "VSX" series do not need to be blueprinted, and are ready to go straight out of the box.
Cal Sheets can improve any reel, and in fact the majority of "brand new" reels he works on are no longer Penn.
There are huge numbers of old Internationals out there dating back to 1965, and of course keeping them in the game does require Cal's special touch.
He definitely offers some cool services for VSX's [and every other current boutique reel], and I don't want to speak for Cal [or Eric], but if you call and ask him he will probably tell you just to fish VSX reels straight out of the box before you decide to do anything.
Also ask him about whatever other reels you may be considering.

#8 elpescador


Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

if you decide to go with the 30w tiagra get the LRS version.

#9 johndtuttle


Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:24 PM

no worries TN, I guess what I really meant was go for some of Cal's super mods. I saw a 50VSX that had the frame and spool lightened that was State of the Art, imo, regardless of what the accurate or okuma fans say.

#10 bassjedi


Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:53 PM

Some reason you are not looking at Accurates? I have caught some big tuna on those and feel they offer a lot of strength and power for their weight. I have never had one fail on me.

#11 Maximum Anchorage

Maximum Anchorage

Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:46 PM

I would get a Makaira 30 SEa or 20 SE. I will likely replace my 50VSW with one of those. I fish on the Royal Star every year. For wahoo, I fished a Trinidad 20 with 65lb braid and 150feet of 50lb mono.



Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:03 PM

Oh I miss San Diego.

If I were getting a new reel I'd get the Okuma Makaira. Second choice would be a Penn or Accurate. But most likely I'll be getting the Okuma Makaira for my 10 day.

I love the RP. Enjoy fishing with Frank if he's going. I'd probably try the Intrepid if I can. Excel is up there.

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