Reel Repair by Alan Tani

Welcome! => Beginner's Board => Topic started by: REEL STEEL on September 12, 2019, 07:55:45 AM



Title: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: REEL STEEL on September 12, 2019, 07:55:45 AM
Hi everyone! I need to replace my trolling reels that are used for Albacore tuna. I have about eight Shimano TLD 15's that I have been using but they are not holding up to the abuse that I give them. I have a Charter business in Northern California and we have been fishing tuna for a few weeks straight now. We use Avets for bait and jig fishing but the clickers seem to need regular attention so we don't use them for trolling. We use 50# line on the trolling reels. I need reels that will last the whole season (robust), have clickers that are loud and always work, don't look like they belong on a cattle boat,and a won't break the bank (I need six). I was considering finding used Penn Internationals in a size similar to the TLD 20. What would be a good reel for this use?  Thanks for the advice.  Tim     Reel Steel Sportfishing,  Eureka Ca


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: SoCalAngler on September 12, 2019, 08:54:54 AM
The Penn reels will work fine for albies. I'm sure as you know lever drag reels are the way to go for trolling. IMO the TLD 15's are a bit small for your needs but the TLD 20 and 25's are bigger and better setup for trolling. I don't know if the newer 20 and 25's come with the canvas drag washer but if they do look at replacing them with carbon fiber, if you do choose go with the TLD's again.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: alantani on September 12, 2019, 10:03:05 AM
i use tld 20 two speeds with my large handles, braid and 25 yard topshots of 60 or 80 pound mono.  you only need 15 pounds of drag, so they will work great. 


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: boon on September 12, 2019, 03:17:01 PM
Shimano Tiagra 16A's are just about bulletproof but will break the bank unless you can find a bunch of them cheap.

I would have a good look at the Okuma Solterra SLX for this purpose. More modern design than the TLDs, and the 30 comes with a proper T-bar handle as well. Tough, simple reels.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Hamachi on September 13, 2019, 04:52:27 AM
I would check out the penn fathom 60 2 speed lever drag reels. Reversible lugs, black aluminum frame, enough capacity for 50 pound mono, tough and durable. Did I mention stainless steel gears and internal parts? Hey, starting to sound like a commercial. Lol! These are the only ones that the deckhands say never need to go in for service.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Gfish on September 13, 2019, 07:23:02 AM
Interesting. That's alot of requirements. Please let us know what reels you decide on.
Myself, I'd go with cattle boat reels like Penn Senator 3/0's (or 4/0's for 50 lb.) and let guys bring their own if they wanted, but I don't operate a charter business. Tuff, simple, service is fairly easy and there's alot of 'em available.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Keta on September 13, 2019, 07:59:40 AM
I would recommend Penn Fathom 30 LD single speed reels, FTH30LDLH.  For albacore 2 speed is not needed, the line capacity of the 30 is good (250 yards of 40# mono and 525 yards of 60# braid) and the price at $230 is not all that bad.  If you plan on using braid a single speed 25NLD, FTH25NLDLH, would also work well, 400 yards of 65# braid.  The 25NLD is also $230.   Both of these reels have a "advertised" max drag of 33#.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Maxed Out on September 13, 2019, 08:28:01 AM
 These will be on your trolling rods and I've seen how much abuse trolling reels take when albacore slams a jig at 30 mph and boat trolling at 6knts. Several reels fit your requirements, but I'd say your #1 concern is the clicker and how easily it can be replaced, because the clicker is what takes the most abuse.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: REEL STEEL on September 13, 2019, 09:24:04 AM
Thank you all for the great advice. Still making up my mind.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Hamachi on September 13, 2019, 03:02:58 PM
I would recommend Penn Fathom 30 LD single speed reels, FTH30LDLH.  For albacore 2 speed is not needed, the line capacity of the 30 is good (250 yards of 40# mono and 525 yards of 60# braid) and the price at $230 is not all that bad.  If you plan on using braid a single speed 25NLD, FTH25NLDLH, would also work well, 400 yards of 65# braid.  The 25NLD is also $230.   Both of these reels have a "advertised" max drag of 33#.
Penn fathom 60ld2 is less than a single speed. (219.00) Why would you favor single speed. You donít have to push the button.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Keta on September 13, 2019, 04:58:04 PM
Two speed is your friend and most of my reels are two speed. Our albacore rarely get over 30#, don't fight as hard as a yellowtail and are in open water.  Another consideration is many charter cliants have a hard enough time with lever drag reels and the 2 speed adds more confusion. The Fathom 60 would make a good combo reel for Pacific halibut and albacore. I prefer a reel the size of the FTH40NLD2 (a Avet HX and a Penn Torque 40NLD3) for fishing Pacific halibut 700' and less.

My go to reel for albacore trolling is a Avet MX2.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Maxed Out on September 13, 2019, 07:59:13 PM
 .....forgot to mention ......the albacore charter I go on uses Accurate Boss 500LD for the trolling rods and bait rods too


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Jim Fujitani on September 14, 2019, 09:19:40 AM
I'm with Alan on this one.  TLD20II, 2-speed reels, relatively inexpensive, with a long history of use and tutorials.  There is the remote chance that you could nab a state record albacore (remember that 92 pounder, was disqualified because it had to be cut to be weighed).  And there are BFT possibilities as well as use for Pacific Halis.  Fill it with 80# braid and add a mono top.  And if you want, you could get frame upgrades, over time.

Just my $0.02.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Rivverrat on September 14, 2019, 09:46:02 AM
The Penn Fathom 2 speeds are very solid reels. The Fathom 30 would do great. Dont care for Shimano but I would Never throw rocks at the TLD models. Very solid reels as long as they're not over fished... Jeff


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: SoCalAngler on September 14, 2019, 04:50:36 PM
I agree with some of the above.

First is a two speed needed? There is more parts in a two speed that can fail. First and fore most is the push button that shifts gears. Salt eats these up so you must keep up on the maintenance here. Then gear alignment and such. If you want a two speed for albacore then go for it. For me I really don't see the need.

A Penn Fathom 30 single speed or two speed is IMO not a trolling reel. These were never designed for trolling. Live bait and other applications yes, trolling not so much in a saltwater environment.

If you want more of a trolling reel for a smaller application in the Penn lineup I'd look at the Fathom 40's.

There is more need of a robustness in a trolling reel used in the saltwater than some know that don't fish it.

Lastly I hate to say this but if your buying gear that is not proven in your area or in the style of fishing you do, you will pay more over the long run than dialing it in right from the start. Sometimes a few bucks more up front will lead to a bigger pay day in the end.

Good luck buddy.



Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Benni3 on September 14, 2019, 06:05:09 PM
I agree with some of the above.

First is a two speed needed? There is more parts in a two speed that can fail. First and fore most is the push button that shifts gears. Salt eats these up so you must keep up on the maintenance here. Then gear alignment and such. If you want a two speed for albacore then go for it. For me I really don't see the need.

A Penn Fathom 30 single speed or two speed is IMO not a trolling reel. These were never designed for trolling. Live bait and other applications yes, trolling not so much in a saltwater environment.

If you want more of a trolling reel for a smaller application in the Penn lineup I'd look at the Fathom 40's.

There is more need of a robustness in a trolling reel used in the saltwater than some know that don't fish it.

Lastly I hate to say this but if your buying gear that is not proven in your area or in the style of fishing you do, you will pay more over the long run than dialing it in right from the start. Sometimes a few bucks more up front will lead to a bigger pay day in the end.

Good luck buddy.


x2,,,,,,but I know I'm crazy at the lake trolling with a 9/0,50vsx,,,,,, ;) but when the charter guides there follow my dad around the lake and I can here the people say why do they have such big gear and we got this small stuff,,,,,,,,,, ;D


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Jeffro on September 14, 2019, 07:36:43 PM
Just returned yesterday from my first albie trip... been on the to-do list awhile.   Captain used Accurate Fury 600's which worked very well.  Clickers let us know when we got hit, light weight, smooth and reasonably priced.  I think a 500 as Maxed Out noted would also do great as I had plenty of capacity.


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: SoCalAngler on September 15, 2019, 08:30:40 PM
i use tld 20 two speeds with my large handles, braid and 25 yard topshots of 60 or 80 pound mono.  you only need 15 pounds of drag, so they will work great. 

Novice fishermen and braid? Yikes

Hope there is never a triple or quad hookup depending on how many trollers you have out with a shorter topper and braid.  :)


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: Jeffro on September 16, 2019, 05:37:43 PM
Just returned yesterday from my first albie trip... been on the to-do list awhile.   Captain used Accurate Fury 600's which worked very well.  Clickers let us know when we got hit, light weight, smooth and reasonably priced.  I think a 500 as Maxed Out noted would also do great as I had plenty of capacity.
Clarification:  The Fury 600's were used on the trolling rods while the live bait rods had 400's. 


Title: Re: Need tuna reel advice
Post by: alantani on September 18, 2019, 07:55:50 AM
trolling spread was actually set up for novices.  i use old school calstar west coast rods rated 30-80, in 5.5 and 6.5 foot lengths.  the reels are the tld 20 two speeds with 80 pound braid and a topshot of 50 or 60 pound mono, drags set to 12 pounds.  the advantage is that a 12 pound drag setting will hold fish, only allowing them pull a little line, while the boat drags them in a straight line.  at even at idle, the lines will not cross because the fish are being dragged straight by the boat.  once all the trolling rods are cleared except the last one, the guys can start throwing live bait, dead bait, swim baits or megabaits on 20 pound test. 

this system worked for my father and his buddies very well.  so, yes, it was designed for novices!!!!!

https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=97.0