Stickbait and popping combo


| /

Ryobi 4000 reel specifications:

  • Ryobi 4000 spinning reel
  • Weight: 320 grams
  • Gear ratio: 5:1
  • Bearings: 7
  • Line capacity: 170 meters 15 kilo colour change braid (supplied pre spooled)
  • Drag: 5.5 kilos
  • Knob: Polished aluminium power knob

Tournament TMS 802 rod specifications:

  • Graphite composite rod
  • Length: 8 foot
  • Cork grips
  • Rated to 30 pound line and 120 gram lures for heavy poppers and stickbaits
  • Fuji reel seat and hook keeper
  • Weighs 290 grams

Sunday 27th September and Facebook readers (including me!) pretty gobsmacked at a stickbaiting video filmed off Wollongong last weekend. Bloke fishing solo, and scoring multiple topwater yellowfin tuna strikes. Sixty likes and twenty comments on the page:

Bloke catching Yellowfin Tuna on stick baits from the Downrigger Shop Facebook page

Here's the video, definitely worth a look:


Dane asked same day:

Hey mate what have you got in the way of stick baiting combos?

Good timing! I’d been focusing on the same question ever since watching the video. So many options in the rod rack it was a bit confusing. So I went back to basics. What’s needed? What’s the job to be done? The obvious requirement is long casts to wherever the fish show, meaning the rod has to be:

Eight feet long or more;

Graphite composite for light weight, and to snap the lure away when you stop the cast;

Longer than usual (longer than even a jig rod) between the butt end and the reel foot, to maximise leverage.

Reel needs to:

Have a super smooth drag because of how long and hard tuna run so, carbontex washers;

A good line capacity (at least 300m) for the same reason;

Moderate to high gearing for when a fast retrieve is necessary, either for working the lure or to get the line in quickly for a redirected cast;

Light weight. That’s really important for any rod that has to be worked – jigging, casting, flyfishing. Trolling reels and those that are left in the rod holder can be any weight, but not ones used for extended casting periods.

The big question is, what line size? I’m thinking 30 pound, because it’s open water with no reefs or snags. And the lighter (than 50) line will give longer casts, too. Putting it all together I honestly reckon we’ve got just the thing:

Tournament TMS 802 graphite composite rod

Our Tournament TMS 802 graphite composite rod. Eight feet long, with cork grips. Rated to 30-pound line and 120 gram lures, meaning you can cast heavy poppers and stickbaits. Fuji reel seat and comes with a hook keeper, so you don’t have to pin the treble on a guide. Only weighs 290 grams, not much heavier than your average knife jig. Two piece means it can be mailed so, cheap delivery and no couriers needed. Matching reel is our Ryobi 4000:

SW 5000 reel for the Stick Bait combo

Gear ratio 5:1 and 7 ball bearings, really smooth winding. Sealed drag with carbontex washers. Unusual with this reel is the thin metal shims which allows ten washers, in the stack. The extra surface area gives 14 kilos of drag so you can really crank it on at the end of the fight. Here’s a short video showing the drag assembly:

It’s had plenty of workouts on Sydney kings:

SW 5000 reel catching kingfish

Ryobi 4000 has a wide shallow spool for long casts but still holds 300m of 30 pound braid. Only 490 grams including line meaning all up combo weight of 780 grams. Comfortable EVA ball reel knob, and spooled with 300m of colour change braid. Reel and rod together make a balanced and good looking combo:

The Downrigger Shop Stickbait Combo ready for casting

Getting measured 60m casts from it using the mid-size Roosta popper in the pic - and that was into a light wind. Need a little heavier lure and should be able to push that out to maybe 80m. It’s all about distance casting when you’re popping and stickbaiting. Two piece rod super helpful too because eight foot one piece is a nightmare to stow on a trailerboat:

The two piece Stickbait Combo disassembled

One last thing to mention about the reel. For the next shipment we’ve ordered a factory fitted matching colour polished aluminium reel knob – and a spare spool, with each reel. The plan is to spool one with 30 and one with 50 pound CC braid.

Two SW 5000 reels ready for stickbaiting

Price on this combo with one spool and standard reel knob is $335 including rod reel and line.

Twelve months warranty on parts and labour and as mentioned before the rod can be mailed so, delivery not expensive.