Rod and Reel Recommendation - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 04-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Rod and Reel Recommendation

thinking about buying a reel and rod combo(or separate). so far I bought only cheaper ones. try to buy one under $200, so I can start catching some big fishes. usually pier fishing. I saw some Penn conventional combos online, but not much knowledges about drag system, gear ratio, or max drag etc. all I want catching some red fish or big spanish mackerals without trouble(using 2-4oz weigh). appreciate any opinions. Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Those penn battles are some tough reels and not bad on the wallet 4000 is more than enough for Spanish and reds. Rods that's personal preference on what actions you like and wether or not you're jigging or flinging live baits for them. I've got an 8 foot wright McGill that I like the action for throwing live baits/snobbling. That combo should put you around 200
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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AVOID the Penn conventional casting reels AT ALL COSTS!! I bought some of those GT series and they all crapped out within a year I bought two el-chepo $40 Rhino XLs and got seven years of brutal service out of them before I wore out the drag washers (trying to find replacement washers now). If you want a conventional reel that will hold up to some abuse I have had good luck with the Rhino XLs, Okuma Convectors, and the larger Abu Garcia ambassadeurs, all of which have survived battles with large shark, trophy reds and monster drum. I load all my big game rods with a full spool of Power Pro line (50-80 lbs) which has saved my bacon when a large shark starts peeling off 200+ yd of drag.
As far as good rods the uglystick is still the best thing going hands down, mine have outlasted and outperformed higher end rods with boring regularity, the oldest rod in my arsenal is an old catfish edition med-heavy uglystick that has the paint wore off of it and it is every bit as good as the day it was new.
My personal recommendation for reds and mackerel would be an ambassadeur 6600 or 7000 loaded with 50lbs braid on an 30 lbs class 8' uglystick, If you want to go a little higher end swap the ambassadeur with an Avet SX or Diawa Sealine X20 HA.
If you want to step things up more to handle shark/cobia off a pier get a 40-50lbs class uglystick and top it with an Okuma Convector 45 or 55 and 80lbs Power Pro or again you could still squeeze in a higher end reel like the Diawa X40 SHA and still be under the $200 mark.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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wow. Thanks for all the information. I checked out those gears as well as others. They said about gear ratio, max drag, level/non-lever wind, star/level drag system, and all those made me confused. To make it simple, is high gear ratio always good? What about level wind and star drag look better to me since I'm not very experienced. I'm probably going over my budget(like always), but I found these items online. Can you tell me your opinion? They say it has to be balanced, but I'm not sure.

http://www.tackledirect.com/daiwa-st...nd-a-reel.html

http://www.melcottons.com/products2....---BWC-2202-70

Again I'm trying to catch fishes like Red, Blue, Spanish, and Bonita from piers usually, or I do charter fishing 2-3 times a year. I'm trying to find something like all round player. Thank you again.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Where are you fishing at? You really don't need anything that crazy heavy for inshore fishing. We generally use light-med spinning reels for spanish macks, and you can up it a little to hoss in the bull reds and kings. High gears are not always best, but for faster running fish you'll need to retrieve line quickly so a higher ratio is used. Spinning reels are generally a little easier to use inshore but that's up to you. Penn battles are decent, and so most of the medium end shimano's work well too. I prefer old Mitchell 302's but I do fish a shimano baitrunner for the surf and have numerous others. Just come on out and watch how its done.

Levelwinds and baitcasters are not for super fast running fish. A big shark will destroy the leveler.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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If your gonna cast a conventional i suggest not getting one with a levelwind mechanism, and go with a star drag, they are usually cheaper and you can go into complete freespool for longer casts...
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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Never owned a Diawa saltist levelwind reel, but they are known for making good stuff, 20lbs of drag is more then enough to put the brakes on big reds without breaking a sweat. The rod looks good if you are planning on using 65-80lbs braid line, but too heavy for lighter lines. If you want to run 20-30lbs mono go get the $29.99 8' 30lbs class wal-mart special ugly stick.
General rules of conventional reels, lever drags are better then star drags, aluminum frames are better then graphite and levelwinds are preferred by beginners and those most people who fish artificials while open reels are prefered by the hardcore crowd and surf fishermen.
As far as the ratios go that is a matter of personal preference, though people who fish for fast moving fish (wahoo, kings, sailfish...etc) like faster reels, as do people who do alot of deep jigging. I like faster ratios myself even on slow suborn bull sharks.
A setup like that will take any red or spanish in the gulf, and give you a fighting chance against almost anything you could hook off a pier. I have pulled in 7 foot spinner sharks on lesser rigs so you might be in the realm of overkill if reds and spanish are your only targets. I have caught a 45" bull red on a small ambassadeur 5000 and a 30lbs class rod, though is did take over half an hour to get him in.
Are you fishing artificials or live bait? It makes a difference. That is too big a reel to throw 1/4 oz jigs IMHO, but a live mullet and a 2oz sinker would get that big spool moving no problem.
As to Penn 10/0's post, I would not say that star drags cast further, some of the best casting reels ever made are lever drag Avet SX for example, ask any surf fisherman.

Last edited by Kachok; 05-03-2012 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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The Avets are great casting reels but i'v tried both, the lever drag always has some pressure on the spool even in "freespool", with a star drag you can take all the pressure off which if your not use to conventionals will result in a backlash.... No fun... But the sx is a great casting reel and can be ordered with a mag cast option to almost eliminated backlash... But there is ALWAYS pressure on the spool with the mag cast option, but throwing something in the 2-4oz range will still get good distance... And i have a Saltist 30 that i use for surf fishing, its a star drag w/ no levelwind and its my favorite surf combo... I know your fishing from a pier so distance may not be a big concern for you but it is a great casting reel and has plenty of stopping power, i'v caught a 4 and a 5 foot shark on mine and numerous bull reds from the beach.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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Lighter line is really the key when casting but your fishing the pier, or jetty's you don't really need to be casting that far anyways. Its really not that complicated, just go into one of the local shops and let them do the work for you. Cobia, Jacks, BIG sharks are really the only fish you'll even need over 20# line for so it really doesn't matter that much. A penn 750ssm or similar will take most fish off the pier . 15# will turn most fish. I'm no pro but catch a fish or 2.

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Old 05-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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Nice set of kings... I'm still waiting on my first.. lol, And to Youngp, just go with what feels comfortable to you and is in your price range, by no means was i saying go buy the Saltist or Avet, both great reels but i don't want to sway you into something you don't want...
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