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Hello

Me and my friends are going on a 8 days liveaboard trip to the Andaman Islands.

Everything is included except the gear for the popper fishing for GT and Tuna.

My question is what equipment do we need?

We are all beginners to heavy popper fishing.

We want equipment that can handle the pressure but not spend a fortune.

It is not sure that we will ever do this kind of fishing again so you dont have to take in to account that it should work for 20 years.

We have beenn recommended the Stella 20000 and Saltiga 6500 but I wonder of there is some cheaper option that will work.

Very thankful for any input and help from you guys.

Best regards

Jesper
 

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Hello Jesper,
First of all I've never fished for GT's but have read a lot on other forums.There's a lot of info on for instance www.caranx.net/forums,click on salty pluggers.Unfortunately GT's are very strong fish and to stand a change to land one before it breaks you off on the reef strong tackle has to be used and it doesn't come cheap.Stellas and Saltigas are first choice,reels that can handle high drag settings loaded with 80-100lbs.braid,though the 20000 is a bit slow,more suitable for jigging,most use faster 10000 and 18000.Rods usually Japanese (Smith,Carpenter),there is a cheaper alternative like the Shimano Aspire, the Shimano Caranx Kaibutsu range and Lamiglas Tropic Pro used by Nicola Zingarelli who runs the caranx forum,heaviest model and 2 equal parts,easier for travelling and cheaper than the Smith/Carpenter rods.If I were going on such a trip as a beginner I would choose one of those rods,with poppers in the 100-150gr. range like the yozuri surface bull,or the poppers made by Seawood and Heru(Cubera,GT mania).
Casting very heavy poppers as a beginner not advisable.
Cheaper reels?Maybe a Quantum Cabo or the heaviest Penn Spinfisher but maybe it's better to invest a bit more and go for a Stella,the older models FA are cheaper now than the SW.In general,if I were going on a trip like that I would invest in at least some decent tackle that will do the job otherwise it wouldn't be worth going.
Good luck,
Jeroen
 

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Basically it comes down to what Jeroen already said, there is no point in spending 1500-2000 euro on a trip and run the risk of not being able to fish properly because you "saved" 200 euro's on your gear.

I would buy a secondhand Stella/ Saltiga and matching rod, use it and sell it again after the trip is done.
That will cost a few euro's maybe but you can get a secondhand Stella 10000 FA for 350-400 euro and will get that back afterwards.
A friend of mine bought a Xzoga Takadum from Ebay (Shimreels I think) and it is ok pricewise and will cast a popper a long way, the Shimano Aspire is a decent starter rod as well.

Tight lines!

Serge.
 

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The big Shimano Saragosas are pretty tough, and half the price of Stellas, although that's still pricy. My personal favourite is the Quantum Cabo, which has an awesome drag and excellent line-lay. I've taken two 100lb amberjacks and a 300lb-plus bull shark vertical jigging on my tiddly little Cabo 60 loaded with 66lb braid in Cuba - which was fun.
 

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The big Shimano Saragosas are pretty tough, and half the price of Stellas, although that's still pricy. My personal favourite is the Quantum Cabo, which has an awesome drag and excellent line-lay. I've taken two 100lb amberjacks and a 300lb-plus bull shark vertical jigging on my tiddly little Cabo 60 loaded with 66lb braid in Cuba - which was fun.
a very nice reel is the cabo and i want one
 

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The big Shimano Saragosas are pretty tough, and half the price of Stellas, although that's still pricy. My personal favourite is the Quantum Cabo, which has an awesome drag and excellent line-lay. I've taken two 100lb amberjacks and a 300lb-plus bull shark vertical jigging on my tiddly little Cabo 60 loaded with 66lb braid in Cuba - which was fun.
Ok - that's the reel sorted and for the rod, have a look at some of the suggestions here - http://www.worldseafishing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284418

Please steer clear of the Greys Popper 'cause a good popping rod it ain't.

You'll also need a good selection of poppers.
As you're on a budget and don't want to spend silly money on Carpenter or Patriot lures @ €65 and upwards, I can recommend the Australian Halco Roosta lures.
They are very well made, come in 3 sizes and are easy to get hold of. The Roosta 135 and 195 ''Haymaker'' are GT -proof, but you may like to upgrade the rings and hooks to Owner hyperwire rings and ST56 or ST66 trebles.
https://www.veals.co.uk/acatalog/Owner_Hooks.html (scroll to end of page)

If you fancy handmade lures, then Seawood (based in Spain) have an excellent selection available from their on-line store - http://www.seawoodtackle.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=105_3&language=en

You'll need to rig these with rings and hooks as above, which will add to the cost, but these will then be well up to the challenge of attracting, hooking up and fighting GTs, Doggies, YFT etc.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Steve
 

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I'd agree with Steve on the Halco Roostas, which are available in UK for around £10. It's a nice shape that you can either smoke back quickly, or slow down and bloop. The 135 is best for medium-weight GTs, and it casts well, as does the 115 for light work. I've found that the Haymaker (I think it's about 150g), for all its size, wobbles in flight and loses distance - but it does make a hell of a disturbance. You can use it as a teaser - in Cuba I was popping with one and a barracuda came up to have a look and then nailed a shallow 10cm plug that a mate was running just behind me.
I'd put in a good word for River2Sea Bubblepops in 15cm, which have a nice casting weight (60g) and a superb action with a slower retrieve, but you'll need to upgrade the hooks on this.
I know people rave about GTs but to be honest, I find them a bit of a bore - greedy bullies which can wreck you with monotonous, and expensive, regularity. And they taste like plywood. Other reef fish are available that are far more interesting (to me anyway) - coral trout, the Lutjanids, spanish mackerel, tuna and blue and golden trevallies - and all can be taken on lighter gear without the same fear factor. I'd personally take a selection of lures for all depths of water and look beyond the GTs ...
 

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I know people rave about GTs but to be honest, I find them a bit of a bore - greedy bullies which can wreck you with monotonous, and expensive, regularity.
I don't know Mark - they can be quite cuddly sometimes.



But they can certainly wreck you and your lures -

What's left of a cheap Grauvell popper - lesson learned


I've taken a shine to the Diawa Saltiga Popper for smaller trevallies and jacks, jobfish, cuda etc - http://www.monstertackle.co.uk/fishinglures/daiwa-saltiga-popper-sap1140f.html as they come fitted with Owner rings and ST46 trebles.

Steve
 

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.... Other reef fish are available that are far more interesting (to me anyway) - coral trout, the Lutjanids, spanish mackerel, tuna and blue and golden trevallies - and all can be taken on lighter gear without the same fear factor. I'd personally take a selection of lures for all depths of water and look beyond the GTs ...
A point well made Mark! And there really are a variety of species to target in the Andamans - a number of which are illustrated in this blog - http://gamefishingindia.blogspot.com/2010/02/fish-stew.html - regarding one of our members' trips in February.

Jesper, have you checked on the quality of their speed jigging gear for the Dogtooths ... and GTs?
 

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Yup Steve, that's how I remember them: flats-track bullies, not cuddly at all. All though to be fair, the small ones make good bait for spanish macks.

That'll teach you to be a cheapskate on the lures. At least the popper was through-wired - I heard some very interesting stories recently of what happened when a well-known lure manufacturer moved its operation to China ... but if I said any more I'd probably get a rap on the knuckles from a pal. If you know what I mean!
 

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Yup Steve, that's how I remember them: flats-track bullies, not cuddly at all. All though to be fair, the small ones make good bait for spanish macks.

That'll teach you to be a cheapskate on the lures. At least the popper was through-wired - I heard some very interesting stories recently of what happened when a well-known lure manufacturer moved its operation to China ... but if I said any more I'd probably get a rap on the knuckles from a pal. If you know what I mean!
:clap3:Go on, tell us.:secret:
 

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I would really love to know who designed that greys popper rod , they should be ashamed of themselves.

If you cannot afford a stella or saltiga , we have got very good use out of the Daiwa BG60 and 90 . Not the most refined reel , but at least it wont fall apart and you can fix it with a hammer . very important when travelling any distance from a tackle shop.

Lures wise , i absolutely love the Salmo mas marauder , its like a massive walk the dog and its a killer . Throw all the hooks away when you buy it but apart from that its a much overlooked lure.The new sweep lure is great too , although its not quite so dramatic on the take.

Big halcos catch more anglers than fish , mainly because its like pulling a bucket in and you can only fish them for 10 mins before your arm falls off.

Cabos are a good cheaper option , they have a bit of a tendancy for the anti reverse to go pear shaped , but apart from that they are pretty solid , but a secondhand stella or saltiga would be the best option.

i have 2 x 6000 saltigas , 1 x 10,000 stella FA , 1 x 8000 stella SW , and a 6500 saltiga expedition . My favourite is the Expedition because its light tough and fast , but they are all super reels and are more than capable of doing the job.

The Daiwa hi line bull is supposed to be tough , but the jury still out on that one , i find it a bit heavy.
 

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Hi Richard ... I'm curious to know more about the problems with the Cabo's anti-reverse, mainly because I've just had the same problem with my 80. I sent it back to RokMax, where Paul had a look at it and found nothing obviously wrong but suggested that overlubricating might cause the pins not to fall back in on the magnetic antireverse mechanism. He said he'd never had a problem with a Cabo before - hence my curiosity.
I promise not to make jokes about Daiwa rods and hacksaws again ...
 

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I would really love to know who designed that greys popper rod , they should be ashamed of themselves.

If you cannot afford a stella or saltiga , we have got very good use out of the Daiwa BG60 and 90 . Not the most refined reel , but at least it wont fall apart and you can fix it with a hammer . very important when travelling any distance from a tackle shop.

Lures wise , i absolutely love the Salmo mas marauder , its like a massive walk the dog and its a killer . Throw all the hooks away when you buy it but apart from that its a much overlooked lure.The new sweep lure is great too , although its not quite so dramatic on the take.

Big halcos catch more anglers than fish , mainly because its like pulling a bucket in and you can only fish them for 10 mins before your arm falls off.

Cabos are a good cheaper option , they have a bit of a tendancy for the anti reverse to go pear shaped , but apart from that they are pretty solid , but a secondhand stella or saltiga would be the best option.

i have 2 x 6000 saltigas , 1 x 10,000 stella FA , 1 x 8000 stella SW , and a 6500 saltiga expedition . My favourite is the Expedition because its light tough and fast , but they are all super reels and are more than capable of doing the job.

The Daiwa hi line bull is supposed to be tough , but the jury still out on that one , i find it a bit heavy.
:1a:I've got a Saltiga 4500, would that be OK? I've used it on roosters and sails without a problem but a GT, never.:1a:
 

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Originally Posted by Richard S
I would really love to know who designed that greys popper rod , they should be ashamed of themselves.

I certainly had a good laugh when I forund out one of my mates had bought one, so Greys have that to be proud of, making me laugh that is, miserable git that i am :laugh:
 

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the saltiga 4500 is a sound reel , maybe a little small , but its a lovely bit of kit . You need big drags and low down grunt for GTs , constant wear em out pressure . I am sure it would be ok for one trip , but if you are doing a lot of it a 6000 or 6500 might be a better bet .

THE CABO 70 was the one i had a problem with , if it persists , i have a good guy at zebco europe who fixed the one i sent back for a client , i think he got his from Rokmax.

His packed up in guinea and a big leerfish nearly removed all his knuckles dont think ive ever seen a reel go backwards that fast.Thank heaven for stripping gloves.

Richard
 

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Interesting about the Cabo. I've been considering an 80 based on reports elsewhere.
However could do without anti-reverse problems again.
Been there, done that on a Fin-Nor Offshore 95! (although design fault fully fixed now)
Also waiting to try a Shimano Thunnus C14 12000.
Hearing good things about this reel.
Apparently has a lot of Stella internals & other features at a fraction of the price.
Interested to know your views
Andy
 

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This isn't really on-topic but I just want to mention to the original poster that especially since it's his first time going on a tropical fishing trip, don't get too fixated on BIG GTs - they are a difficult target in all respects and you can miss out on a lot of fun with smaller reef fish that I still get a great deal of enjoyment catching. I like casting with lighter gear and lighter lures much more than heavier gear, it's more of a pleasurable experience and less strenuous. You have a much wider range of rods and reels that will do the job, which you can fish in other parts of the world for a range of other species, and won't knock you back by the same amount a heavy GT outfit will.

The lures and gear you'll use for tuna are a little different to GT. Again bear in mind that you can have a lot of fun casting to smaller tunas such as skipjack, small yellowfin and even little tunny/kawa kawa on light tackle. These tunas can be quite abundant in many tropical areas and if you haven't caught a bluewater game fish before you'll get quite a surprise when you hook a 12 lb class skipjack. It doesn't have to be all about 50 to 100 plus class yellowfins.

I suggest you look at deepjigging.com or Nicola Z's forum caranx.net (if that's still active) for a better perspective.
 

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This isn't really on-topic but I just want to mention to the original poster that especially since it's his first time going on a tropical fishing trip, don't get too fixated on BIG GTs - they are a difficult target in all respects and you can miss out on a lot of fun with smaller reef fish that I still get a great deal of enjoyment catching. I like casting with lighter gear and lighter lures much more than heavier gear, it's more of a pleasurable experience and less strenuous. You have a much wider range of rods and reels that will do the job, which you can fish in other parts of the world for a range of other species, and won't knock you back by the same amount a heavy GT outfit will.

The lures and gear you'll use for tuna are a little different to GT. Again bear in mind that you can have a lot of fun casting to smaller tunas such as skipjack, small yellowfin and even little tunny/kawa kawa on light tackle. These tunas can be quite abundant in many tropical areas and if you haven't caught a bluewater game fish before you'll get quite a surprise when you hook a 12 lb class skipjack. It doesn't have to be all about 50 to 100 plus class yellowfins.

I suggest you look at deepjigging.com or Nicola Z's forum caranx.net (if that's still active) for a better perspective.
:sun:Well said, smaller fish like dorado and roosterfish can be great fun on a 12lb class or spinning rod but you can't beat a 100lb+ fish for a photo.:sun:
 
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