No, I’m not really having a garage sale. You see if I did, my wife may very well take charge, and sell off 100 or so more rods and reels than I’m ready to part with. If I were, however, going to spend my Saturday parting with my toys, I could make you a great deal on some 80 wide trolling reels. In fact I’m about at the point where I’d sell the 50 wides for enough gas money to get back to Boat Harbour.
I am hereby declaring the end of the heavy tackle, fighting chair, stump-pulling rod days of the blue marlin fishery, and I have Capt. Eddie Wheeler of the “Marlin Darlin” to thank for it. The first time he and I ever talked about the death of the 80 wides he had just returned from the Dominican Republic where he had released 96 blue marlin on Tyrnos 15’s without coming close to getting stripped.
“It’s all in the hollow core,” said Eddie. “You can pack 30-pound trolling tackle with enough hollow core to stay with any blue marlin that swims. Today’s reels have such great drags, that you can put all the pressure you want on a big fish.” I highly recommend you splice a 100-yard top shot of mono, to give you enough stretch to act as a shock absorber, but other than that, get ready for a much easier way to fight big fish.
You see, not only do you hold more line, but there is practically no belly in the line as hollow core’s diameter means almost no water resistance.
I’ve got 4 years of fishing hollow core under my belt now, and man was Eddie ever right. When a marlin takes off on us, I can see exactly where he’s going. If he’s 300 yards away from us, we’ve got 300 yards of line in the water. This has taught me plenty. First off, fish don’t generally run as far, or as fast, as we sometimes think. It just seems that way because the mono goes off the reel so fast. I’ve also learned when a fish goes down, I know right where he is, and as I pull away from him, generally it results in him coming back up on top.
If I sound like I think I’ve got it all figured out, please don’t misunderstand. I’m only talking about the last 15 or so blues we’ve run across, and the biggest was under 700 pounds. I just know it’s been a long time since I worried about getting too much line in the water, and we’ve reduced our average fight time down to less than 30 minutes on a hot fish.
We’re going to cover the “how to” on hollow core in an upcoming print issue of Florida Sportsman. In the meantime if you want some 80 wides, I can hook you up.
Oh yeah, one more really cool thing about hollow core. A few weeks ago my good friend Will Myers hooked his first blue while his fiancée was up on the bridge with me. As the fish took off jumping, and the crew cleared the pit, she and I just sat back and watched. I didn’t scream. Nobody panicked. As I angled toward the fish, my language and volume would have pleased my mother. I actually even remembered to turn on the Go Pro.
To be honest. I was really rather awesome.