Rod for Bull Reds or Kings - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-23-2015, 09:02 AM   #1
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Question Rod for Bull Reds or Kings

I recently purchased a bay boat and have plenty of light tackle, that I have previously used for bass fishing. I'd like to get a slightly heavier spinning rod and reel to use for targeting bull reds, or maybe even going a few miles out for kings.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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FIRST of all no need to go heavier for those fish. I have guys on my boat that target bulls with ultra light crappie rods and kings with trout rods.

my suggestion is also my set up
7'6 med calico jack IM7 rod
3000Diawa Ballistic reel
30lb power pro braid
30lb green label seagar fluro leader
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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For strictly targeting bull reds, I would go to a reel and rod that will easily handle 30lb braid. For me that would be my Smoke 50 on a good medium or medium heavy rod. I don't like the fish to be exhausted when I try to release them, so I will go a little heavier that most to boat him as quickly as possible and for getting off or around structure. The 50 is extremely lightweight. Also for kings, I would want something to hold a good bit of line, at least 300 yards. The 50 would do that easily. I'm saying 50 because I don't have a 40, which would do well also. Nothing at all wrong with a lighter setup, but for me I like to get them on in.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:36 AM   #4
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My inexpensive Penn Fierce 4000 combo with 30# braid has yet to fail me and I've hooked up on some beast....
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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Any bass rods you've used for fishing heavy cover and weeds should be just fine for bull reds. My personal favorite combo is a stradic 3000 with 200yds of 15lbs braid on a medium heavy 6'6" teramar rod. I've pulled 45" bull reds out from under 3-mile plenty of times on a rod like that. Honestly anything that's got at least 150yds of line is plenty, reds bulldog they don't make long blistering runs.

King's are a different story since they fight completely differently than bull reds. As mentioned above, you need AT LEAST 300yds and a SMOOTH DRAG for a dedicated king reel. I had a 32pounder nearly spool a reel with 400yds of line on it. With kings you don't need heavy line, you won't put more than 5-7lbs of drag on them anyway so 20lbs mono is plenty.

I know lots of people who prefer 17lbs mono since it let's them get more line on the reel. Also, you can use braid as well since it's thinner and allows you to get A LOT of line on a reel. However, I don't like fishing straight braid for kings, I add a 30-50yard topshot of 20lbs mono to act as a shock absorber.

Think about it this way, a king can get up and over 30-40mph within a fraction of a second, sometimes faster. That's A LOT of force and momentum and if your drag sticks for just a second then BYE BYE! Also, the biggest mistake I make sometimes and see lots of other people make is putting too much pressure on a king at the end of the fight when they're doing circles under the boat. Resist the urge to tighten the drag or grab the spool, you'll either break your line or pull the hooks. Take your time and DO NOT rush the gaff shot at the end. If you miss on one pass, be patient and wait for the next.

Good luck!
Alex
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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Also, since you're still learning the saltwater game don't spend a bunch of $$$ on brand new tackle. In a few years once you've learned the game you'll probably decide it's not quite right for your fishing style. When you sell brand new gear, you'll only get about 50% of your money back sometimes even less!

Take a look at the "for sale" section of the forum. Buy used, keep it in decent shape, then in a year or 2 you can resell for about 75% of what you paid for it and then buy the nice expensive stuff you really want!

Good luck!
Alex
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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Yaksquatch,

You hit the nail on the head for me. I wouldn't bee using this setup much, but would just like to have something a little heavier in the boat. That Penn Fierce or even one of the H2O reels from Academy was kind of what I had in mind.

Like you said, if I get where I'm targeting those fish a good bit. I'll get exactly what I want. I'm really just looking for something to get me fishing.
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:16 PM   #8
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Penn Battle II 4000 series MH combo with 30 lbs braid and 30 lbs Yozuri leader or wire leader will get it done. It's cheap, excellent quality and effective. Penn has earned my respect in regards to how well their products are priced with awesome reliability. I've landed some big Bull Reds that wished they would have worn a neck brace before getting on that hook.
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