I like rollers...but ring guides are easier to maintain...and that is important to some. If you are looking for 6-8 rods, I woud go to a custom builder like Bayrunner or Bishops tackle and have them build what you need. You'll be much happier in the long run and won't end up spending much more in $$$
It's nice to get exactly what you need and work with a builder who can walk you through the different styles of rods.
I have piece-mealed my rod collection because I had to but would have much preferred to do as I mentioned above.
What you will find is that rollers, except Aftco Big foot rollers, tend to bind up on crank on swivels and certian offshore connection knots. Having a roller guide at the top of the rod works out well cause it allows for the crank on leaders and swivels to flow and not hang up when entering and extsting the rod. Make sure they are not the small rollers and AFTCO is what you want. None of this Stuart stuff.
I actually sold all of my roller guided rods last year, except for one that is at PA Tackle. 130 Penn stand-up stick with a Bigfoot roller at the top (Repalced that small thing) for $110 ($225 dollar rod) if anybody is interested. PENN 2260 50-130# AR 5'-7" Tuna Stick
Once again I know J & B rods from having several rods built by him in the last 12 years or so. There may be others but I recommend Jesse at Marina Shores.
Give me a call if you nee some help or would like to talk more.
I started (besides having a much smaller boat) with a set of 114H outfits and have moved over to Penn 30 outfits with a few 50TW outfits. I won't be targeting anything other than "average" tuna, some mahi, and smaller sharks. Almost all 5'6" to 6' stand up rods rated to the reel/line. Been very happy so far with overall performance, the Penns are VERY easy to maintain, just never tried a Shimano yet. Matching sets to your specs ARE the better way to go, but a little more $$$ initially. Like above, I had to piece my set ups together but at least took the time to get quality rods for what I'm targeting.
Nice boat, Whalers aren't cheap, so let's assume you are a guy who wants to do this right. Spend the money now and save a ton in the long run. Trust us, alot of us had to do the piece-meal thing and it sucks. Wish I had just thrown it on the CC and dealt with it later. The Offshore bug is bad and it will get you !
Get the custom rods as mentioned above. Alot people have dealt with a couple of the rod builders on the board and I'm sure they can help you better decide if you b-mail some of them. I did Penn as it was cheaper, they are nice but I have broken several during fights ( but they were replaced and I didn't lose the fish ) so I'm happy for now, but will look to go custom when I can.
As for reels, go with Penn, Shimano, or Avet.
They have been out there and will hold up to anything you will come across. In offshore, even more so than other areas in life, you REALLY get what you pay for !
Penn and Shimano have excellent Cust. service and tons of parts everywhere. Avet is a great maker, I've never heard of problems except clickers which have been fixed, I think...
I have all three and think they are interchangable ( within the same catagory ). Grab them side by side and make the decision, then get all the same so you can easily order parts.
Just my opinion, I'm sure you'll get more info from the 'old salts' !
Roller rods are more maintenance and more prone to get broke (stop working) on a small boat. This is just my opinion. I fish all regular guides with roller tops on some. All 6' and 5'5" rods. As far as reels, 50s ......... Keep the 30s for the white marlin bite but 50s for the most part...
I run 8- TLD 30's All guides, 2 penn 50's. I can catch anything I want on these rods, cobia, rock, tuna, whites, you name it. I am sure I will get spooled one day when the big one comes to eat off shore but until then these outfits work great. Low cost , low upkeep. I think the reels were 289.00, and the rods were made by John Bishop bought all at once. The 2 penns thank god were given to me by a friend who sold his boat.