What Size Rod for Tuna Fishing?

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New anglers might assume that catching big tuna fish requires a big fishing rod. Well, that’s not always the rule! You don’t always need a heavy rod to catch bluefin or yellowfin tuna-all thanks to the advanced fishing rods you can buy today.

The question remains, what size rod for tuna fishing? 

What Is the Best Size Rod for Tuna Fishing?

The best size rod for tuna fishing depends on the type of fishing that you’re doing and the size of the tuna you’re targeting. For instance, jigging tuna rods should be at least five to six feet long while popping rods should be at least seven to eight feet long.

Fishing rods positioned in a lake

Bluefin tuna weigh between 490 to 990 pounds, and Yellowfin tuna fish can weigh as much as 400 pounds, too. You will need a fishing rod that you can hold for long, and one that can tolerate the weight. 

Tuna fish are some of the most active, and therefore, hard fish to catch and it makes sense to own a fishing rod that can give anglers a grip on the catch. The rod, the line and even the sinkers need to be well-matched for the strong, and fidgety tuna that will give you a good run. 

Jigging or Popping?

Jigging is the use of lures that appear to be injured baitfish in the water. Tuna fish are attracted to this lure, which moves vertically, and looks natural. Popping is the use of a floating lure or popper, which can attract tuna fish closer to the surface. 

Tuna jigging rods are often made of composite material to hold the weight, and rated for a 50-pound braid at the minimum.  Popping rods are also usually made of fiberglass and graphite to support the heavyweight tuna fish. 

What Factors Impact Your Rod Selection?

When deciding what size rod for tuna fishing will be most appropriate, you must know the various materials available, the weight of the fish you’re targeting and the different locations you can find them.

The Right Material

  • Fiberglass Rods: Fiberglass rods are great for tuna fishing as they are durable and can go a long way. After a few years, you might want to get a new fishing rod, although the fiberglass rod will still be usable and efficient.
  • Composite Rods: Composite rods are replacing the sturdy fiberglass rods as the reels are becoming shorter, and better materials are being used to make thinner lines. These fishing rods are made of glass, and graphite, which provides sensitivity to the rod.
Fishing rod resting on a wooden stump

The Location and Weight of the Fish

Whether you are in Louisiana or Texas, the various locations for bluefin and yellowfin tuna in America may also determine what size rod for tuna fishing will be best! Fishing for Yellowfin tuna on the Pacific coastline will require a longer rod to sustain the 600+ pound fish. 

You would want an appropriate tackle that has stopping power to get a hold of these speedsters. Use a fishing rod with a 130-pound reel to catch the fish, while you also carry a fishing gaff to lift the fish out of water and on to your boat.

Longer tuna fishing rods will be harder to control, especially if you are a new angler. Shorter fishing rods can be more manageable, and you will need a longer line with these rods. Rods for tuna must have more power to withstand force. 

Related Questions

Can I Use the Same Rod for Trolling and Kite-Fishing?

No, you can’t use the same rod for trolling and kite-fishing if you want to catch tuna fish fast. Every method of tuna fishing has some specific requirements of fishing rod. Kite-fishing requires a light fishing rod of more than seven feet length.

Similarly, trolling requires a stiff rod with length between 5.5 feet and 6.5 feet. 

What Kind of Rod Do You Use for Tuna Fishing?

A lightweight composite fishing rod made with graphite, carbon and fiberglass is used for tuna fishing. Composite rods offer all the features needed to catch tuna fish. You can use a composite rod with the right reel to ensure success. 


What size rod for tuna fishing is best? Picking the right rod is of utmost importance, and we have discussed the various requirements regarding tuna fishing. You must ensure that you pick the rod that is light enough to hold for a long time, and can simultaneously withstand the action.