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How To Choose An Albie Outfit

Saltwater Edge Gear Review: Albie Outfits

Fishing for false albacore and other hardtails is a unique and challenging type of fishing be it from a boat of the shore. There are particular tackle features that lead directly to angling benefits and an increased likelihood of success. We get a ton of questions this time of year about albie tackle so this Gear Review we will breakdown the rods, reel, lines and leaders and the features you may want to consider. We will also offer our opinion of your options by price point. We hope this Saltwater Edge Gear Review will help you make the most of your time on the water.

Albie Rods

St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore

One of the most critical success factors in albie fishing is casting distance. Longer rods increase casting distance.  Consider a longer 7' to 8' rod for the boat/kayak and the 7'6" to 9' for the surf.  

As for rod action a faster action is preferred by most albie fanatics because this action provides better sensitivity and more importantly faster power for hook setting. Rods featuring a "fast" action only bend in the upper third of the blank. Another way to think of it is they load quicker allowing the angler to make a more accurate cast directly at the target more quickly. 

1/2 oz to 1 oz lures make up the bulk of the albie anglers payload so a rod covering this range will do the job. Carrying a lighter rod rigged with a soft plastic like Albie Snax is a good choice for a second rod when you want to cast something other than a jig. Faster rods and soft plastics are not always a good combination and warrant additional consideration.

Saltwater Edge Staff Favorites:

Surf

Airwave Elite 8'8"- This thing bombs all the jigs most albie fisherman prefer. It's a great way to stack the deck for the shore angler. $184.99

ODM DNA - Either the 7'6" Back Bay or the 8' footer make great light but durable albie rods.  With a moderate/moderate fast action, they sling jigs and snax a distance while also loading well to keep that fish tight! $209 and $229

Inshore

Shimano Talavera Inshore Spin -  Shimano is offering premium performance at a great price.  A Fuji reel seat and cork foregrip/butt section provide great comfort, while Seaguide XQG/XOG Guides finish the rod off.  $99.99 - $119.99

St. Croix Triumph Inshore - With full cork grips and Seaguide components, this rod packs a great punch into the inshore market. $140

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spin -New for 2021 The Mojo blank offers enhanced smoothness, sensitivity, and durability, three key performance upgrades that make this rod distinctly different over the prior model. We love these! $170 - $230

St Croix Legend Inshore - These feel awesome in your hand. Light and sensitive. Loaded with all of St Croix rod technology. On the water it is smooth and powerful. $300 - $360 

Albie Reels

Shimano Stradic FL

With albie reels is an embarrassment of riches. There are a handful of features you will want to prioritize and many reels that have them. First off, retrieve speed is a critical feature because it helps you recover line and stay connected when the albie is running back at you,  it allows the angler the "burn" the lure to get the albies attention, and lastly in the heat of the action it let's you reel up quick and fire back into the fast moving action.

Other considerations to look for an albie reel is one light enough to balance the rod so you can cast all day without fatigue. Successful albie anglers get thier lure in front of the fish and leaving your jig on the hook keeper waiting for the albies to bust means you missed the many opportunities to hook up by blind casting. Most reels that would balance the rod are capable of holding 150 yds of 20 lb braid; but be sure your selection does.

Saltwater Edge Staff Favorites:

Daiwa BG - Can't beat the combination of albie required features and price. Relatively light, fast retrieve and solid drag, choose the 3000 size for the inshore setups and the 4000 for the 8' and greater surf rods. $119.99

Shimano Stradic FL - An Albie Classic! Stadics have been slaying albies for years. Redesigned over the previous Stradic FK to be lighter, smoother, and quieter.  Shimano’s smooth and powerful Cross Carbon Drag system is one of the highlights of this reel, taming the little speedsters well.  We generally recommend the 4000 & 5000 sizes for the 40" of retrieve and capacity.  $219.99 & $229.99 respectively. 

Also consider the red/black twin brother of the Stradic FL, the Vanford.

Shimano Twin Power FD - A Japanese made Shimano with many of the same technologies of Shimano's flagship reel, the Stella.  Expect one of the smoothest retrieves and drags on the market, with the tolerances tightened to Swiss watch like quality.  $399.99 - $419.99

Albie Lines 

Berkley X9

Because casting distance is so critical we always recommend an 8-strand braid because it is "rounder" than the other configurations and this reduces friction through the guides thus improving casting distance. 15 or 20 lb will do the job. Consider the 20 lb if you do most of you albie fishing from shore as it will provide increased abrasion resistance.

Saltwater Edge Staff Favorites:

Berkley X9- Berkley added a ninth "center fiber" to create a rounder profile then competitive 8 strand braids. We like the result.

Power Pro SSV2- Certainly one of if not the the most popular lines in the shop.  Expect great casting distance, knot strength and smooth flow off the guides. 

Albie Leaders

Lighter the better is a good rule of thumb; but so is longer! On a flat calm day you may need to go lighter; but 15 lb - 20 lb fluorocarbon is a good starting point. Swap out the shorter striper leader for a longer leader of at least 3 feet. An Alberto or FJ Knot will pass through the guides no problem. Skip the clip and use a loop knot like the Rapala knot.

 

Daiwa J-Fluoro

Daiwa J-Fluoro - Great choice for albies. It's supple and economical (100yd spools). Wise albie guys retie their leader fairly often. $15.99

A relatively recent introduction into the ever expanding Seaguar family, Gold Labelis one of the thinnest Seaguar offerings while retaining great strength.  Low line memory and exceptional knot strength due to its proprietary co-extrusion manufacturing process takes this line to a new level for leader material.  

1 Response

Thomas Sparacio

Thomas Sparacio

September 03, 2021

You guys anyways hit the mark. Great article.

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