Capt. Art's Blog

Keeping up with Searcher

“Ask A Captain!”– Guadalupe Island Edition


Here’s an “Ask A Captain” question we received recently, referencing our just-returned Trip 28 6-day Ultra-Limited Load to Guadalupe Island!

Dear Captain Art,
Fishing trips to Guadalupe Island have been scoring good size tuna.  Assuming I am lucky enough to hook a big one,  my question is on drag adjustment as I fight the 100+ lb fish.  For example, I am using a MK 16 loaded with 80# line.  As the fish takes its initial run and takes half of the line off the reel, drag pressure on the reel will increase.  Up to what point do I have to move the drag lever down so the drag pressure is not excessive?
– David T.

Luckily, Captain Art was available to send me an answer via email!

Here it is:

Hi David,

The gear you mention sounds fine and appropriate for the fishing conditions. This is the most important part of targeting the bigger sizes of tuna: bringing the appropriate gear!
To answer your question quickly: it’s not necessary to change the drag setting during the fish’s initial run. However, if the run lasts and you’re near the end of your spool, you may have to back off on the drag setting due to the amount of line in the water.

See you onboard,

Captain Art

Also, check out this quote from Capt Aaron during his last trip to the island:

“What I want to recommend for these fish out here is to make sure you have a good 80 to 120 lb rod and a good working two-speed reel that is designed for these grade of fish. They’re tough on the gear and having that gear with a TIGHT drag is the only way you’re gonna land one.”

Just one more thing! Please review Capt. Aaron’s tackle tips video on drag settings HERE!

And for a Searcher classic, watch this informative video too: Capt Art’s essential drag setting tips 

*Here is another question that landed in our inbox recently:

Hi Captains,

I am looking forward to my upcoming trip.
Next time you connect with the boat, can you ask if they use braided line or just mono on any # test line? Detailed info would help me. I get conflicting info from different people and I want to do what is best for the crew and other fisherman on board.
I thought I remembered “no braid” because it cuts mono in the event of a tangle or crossover.
On the tackle list I believe it says braid on heavy test but I want to confirm before I spool-up any of my reels.
Thank you, Searcher crew….
-Dale D.

Captain Art responded with this reply:

Hello Dale,

Braided line is recommended, because it increases your reel’s capacity. Spool up with135 or 85 pound braid with the appropriate length of matching mono top shot, at least 100 feet.

See you onboard,

Capt Art

Sooooooo… does “Ask A Captain” work?

Did you know? You can “Ask A Captain!” about anything, including tackle!  Want to hear an amazing fish story?  Send in a question to Captain Kenny!  Got a question about how we keep the laughter rolling on deck?  Ask Captain Ryan!  Wondering about Baja?  Inquire with Captain Art!  Need a tip from a gentleman farmer?  Query Captain Aaron!

Each individual who submits a question to our Searcher captains will be entered into a monthly drawing for a FREE tackle swag bag, courtesy of our generous sponsors. The next prize drawing will be held on Oct 31!

Submit your question via email to with “Ask A Captain!” in the subject line.  I’ll hunt down answers from our captains and post for all to see.

Some selected questions and answers will be posted regularly on and Facebook. As our season winds down, it’s a great time to get your sportfishing questions answered!


What are you waiting for?  Send in your question before Oct 31!  Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

What's biting? Need a reservation?

Get answers!

Call now