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I am interested into getting into the deep drop world without the expensive bells and whistles. I have been to the "Edges" a few time and got into the Beeliners thick, but with all the reef fish regulations I think we are all looking at making all the burnt gas worth it. Does anyone have any beginners advice, rigging, bait, Depths.
 

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I'd think you would want to get a reel crankie for bait checking. Just use your cordless drill.
 

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Reeling in from 800 plus by hand gets old very fast. I cranked up a 15 pound snowey from 750 and swore I'd never do that again.
They say that windshield wiper motors are easy to attach to reels with a little ingenuity.
I fish with my brother out of Cudjoe key. He has a couple big Diawa electrics that make it O so easy. They are a chunk of change but are worth it. The old Penn electrics that you use with a 6/0 are good but slow and noisy.
 

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Check out the Banax Kaigen electrics. They are sisters to the Daiwa reels. Cost about half as much and built twice as heavy. I fished them for years and never had a minutes problem.
 

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Since there is no sport involved, why not--

Invest in a commercial reel like a motorized Bandit? I've had several over the years and they will pull up most anything you hook. Probably make a reasonable facsimile and use a cordless drill to power it as somebody already mentioned. Belt drive is fine. Go from a 2" pulley to a 10" and get an 5:1 ratio. The 18v $14 drills at Harbor Freight are fantastic and have great battery life. Gotta keep them dry, though.
 

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i bought a new fishwinch 2.0 cause my old original got stolen. mounted it with a penn senator 113h and a penn 6/0 rod. first trial with it matched my fishing buddy's diawa. he was only about 5 feet ahead of me. i love the combo.
oh, and it catches fish, too. pulled them up from about 700ft.
combo cost me about $400.
jack
 

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Species start to change at ~350ft and go out from there. I do a little bit of it and don't use electrics. If the wind / current isn't crazy and you can hit and hold bottom with 1-2lbs then hand cranking isn't too bad (at least to me). If you have to up the weight, it gets burdensome.

We use basically a big chicken rig, usually 3 hooks, and a big and tough to steal bait.
 

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eating tasty
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From my experience you usually get a bite within seconds of your weight hitting bottom. You can definitely feel the bite, they don't nibble.

I've done it a couple times with a manual, it's brutal on your arms but you can be proud of it when you get the fish in. It definitely adds a bit of a sporting element to it that electric meat haulers take away. Having said that electrics are worth their weight in gold, especially scouting new areas. Few things suck more than manually cranking 800 ft of line up with a 2-3 lb weight and no fish on the end.
 

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Diawa tanacoms are now around 450ish dollars. I bought mine over thanksgiving from an authorized diawa dealer new on ebay for 412. Ive used it 3 or 4 times since and its well worth not having to reel up in 600+ feet of water. Also use it on edge for mingos and scamp and makes finding fish a whole lot easier. If you are looking to get into deeper water fishing spend tge 450ish $ its well worth it
 

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I have a tenacom bull as well. Makes bouncing around checking number much easier. I use it even in 250 -300 foot
 

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I usually go on 2 or 3 deep drops a year and exclusively hand crank. We fish anywhere from 600-800 feet...rock ledges for grouper and barrel fish and mud bottoms for tilefish. I use a tyrnos 20 2 speed on a 50-80lb pinnacle marine standup rod and it has never let me down. The 2 speed is nice for handcranking because if you need to check bait you can get up quicker and easier, but you can drop in low gear to winch up big barrel fish and snowys. Drop a 4 hook rig with a disco light and glow beads and get ready for a workout. Whole squid for bait.
 

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I’m about to get into it myself with only hand crank method. I primarily want to catch a daytime sword with a manual reel but I’m definitley going to do some DD for golden tiles also. I like the idea of a small and lightweight two speed reel for tiles and such... but for now I’m geared up with a Tiagra 50 spooled with 80 lb braid and a 100’ wind on sword leader in the 250 lb flavor. I will probably utilize that also for golden tiles in the beginning, but it will be to heavy and bulky for that application. Light weight and high speed/two speed will be my next purchase. Keep us posted on your experience.
 
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I’m about to get into it myself with only hand crank method. I primarily want to catch a daytime sword with a manual reel but I’m definitley going to do some DD for golden tiles also. I like the idea of a small and lightweight two speed reel for tiles and such... but for now I’m geared up with a Tiagra 50 spooled with 80 lb braid and a 100’ wind on sword leader in the 250 lb flavor. I will probably utilize that also for golden tiles in the beginning, but it will be to heavy and bulky for that application. Light weight and high speed/two speed will be my next purchase. Keep us posted on your experience.
Get a Reel Crankie for the ~Tiagra. If you have an old 14v cordless drill you can rig it up to run on 12v. It works...
 

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I just had a Penn Electramate 920 XP mounted on a senator 9:0 land in my lap for an insane deal. I will now be using this for deep dropping for groceries instead of the Tiagra hand crank. It wasn’t my first choice of reels but I got it for next to nothing and it’s in fantastic shape. I just have to get a battery and wire up a female Hubbell receptacle/breaker and get it in action. I’m stoked to have a meat hauler
 

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You asked if you can DD without electric reels. Everybody is saying "NO! GET AN ELECTRIC!" Well they definitely make it easier, but you absolutely CAN deep drop with manual gear. I've done it plenty of times with a Penn 114H (high speed 6/0), spooled with 80# braid and ~100' of 100# mono top shot. I think I've got about 2500' of line on there, so capacity isn't an issue. With braid you can usually fish with 2# of lead or less in the Gulf. Sure, reeling up 800' of line with nothing to show for it sucks, but nut up and deal with it. I feel like electrics cheapen the entire experience. If I want to go meat hunting and use electrics or hydraulics, I'll go do a trip on a commercial boat. If I'm going to pit myself against a fish in a literal life and death struggle (at least for the fish), I want to actually fight the fish. Pushing buttons is for commercial fishing. Once you've got the fish off the bottom, put the rod on the rail and keep cranking. It's not terrible.
 
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