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Discussion Starter #1
My partner and I are planning on sailing the Atlantic next year and would like to fish as we go, hopefully for Tuna and Dolphin Fish etc.. I would like to get some gear as a Christmas and Birthday present but lack any knowledge on fishing. I am after information on
1. What kind of rod, reel and line would be best to use
2. Is a hand line better?
I'm not looking to spend loads of money but happy to spend a little more to get something decent but not really sure where to start. I was recommended a Shakespeare Ugly Stick, what are people's thoughts on this and what kind of reel do I need as I've been told this is very important.
Thanks
Jen
 

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Hi Jen, the Shakespeare Ugly Sticks are very good tough rods I have a couple of them, but I’m a yachtsman and have always used a handline coiled round a wooden frame it’s much easier to use on board especially when under way. A rod has a tendency to get tangled up in sheets.
My present hand line is 2mm mono bought when I was in the Indian Ocean and got fed up with the Garfish sizing the lures and snapping the line off with their antics. It’s a bit over the top with the braking strain but has the advantage of not tangling when retrieved into the cockpit hand over hand in a hurry. Also it’s thick enough to not cut into your hand.
As well as the hand line I have an otter board or paravane that dives down when towed, this will keep lures down with out using large weights. Then a variety of lures some of the simplest work well such as brightly coloured rags seized round the line and hook.
Talk to some one who has recently been in the Caribbean as in some areas the fish are contaminated and should not be eaten. I think it’s something the fish eat that causes the problem.

Have a good trip. Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi both, thanks for your comments. I'll do some more research around rods and hand reels etc. I've looked up info on Ciguatera poisoning, I'm under the impression it's mostly related to reef fish eating algae and shouldn't be a problem in pelagic fish whilst making passages
 

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Id look at getting a soft action forgiving rod and spin reel especially if your partner hasn't fished that much before. A reel with good line capacity if the boat can't be stopped or turned to follow big fish might be worth considering. Maybe mono might be better from a sailing vessel as the last thing you want are braid cuts when in remote locations. A lighter trace than your main line might also be worth using so you can tighten up the drag and break off a lure if you hook something to big to safely handle.

The style of lures you use doesn't have to be high end expensive hard body lures, a 5-6inch zman plastic will be like candy to most pelagic species. The good thing about Zman plastics is that they don't actually need to be pulled to fast to give good action.

As for cig in tropical species, this isn't so much of an isue in small fast growing pelagic species, more red coloured reef fish. Be very careful of cig in big Spanish mackerel and wahoo however as well as be very careful around their teeth.

Dolphin fish are one of the fastest growing fish and have a very short lifespan, they are extremely good to eat.
 
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