Gear Guide: Capt. Mike’s Offshore Rod Collection #200

Capt. Mike’s Minimalist Collection of Rods for Offshore Fishing on Cape Cod

This is the collection of rod and reel models I use on Cape Cod but applies to
anywhere you’ll find tuna. For what it’s worth, I fish on a 28’ Contender center
console. I do not target giants and for healthy release purposes, I only target
tuna I can land in under 30 minutes with my gear, preferably less.

Casting

TZS-70XH-BLK 7′ with Stella 1800: I string this outfit with 100lb holocore
with spliced loop for loop-to-loop wind on connections. My leaders range
from 60lb to 130lb flouro. This rod is highly versatile. It’s “just” light enough
to be enjoyable on 40lb fish and “just heavy enough” for fish up to 300lbs. I
have caught hundreds of fish on this outfit including a couple I regrettably
landing that were north of 300lbs. My outfits are 6 years old at this point and
have hundreds of tuna under the belt. Note: I rig my Stella 18000 for this set up
the same way I do as my jigging spin set up, but with 100lb holo-core to 100lb
flouro leader. This rod has no problem casting 3 to 6oz jigs and plugs. When to
Use: Tuna up to 300lbs

A few features that I like about this rod:

  1. Extended foregrip: I  like a longer foregrip because it gives great
    leverage when “taking a break” with a big bend in the rod.
  2. Short Rod Butt: I really dislike tuna spinning rods with too long of
    a butt section. I find long butts hard to maneuver during the short
    game and put my fishing grip in an awkward position to fight fish
    off my hip as opposed to a center “belted position. This allows me
    to keep a 45-degree articulation with my elbows (saving arm
    strength” and allowing me to dip my knees and engage my core
    muscle group while fighting the fish. I hate next-day-sore-tuna-
    back-syndrome”
  3. Super durable: I put a ton of heat on my tuna. I like to “l land it fast
    – or break it off” Faster landing = healthier release & better meat.

Check out this video we filmed during the 2022 Salty Cape Filming
season. We were casting heavy lures to 55’ fish. We landed our fish in
about 5 minutes each.

Jigging

  1. St. Croix Mojo MJJS58XMF 5′ 8″ with Stella 1800: I string this outfit the
    same as I do as with my 7’ spinning rod above: with 100lb holocore with
    spliced loop for loop-to-loop wind on connections. I prefer casting
    wind-ons with spinning as the heavy flouro can be a nuisance on the
    spool. This is the cheapest tuna rod ever! I have caught a number of tuna
    close to 300lbs with this rod. While admittedly I would like better
    components for this rod, the blank is AMAZING. It is like, hard to break
    and a pleasure to fish with. This rod has enough back bone for ANY tuna
    you would be willing to catch on stand up. Certainly, any jigs you would
    want to fish. It’s a stiff rod, so don’t skip your kettle ball carries at the
    gym! I fish this rod most often with a 6oz Hogy Harness jig or sand eel
    jigs to 16oz. When to Use: Tuna up to 300lbs
  2. TZC-59MHSB-SR 5’9″ with Shimano TAC 25: Last year was an epic year
    for jigging BIG BFTS off Chatham. I string this outfit for jigging with
    100lb holo-core and pair with a 25’ long jigging style flouro wind-on
    leader. I have always been a spinning guy as I like the rod action better
    for jigging soft plastics. THAT SAID: It is so much easier on your body
    with conventional gear where you can strap into a harness and have a
    different leverage angle. I think I will be using this outfit more often as I
    get older. When to Use: Tuna up to 400lbs
  3. Hogy Hybrid Rod paired with Avet LX6: I string this Avet LX class reel
    with 65lb Braid + 65lb top shot + 25’ jigging wind-on leader. For
    simplicity’s sake, I leave the mono top shot on for reuse later. I have
    been enjoying jigging with the Hogy Hybrid rod for school tuna up to
    100lbs this season. This rod does surprisingly well, even when paired
    with 16oz jigs for cod and haddock. I used the same Avet LX6 reels I have
    used in all our filming this season. This rod is soft, happy and fun to use.
    Fits out of the way in my center console. I keep this rod rigged with the
    same jigs I would use for cod and tuna. When to Use: Tuna up to 100lbs

Trolling

  1. Hogy Hybrid 5′ 6” with Avet LX class reel + 65lb Braid + 65lb top shot.
    Ok, I know I talk about this rod all the time… I had one custom made just
    like it when I was in 8 th grade for multi-purpose use. Back then we would
    call it a “boat rod”. (Holy crap, 30 years ago??) Anyway, I found it in my
    basement a couple years ago and did my best to find a version that wason the market. I got close but. But… Anyway, this rod is made with a high
    quality but old-fashioned glass blank. It’s hard to break… Don’t worry,
    you can if you try! The rod is soft and parabolic and with all the bend, it is
    very forgiving on “spreader bar caught” tuna that just need a teeny bit of
    slack to shake off. This outfit is so compact and light, you can literally
    carry an 8-rod spread to the boat in one trip.A few features that I like about this rod:1. Parabolic Action: Very easy and forgiving for rocking boat. Hard to
    give slack with this outfit…
    2. Cork: I just like the feel and the look.
    3. Short Rod Butt: Easy “hip-fighting” Good for kids and small
    framed people.
    4. Super durable: I beat the crap out of my gear…
    Check out this trolling video we did with the Hybrid rod during the 2022
    Salty Cape filming season: The rod was so light and easy on those 55”
    fish. . We landed out fish in about 5 minutes each. 
  2. TZC-59MHSB-SR 5’9″ with Shimano Talica 25: I load my TAC25s up
    with 100LB holo-core and a top-shot of 80lb mono. The drag system is
    comparable to a Shimano TIAGRA 80 but the outfit weighs less than a
    wire line trolling outfit. I can carry my entire spread to the boat in one
    trip. I have trolled up tuna to 400lbs in deep water with this set up and
    have had zero issues. I fish this outfit with a wind on leader to a swivel.
    Check out this video we filmed a few years ago with the tack 25 at the Claw. Look how
    beefy they are compared to our more recent Hogy Hybrid Rod video. 

#219

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