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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife, Capt Diana, brother mate Dave and myself will be attending the Fred Hall Fishing Show this weekend in Long Beach, CA and there are some of the best captains running Long Range boats out of San Diego doing seminars on this type of fishing. Capt Art Taylor from the Searcher, Captains Roy Rose, Frank LoPreste, Capt Randy Toussant all from the Royal Polaris & Royal Star boats, Capt Mike Lackey from the Vagabond, Capt Bruce Smith from the Shogun and Capt Andy Cates from the Red Rooster 111 will be attending and giving in-depth lectures on the latest tackle, rigging and techniques used for Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna including those monsters in the 200-300 lb range they catch on the 10-18 day trips. It should be very informative and interesting listening too such accomplished captains discuss Long Range fishing.
In addition there are factory teams attending from Fin Nor, Accurate, Avet, Daiwa, Newell, Okuma, Shimano, Braid, Tiburon, Seeker and of course Penn along with an endless list of other tackle manufactures that are based throughout the USA and Japan. Many tackle manufactures introduce their newest products to the public at this show every year so for a tackle junky like me this is like a kid in a candy store. Thank god my wife loves fishing and never complains when I buy new tackle.
I will be discussing things with the Shimano Technical people such as the factory upgrades to the Saragosa 18000 F spinners and will advise. I will be more than happy to share any information about any of the Long Range boats or any of the newest tackle we learn about at the show with any Barn members who have an interest in this.
Many years ago I got my start doing serious offshore fishing when I worked on a local boat out in California as a mate which included many many trips down to Mexico when places like Cabo still had dirt streets and no golf courses. I even bought my first stand-up rods from Capt Frank LoPreste when he had the first Royal Polaris that was based on the original Sabre Blanks before Penn bought them. Great memories and if we can answer any questions please feel free to e-mail me.





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Have fun!

That sounds like it will be a great time.

If do you happen by anyone selling an upgraded set of drag washers for a Shimano Saragosa 18000F - could you please get me a set ? I also heard that Shimano offers an upgraded drag knob for the reel. I picked one up as as a backup Reel.

Thanks Capt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Dan and others on the Fred Hall show this past weekend

First Hello Dashing Dan the Jig Man from Southern California. We have a house full of relatives right now (mostly females) getting ready to watch the Red Carpet for the Oscars as is starts early out here and it is going to drive me to take a long nap and wish I was back at the tackle show as I am light years from being a big woman’s fashion fan. The good part is Diana, my nieces and my mother are making fresh Strawberry Pie and multiple racks of pork ribs so all is not bad. The Strawberries are as big as small oranges since they are grown locally and taste out of this world if you like fresh strawberries. Now back to fishing tackle.
I spent quite a bit of time with so many different tackle manufactures and trying to absorb everything especially the technical aspects of a bunch of new reels that are presently on the market. Honestly it is beyond me and I spent last night on various web sites reviewing some of the new reels that were introduced recently to the public. What I picked up is every reel has its good points and most also have weak ones compared to other reels that are similarly priced. You have to know what to look for which is a tough one unless you are in the tackle business or have been schooled in what makes a top quality reels that will pass the test of time. I feel very confident to say from my experience at the show is that many of the cheaper less quality reel manufactures have upgraded their reel engineering and design to be very competitive with the top on the line manufactures. Many of these lower end reels if that is the right word I have personally seen not perform up to my standards in the past when customers brought their own tackle on board our boat and for that reason I have always stayed away from using them on charters. These new reels might not perform in all aspects as well as the high end priced ones but I was impressed with what is now being offered across the board and it makes for some difficult choices these days but this is good for us consumers. I am not going to get into naming manufactures since this often gets down to personal preferences or who gets free reels like many I know in the charter business but there are some great choices these days beyond Shimano and Penn but for me it is all Accurate, Shimano and Diawa with a few Penn's in the mix but I found there are others out there offering some very nice tackle that might not have the big name's like these do and would definitely check them out. One thing I really liked was I was able to meet a few production supervisors from the American made reel manufactures and talking to them was a great experience since you get a slightly different slant on how reels are actually made versus marketing people.

I spent a lot of time with the Shimano staff and learned a great deal. I did not know they bought Power Pro and now offering a top of the line hollow core along with a solid braid. Shimano had a large classroom right at their display area that had a whole technical staff teaching how to repair any of their reels plus general reel maintenance and I was impressed by their commitment to their customers. I am going over to their US Headquarters in the next few days and discuss in depth what is being offered on the Saragosa 18000 F these days as the technical staff were so busy teaching reel repair that we only spoke briefly about upgrades to the Saragosa reels. I did pick up this about these reels as I was able to talk to some very experienced Long Range anglers that have done many of the 18 day trips targeting those 150-300 lb plus Yellowfins and all agreed that no spinner under $300.00 is really made to hold up to large powerful tuna on a regular basis in their opinion. Most preferred conventional reels when the big tuna are the target. I personally love my Saragosa and hope to see a Yellowfin bite this coming season so we can cast surface plugs to them at daybreak and will have a answer to your question about drags and a new handle real soon. I am sure Shimano will provide the answers to any of my questions since they have always been more than helpful in the past whenever I needed their assistance but I can also say this nowadays about most reel manufactures I have contacted.

I did not spend a whole lot of time with rod manufactures but Seeker and Cal Star had large displays with so many different types of blanks. There seemed to be more interest in stand-up fishing rods than jigging rods overall compared to the East Coast but that is just a general observation that might not be accurate as I did not visit all the custom tackle shops that had many many rods on display plus the custom rod builders. Shimano was really pushing their Trevala line of jigging rods and are offering some new more powerful ones according to their personnel. I liked what I saw from Avet, Fin Nor and even Okuma but did not get a lot of time discussing their new reels. I did spend a decent amount of time with the Daiwa representatives discussing their top of the line spinners especially the Saltiga Dog Fight but I think I would prefer the Saltiga SA-Z 6000 which is cheaper and has a 4:3:1 gear ratio but both reels are made to stop big game fish in their tracks with 14 high grade Stainless Ball Bearings. The Dog Fight SA-Z6500HDF is a new model that offers a high speed gear ration with up to 66 lbs of drag. All one needs now is to hit the lottery to afford all this great tackle that is available these days.

I did have the chance to talk with old friend Dennis Braid and his wife plus Jeff Gammon who started Terrafin Sea Temperature charts which we use on our boat. Jeff also had his lovely wife, Lorie, at his booth and Diana really enjoyed visiting with her since they own a home down by Rancho Buena Vista on the Baja's East Cape where Diana and I spent many days fishing in our early days together. Speaking of my wife, Capt Diana, I feel so blessed that she loves fishing as she accompanied me to all the booths and discussed her experience fishing over the last 25 years with the tackle manufactures, long range captains ECT. Diana does not fish these days as much as in past years with 4 grandchildren but we hope if we stay healthy to start to travel again once she retires from her nursing position and spend some quality time together fishing some exotic locations as we used to do many years ago.

Dan, I am in the process of putting together some hands on informal jigging seminars on our boat in Cape May later this spring with some of the most respected and experienced anglers I know. Would you like to join in since you carry some of the finest new jigging tackle I have seen anywhere and think many anglers would enjoy discussing jigging tackle with you.
 

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Surely

Yes that would be a great thing Capt! - I'll look forward to it this Summer. Lots of good gear to demo from the jigs, to new Figure 8 jigging rings, new types of thinner and stronger Fluor from Blackwater and Yo-zuri, new 16X PE braid from Blackwater - incredible! New knots etc. I have doing the 3x surgeons loop & installing a new wind-on down to less than a one minute process. I think people should learn that and the more I use the wind on-s the more I like them. But we can also teach the PR knot, uni/uni, etc.

With all this damm snow I've had plenty of time to think about tuna fishing and be spending money on tackle!

I have added quite a bit to the collection over the Winter. I have some new rods from Hots, Smith and Jigging Master to break in :D:D I grabbed the Saragosa 18000F as a backup as a dealer offered me it at the show at I price I could not refuse :bow:

I also like the Daiwa products, we've been carrying the high end Dogfights for about 5 months now and yes they are crazy expensive, thus not selling a ton of them but they are beasts, I really like the Daiwa quality I've been a fan for a long time.

Daiwa has some some unique features like locking the bail AND spool during a cast - I've never ever had the bail snap shut during a cast! (which normally = lost lure) Also I like their Air Bail system with over-sized Tn bail wire - its a beast as well.

Two lucky Barners grabbed up my last two Dogfights so maybe we will see some reports as the reels get some use. But I also do really like the Expedition as well, a tiny bit less line capacity, slightly lighter and yes much less expensive!

Have fun

Dan
 

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Yes that would be a great thing Capt! - I'll look forward to it this Summer. Lots of good gear to demo from the jigs, to new Figure 8 jigging rings, new types of thinner and stronger Fluor from Blackwater and Yo-zuri, new 16X PE braid from Blackwater - incredible! New knots etc. I have doing the 3x surgeons loop & installing a new wind-on down to less than a one minute process. I think people should learn that and the more I use the wind on-s the more I like them. But we can also teach the PR knot, uni/uni, etc.

With all this damm snow I've had plenty of time to think about tuna fishing and be spending money on tackle!

I have added quite a bit to the collection over the Winter. I have some new rods from Hots, Smith and Jigging Master to break in :D:D I grabbed the Saragosa 18000F as a backup as a dealer offered me it at the show at I price I could not refuse :bow:

Have fun

Dan

Dan Call Shimano.... I did and they sent me 3 new drag Knobs, and three sets of upgraded drag washers....Free of charge.:thumbsup::thumbsup: Capt Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some additional history on reels for the bigger tuna

I will be going over today or tomorrow to the US Shimano headquarters in Irvine, CA to discuss the Saragosa 18000 F reels with their technical staff. They upgraded my reels last spring but still not convinced by any means they are designed to battle 200 lb tuna at least in a timely fashion except possibly one isolated fish here and there. You can back the drag off of any fish but with Bluefins they will chew thru the leader (60-130 lb) after a prolonged battle plus they very well might come up pretty well cooked if you fight them too long. Back around 10 years ago we started jigging both Bluefins and Yellowfins using all hammered diamond jigs mostly when we had a mad dog chunk bite going on and was able to experiment with various reels at that time. We used mostly Newell's and Shimano TLD LRS 30's & 50's because they were light weight and kinder on the anglers than the heavier gold tackle we used for trolling. In all honesty it was our jigging customers that pioneered the use of jigging tuna on our boat over 15 years ago long before it became so popular and we learned from them. What we found was if the drags were kept at around 12-15 lbs we never had any problems with the reels but when we put the heat on the tuna we destroyed pinion gears on the Shimano's and completely burnt up the best Newell reels. Basically if he tuna were in the 40-60 lb range all the reels worked fine regardless if they were BFT’s or Yellowfin’s but occasionally we would get into those 80-125 lb Yellowfin's in the canyons at night or those 20-30 fathom line BFT over 140 lbs and these reels were not cable of putting enough drag on these size tuna without failures. We certainly did catch our share on these reels but if you wanted to avoid a prolonged battle and not have problems at least on the bigger more powerful tuna these graphite framed reels were not designed in my opinion for these size tuna. We also had some customers that tried jigging with spinners back then such as the largest Penn Slammers and Daiwa BG 90’s and they failed totally even when in later years our customers spooled them with the early spectra line to add line capacity. I personally watched customers fight big BFT at the Hot Dog with these types of spinners that turned into marathon battles and lost fish but my hats are off to these anglers as they were trying new and different things before the new modern jigging tackle was developed. The bottom line to all this is simply you can only get from your tackle what it is designed for especially if you fish as much as we do on our boat and changing to carbon fiber drags and such does help but overall the tackle has to match the type of fish you are targeting. In my recent report I mentioned my conversations this past weekend at the Fred Hall Show out in Long Beach, CA with some very experienced tuna pros that fish regularly on the 10-18 day Long Range boats out of Pt. Loma and Fishermen’s Landing in San Diego. I tried to kind in my report about the Saragosa reels in my recent post as I do not want to say anything negative about what I consider a very fine line of spinning reels. (Saragosa) The general consensus from the anglers I talked too was spinners under $300.00 are just not made to handle 150-200 lb plus tuna with over 30 lbs of drag on a consistent basis nor is any spinner under $300.00. Every experienced jig fishermen that has fished on our boat when we are targeting the bigger tuna have always used Stella’s or Twin Spins the last couple of years and prior to that if was mostly Daiwa conventionals. I love my Saragosa reels but we only use them when the tuna are in the size range that the reels were designed for. I do not care if you change the drags to carbon fiber from Smooooth-Drag with a bigger handle they just are not the reel of choice for bigger Bluefin's especially when you have a day like Capt Mike had this weekend down off Hatteras. All you are going to do is destroy your tackle.
As mentioned I am going over to the Shimano headquarters probably later this morning and discuss this with their technical staff and I am sure what I will hear is it is nothing more than every reel is engineered for special performance capabilities and they should work fine as long as anglers use the reels that meet these specifications. When you go beyond what the reel was designed for then you are asking for problems and that is why the Stella’s were introduced along with the Accurate Twin Spin and now the Daiwa Dog Fight spinners.
What I would like to see from the reel manufactures is a top of the line spinner that is priced between the Sargosa 18000 F and the top of the line Stella’s that might not be quite as good overall but more affordable for many anglers that cannot spend between $800.00 and up to close to a $1000.00 for the new Daiwa Dog Fight spinners. I wonder if there is any reel manufactures such as Fin Nor, Avet or Penn that is listening? I will be discussing this with Shimano when I meet with them for what it is worth.
 

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John, that is one of the most accurate posts ever made. Hard to believe the Saragosa 18000F is rated at 44 pounds max. At that level they don't even feel close to being safe, too much plastic. I know 100 pound hollow core and 80 pound floro doesn't help either. They still perform well for the price on fish under 100 pounds, above that it really is a marathon and then courtesy to fellow anglers comes into play.

Capt. Mike
 

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All,

I just returned Sunday from the Fred Hall show as well. I do a lot of insurance work for the guys on the west coast and have met some great folks along the way. This show is top notch when when it comes to west coast style fishing - especially jigging and "throwing iron". I was doing some things with the guys from "Inside Sportfishing" and as always learned another trick or two (bimini knot in less than 30 seconds!!!)

When I got to questioning some of the guys about about top shots and splicing, they all referred to some guy from the east......Basil Pappas. GO Basil - you are legendary to those guys. I hope to get out and finally do a long range trip in the next year or two, but work always seems to get in the way. If you ever have a chance the Fred Hall Shows (Cow Palace, Long Beach and Del Mar) they are great events and always a learning experience.
 
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