I am just starting in the offshore fishing. I plan to do primarly tuna chunking but if the chunk doesn't produce I will try trolling. I had my mind set on Penn International 50TWs but someone suggested Shimanos instead. What do you all think??
My hard core fishing freind Bill who owns the "White Knight" out of Freeport, probably knows offshore equipment as well as anyone, mentioned to me just recently that he has been buying Shimano exclusively. This is not an opinion of which is better, just an observation.
To me its Shimano by far.They have the smoothest drag I ever felt.I used to own all Penns,my first Shimano was a TLD 15 about 6 or 7 years ago.It was intended for bluefish and bass but when I tossed a 100lb class Mako a chunk with it ,it handled it fine.To this day I haven't changed the drag washer.its still like velvet.I now have 3 TLD'S,8 CALCUTTA'S AND 3 50 2 speeds. Great reels.
I agree with BA, the TLD's are a bargain reel. Take your pick the single speed TLDs are a very good starter reel, but the real gems are the TLDII series which are 2-speed. The TLD20II and 30II are incredible reels that can fish up to 60# line (if you use spectra backing). Light, compact, bulletproof, low maintenance and a joy to use, particularly on a private boat. The 50 is there if you need capacity or you will fish straight 50-80# mono only. Can't go wrong with any of the the TLDII's (I have 3).
In my trolling spread I use 4 TLDs with 50LB Momoi I love em. Under 200$ each, easy to handle , great drag. I am much more partial to lighter tackle for everything but Giant BFT. My other 3 reels in the spread are Penn 15KGs with 50lb Mamoi. Great reels as well, lighter (graphite) and of course two speed. They are a little more expensive (325) but if you are considering 50s give them a look.
When the airline bent and crushed my brand new Shimano and refused to pay, I sent it out to Shimano to see if it could be repaired. They replaced the shaft, handle and some other parts, and did not even charge me shipping ! They win my vote and my loyalty.
one rod /reel combo I have is a shimano tld25 with a graphite body. It is great due to its lever drag and light body but consider this when buying steel versus graphite body reels- We caught a 275-300 lb thresher shark on the rod a few years back- after seeing the fish when it jumped we knew my brother in law would be at it for a long time so we had him put on a stand up harness and hooked it to the reels top harness rings. In the midst of the battle there was a tremendous bang like a gun shot It scared the life out of all of us. The reels body had broken under the stress and now we had a reel hanging by the harness clips and the rod still in the waist belt. Myself and a friend held the reel as jim turned the crank 1/2 hand lining in the fish till it was boatside. I had the reel body replaced at a local shop and still use it today. I dont think a metal bodied reel would have broken as that one did.
I have 2 TLD 25's, the only problem I have with them is the drag settings. One reel I have no problem getting 17lbs of drag (50lb test), the other reel I can only get 13lbs. of drag. I have only caught small mako's and mid size blue sharks on them and they were great, smooth drags. My only complaint is the option for higher drag settings on the one reel (both reels were bought at the same time) I talked to a rep at the Suffern show and basically he said to live with it. One show on ESPN had a TLD30 frame blow up while they were using either 16 or 20 lb test line. I guess this a problem with graphite reels. I have the two Shimano's, 2-25 GLS, 2-45GLS, 2-Formula 15LD's, I love them all!
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