View Full Version : Surf Rod & Reel Suggestions?
Anyone surf cast or fish for stripper in tailwaters? What do you use and/or recommend? What would be a low end set up, a mid-level, and a high end rig? Costs?
surf rigs mainly come in two different catagories:
1: conventional reel, longer casting and more power for fighting fish. Also usually has a higher line capacity over spinning rig. downsides is casting, it takes some time to handle these rigs, but once mastered, 150-200 yard casts are not out of the question. My recommendations for reels would be the Penn GS series, Diawa Grandwave, Abu Garcia 7000, and Shimano Speedmasters. these are all according to what size line your planning on using.
2: spinning reel, shorter casts but with more ease. Less picky reel, lower maintence and care needed. downsides are the shorter distance that can be cast as compared to a well tuned conventional reel. Drags are also usually smaller and have less power than conventional reels, but most are still easily enough to handle any fish you can find. I'd recommend the Penn SS or Powergraph series, any of the larger Shimano's *Sedona, Sahara or Stradic*, Diawa's Regal Z or Jupiter series also work well.
For rods, you'll get more distance for a longer rod, so most surf rods are a minimum of 8 feet, with an average of 10 to 12 feet. Diawa Sealine series are excellent rods, along with Penn Newport rods. And then there is the venerable Ugly stick, both of my conventional surf rigs are mounted on 10 foot Uglies.
hope this helps...tight lines:cool:
Thanks. That does help, and I have more newbie questions now.
For spinning, I like Shimanos (have a Stradic 2000), but it looks like the larger Diawa's have a larger capacity than the larger Shimanos. Am I correct? And how important is that? How much line of what strength should I be able to load for tailwater stripers or gulf coast surfcasting? Does the Ugly Stick work okay with the spin reels, or is it worth moving up to graphite (greater distance?)?
It would be nice if the spin reel could do double duty for flats and bay, as well as on a surf rod --- or am I asking too much of one reel?
certain diawa's are made for surfcasting, they'll have a very wide and long spool made so the line will easily come off. there are a couple of models in the Emblem Z series that are excellent surf reels.
An ugly stick will work fine with conventional or spinning gear. As for the ugly stik/graphite debate, an ugly stick has a slower action than graphite, more of a fiberglass feel with less snap to it. Graphite has a faster action to it and usually more backbone. Advantages to the ugly is that they are basically indestructable. depends on what feel you like.
as for reels doing double duty, for the most part the reels can easily do both surf and bay fishing, just switch rods.
Thanks. The Emblem series looks great. I did a web search. The upper end model is more than I want to go, but the next one down is a lot of bang for the buck, though still a bit pricey. The 5500 size holds 230 yds of 25 lb. Does that sound about right for the needed capacity? More? Less?
I use all manner of fishing reels and must say that you will love the cast abiltiy of a abu 5500-6500, but the drags leave alot to be desired. I doubt that the long rods would be a pleasure to use in bays and rivers, but you could use it if needed. I fish in florida, and frequently fish from shore, but I dont use any spinning gear. Once you master the bait casters, the spinning reels become a pain. You simply cannot put enough pressure on a fish with spinning reels. I do think that spinning reels have there place, but for most occasions you are better served with a bait caster (conventional). Oh by the way the shorter the rod, the more pressure you can put on the fish and the less pressure you will feel. Long rods are a must in the surf however.
Sharker - thanks. Yes, I wasn't thinking about using a long rod in the bays --- just using one reel and switching it between different rods for flats, surf/tailwater.
I think someone told me you can add/subtract(?) some drag washers to an Abu and improve it. Ever heard of that?
Saw a Abu 6500AB today for $50, new. Would that be sufficient for the surf?
If you are going to use an abu in the surf, just be sure to do a real good job cleaning it. They are very good casting reels, but a little sand and they make a god-aweful sound and you loose that castability. I havent heard of any way to modify the drags, but for fish under thirty pounds it ought to hold up fine. I have used some of mine to land a 90# tarpon, and have caught two sharks over 100#s. I have had to replace the pawl, and the nylon gear the worm rides on in one. The drags always skip so have not reoplaced it. But for making long casts, I would use it over the spinning reels. (Just not enough beef for fighting big fish.)
I used my penn 535 last week to catch a 100# plus tarpon. It was very solid, and the drag held up for over two hours, the last fifteen minutes left alot to be desired however. I doubt you would get as good a distance on the cast as you would an abu, but its worth a look into. They are considerably more expensive, but I have destroyed three abus in the last two years. What ever you do, use your hands to apply additional drag and you will be able to compensate for a mediocure drag.
btw, I have 34 penns and only 6 abus. I like penns much more because they are much more durable. However I use my abus for all my inshore fishing and leave the Penns for the blue water. (my buddy is using shimanos with promising results however, so maybe I will start trying them.)
Thanks all. So what weight line do you guys usualy use for surf fishing? For stripers in tailwater? I am guessing 12 - 20 lb.
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