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Top Saltwater Offshore Heavy-Tackle Reels

Chasing granders? Break out the big guns

Updated:

June 22, 2017
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Top Heavy Tackle Reels
When the target species includes thousand-pound blue and black marlin and giant bluefin tuna, reach for the heaviest tackle available. Andrew Cox

For the majority of billfish species worldwide, anything up to and including 50-pound-test gear is appropriate. But when the targeted species include blue and black marlin or giant bluefin tuna that may weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds, it’s time to step up to the heavy tackle. Here’s a preview of some of the best and biggest in terms of line capacity, drag settings and more.

Accurate

The Platinum series two-speed Accurate ATD-80W and ATD-130W reels are some seriously engineered equipment, starting with a highly efficient TwinDrag system and two-speed Quick-Shift for an easy transition between high and low gears. There’s complete free-spool at every drag setting too.

Accurate ATD-80W
Accurate ATD-80W Accurate

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound): 1,200 yards Braid Capacity (200-pound): 1,200 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1:1 Max Drag: 100-plus pounds Weight: 147 ounces MSRP: $1,895

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Accurate ATD-130
Accurate ATD-130 Accurate

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 1,000 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1:1 Max Drag: 100-plus pounds Weight: 192 ounces MSRP: $2,049

Alutecnos

The Alutecnos Albacore Two-Speed series 80W and 130W reels features an infinite anti-reverse system that’s made as a single component through mechanical CNC processing and applied to all models. Alutecnos machines each of the reel’s parts using CNC processes from a bar of special aluminum alloy specifically manufactured for marine environments, and all of the company’s reels are subject to rigorous dimensional checks.

Alutecnos 80W 2S Albacore
Alutecnos 80W 2S Albacore Alutecnos

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound): 1,203 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3:1 / 1.4:1 Weight: 108 ounces MSRP: $1,161

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Alutecnos 130 2S Albacore
Alutecnos 130 2S Albacore Alutecnos

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 930 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1.1:1 Weight: 165 ounces MSRP: $1,590

Avet

Avet’s biggest reel to date, the T-RX 80 two-speed, is constructed of 6160 marine-grade aluminum with stainless steel components for strength and durability, while the quad-disc Avdrag dry carbon fiber drag system offers unparalleled stopping power along with smoothness and wear resistance. Avet reels are also made in the U.S.

avet Avet T-RX 80/2W reel
Avet T-RX 80/2W Avet Reels

Specifications: Braid Capacity (200-pound): 1,000 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.7:1 / 1.3:1 Max Strike Drag: 80 pounds Max Full Drag: 100-plus pounds Weight: 115 ounces MSRP: $959.99

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Duel Reels

Antal, the Italian parent company of Duel Reels, has been known in the sailing world for more than 30 years; the Duel 12/0 WS two-speed design is based on the mechanics of the Antal sailing winch. To switch to low gear, the angler simply reels in reverse, without removing his or her hand from the reel’s handle.

Duel 12/0 WS
Duel 12/0 WS Duel Reels

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 970 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3.4:1 / 1.4:1 Weight: 145 ounces Price: $1,899.99

Everol

Everol’s 20/0 Two-Speed big-game reels feature a unique drag system with a graduated scale on a green side plate, which allows the angler to place the maximum drag anywhere along the arc of the drag lever. The reels also shift effortlessly between the high (3-to-1) and low (1.6-to-1) gears even under the most extreme conditions.

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Everol 20/0 Two-Speed
Everol 20/0 Two-Speed Everol

Specifications: Mono Capacity (300-pound): 1,148 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3:1 / 1.6:1 Weight: 216 ounces MSRP: $2,450

Fin-Nor

With a long and storied history in big-game fishing, the Fin-Nor Santiago SA 80W and 130W are among the finest big-game reels. It’s a one-piece, fully machined aluminum frame supporting an aluminum spool with a two-speed, push-button and dial-release shift system, supported by four ultrasmooth ceramic-hybrid ball bearings. And the Santiago is finished in Fin-Nor’s classic gold anodized corrosion-resistant finish.

Fin-Nor SA 80W Santiago
Fin-Nor SA 80W Santiago Fin-Nor

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound): 1,000 yards Braid Capacity (130-pound): 1,600 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3.07:1 / 1.35:1 Max Drag: 100 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 60 pounds Weight: 141 ounces MSRP: $979.95

Fin-Nor SA130 Santiago
Fin-Nor SA130 Santiago Fin-Nor

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 1,200 yards Braid Capacity (200-pound): 2,500 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.37:1 / 1.06:1 Max Drag: 110 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 80 pounds Weight: 183 ounces MSRP: $1,319.95

Okuma

Inside the Okuma MK-80WII Makaira’s 6061-T6 machined aluminum frame is a custom thrust bearing that helps alleviate extreme side loads on heavy drag settings. Helical-cut gears provide extreme smoothness and gear meshing in either low- or high-speed settings.

Okuma MK-80WII Makaira
MK-80WII Makaira Okuma

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound): 1,000 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3.1:1 / 1.4:1 Max Drag: 100 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 70 pounds Weight: 116 ounces MSRP: $889.99

Okuma MK-130II Makaira
MK-130II Makaira Okuma

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 1,000 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1.2:1 Max Drag: 100 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 75 pounds Weight: 167 ounces MSRP: $1,199.99

Penn Reels

Penn’s International series 80VSX and 130VSX set the standard for heavy-tackle reels. The new VSX models are constructed to achieve the extreme drag ranges expected by anglers fishing with braided line as backing. Penn engineered the VSX reels to achieve these extreme drag settings while maintaining a smooth drag curve throughout the entire range of the drag lever. And they’re also as tough as ever.

Penn 80VSX International
Penn 80VSX International Penn Reels

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound):** 950 yards Braid Capacity (130-pound): 2,900 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 3:1 / 1.4:1 Max Drag/Strike: 40 pounds Max Drag/Full: 51 pounds Weight: 111 ounces MSRP: $899.95

Penn 130VSX International
Penn 130VSX International Penn Reels

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound):** 975 yards Braid Capacity (150-pound): 3,650 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1.2:1 Max Drag/Strike: 80 pounds Max Drag/Full: 100 pounds Weight: 176 ounces MSRP: $1,299.95

Shimano

Shimano’s Tiagra TI 80WA and TI 130WA series reels are some of the most popular among captains and anglers worldwide thanks to the reels’ incredible durability and superb performance. The new A-series reels have an improved ratcheting lever drag for more precise drag adjustments, along with an improved two-speed gear system. They also have a new offset ergonomic power-grip handle for more leverage during the fight.

Tiagra TI 80WA
Shimano Tiagra TI 80WA Shimano

Specifications: Mono Capacity (80-pound): 950 yards Braid Capacity (100-pound): 2,445 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.5:1 / 1.3:1 Max Drag: 44 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 35 pounds Weight: 115 ounces MSRP: $899.99

Shimano Tiagra TI 130A
Shimano Tiagra TI 130A Shimano

Specifications: Mono Capacity (130-pound): 1,000 yards Braid Capacity (150-pound): 3,315 yards Gear Ratio (High/Low): 2.2:1 / 1.15:1 Max Drag: 99 pounds Strike Drag with Free-Spool: 79 pounds Weight: 174.1 ounces MSRP: $1,299.99

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