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Hey guys, I own a Shimano TLD 25 lever drag reel. I have ben using it for a year now primarily for live baiting for sharks from boats, but also have pin-rigged with it before a few times. I am a local off of the Virginia Beach 14th street fishing pier. The pier has not caught A king mackerel for a few years, and only caught one cobia last year. Based on current information construction on the new concrete pier will start at the end of 2016, via. the wooden pier will be demolished. I am hopping to get a good fish worth talking about off of the wooden pier using a pin-rig set up this coming summer, so i was wondering what I should do to my reel.

- What # test line

- Braid backing?

- leader # test and how long, fluorocarbon?

- What should my drag be set to at strike and full

- What color line, (blue, green, clear, ect.)

- Knots for connecting line to line

- How should the reel be filled,( to the red line, little under, a lot under)
 

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Fill the reel to the brim with quality#30 mono to a topshot of 20 yards of#60 mono.
Use #69-80 wire and #4 or #2 4x treble hooks.
Drag at strike to be set around 4-5 pounds.
What i prefer when i king fish in SC.
 

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RJ pretty much summed it up.
I caught 3 kings and a cobia last year using the size 2 Daiichi 7x bleeding bait trebles. I use a 6x Gamakatsu live bait hook up front and the Daiichi as a stinger. The red finish looks like blood, but it will wear off after a couple days of fishing.
Eagle Claw makes a nice 6x Lazer Sharp treble too.

Many ways of making rigs so just find one that works for you.
 

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Sorry i meant 6/0 gami live bait hook, not 6x
 

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For cobia- 30lb mono and a 20 yard shot of 50 lb leader. Tie it with a double uni knot. Use high vis yellow or green on both your main line and anchor line. That will help you follow your line and avoid tangles. I use a very light drag setting with the clicker (just enough not to be in free spool) because I want the cobia to get well outside the anchor lines, then bring him in very slow. Stay in front of your fish. If it goes right, you go right. Don't fight at angles.
 

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CJ caught this 65lb king on a "low geared" TLD-15 after about a 20 minute fight.

 

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What size/types of baits are you using to target Kings?
I try to use a bluefish, threadfin or menhaden in any size I can get.
But when they are hard to catch I run whatever I can, Spot, Pinfish, Jacks, Ribbon Fish, Pompano.
Alot of times you run out a Spot and it turns in to a bluefish. LOL
 

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I try to use a bluefish, threadfin or menhaden in any size I can get.
But when they are hard to catch I run whatever I can, Spot, Pinfish, Jacks, Ribbon Fish, Pompano.
Alot of times you run out a Spot and it turns in to a bluefish. LOL
For cobia- bluefish or live bunker. I have run plenty of threadfins and it seems like the cobia will be interested, but give up when they can't catch them.
For kings- Threadfin, bluefish, live bunker, or bar jacks. The biggest king I ever saw caught hit a bar jack on BIP. I believe NTKG got a nice cobia years back on a bar jack from his kayak down in Kitty Hawk.

I second 150... TLDs are just fine for king fishing. The key is to let them run and wear themselves out. If you don't and they run to the pier when they feel pressure, it is hard to keep up with them.
 

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That low geared tld 25 , not gonna cut it.. You need a high speed retreival for kings..
I caught 100+ using a slow Abu 10000 or a slow Penn 4/0, these were high tech in the 1980's....Redhead caught 400+ using similar setups...we were too young to know better.

If I needed the old Abu to go faster, I just reeled faster:) no one ever complained about me reeling my reel like a blur...I still have the Abu. I used a Black 4/0 in 2014 last time I fished, installed super smoothy drag washers...I used it because it reminds me of the old days. slow and smooth...

A Friend of mine now deceased and I were King Fishing on Nags Head Pier in 1985. My Friend was relatively new to Pin rigging.

My Friend had brought out that very morning the then brand new technology Shimano Speedmaster. My friend and this is the truth...put his foot up on the railing, lit a smoke and remarked that no King was a match for his new super high speed reel. It had 6/1 retrieve ratio or something like that, and it was seriously a fast piece of machinery :rolleyes: and the drag was smoooooooth...

My Friend felt he had this King fishing game figured out......ten minutes later we watched a a 50 lb. King hit his rig and all 375 yards of his line and leader were stripped in less than 35 seconds....The King stripped him on its first run...the fish never even slowed down:) My friend picked up his now empty Speedmaster and I could not even bear to add a few comments, he was so despondent as he trudged on off the pier, back to the parking lot, never to be heard from again that day:rolleyes:

Next time I saw my Friend out on the Tee, he had a 4/0, a little on the slow side, but twice the line capacity...If I have to be lacking, I would rather lack speed.....than an extra couple hundred yards of mono. I never did see that Speedmaster again..it was a real pretty reel....all black and shiny....just not a lucky reel...it sure was smooth though...when it was getting stripped that morning...

My friend's Son actually went on to become a very accomplished OBX fisherman (Keith broke my NHP Cobia record with an 80+ pounder), Keith worked for Terry Stewart for many years....
 

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The cobia will catch your bait if you tighten your anchor line to raise it up and give it less room to run in a circle.
French, its 350 not 150 LOl thems fightin words!
And French is right, a King will wear himself out quick. When he hits just bump your drag up, he will run himself into a heart attack. Dont set the hook. My low gear TLD25 holds 600 yards of 30. Let him run until he has a coronary, then reel him in.
Cobia on the other hand dont typically run far at all. But they will fight you all the way to the parking lot!
The bige Cobes will make several passes across the front and down the sides of the pier. So you gotta work with everyone. Hes gonna go over this guy and under that guy more than once so eveyone needs to pay attention and do their part.
 

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The cobia will catch your bait if you tighten your anchor line to raise it up and give it less room to run in a circle.
French, its 350 not 150 LOl thems fightin words!
And French is right, a King will wear himself out quick. When he hits just bump your drag up, he will run himself into a heart attack. Dont set the hook. My low gear TLD25 holds 600 yards of 30. Let him run until he has a coronary, then reel him in.
Cobia on the other hand dont typically run far at all. But they will fight you all the way to the parking lot!
The bige Cobes will make several passes across the front and down the sides of the pier. So you gotta work with everyone. Hes gonna go over this guy and under that guy more than once so eveyone needs to pay attention and do their part.
I will have to try that. I remember a day back in 07 where there was no bait. I caught herring, but the rest of the folks went without bait and threw bucktails. We saw several dozen cobia, but they would swirl and swirl around my herring. That little bugger would flip himself up on the surface and the cobia eventually would lose interest and sulk away. I probably had seven or eight that day visible swirling the bait, and they couldn't catch him even after I clipped his fins.

As for the cobia fight, I have had both experiences. My first one ever made a burning run and then fought every inch back. I have seen others stay close, and some come right to the gaff like my dad's 40 pounder from BIP without even pulling drag. They are odd fish.

The one sure thing is a jack crevalle. My last one dumped my TLD 20 to the backing, and then took almost 45 minutes to bring back. It was brutal on a 15-40 class rod.
 

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That low geared tld 25 , not gonna cut it.. You need a high speed retreival for kings..
A TLD 25 is the perfect reel for catching kings from the pier! High speed is simply not necessary in any way. Capacity and a silky smooth drag is. I've used a TLD 15 and TLD 25 for over 20 years from east coast piers and would not give them up for any new/overpriced high speed reel. TLDs are tanks and with even a little care they will last and serve you well for a lifetime. The other thing to consider when king fishing from piers is that you've also got to be ready for massive Tarpon, Cobia, AJ, or shark as well. Again, I'll take my TLD 25 with 600+ yds of suffix 30 mono over any high speed reel when a 150+ Tarpon decides to leave the State with my bait. For kings, they have a very predictable fight from a fixed structure and rarely run back towards the pier (one long smoking run, then pause to rest, then another medium run, then it's time to smoothly reel them back to the pier with consistent pressure and they are about dead by the time the reach the gaff).

If you are plan on using your pier king gear for Wahoo in a boat, then maybe high speed should be considered. Otherwise, save your money and buy one of the best reels ever made for the price -- the TLD!
 

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I'm with you French and 1BadF350. Good info. "My low gear TLD25 holds 600 yards of 30" (same here). My TLD 25 has seen action from piers in NC, SC, and GA and I haven't ever considered giving it up for anything else. Kings, Cobia, and Jacks all have a place in my heart and they certainly all have their own special behavioral challenges when fighting from a fixed pier. I think my favorite though are the major Tarpon we get in SC. From ocean-front piers they have the stamina of a cobia but instead of playing games with your head and staying close, Tarpon tend to pick a direction and dare you to try to stop them from dumping you in a single massive run (while jumping just to show you who is the boss). Once you do manage to stop and turn them, they then kick your butt for as long as you allow it. I have a rule with myself that I have about 30 minutes at maximum pressure to either beat em or break them off trying. It's only fair to them considering that with our hot summer water temperatures aren't good for release survival after a prolonged battle. We get them well over 150 down here and my TLD 25 has never failed me in eventually turning them before being dumped (that is if my #2 4x strong VLC trebles hold up and don't turn into forks in the process).
 

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I'm with you French and 1BadF350. Good info. "My low gear TLD25 holds 600 yards of 30" (same here). My TLD 25 has seen action from piers in NC, SC, and GA and I haven't ever considered giving it up for anything else. Kings, Cobia, and Jacks all have a place in my heart and they certainly all have their own special behavioral challenges when fighting from a fixed pier. I think my favorite though are the major Tarpon we get in SC. From ocean-front piers they have the stamina of a cobia but instead of playing games with your head and staying close, Tarpon tend to pick a direction and dare you to try to stop them from dumping you in a single massive run (while jumping just to show you who is the boss). Once you do manage to stop and turn them, they then kick your butt for as long as you allow it. I have a rule with myself that I have about 30 minutes at maximum pressure to either beat em or break them off trying. It's only fair to them considering that with our hot summer water temperatures aren't good for release survival after a prolonged battle. We get them well over 150 down here and my TLD 25 has never failed me in eventually turning them before being dumped (that is if my #2 4x strong VLC trebles hold up and don't turn into forks in the process).
At one time King Fishermen used only #6 4X Eagle Claw Trebles and 2/0 live bait hooks. I think a TLD 25 is a great reel as it is comparatively lightweight.

One fella I grew up with only used 3 #6 4X Trebles on Seven Strand with crimps and no single hooks.

Seen some giant Tarpon off of old Frisco Pier run out a long way.
 
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