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Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Jay Stewart (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: November 04, 2015 06:11PM

Hey fellow rod builders,

I am looking into building a light tuna popping rod for school sized yellowfin. The OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping (7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710) blank looks like it will fit the bill. I typically build conventional style rods so I'm not sure about what size of guides to use. I plan on going with Fuji MNSG. Can anyone recommend the proper sizes for a guide set?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Jay

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Jerry Poindexter (---.tx.res.rr.com)
Date: November 04, 2015 07:43PM

Spinning or baitcast? Maybe contact OTI...I can't remember the guys name, they used to be near me, but have relocated to Corpus Christi. For a spin popper, looks like he's using the KW guides?

[www.oceantackle.net]

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Jay Stewart (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: November 04, 2015 09:54PM

Thanks, Jerry, I will reach out to OTI. This would be for a spinning application. I'm interested in the opinions of other rod builders. I'm not set on the MNSG's, either.

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Bill Falconer (207.203.39.---)
Date: November 05, 2015 10:28AM

Hello Jay -

This is my current favorite style of fishing! Recently came back from doing this for four days offshore out of Venice, LA. Two of those days we caught our limits on poppers and nothing beats it for excitement. A 60# YFT will punish you on that long spinning rod but I love it.

I actually caught most of my fish on an OTI-3206-768 and that rig was not too heavy for fish in the 30# - 60# range...for what it is worth. It wasn't that much fun to cast / fish but was not too much rod once hooked up. I was running a Saragosa 10000SW and 65# braid to about 4 feet of 80# fluoro leader. This is a fairly typical set up for Venice, but they do get some bigger fish with regularity.

It is kind of combat fishing...you have 6 or 8 guys (counting captain and mate) in a pitching and rolling 37' boat with fish blowing up all around. It is NOT gentle on your gear. The whole thing is like a maelstrom of barely controlled chaos. Casting distance is at a premium...seems like they wouldn't hit close to the boat for us (although our captain said they will). And you have to put serious heat on these fish or bad things happen - either you get cut off by another angler's braid, you get dumped, or you pay the tax man.

To me, the ideal set up is Fuji K-style guides. I would highly recommend them over MNSGs. You WILL get tangles and line twist with fish burning 150 yards of line off in seconds and those tangle free guides actually work. While single foots would handle routine casting and fish fighting, I strongly recommend using strong framed double foot guides all the way out since the rod will take some inadvertent abuse. You see lots of rods down there where the first three guides are all smashed down and touching the rod. An explosive run at the boat against a tired angler leads to those things getting crushed against the gunwhale.

The two key variables for the size or your guide train IMHO are your reel size and your leader knot. I had very good luck with the FG knot and will probably not use anything else ever again...even at gunpoint. I saw every knot you can imagine fail over four days and that one never failed. By the end the captain made me teach it to him and the mate. So, do your homework and be ready. The reason this is important is that the FG from 65# braid to 80# Yo-Zuri HD Fluoro flew threw both the size 10 guides and the size 10 tip with ease. BUT - you may have to go up to size 16 running guides if you plan to pass a Uni-to-Uni connection..it is huge compared to the FG. If you go lighter on your fluoro you will lose a lot of fish as the small teeth on those tuna will saw through depending on where you hook them. My point is that with this type of deal you need to test cast your actual connections with the reel you will use.

Do you know what size reel you will be using? For that 10000 size using an FG knot, I'd run a high-frame #30 down 16-12-10s all the way out to a size 10 top. IF YOU PLAN TO USE UNI-TO-UNI OR ANOTHER BULKY KNOT 10S ARE TOO SMALL! Ideally you'd use TKWSGs for the corrosion resistance, lightweight and the frame resilience (they bend and snap back) but they are pricey. KWSGs will work great as well. Truth be told I used KWAGs just to see if they'd hold up (and since I like chrome frames) and they performed flawlessly.

One other note - after having cast those poppers with wet hands for 4 days my index finger was a wreck. Next year, I will run enough flouro to have two turns around my spool and cast the fluoro rather than the braid. Much easier on your hands. But again, you will need to make sure your connection will pass through the guides. You are throwing these poppers HARD and if it catches you can lose a $40 poppler or worse yet someone could get hurt. I hope this helps - good luck!

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Capt. Michael Harmon (107.77.70.---)
Date: November 05, 2015 05:22PM

Hey Bill, great post. I have a client asking me to build same type of rods for tuna popping. Lots of useful info since i haven't tried that type of fishing. I do agree the double foot ti K guides are the way to go. I use them on heavy surf rods and they hold up. Tight Lines, MH

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Jerry Poindexter (---.tx.res.rr.com)
Date: November 05, 2015 06:06PM

I agree w/ Michael, great post, Bill! Your last paragraph got me to wondering if you are aware of the Breakaway Cannon...I have one zip-tied to my surf rod, but it could be incorporated in a custom build.
NO more taped or sore/sliced index fingers w/ braid.

[www.breakawayusa.com]

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Jay Stewart (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: November 06, 2015 01:47AM

Bill,

That sounds like some insane fishing! Thank you for sharing all that information. I'm sure it took a lot of time and effort to acquire. I recently experienced a taste of this kind of fishing off Mexico, out of San Diego. Fish were small, but the few I caught on poppers was a lot of fun. I'm looking into building both light and medium weight rods. I'm leaning toward building the light one first. This would be matched with a 5000 size reel. This should be perfect for the smaller sized fish while still lots of fun. The medium build will be more like what you're talking about. But just reading your post makes me want to build that rod first, instead. For knots, I was planning on going with a wind-on/loop to loop combination. But, I will definitely look into this FG knot you speak of. Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge. This is really great information.

Jay

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp.unas.al.charter.com)
Date: November 06, 2015 07:56AM

Hey Jay -

The wind-ons will work well. You can also go with hollow core braid and insert your fluoro straight into it and simply serve the connection. If you are on a long range boat, you have a spot to work and access to your tackle bag. The way we are doing it dry space you can access is at a premium. I love the wind on and served connections, but find them hard to service and redo out on the boat.

Let us know how you make out - and post some pics of the rods!

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp.unas.al.charter.com)
Date: November 06, 2015 07:57AM

Jerry - I had forgotten about Nick and Breakaway. The Cannon is worth looking into - thank you.

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Re: Guide recommendations for OTI Ocean Xtreme Popping 7'10" 25-40LB OTI-3206-710
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp.unas.al.charter.com)
Date: November 06, 2015 07:57AM

Jerry - I had forgotten about Nick and Breakaway. The Cannon is worth looking into - thank you.

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