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Old 11-09-2011, 01:50 AM
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Default Big Tuna help

After 5 decades of long range fishing using every type of artificials you can imagine I am finally getting into big tuna fishing on the fly from an anchored
West Coast Long Range Boat. I am looking for any and all recommendations for everything from fly selection, best connections, best fly lines, etc. I have spent most of my life landing big fish on small and light gear so I have the technique for fighting fish but the fly thing for blue water big fish is brand new to me. I love fly fishing salt water flats and trout but have never done the blue water thing. I am thinking some of my connections may not be up to the new task. Any and all help is appreciated.

As a note I am also looking for a spare Abel Super 14 spool. Any color will do though I just purchased a beautiful used Super 13 in Marlin colors so of course Marlin would be my preference.

Also looking for another 14 - 15 wt. fly rod for better casting of flies. My gusa is a beast for lobbing shooting heads but would like another rod for loading up and casting lighter lines

Thank you

Jamie

Last edited by fishordie; 11-09-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Big blue water tuna, yellowfin or blue, (fish over 100 pounds) is high on my bucket list. I put together a rig last year for Alaskan Halibut on the fly, but unfortunately it didn't pan out. This summer the guide says we'll try harder. I matched a TFO Heavy Duty Blue Water Rod, which is rated up to 16 weight, with a TFO 425 Large Arbor reel. For fly line I spooled an Orvis Gen 3 WF-15-SV line, and wound on 300 yards of 50 pound Power Pro gel spun backing. For leaders I took a page from my father-in-laws Costa Rican tarpon experience. 4 foot of 40 pound Fluoro looped to a bimini twist of the same weight line looped to a 30 inch 50 pound fluoro tippet. Total leader length is 8 1/2 feet.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Thank you for the info Mrfzx.

Since I make my own Spectra to flouro knotless leaders I plan on using that thus eliminating the mono to flouro connection. I am not sure if I will need
a short Butt section to turn the fly over as right now my Gusa rod is a beast and is designed for Lobbing (One back and One forward cast) heavy shooting heads such as 750 grain line. I have Teeny line on it now in 450 - 750 grain however the big line is what is best for this rod. I am looking for another rod with a better blend of loading ability and fighting ability. I have not seen or played with the Helios 14 wt, Sage Cross Current or others so I am very open for suggestions. Thank you for your help.

Jamie

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Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
Big blue water tuna, yellowfin or blue, (fish over 100 pounds) is high on my bucket list. I put together a rig last year for Alaskan Halibut on the fly, but unfortunately it didn't pan out. This summer the guide says we'll try harder. I matched a TFO Heavy Duty Blue Water Rod, which is rated up to 16 weight, with a TFO 425 Large Arbor reel. For fly line I spooled an Orvis Gen 3 WF-15-SV line, and wound on 300 yards of 50 pound Power Pro gel spun backing. For leaders I took a page from my father-in-laws Costa Rican tarpon experience. 4 foot of 40 pound Fluoro looped to a bimini twist of the same weight line looped to a 30 inch 50 pound fluoro tippet. Total leader length is 8 1/2 feet.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

The shop that I used to work at had a new Sage Xi2 1480-4 on clearance. It was there when I visited the shop last week. That would be a good rod for your purpose. Match it up with a Scientific Anglers Mastery Billfish WF15F.

If you are casting into a feeding frenzy, try fishing a pattern that resembles a mangled baitfish. Fly H20 has a "Cut Bait" pattern. It looks like an injured fish with guts hanging out.

Otherwise throw out some patterns that look like the local baitfish. Make sure that they are tied onto stout hooks. Some of the Mike Robrahn patterns tied by Rainy's are great producers.

For information on the rod, call 916-722-1055.

Dennis
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Yeah, that TFO I have is definitely a lobber, but in order to have a stiff enough butt section to provide lifting power, a real concern in blue water, I can't imagine it having much if any flex. I have never really seen a rod over 12wt that was IMHO really "castable". If you find one let me know.
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Last edited by mrfzx; 11-09-2011 at 02:16 PM. Reason: wording
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Thank you guys for the info. I have been phoning almost everyone in the industry for advice. I have had nothing but positive comments with everyone adding in great advice. This is something not really done out here so I think I might now remember what it is like to be a virgin....LOL. A lot of excitement, a bit of trepidation and a whole lot to learn. However, once I get it I plan on not letting go. And just like a virgin I many go skinnier rather than fatter just to keep up appearances.......I mean a 14 wt. vs. a 16 wt. ... What were you guys thinking...... as far as the rod size goes....LOL Please keep the comments and advice flowing.

Jamie

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Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
The shop that I used to work at had a new Sage Xi2 1480-4 on clearance. It was there when I visited the shop last week. That would be a good rod for your purpose. Match it up with a Scientific Anglers Mastery Billfish WF15F.

If you are casting into a feeding frenzy, try fishing a pattern that resembles a mangled baitfish. Fly H20 has a "Cut Bait" pattern. It looks like an injured fish with guts hanging out.

Otherwise throw out some patterns that look like the local baitfish. Make sure that they are tied onto stout hooks. Some of the Mike Robrahn patterns tied by Rainy's are great producers.

For information on the rod, call 916-722-1055.

Dennis
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

The entire orignial post was written bass ackwards so this entire post is an edit.

I'll start again. I....

1). Sandpaper the end of the fluoro to a blunt point. Spectra fibers going over a square edge is not good.

2) I shove the fluoro up into the braid about 2 feet for leader butts

3). I scuff an area of the fluoro about 1 1/2" long at that 2 foot mark with 600 grit sandpaper before running the spectra any further up.

4) I make a superglue bump on the fluoro where it has been scuffed with very fine (600 grit) sandpaper and taper each end of the bump with a toothpick. Then let it dry solid. UV cure would probably also work fine.

5) I run the fluro futher in so the spectra goes over the bump and past it.

6) I tie a nail knot over the spectra and glue with JB adhesive.

The purpose of the tapered glue bump is to prevent the serve from slipping on the fluoro when casting. When casting, the spectra (or any hollow braid) is alternately loose then tight, and the weight of large hooks are repeatedly tugging on the serve.

The bump not only prevents the serve mechanically from slipping down the fluoro, but also takes most of the force in compression before the force even reaches the serve.
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Last edited by wjc; 11-10-2011 at 03:37 PM. Reason: totally confused myself and wrote the proceedure I use backwards.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Hi Jim,

Yes, I have been doing Knotless connections for years using hollow spectra to both form a knotless end loop as well as using the finger cuff to hold the mono or flouro into the hollow spectra. I tend to use a serving vs. glue as a means to start the cuffing technique however I have always fed the mono up into the spectra much further than you are noting in order to get 100% strength at the connection. I learned from Basil of BHP who really revolutionized the concept into a commercial practice. He actually has a how to on his web site at

BHP Tackle - Wind-On Leaders - Topshots - Fluorocarbon Wind-On Leaders - Hollow Spectra

We have been doing it for years and recently a few others along with Basil have been experimenting with a shorter insertion length for the Popping market using spinners. The results appear good but not quite as good as a 3 or 4 foot insertion length however for my applications 6 - 12 inches of insertion should be good enough along with a serve. Contrary to popular belief it is the "Cuffing" action which holds the line into the hollow spectra rather than the serve, crimp or nail not. The serve only acts as a means to tighten up the cuff similar to the chinese finger trap toy used by kids.

I have been chatting with many of the fly line companies and have a fair amount of interest in creating a methodology where we can create a honest loop in the end of a fly line which will actually hold more than a few pounds of drag pressure and hopefully the kind of drag needed to catch the bigger fish we are targeting. It is the weak link between both ends of the fly line which holds the biggest concern to me and am hoping to combine the techniques we have been developing for years using conventionals and now Spinners to make something better for fly anglers. Or at least me...LOL. I find it interesting to see some great drags on fabulous reels which cannot be fully employed due to these weak links.

I have some other ideas in the mean time to blend in a loop by removing the coating from some of the braided mono cores or solid cores depending on the manufacturer and potentially create a smooth transition between the ends of the fly line buy using some hollow spectra to create the knotless loop. I have lots to think about and lots to develop but the need is absolutely here if the industry is to grow and allow anglers to catch bigger and bigger fish. It would be great, even for IGFA folks, who use 16 or 20 pound tippet, to get the full benefit of their line ratings rather than lose strength in the noted connections using an Albright, Bimini or ???.

I will also try some versions of the Bob Sands knot which is usually relegated to Spectra to mono connections but who knows. I am a newbie to this blue water thing so I still have hopes and dreams. More importantly I appear to have a bunch of industry folks more than interested to see how things progress...... or not.

In the mean time please keep the advice coming as I am a sponge and want to learn Obie Wans....

Jamie


Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
I don't know how you are doing your spectra to fluro leader butt connection, but I have been scuffing the sheen off the fluoro about an inch and a half up from the end I stuff into the hollow spectra and tapering the end of it to a blunt point with sandpaper.

Then up about a half inch below where I started the scuffing, I put a drop of superglue on the fluoro so both ends are tapered - making a tapered bump on the fluoro.

Then I run the spectra over the glue bump and nail knot it just downhill of the bump, nearly touching it, (instead of using half hitches) and glue with the Jerry Brown spectra adhesive. I've been using the glue bump method for mono/dacron braid to fluoro connections for a couple years, and just switched to JB spectra on one spool (soon to be three spools) and figured I'd do the same with it.

It's probably unnecessary, just a little added insurance. The weakest part of the link in the direct fluoro, hollow braid connection - regardless of which type of braid or serve - is slippage at that junction.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

I had my father-in-law call one of his friends down Costa Rica that do some pelagic fly fishing, (JB's Charter Service) and they highly reccommend a bite tippet of some type of wire when fishing for toothy critters. They like red coated braided wire, 12 to 16 inches in length. I am told they put a crimped loop on both ends, and use the loop to attach the fly and leader respectively.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Big Tuna help

Yo MRFZX,

I have had others, including Conway Bowman, talk to me about wire. I am not convinced it is necessary if you tie your flies onto a quality circle hook unless you are targeting Shark or Wahoo. Again, I may learn differently in the trenches but we will see. I always carry wire with me and can make up some leaders if I feel that is the ticket but as of now I do not think it will be required.

Basil of BHP tackle, who makes premade wind on knotless leaders, sent me an even better link to a capt. who also does what I have been describing with his fly lines using hollow spectra to capture and cuff the fly line. I do this on both ends of the fly line but use a piece of spectra with a premade loop rather than do it after the fact or splice into the backing. By using a
loop to loop connection, contrary to the Captains explanation, by merely pulling on each side of a loop to loop connection on the main line you can get the connection to pop and release making the change out of fly lines very simple and quick. Anyway, it is worth checking this out for those who are chasing some serious fish.

As a note, I have extensively tested peoples knots which they thought were very strong. Very rarely have I seen most folks ever get more than 70% of their line strength using a bimini or albright knot with most getting about 50% of line strength using a straight pull. It is worse when I tested using a snapping type motion but that is to be expected. These knotless leaders provide a 100% strength connection when done Spectra to Spectra or inserted appropriate sized mono or flouro into the hollow Spectra and served per the provided pictures. I will test at some point how they work over a fly line but for now I know this technique blows away either a nail knot, bimini, albright or ??? and is a smooth transition through the guides.

http://www.capth3.com/public/The_Hollow_Connection.pdf

I have presented to Basil the concept of creating a knotless connection for 16 and 20 pound tippet for IGFA work but I am not sure a straight length of
tippet can be held by the present hollow lines as generally we use no less than 30 pound mono or flouro HOWEVER I am going to read up on IGFA rules at some point and chat with the leader guys to see if we can create a tapered leader which can be held at 30 pound test diameter through the spectra and tapers down to the appropriate tippet size without adding a knot which I expect will meet IGFA rules but again I have not read up on them as of yet.

http://bhptackle.com/index.php


Jamie

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
I had my father-in-law call one of his friends down Costa Rica that do some pelagic fly fishing, (JB's Charter Service) and they highly reccommend a bite tippet of some type of wire when fishing for toothy critters. They like red coated braided wire, 12 to 16 inches in length. I am told they put a crimped loop on both ends, and use the loop to attach the fly and leader respectively.
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