Having only fished for bluefin tuna twice I’m as far from expert on them as you could possibly get. But I am good at listening when clients tell me about their tuna fishing experiences off Sydney. And the feedback is pretty consistent, especially from trailerboat fishos. Three major concerns:
1. the tuna zone starts at Browns (22nm out) and extends to Heatons (40nm out) and beyond. Meaning that perfect weather with almost flat seas is essential, for chasing them in a small boat;
2. At the tail end of their run across the Bight and up the east coast almost all the fish are big, 80 – 100 kilos and up;
3. the bite often starts late afternoon and a hookup on a standard Tiagra 50 can mean a fight going on into the dark, and lasting for hours. That brings a heap of concerns including crew getting seasick or feeling nauseous, after sundown; skippers worrying about getting back to port in the dark through a sea full of whales; and blokes aboard who say things like, ‘I have to be at work at 7:00AM.’ Which is understandable. You don’t read about it much but plenty of big bluefin have been intentionally broken off, as the sun sinks below the horizon. The way to go is an 80 pound outfit that will do the job not just on bluefin tuna but the other big dogs – mako and tiger sharks, or broadbill swordfish.
So when our primary supplier offered us some fully rollered Tuff Tackle 80s I was interested. And when they arrived, super glad I’d ordered. It’s the top one in this pic:
Beautiful profile, under heavy load:
It’s a 3-piece IGFA 80-pound ‘King Mackerel’, with foregrip and butt section joins. Reel seat is a Pacific Bay Permalign HDCLB4-BG made from anodized aluminium:
Foregrip is 40mm diameter Hypalon, chunky and very comfortable to hold. Roller guides are heavy duty Pacific Bay ER models with Teflon coated stainless steel bearings:
The guide frames are machined from solid marine grade aluminium.
Overall length of the rod is 75 inches, a little over six feet, rod weight 1.25 kilos. Here’s a short video showing it’s features:
Busting to get out and give it a try so we matched it with our 80 Wide 2-speed holding 1000 metres of 80-pound mono. Originally made for Quantum, it’s the big brother of our tried and tested 20 Wide:
Out to Browns Mountain and set one gemfish belly strip under a balloon fifty metres back, and one on a sinker fifty metres down. Not long before the deep bait got hit:
Serk battled it like a champ, with his new Braid harness a timely purchase.
Here’s a few seconds of the action:
When we got it boatside it was just the right size to take and the boys were very keen for some mako steaks. I sunk the metal gaff into the right hand side of its head, Serk planted the bamboo gaff into the left. But try as we might, with three blokes pulling as hard as we could, we couldn’t get it over the gunwale:
Eventually it tore off the gaff and headed back into the deep. Dang shame but we’d proven the rod was perfect for this kind of work.
Price $260 with postage $20 within Australia and that’s a top deal.
Send me an email for more information, including videos of the rod in action?
Thanks for reading,