Back in the "Old Days," when I and my friends would take our vaction in early August, specifically to go to Montauk and fish the late Summer Coxes Ledge cod run on the Viking Star, I used to frequently prowl the docks, in order to speak with some of the local "color."
Prior to those long trips, which left at 4 A.M. if I recall correctly, you could find plenty of "local color" of the female persuasion at Salivars, which we used to call Saliva's back then. But that kind of "info" wasn't the sort that I was after. What I was looking for was specific tackle and techique pointers for the local areas and conditions. Though I didn't live anywhere near Montauk, what I learned there might be applicable to where I did fish - waaaay back to the west. So I suppose even back then, it was all about the tackle, for me at least.
Relatively close to the Star's dock was the berth for the old Flying Cloud. If you never fished Montauk in the late 70's and 80's, the Flying Cloud was THE dedicated porgy boat - captained by Freddy Bird, again IIRC. So anyway, I liked to strike up a conversation with one of his mates, who was a pretty friendly fella.
One time I asked him about the setup he used for his porgy pulling, as I had seen him putting away his own gear and it looked ridiculouly light for the job I imagined it was intended for - fishing in fairly heavy tide with a multi-hook rig.
What he showed me was a golden yellow lami e-glass stick, about 7' long with a very light tip. Looked just like the setups we used to cast little pink touts to the weakfish we had to the West. Except it was wrapped conventionally with the then-standard chrome over stainless guides. The white plastic ringed Fujis ceramics were just coming onto the market at that time and many did not yet believe they could withstand the abuse a heavily used rod would have to contend with. Including me.
Anyway, that rod mounting a little Penn 940, loaded with, are you ready for this? 10lb pink Ande! That he used such light line was something of a shock to me at the time. After all, every Headboat I'd ever fished on had massive spools of 30lb and 40lb pink Ande suspended over the galley, for quick customer spool-ups. I had never seen such light line used off a headboat, let alone by a very sharp mate/puller.
But he explained that he needed the very light-tipped parabolic rod to prevent the multi-hooked porgies from shaking off the hooks in the heavy tide. And of course the 10lb test was his early attempt at keeping the effect of the tides off his rig - enabling him to use as light a sinker as possible.
I call it an "early attempt" because what he was doing 30 years ago is really not much different than what we now do with our modern super thin braids.
Though his stretchy Ande probably hurt him a bit in the fish hooking department, it certainly aided him in preventing the little silver bouncing fish from shaking off his rigs.
So, based on that kind of old-time, but still quite valid information, if I were specifically targeting Porgies off my own boat, and given that I can find them in around 50' or so of water 'round my part of the world (and given that I were to be buying a brand new stick for this project), I'd go with the following setup: I'd look for a very moderate action rod - maybe the lightest Shimano Trevala, which I believe they rate at a very optimistic 30-80lb test, a small baitcasting reel or tiny conventional reel of one manufacture or another, and probably 20 braided line.
Come to think of it, not so different than my usual Calstar GX-7 sticks/Abu 5500's that I use most of the season for mid-range ocean fluking. In fact, maybe those GX-7s are even a better choice than the Trevalas. ALOT more dinero though.
As far as using braid over a much more forgiving mono line, I figure its better to feel the ultra-quick bite of the little silver thieves and hook 'em, than worry about them shaking off on the way up. The softer rod will help with that issue anyway. Gotta hook 'em to cook 'em - or so they used to say on the headboats. Or was it "over the rail and into the pail?" Maybe both, I suppose.
Another very nice rod for this would be out of the new Daiwa Saltiga "Trevala clone" lineup - the 40lb one I recently saw was a very limber, parabolic beauty. Lighter in action than the lightest Trevala, it would also be a beauty of bait-dragger fluke stick as well.
So that's my dos centavos on the subject.
This post edited by Leprechaun 03:22 PM 06/09/2008