Penn Internatinal 30's overkill?

Question for the experienced king mackeral fisherman.

I have a set of 5 international 30’s on trolling rods used for mahi and tuna fishing offshore. In an attempt not to have buy another set of rods and reels, I ask is this total overkill (or two slow gear speed) for live bait kings fishing?

If so, what would you consider the ideal reels for this purpose?


Hey, Rudy, the 30’s have too much drag, even all the way off, too much drag for slow trolling with treble hooks, remind me friday night, and I will cover that subject in my seminar at the new King Mac club meeting. For others, I’ll cover it briefly here, first kings have tender mouths, second, we use very small hooks because kings are hook shy, so no drag, third, if kings feel any resistence on the strike, they’ll drop the bait. You MUST have less than 5 lbs. drag while trolling, exception being artificals at higher speed like bluewater, then you are using 5/0 or bigger hooks. The ideal reels are TLD’s because of lever drag, and live bait rods, because of the light tip not showing pressure to the king. Friday night you’ll get all that if you are able to stay a couple hours…

“The big one’s still swimming, let’s go.”

I agree Mac that the 30’s are a bit much. I have caught a many kings trolling the y-73 with skirted ballyhoo for dolphin thought there the 30’s would work fine. I would suggest TLD 15’s or 20’s for kings or speed master reels. I know it stinks to have to buy more outfits but the 30’s are overkill for kings. Hope to see ya on Friday. boaters world has good deals on combos that won’t steal the bank.

I agree with ef, at least on the 975’s, I was going to post tonight that for dolphin/King combo, Penn 750 spinner or equivalent would be good for both, if you cast to dolphin, as well as troll for them. I hope you {ef} weren’t calling KM fishermen rednecks, hopefully just a joke of some kind…

“The big one’s still swimming, let’s go.”

The critical elements are for the reel fast retrieve 5 to 1 or 6 to 1. The reel must be able to handle a 1 - 2 lb drag setting and hold 300+ yds of 12 - 20 lbs line. I am partial to penns so on the lower end price the Penn gs series, if money is no option shimano trinadads.The rods must have a medium light action so as not to jerk the baits at a slow troll. Just about any rod labeled Live Bait will do. Once again my preference is Penn

23 Baja TE
Mercury Opti’s
Ron Greene

I have had them all and my favorite is the Shimano Speedmaster on a 7ft Star live bait rod. 6 to 1 retrieve is critical to getting line back when a king comes toward the boat and the price is reasonable. I just sold a set of Torium 30s to go back to Speedmasters. You can find them cheap on ebay also. Just my two cents


Kencraft Challenger
“Dirty Money”