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Serfish 09-07-2012 03:27 PM

Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Backstory: (scroll way down for the question!)

I've been going to the jersey shore my whole life and, while I bring a "pole" and "fish" each year, it's always been a half-hearted attempt at passing time.

We've done quite a bit of freshwater fishing, and that's been our passion. However this summer while in LBI we hooked into a few fish on the surf and now, well, you know. Now I'm hooked!

We caught some snapper blues, kingfish, and small fluke on our freshwater gear, but then I got spooled badly. Twice. I think my old fin-nor 203 is shot as well.

So I went to "wally-mart" and bought a 7' combo for $30. The next day I hooked something big (I now figure was a CNR) and after a really fun fight, the reel literally fell apart. The fish spooled me shortly after.

So I switched to 30lb braid on my little fin nor 203 (I know... I know). The gears will never be the same. Hooked up with another ray but it was too much for the little reel and I was half glad when the fish broke (bad knot?).

FINALLY I call a friend, borrow his very old 10' Peterson rod, snag a diawa 4000C on craigslist for next to nothing, load it with 50lb braid, and haul in the biggest fish of my life- a cow nosed ray. I gave the rod back. While the daiwa is old-school cool, cost less than breakfast at Uncle Wills, and is truck-tough , I dont think it fits the job of casting for stripers and blues. At least not ideally.

With 2 young kids, my self imposed budget is limited. I've since combed craigslist, the want ads, etc for gear to buy and try. I've bought, sold, traded, and I've assembled a collection of what I think is some very decent (though not great) gear for VERY little money.

I think I've done great, and combined price of everything so far, including the broken wally mart combo and braided line, is $190.

OK.

My goal: 4 different "rigs" all for surf and bay fishing and for sharing with family & friends No boat, no jetties.

1) LIGHT: surf for fluke, bayfishing with the kids, and casting light lures on the beach.

2) ALL Purpose: Lures and plugs for targeting stripers and blues in the early summer and fall. (This is the setup I have questions about.)

3) Heaver: for baiting and watching in the sand spike in the early summer, hopefully for some type of shark but more likely rays etc.

4) SPARE: for letting friends & visitors use at the shore. utilitarian.

I'll be making separate posts about each of the above with specific questions. I have the the light and the spare all done, and the heaver reel. The heaver rod can wait- it'll see the least use and wont need to see the surf until july 2013.



MY QUESTION (almost)
Most pressing is the setup I plan to use this fall with dad while striper fishing off the surf in lavalette. He says they dont use bait at all. Metal and plugs. I only have 2 plugs, so I'll be tossing mostly metal I guess.

I'm about to make my most expensive purchase (reel) and think I could use some guidance or opinions....

I bought a 9' TICA TC2 2-6oz for a price I couldnt pass up. I realize some guys had issues with broken guides etc, but this one looked great and cost next to nothing.

I used the TICA with a small reel and really REALLY liked how it cast 2-3oz hopkins/deadly dick etc. SO far superior to the borrowed/other stuff I had and have.

I need a reel. I have narrowed it down to a few in the sub $200 range provided I buy it at DICKS sporting goods ($150giftcard and coupons!).

Here is what I narrowed it down to.

Shimano Spheros 6000: a little bigger / heavier than I wanted and not available at DICKS. Probably would be perfect, but its not at DICKS so no-go.

PENN battle: seems like a nice little rig, and I'd come in under budget nicely. maybe not on par with the next 2 in terms of gears, casting distance & use with braid? I dunno.

Stradic 5000 FJ: Seems like a dream. VERY LIGHT. you know it. $209

CABO 40: Gets great reviews etc, seems like it'd be great. on sale for $180.


MY QUESTIONS:

9' TICA TC2 2-6oz rod + _____________ reel + _________ line for casting mostly metal and some plugs for stripers in the fall off jersey shore.

Is 20lb braid sufficient, even if I hook a "big one"? Admittedly I am less experienced in the surf and fighting big fish, so maybe I should err on the side of 30lb braid instead of 20?

The stradic 5000 and cabo40, both of which are similar in size and specs, hold about 190-200 yards of 30lb braid. Is this enough 30lb braid for surf fishing? Ideal? Its about 220 yards with 20lb braid.

Would I be better off upping to the stradic 6000/Cabot50 for increased capacity, both of which are much larger and heavier (20oz vs 14ish oz)? I think I'd rather not do this, as the small/light size of these 2 reels has my attention.

Are the stradic 5000 and cabo 40 "enough" for stripers on the beach?

Is the Stradic $30 better than the Cabo?

Is the cabo $50 better than the Pennbattle?




I am leaning Cabo with 20lb braid. I figured I'd ask the experts.


TICA 9' 2-6oz TC2 + Cabo40NT + 190yds 30lb braid ... Sound good?

Thanks in advance!

silverfox 09-07-2012 04:40 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Don't sell that diawa 4000C short. If that was maintained you have a good reel there. It may be good for that TICA. I cannot help on any insight to the reels you ask about. I have been sticking with my older Penns 550ss and 5500ss (not the new) and the diawa 2600 series for the plug rods and for the bait rods the next size up Penn and that diawa 4000C with a couple older diawa baitrunner type reels. I don't see the need to upgarde. LOL

RobS 09-07-2012 06:55 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
I agree don't sell that Daiwa short.

That said, if you want to shell out the $ then *either* of those reels are great

Are the stradic 5000 and cabo 40 "enough" for stripers on the beach?

yes no doubt about it

Is the Stradic $30 better than the Cabo?
I like Shimano better than Quantum, your choice

Is the cabo $50 better than the Pennbattle?

No idea, many like the battle... I haven't checked the specs
but the battle is "relatively" heavy


I am leaning Cabo with 20lb braid. I figured I'd ask the experts.


TICA 9' 2-6oz TC2 + Cabo40NT + 190yds 30lb braid ... Sound good?

use 30lb braid spinning for stripers, not 20

Jon006 09-07-2012 07:28 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
These are hard questions to answer objectively but here goes:

Are the stradic 5000 and cabo 40 enough? It depends. Many consider only the size of the fish they will be catching and not what they are throwing and how heavy they will be throwing. The size and weight of your offering will determine how much stress the reel will receive cast after cast.

Is the stradic better than the cabo? Similar feature set and price point, close enough to be called by user preference. I've used the stradic for a while before replacing and loved it. One of the smoothest drags available.


Tica plus cabo 40 and 30# braid sound good? Could tell you yes and you could hate it. All depends on what your looking to do with it. If you gave me that combo I would toss eels. Without knowing what action of the rod is hard to say if it would plug well.

RobS 09-07-2012 07:39 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Good points Jon, I assumed "normal" plugging on the beach with 1-3 oz, as he said:
"MY QUESTION (almost)
Most pressing is the setup I plan to use this fall with dad while striper fishing off the surf in lavalette. He says they dont use bait at all. Metal and plugs. I only have 2 plugs, so I'll be tossing mostly metal I guess."

That said, get some more "plugs" in particular get some storm shads, pearl color, or equivalent in 4-6" size for Lavalette.

Also get a popper (pencil and/or regular) for when bunker are in

Jon006 09-07-2012 08:04 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Thanks Rob. My answer was rushed a bit so I'll add more now...

My buddy replaced his white stradic 5000 with a cabo 50. So far so good from his prespective. I've used it and can't say anything bad off the top of my head. Shimano wise make sure to open the port and oil it right from the factory. They like lots and lots of oil. I have a stella 5000fa, stradic 8000fd and the white straid my buddy once owned (bearings arw roasted). All of them take a ton of oil. I used vegatble oil, works great, cheap, and if I remember correctly its what shimano uses (I'll double check on that for you Monday).

The downside on shimano...the line roller bearings suck and you must service them frequently or call buckos in fall river and pay 24 bucks for one. (keep that greased, clean grease, white lithium is what I use)

To be fair there are other reels that have the same issue, specifically diawa. (I own two saltists, and one emblem pro). All have noisy line roller bearings.

I don't recommend the Tica solely because of the guide insert popping out issue. In that price range the tsunami is mich much much more rod for the money (I've owned both, my TC2 sits idle in my garage waiting for re-wrapping of guides).

Thats about all the good imput I have. All of which are is highly subjective and solely a matter of my own personal experience. Your results/opinion may vary.

Serfish 09-07-2012 09:19 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by silverfox (Post 2374639)
Don't sell that diawa 4000C short. If that was maintained you have a good reel there....

No, I understand. Its in good working condition though has some surface pitting. I put it on the TICA and its a little bigger / heavier than I wanted. Plus, I'm getting about 1/3 the casting distance or less than with 2 other borrowed reels I tried.

I'm keeping it for use on the 7' wally world rod that I still have (the reel fell apart.). I figure this will be good for sharing / loaning and using while I work on the tan. ;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobS (Post 2374649)
...

use 30lb braid spinning for stripers, not 20

Rob, thats how I think i'll go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon006 (Post 2374653)
...
Are the stradic 5000 and cabo 40 enough? It depends. Many consider only the size of the fish they will be catching and not what they are throwing and how heavy they will be throwing. The size and weight of your offering will determine how much stress the reel will receive cast after cast.

I am new to saltwater lures (though I've been collecting a few lately as well) but I figure I'll be using a few various metal lures like ava, hopkins, and deadly dick in the 1-3 oz range. The plugs I have dont seem very heavy. 1oz maybe? I'll save that for another thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon006 (Post 2374653)
...Tica plus cabo 40 and 30# braid sound good? Could tell you yes and you could hate it. All depends on what your looking to do with it. If you gave me that combo I would toss eels. Without knowing what action of the rod is hard to say if it would plug well.

the rod is 9' Tica TC2 rated 2-6 ounce rated medium heavy.

Admittedly, there may be better rods, but I considered 3 things when getting it. one, it was $40 used and in mint condition. two, it seems like it covers a wide middle ground (9', 2-6oz, med heavy) , leaving me room to specialize someday into something else as I learn more. third, I used it on the surf a little casting some 2 oz metal a couple weeks ago, and while I caught nada, its feels SO far superior to any rod I've used that one being better may not even be noticed by me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobS (Post 2374654)
Good points Jon, I assumed "normal" plugging on the beach with 1-3 oz,...

That said, get some more "plugs" in particular get some storm shads, pearl color, or equivalent in 4-6" size for Lavalette.

Also get a popper (pencil and/or regular) for when bunker are in

I'll do that, thanks.

I snagged a bag full of stuff at Sports Authority last week for $21 after tax! It was all clearance 75%-off. I dont recall the names, but I'll post another thread along the lines of "here's what I have, what else should I get".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon006 (Post 2374656)
...
My buddy replaced his white stradic 5000 with a cabo 50. So far so good from his prespective....

the cabo 50 is a pretty large step up in size and wight, jsut like the stradic 6000 is a big jump from the 5000. I'd like to avoid a huge reel unless I hear its really necessary.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon006 (Post 2374656)
In that price range the tsunami is mich much much more rod for the money (I've owned both, my TC2 sits idle in my garage waiting for re-wrapping of guides).

I hear the dolphin or the tsunami are better deals. However, they'd be more than twice what I paid for this. I'll see how the TC2 works out. I figure its better than the wally-world rods, right? So far I am pleased with it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon006 (Post 2374656)
...Thats about all the good imput I have. All of which are is highly subjective and solely a matter of my own personal experience. Your results/opinion may vary.

that's exactly what I am looking for (that and the discussion that follows)

thanks guys, I appreciate it.

RobS 09-08-2012 08:29 AM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
one other thing guys use, even from shore, is a snag hook if *adult* bunker are in tight and castable (usually on a west wind, lowish surf).

actually for "peanuts" a good tool is 2 trebles tied on droppers above a weight, say 2 or 3 ozs. you cast into or over the pod, reel fast and snag one or 2 on the trebles then let them sit wiggling just as with the adults on the regular snag hook.

you could get your biggest striper of the season using these methods...

Jon006 09-08-2012 01:07 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
For me the 5000 size is too small for three reasons. Line compacity, gear durability, and line retrieve rate. If I fished down there I would not consider a reel size smaller than 6000. Or a saltist 5000, where the spool is deep enough to hold 300 yards of 65# braid.

HookI 09-08-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
You have many good replys from some very very skilled anglers, I 'm not anywhere close to these guys on equiptment , I went the middle of the road with Shimano Spheros FA ....I have four of them and I do take good care of them rinse and service them. They have been dunked , banged up some almost spooled by some big fish. They were described to me as the work horse of salt water reels... Flounder to Tarpon they have been good to me .
Good luck on your new adventure Tight Lines

P.S. It took me 20 years to get back to fishing 3-4 days a week after raising a family .

Jon006 09-09-2012 06:56 AM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
HookI I think your reel choice is a good one. I'd own four of those if I didn't have a bunch of reels already.

RobS 09-10-2012 09:24 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
For some reason, I just bought a penn battle 5000. I have two Penn 704s in desperate need of maintenance and needed something a notch smaller than the 706.

Tackle direct has a sale on penn 650ssm's for anyone interested but I like the look of the battle among other things and nowadays I'm all about looks since I fish so infrequently :D ( don't want to hijack the thread but ... )

Pertinent to the thread I matched that up with a lamiglas xs10mhs

Seems like a good balance, though I'll have to report back how that combo works for me.

Serfish 09-10-2012 11:26 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RobS (Post 2374783)
...:D ( don't want to hijack the thread but ... )

:D ;-) be my guest!


Quote:

Originally Posted by RobS (Post 2374783)
Pertinent to the thread I matched that up with a lamiglas xs10mhs

Seems like a good balance, though I'll have to report back how that combo works for me.

I'll appreciate your review.

A few google searches reveals a LOT of positive comments re the battle. The salesman at Dicks (different store than last time) was tripping on himself to sell me a battle. I bet they get more commission if they sell one. A "bonus" of sorts for certain brands isnt unusual. He was just way too over eager. "a shimano? yeah, they can be OK, but the one you want is the Battle. Its a PENN and its all new!"

RobS 09-10-2012 11:43 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Btw, you may want to do a field trip to Grumpy's in seaside or to Fisherman's Headquarters in Pt Pleasant. Both will give you solid advice on the right setup for you.

Serfish 09-21-2012 05:53 PM

Re: Buying my first "real" surf reel & rod
 
Thought I'd update.

I traded some unwanted items for a steelhead rod and an old model Shimano 3500a, both in excellent condition.

I loaded the 3500 with a short 17lb backer and then a full 300 yard spool of sufix 832... surprised it all fit!

So, now I have 300+ yards of 30lb sufix, BR 3500a on the 9' TICA

Should be good to go, right?


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