Best Rod and Reel Combo for Tuna Fishing [2022 Review]

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The best rod and reel combo for tuna fishing is essential for your fishing trip to be a success. There are too many options on the market and they can be overwhelming. All anglers have to get the right gear, keeping a few factors in mind.

Our Top Tuna Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Recommendations 

Finding the best rod and reel combo for tuna fishing is the real catch! All anglers want success, and apart from skill and the right location, the only significant factor that impacts success is the fishing rod and reel.

Brand
Eat My Tackle Terminator Tuna Baitcasting Rod and Reel
Eat My Tackle 30 Wide 2 Speed
PENN Squall 30 Level
Product
EatMyTackle Tuna Terminator Baitcasting Rod and...
EatMyTackle 30 Wide 2 Speed Fishing Reels on 30-50...
PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling...
Material
Aluminum, Graphite, Glass
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Fishing Technique
Baitcasting
Trolling
Trolling
Brand
Eat My Tackle Terminator Tuna Baitcasting Rod and Reel
Product
EatMyTackle Tuna Terminator Baitcasting Rod and...
Material
Aluminum, Graphite, Glass
Fishing Technique
Baitcasting
Brand
Eat My Tackle 30 Wide 2 Speed
Product
EatMyTackle 30 Wide 2 Speed Fishing Reels on 30-50...
Material
Stainless Steel
Fishing Technique
Trolling
Brand
PENN Squall 30 Level
Product
PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling...
Material
Stainless Steel
Fishing Technique
Trolling

Best Tuna Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Overall: Eat My Tackle Terminator Tuna Baitcasting Rod and Reel

EatMyTackle Tuna Terminator Baitcasting Rod and...

The Eat My Tackle Terminator Rod and Reel is the best combo for the fighting and energetic tuna because it is 6.7 feet long, and has a two-speed reel, which makes this combo manageable with the ability to pull the reel without exerting too much force. 

The aluminum, graphite, and glass composition rod take some of the burdens off anglers while the reel has a max drag of 40lbs. The drag helps control the amount of line you give to the tuna fish. Additionally, this reel comes with a two-year warranty which is reassuring for users. 

The 620 yards line capacity acts like the horsepower of the rod to pull the tuna out of the water. Since tuna fish is heavy and resists as you pull the reel, the long line is essential in letting it fight out and swim around while staying hooked.  

Unlike the other rods in this buying guide, the Terminator is 6.7 feet long and it is strong enough to sustain the jigging movement. The Terminator has sturdy hardware and the reel is tournament tough! However, the EatMyTackle 30 has a greater line capacity. 

This rod has all hardened and tempered internal gears, which may require high maintenance after every fishing trip. Entry-level anglers accustomed to shorter rods for trolling may find the jigging Terminator to be more technical. 

Pros

  • Eva grips give high pulling and lifting power,
  • CNC machine cut aircraft aluminum frame makes the rod stronger, and easy to use.
  • The lightweight and adequate length makes it suitable for longer tuna fishing adventures.
  • The reel has the best smooth shift function, which makes it easier for anglers to pull the fish without exerting too much force. 

Cons

  • The 40 lbs drag is not enough for giant tuna. 
  • The fishing rod requires assembling that may take up more time than anglers desire.  
EatMyTackle Tuna Terminator Baitcasting Rod and...
  • Jigging rod and 18 wide 2 speed reel combo
  • 8 premium all roller guides with a 15-25 lb. graphite glass composite blank and 5 year warranty
  • 18 wide 2 speed jigging reel with 6.0:1 and 3.3:1 gear ratios for fast retrieval. Max drag 40 lbs.

Best Tuna Fishing Rod and Reel Combo For Trolling: Eat My Tackle 30 Wide 2 Speed

EatMyTackle 30 Wide 2 Speed Fishing Reels on 30-50...

This pre-packed Eat My Tackle Speed Fishing Rod and Reel combination gives you two speed fishing reels and two fishing rods strong enough to handle the fidgety tuna. Moreover, the Eva foam grips on the rod make it a comfortable rod to hold for a long time. 

The reel’s line capacity is 950 yards, which means that if the tuna swims away from the boat when hooked, the reel allows them considerable distance until you start winding. This rod and reel combo is good for chunking and trolling. 

EatMyTackle Speed Fishing will ensure success without breaking a sweat due to exertion. Unlike the Shimano Terez, this rod is shorter and some anglers may find it to be more manageable. 

The high carbon composite rod is 5.5 feet long, which is shorter than PENN Squall. This rod is lighter than Shimano and PENN Squall. Unlike Stella 18000, this reel has two speeds, which you can use when the tuna runs towards the boat, or swims downwards.  

The only disadvantage of this rod is that while it comes equipped with a strong reel, you cannot use it for all fishing techniques due to the small size. This rod can is excellent for trolling, and you might have to add another rod to your fishing gear if you want to try other techniques.  

Pros

  • Reel comes with a two-year warranty, making it a safe purchase. 
  • Smoothest drag for catching tuna gives anglers the benefit of letting go some of the force while the reel takes up the weight of the tuna. 
  • Rod and reel combo has an easy set-up, so anglers will not have to waste time in setting up before lowering the bait.

Cons

  • Roller guides on the fishing rod can corrode easily and might require maintenance, and replacements. 
  • Comes as a set of two fishing rods and reels, which can be confusing for new anglers.
EatMyTackle 30 Wide 2 Speed Fishing Reels on 30-50...
  • 30 Wide 2 Speed Blue Marlin Tournament Edition reels and 2 Blue Marlin Tournament Edition 30 - 5-...
  • 5'5" carbon composite blank with span wrap construction, wide mouth wind on leader roller guides,...
  • 2 speed gear ratio 3.6 : 1 and 1.6 : 1, stainless steel gears, max drag 85 lbs.

Best Entry-Level Tuna Fishing Rod and Reel Combo: PENN Squall 30 Level

PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling...

The PENN Squall Rod and Reel Combination works ideally for saltwater fish, and the durable construction can help anglers win the fight against the giant tuna. The HT 100 carbon fiber drag system is durable and trustworthy. 

The graphite rod and the high-strength bronze alloy gear are added features. PENN Squall Rod and Reel are excellent for anglers as the rod is a little more than six feet. The two stainless steel ball bearings and the anti-reverse bearing help avoid rotor back play. 

Unlike the EatMyTackle Speed Fishing Rod, PENN Squall is long, and therefore works for all kinds of tuna fishing techniques. Compared to Shimano Terez, you will have to exert more force with this rod to avoid slips, as it does not have the Eva foam grip handles.   

This combination is great for recreational purposes and suits first-time tuna anglers. If you do not want to go through the hassle of ordering a rod and reel separately, this combination will work excellently. 

Pros

  • One-year warranty from a reliable manufacturer gives anglers peace of mind. 
  • Excellent for charter and recreation because of the optimal length. 
  • Lightweight and durable so you can hold it conveniently for long hours. 

Cons

  • Requires force and therefore is not the best choice if you want to catch a giant tuna weighing more than 400 pounds.
  • Butt end of the handle comes off when you take the pole out of the holder. The rod requires careful handling when you pack and unpack.
PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling...
  • Level wind trolling reel for big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions
  • Durable construction with lightweight graphite frame and side plates and bronze main gear and...
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness

Features to Consider for Tuna Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

When buying the best rod and reel combo for tuna fishing, anglers have to consider the fishing technique, action of the fishing rod. Moreover, you must ensure the compatibility of the rod and reel. Choose the tuna fishing gear that suits your style.

ProductLengthPowerLine Rating
Shimano Terez TZS-72XH and Stella 18000 Reel 7 Feet and 2 InchesExtra Heavy65-200 Pounds
Eat My Tackle 30 Wide 2 Speed Fishing Reels on Rod5 Feet and 5 InchesHeavy30-85 Pounds
PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling Reel Combo 6 Feet and 2 InchesMedium HeavyMaximum 15 Pounds

The Fishing Technique

Whether you go trolling, kite fishing, or chunking, the fishing gear has to be selected accordingly. For trolling, you will not need a fishing rod that is too long, and you will require a reel that has high drag and is long enough to form a trail of bait.

If you’re interested in a good rod and reel combo for trolling tuna, we recommend the Eat My Tackle 30 Wide 2 Speed, which is 5.5 feet long, and is made with light materials to make it easier for anglers to go trolling for tuna fish. 

Man using a rod and reel combo for tuna fishing

Chunking or kite fishing rods must be sturdy, and if they have parabolic action, that will work best. Most fishing rods available nowadays are made of composite material and are manageable. 

The Action of the Fishing Rod

Your fishing rod must have the appropriate action, which is the speed with which it comes back in a neutral position. When tuna fish swims around to break away from the hook, your fishing rod will bend to sustain the movement. 

Shimano Terez, and PENN Squall are great examples of rod action. Both the rods are more than six feet long, with Shimano stretching over seven feet! The rod action is helpful in catching tuna without making the angler bend over the boat to try and control the giant fish! 

Action of the fishing rod is important because the fish will have to overcome the strength of the rod to break free. This improves your chance of winning! Furthermore, rods with a faster action allow a more extended cast so you can throw the bait farther from the boat. 

Reel and Rod Compatibility

Always ensure that you buy the tuna fishing rods and reels that are compatible. For example, the Shimano Terez is a strong rod that requires a reel which has more drag. The Stella 18000 is a good combination as it provides more strength against the tuna fish that tries to escape.

Fishing rods with reel lined up in a rack

The recommended line weight and line test have to match the action of the fishing rod so that the tuna fish gets hooked, and you can overcome the fight from the 400+ pound tuna. The reel can be braided and has to match the rod. Otherwise, it will not serve the purpose. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Size of Fishing Rod and Reel for Tuna?

The best fishing rod for tuna should be between 5.5 feet and 7.5 feet long. The best reel for tuna fishing must be at least 130 pound. You can back this up with a dacron reel to add more strength.

What Kind of Fishing Rod Is Best for Tuna Fishing?

The fishing rod for tuna fishing must be strong, and sturdy so pick the rod that is made of graphite, carbon, and fiberglass. Tuna fish not only weighs more than many other saltwater fish, it also puts up a fight that requires force. A carbon, graphite and carbon fiber metal rod is most suitable.

Conclusion

The best rod and reel combo for tuna fishing is a must if you want to return home with a big fish. Anglers should prepare for their fishing adventures, and selecting the right reel and rod is foremost! You can try various combinations according to the force, style, and fishing technique.