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So I’m looking to buy a good grouper/AJ reel. I’ve decided I want a 2 speed lever drag reel and just wondering what reel people suggest? I want to be able to catch big grouper and AJs around 60lbs. What reel would you suggest and what size braid and how much drag do you usually use? I’m leaning towards a penn trq30ld2 but also looked at avet HX Raptor and Talica 16. Any and all input would be appreciated
 

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A new Okuma andros 16 ii on the hull truth $300 . Great reel I own one and use it for tuna . Also loaded with Jerry brown and a top shot
 

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I've got an Avet JX that has slayed some real giants but the gears in Shimanos are definitely smoother. I like 80-100# braid for big grouper. The smaller diameter the better for cutting through current.
 

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I use a Avet HX 5/2-MC Raptor and it handles anything that i hook and i catch a lot of grouper.


This. Super light and heavy duty reels. I have the same. Pair with a bent butt or 30* rod holder with straight butt. Game on


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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This is a question that always gets a million different answers and some people get their panties in a wad because they disagree with somebody else's opinion. Here's my .02...
Penn senators (US made) have been getting the job done for bottom fishing and trolling forever. I've caught 40-60 lb gags and 60+ lb amberjack with 4/0 senators with beefed up drags and SS gears. I've caught the same with 6/0 senators. I suggest hitting up Keith (OceanMaster) on here and asking him if he has a beefed up senator for sale and go with that. He can gut whatever you have as well and maximize its potential.
Rig with 100lb braid and 100lb mono top shot. Power handle is a nice accessory for more torque. Your rod is just as big a factor...pair it with a nice heavy rod, but with some bend to it. I used to only use broomsticks but I actually prefer a little more bend to my rods now. I usually get custom built ones, but the star plasma and paraflex stand up rods are awesome off the shelf rods.
I only use lever drags for deep dropping (yes I hand crank) as the 2 speed is nice for reeling up when it's time to move or to check bait, and for trolling because it's easier to adjust drag and nice to have high speed when a fish turns towards the boat.
Pics below are all with senators and the 1 pic shows the bend in the rod I prefer nowadays...
 

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I wonder how a 20K Saragossa reel would do on those groupers?
I have caught a small herd on a 12/16k. I do not believe I have used a 20k. The issues I have had have been with the rods. When your jigging, a Extra Heavy rod seldom seems to turn them initially like a similarly sized conventional rod.

I really do not like a lever drag reel for bottom fishing. I like a star drag. That being said, a Talica ii 12 or 16 will get it done smoothly. While I prefer a smaller reel, when digging a bigger reel can be a bit easier to hold onto.
 

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I wonder how a 20K Saragossa reel would do on those groupers?
I've personally never tried using a spinning reel bottom fishing, but never really had the desire either. To me they just dont seem like a good choice, as a conventional reel is designed like a winch and seems sturdier for the bigger fish, and I've yet to have a problem with the reels I mentioned. I'm sure someone will step in about the spinning reels, but I honestly have no experience with them...if it ain't broke, dont fix it.
 

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All I have ever used is a Spinner for bottom fishing. I use a Star VPR with a 20K Saragossa in 65lbs braid. From big Jacks to snapper to sharks. I am sure one day I will find the limitations of this combo but then again I am just fishing state waters.
 

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I use talica 16 for bottom and jigging, I have caught from mingo to Jew fish with it, I love my talica, but I heard pretty good thing about the avets I would like to try one before buying
 

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We run 4/0 senators beefed up by Keith. We lose big fish sometimes, but more-so to user error than tackle failure. Do I wish I had an Avet or even shimano...? Sure, but for the price point, it's hard to beat those senators!
 

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I keep waiting for Kim to post and explain to everyone just how wrong they are and why he has the only right answer.
 

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Haven’t logged in there in a long time. May just drop in and say hello.
 
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One more opinion - Talica 16 two speed - with 80 or 100 lb braid
You can set up to 30 lbs of actual drag - measured - and still have free spool
I have got 40 lb + but spool does not freely disengage - solid frame and spool - plenty strong.


I have and accurate boss dauntless that is a beast - with 100 lb braid ad 100 lb mono top shot


the low gear is seldom needed , but it will pull stumps :) with a 80-200 lb class rod the angler is limit rather than the rig
 
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