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We'll see how the current bite affects the gear selection right before each trip. Not a bad idea to give us a call prior to your trip. But, the following suggestions should put you in good stead for what we'll likely encounter.  We'll provide a couple levels of gear to bring.  I'm a bit of a minimalist, others like to have more options, so we'll cover both arsenals.  One thing you'll want for all trips is sunscreen, and if you're like me (without much between the top of your head and the sun) have a good hat, too.  

Revised 01/2017

Rigs For 3-6 Day Offshore, Guadalupe Island will require the heavier 50-80# rigs
Bait and Plastics
This is your light rig, go to it if it's a pick offshore.   Old school Calstar or Seeker 270 or 870, Calstar GFGR 700L, UC RCE 700L & 700M with a Newell 229, Penn Fathom or Squall 15, Avet MX & SX Series, Daiwa Lexa 300/400 & 20-30 size Sealine, Seagate and Saltist,  ... There are lots of great reels to cover this line class.
Medium Bait and Jigs (Mega Bait /  Jacky Jig type)
If you only have one rig to bring, make it this one for a 3 day or less trip. Something like a UC RCE 7000M or 700H, Seeker 670 (older production prior to firms sale) or old school Calstar 700M, 670, 970 or 870 would do you well matched up with a Avet MXL 2 speed, Accurate 400 size, Penn 25N, Daiwa Sealine, Saltiga or Saltist30/35, Newell 332 or 338, ...  Offshore, this rig may be all you'll need - until we get to the island. Basic bread and butter.
Heavy Bait and Jig
This is one class you'll likely want to back up with an additional set-up. I like having something that's a good caster for flylining and presenting a bait naturally, also something that's a bit heavier duty with a low gear ratio for cranking power. Consider one of the lighter two speeds or lever drag reels.

For the majority of long range trips, your 40# outfit will be your most used rig. Avet's JX 2 speed, Accurate 500 size, Penn's Fathom 25N, Daiwa's 35 and 40 size are go-to reels. Okuma's Andros 5 II and Metaloid 5 and 12 two speeds cover this class well. Two speeds have their place, greater versatility - can cover tuna as well as wahoo, and everything in between. United Composites RCE 700XH and RCP 700HF are great, Calstar's 700M and MH, Seeker 6470 (preferably older rods prior to sale (s) of company. In years past this would also be your primary rig for Guadalupe Island fishing, but things changed after the island was closed for a few years. For Guadalupe, look at 50-60# outfits.

Heavy Bait,
Consider this a requirement for Guadalupe Island.
For the Guadalupe yellowfin, running 50-60# on a light two speed, with fluorocarbon leader, makes for a very effective and efficient means of bringing tuna to the boat before the a great white shark comes along and munches the table fare. Consider running Avet's HX or LX Raptor,  Daiwa's Saltiga in the 40-50 size works well for this application. Okuma's Metaloid 12, Andros 12 and Makaira 10/15 have great merit for fishing bait in these tests. Penn's 40N covers this one well, as does Accurate's 600 series works well. For your rod, you need lift and strength, UC RCE 700H or HX, RCP 70HP, RUS Tilefish and Predator.
Trolling, Kite, Dropper Loop 
Boat will have the trolling side covered if you don't have your own rig for trolling use. You will benefit from having something to fish yellowtail and grouper on the bottom, dropper loop type fishing. A low gear helps, at minimum  Penn 4/0 Baja Special can get the job done on a budget.  Nice to have a two speed 20-30 size, Avet HX Raptor or standard, Penn 40N... on a stout rod like a UC Raptor will cover your needs.
Terminal Gear
Hooks Ringed hooks do very well, either Owner, Gamakatsu and the new Eagle Claw Trokar ringed circles proved very effective.  Cover yourself from 1/0 on up to 4/0.  It's also a good idea to bring along a few 5/0-7/0 single J hooks and circles. Mustad's newer Demons 3X and 4X & 7691 do well, Owner Gorilla and Eagle Claw Trokar hooks do great.
Leader Bring your fluorocarbon.  The stuff makes a difference.  - ESPECIALLY AT GUADALUPE. Typically run the same test or one step up from your main line (mono). There are many who are running straight FL to their Braid, and this is a great way to fish bait - FOR THOSE WHO ARE EXPERIENCED ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THEIR BAIT.
Weights We didn't make much use of the lead in the past.  But, if we spend much time offshore or scraping for yellowtail, an assortment from 1/2-6 oz might come in handy. For dropper loop fishing, be prepared with 12-24 oz.
Lures Bring some iron, some trolling feathers, and have a lure or two for the wahoo in case we get really lucky.
Rigs For 8-10 Day Charters to Alijos or the Ridge
Bait and Plastics

Don't count on needing this light a rig unless you want to be sporting when making bait.

Medium Bait and Jigs (Mega Bait / Dymara / Tady type)
You'll use this rig for making bait, and perhaps also for some yellowtail fishing or school size tuna.  This is as light as you'll run for the longer trip. Something like a Seeker or Calstar 700M, 670, 970 or 870 would do you well matched up with a Penn 545, Newell 332 or 338, Daiwa Saltist and Saltiga, Avet MX 2 speeds... 

This is your Light Rig for this trip.

Heavy Bait and Jig
For the Ridge and Alijos for larger yellowtail and smaller school yellowfin, 40# just might be your most used setup.  A Penn 4/0, Newell 500 series, Accurate Boss 500, Avet JX/LX or HX 2 speed, Okuma Metaloid 5 or 12, Andros 5 or 12, Makaira 8 (bait not jigging)...  on an old Seeker or Calstar fiberglass 660H, 665H, 6470, 6465H... United Composites RCE 700H, RUS Monster & Tilefish, RCP 70HF...

This is one class you'll likely want to back up with an additional set-up.  Consider one of the lighter two speeds or lever drag reels. Avet's JX 2 speeds are increasingly being used at this level, and the MC feature is well worth the $. Penn is in the game with their 25N, Daiwa's Saltiga 35, Accurate 500 series all do well.

Heavy Bait,
For the moderate and larger size yellowfin, running 50# on a light two speed, with fluorocarbon leader, makes for a very effective and efficient means of bringing tuna to the boat before the a great white shark comes along and munches the table fare. Consider running  Avet's G2 JX/LX or HX 2 speeds, Penn's Torque or Fathom 40N, or a Daiwa Saltiga 40-50. Rods: UC RCP 70HP, RCE 700XXH, RUS Predator...
Trolling & Bottom Fishing
On this trip bring the two speed! Have your bases covered with a strong 60 and 80-100# two speed set-up for use dropper loop fishing or perhaps on the troll.  It's a must have for this type of trip.  Trust me on this, if you don't have your own two speed rigs you'll be spending time in the galley recovering after your first fish. This will also be used bottom fishing. Avet 30, HX Raptor, Okuma 16-20, Accurate 30... Rods: UC Raptor and Centaur
Heavy Rail
100# +
Increasingly this is a rig you'll need to have available. In '05 it was mandatory for catching the 200-300# yellowfin that we boated. Anything smaller and you ran the risk of getting spooled, bitten off or busted. Have 135# braid backing, with a fairly short topshot if you are an experienced angler who keeps good bait contact. Reels like Avet's SDS 50 narrow, Okuma Makaira 20 @ 100#, their 30 and 50 for 130, Penn's 50VSX work well in this application. Rods: UC Centaur, Viper...
Terminal Gear
Hooks For the past several years the ringed hooks have done very well, either Gorilla or Mutu Circle Owners proved very effective.  The Eagle Claw ringed hooks as well as Burns ringed Mustads really performed. Cover yourself from 1/0 on up to 4/0.  It's also a good idea to bring along a few 7/0 - 10/0 single siwash hooks, like Mustad's 7691.
Leader Bring your fluorocarbon.  The stuff makes a difference. You'll want 40-100# in my opinion.
Weights You'll need the lead. Have a range of weights with you and definitely some larger torpedo weights in the 16-24 ounce range for grouper fishing at night.
Lures Bring some iron, some trolling feathers, and have a half dozen wahoo bombs.  Both Catchy Tackle and Burns make some good stuff for this application. Bring along the large size marauders and some trolling harnesses.  We stock the Burns harnesses and Bomb rigs. They're good quality and fairly inexpensive.

Red boxes denote must have rigs




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