Tim Rajeff , Randy Stetzer and Pro-Staffer Jay Nicholas had the chance to join Captain Jad Donaldson on board the Oppor-Tuna-Ty yesterday for some of the wildest fishing one can experience with a fly rod.
Our main objective, besides having fun, was to put some Echo tackle to the test. And what better way then wrestling with freight training Albie’s.
We headed out to clear skies, rolling swells, and watching whales spouting and tailing. Arrival to the fishing area 35 miles offshore giving way to calm seas and glass smooth conditions. You could spot “Boilers” a long way off, thus making getting on a school easy. Once on them, the pandemonium begins, as fish are actively crashing and feeding all around, a 100 mile an hour Cuisinart comes to mind. It only took two cast for the first hook up and another to make a double. Many times throughout the day having 2 to 3 rods bent to the cork was common. The fight was a 5 to 8 minute will of muscle and grit. The first run sends a loud and clear message that your in for a tough one. Bring Advil!!!
The rod of choice was the Echo PRIME in a 12 weight. This one piece rod weighs nothing in the hand and has lifting / fighting power galore. While the 11 weight could handle the situation, you will be very glad for choosing the 12, when the fight gets close you need that extra lifting it affords. Making them behave the last few feet is nearly impossible (think tractor pull). We put an Echo ION 10/12 reel on the rod to see just what the drag could handle. We do not recommend the ION series of reels for saltwater use, but they can handle it when pressed. The drag holds up just fine and we had no malfunctions under these grueling conditions. But keep in mind they are not designed as a saltwater reel and thus not protected against corrosion and rust. The best line for the job was the Airflo Depthfinder Big Game 500, it simply rocked for this fishery. The super strong no stretch Power Core kept you in direct connection at all times and the T-series 30′ head sinks like a rock, even in denser saltwater. The key was not having to get deep, just down a few feet in a hurry.
Jad is an exceptional Captain and his vessel is amazing. Powered by triple 300 HP Suzuki outboards it gets you out there fast. Cruising at a comfortable 26 to 28 knots, your out to the fishing grounds much sooner then all the other boats, thus more fishing time. Jad and his crew just completed competing in the Oregon Tuna Classic and walked away as the Overall Series Winner.
Crew member Campbell Williams showing Tim the “More Broom” method…
Make sure to book a trip with Jad as the experience is Awesome! Major stamp of approval!
To book a trip contact:
Captain Jad Donaldson