Bluefin Tuna Rod and Reel Setup

Most anglers are fascinated with the idea of catching a bluefin tuna, partly because these massive tuna are strong enough to outrun and outlast anglers. To catch this strong, fast, and elusive fish, you need the right knowledge and gear. This post is for those who want to learn about bluefin tuna rod and reel setup.

What You Need to Know About Bluefin Tuna Rod and Reel Setup

Contrary to what some novice anglers tend to think, you do not need a bit stick to catch big tuna. In terms of durability, fiberglass rods are great. But now there are better alternatives to heavy and solid fiberglass rods.

Tuna fishing rods are now getting lightweight, partly because reels are getting smaller, and braided lines are shrinking in diameter.

In recent years, composite rods have replaced solid fiberglass rods. They are a mixture of graphite and glass. Composite rods are as strong as fiberglass rods, and they provide the sensitivity of graphite.

Tuna fishing reels are usually designed a bit distinctly. They usually have premium bearings, more line capacity, and a good drag system.

Choosing the Right Rod

When it comes to fishing for Bluefin Tuna, picking the right rod is of utmost importance. Choose the right rod to complete your bluefin tuna rod and reel setup. Now we will try to help you make an informed decision.

First of all, your decision should be determined by where you are going to fish. Rods are available from good brands such as Tsunami and Shimano. Guides, blank, reels, seats, and wraps are some main features to look for.

Tsunami manufactures composite fishing rods intended for catching bluefin tuna.  These rods are known for their great sensitivity, power, and resilience. The rods come with precise guides.

The Shimano Trevala rods are also great for catching bluefin tuna. These rods are durable and come with a lower price tag. For targeting bluefin tuna, only the XXH models are recommended.

7-foot carnage II is another great pick. These rods are lightweight but very powerful. To maximize performance, you can get a Pen Slammer III as well, which is designed for heavy-duty fishing.

Bluefin Tuna Rod and Reel Setup – Recommended Spinning Reels

Shimano, Penn, and Accurate are the 3 brands of spinning reels often recommended by experienced anglers. Yes, there are lots of other reels that are strong enough to handle Tunas. But these 3 brands are widely known, and their parts are easily available.

Bluefin tuna can eventually wear your drag system down. So, it is important to choose a durable reel. Of the 3 models mentioned above, the least expensive one is the Penn 950SSm. It comes with a powerful drag system and a machined aluminum reel.

Shimano is another great brand with a short price tag. The brand has released some very good models such as the Spheros 18000FB and 14000FB. In recent years, these models have undergone some upgrades. Cold-Forged Spools, Paladin-Gear-Enhancement, and higher line capacity are some notable features of these models.

Shimano also has reels with medium price tags. Saragosa and Thunnus fall into this range. They come with some added features that experienced anglers find useful. To complete your bluefin tuna rod and reel setup, you can consider buying a Shimano reel.

Bait Fishing

Using live bait is one of the best ways to attract bluefin tuna. There is another reason why bait fishing is so popular among anglers, especially when it comes to catching Pacific bluefin tuna. These predatory species are easily attracted to live bait.

 As soon as you spot some actively feeding bluefin tuna, chum the water and cast a line with a baitfish. You can use Pacific Mackerel as a baitfish, which attracts Pacific bluefin tuna. It is important to use lively bait.

You can also add a Nomad Popper to this setup. Bluefin tuna love poppers, mistaking them for flying fish. To watch the frenzy, you just have to cast them on the water surface.

Flat Fall Lure

Using a flat fall lure is another great way to catch tuna. Some experienced anglers recommend using both live and fake baits. A fall flat lure looks like a wounded, fluttering baitfish. This lure should be cast around 180 feet below the surface. This is the ideal depth, but it can vary depending on where you are fishing.

Bluefin Tuna Rod and Reel Setup – 2 Tips for Tuna Fishing

Sometimes you may find it very hard to catch the elusive bluefin tuna. But if you follow the rules of the game, you may end up catching a huge tuna. Apart from bluefin tuna rod and reel setup, these 2 tips should be taken seriously. They might make the process a bit easier for you.

Set bait and wait

This tip is pretty obvious, but anglers often overlook it. The advice is pretty straightforward: you have to set the bait and wait. The key is to be patient. No matter how complete your bluefin tuna rod and reel setup is, you will return empty-handed if you are not patient enough.

Do not expect the tuna to bite right away. You will have to place the baits throughout different depths. As a rule of thumb, you should cast the shallow baits first and then gradually go deeper.

Wear gloves

Throughout the fishing days, your hands are exposed to harsh elements. Angling also involves handling sharp stuff. A pair of fishing gloves can provide not only safety but also comfort.

By wearing gloves, you protect your hands from ultraviolet rays that can cause sunburn. Sunburn will cause irritation, and you will not be able to hold things comfortably.

If your fingers are unprotected, they are at risk when they come in contact with braided fishing lines. Too much friction on your palms can lead to uncomfortable blisters. Gloves can provide great protection in this regard.

You could also read about tuna fishing tackle recommendations.

Bluefin Tuna Rod and Reel Setup – Conclusion

If you are a serious angler thinking of catching bluefin tuna, make sure you have the right rod and reel combo. If your rod and reel are improperly balanced, your setup is going to be less comfortable to use. We hope you will make an informed decision. Happy angling!

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