An Albie setup... for under $400?!?!

False albacore can be one of the most frustrating fish to target in the northeast. At the same time, they can be one of the most rewarding as well. To land a little tunny, you will need a rod and reel combo that will not only hold up to these little speedsters but also cast far enough to reach them.

An excellent choice in rod would be the Tsunami Carbon Shield II with a length of 7’6” and a medium strength. If you want something that can double as a striper rod, you can even go up a bit to a medium heavy ($129.99). As for the reel, something with a smooth and durable drag is a must. The Shimano Stradic FL 4000 ($219.99) is a perfect fit.

Spool your Stradic with 20lb Power Pro line, tipped with about 36” of 20lb Seaguar Blue Label fluorocarbon leader ($12.99). Connect the two using a line-to-line knot. When albies are finicky, try going lighter on your leader, but note that anything lower than 10lb may result in some lost epoxy jigs and leave you telling fish stories about the one that got away.

Epoxy jigs are the most common lure choice by anglers targeting these funny fish. The Hogy epoxy jig is a great place to start ($8.95) but don’t be afraid to throw soft plastics either. Match the hatch- if you can’t seem to get them to bite, keep switching lures until you find something that works. Size and color can make a massive difference when they are keyed in a particular baitfish.