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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Although most of my surf fishing has been with spinners, I also use a number conv reels. Includes Slosh, Abu 6500, Avet SXJ, and most recent Fathom II 15SD. I also use 9 - 12' surf rods.

I need to make long casts on some fishing trips, so I'm thinking maybe I need the right/better reels. I've been looking at long-cast spinners as well as conv reels like the Seigler SM.

Anyway, am wondering if it's worth it. Can I really cast much farther? I'm 5'8", 140 lbs. Perhaps I really don't have the strength/power to take full advantage of "long-casting reels," even if I have good casting technique.

Or use what I have, and maybe (I really don't want to) use a drone to fly the bait out there.
 

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It's all about technique, the rod, the line, then the reel. You already have excellent distance reels, you just need to know how to use them to your distance advantage and that will always start with a good casting technique.

Using the tackle yer currently employing, what kind of fishing distance are you achieving?

What kind of main line are you currently using, and do you us a shock leader?

How far a casting distance do you require?

What total payload weights are you casting?

If it's weight and bait, what kind of rigs are you using?

What kind of casts are you employing?
 

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Get better longer rods. You might have to hide these purchases from your accountant as they do not come cheap. Your last reel is the same as many distance casters fishing the OBX, so it is not the reel which is holding you back.

Fathom 15 is actually easier to throw than the Seigler which sits higher on your reel seat and makes it a little more difficult to clamp down on, especially if you have smaller paws The Seigler also has a more obtrusive sideplate that is in the way for me anyway. Seigler seems to have taken a pause on new SM's, I am looking for a new one and they do not seem to be making them. I could text the Seigler Rep but he is busy on Avon Pier trying not to get smoked by DrumPro GolfPro.

Rods I can recommend because I have used them and been around them.

CTS 1305 13' with the long tip not the 50/50.

Century C Curve 13' 10"

Century C Curve is the easiest long rod to load for me anyway. it is a slow action and some of the furthest casts I have ever made with a Drum bait were made using this rod and a Seigler SM. I tried out every single Distance Rod Century made a few years back and went fishing with them. C Curve was the best for throwing 7 ounces and bait. At the time Century had not yet released the Tip Tornado Sport Graphex model which is next on my list of have to haves.

Practice is key, after 50,000 casts or so you will be bombing it out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cool, thanks for a lot of good info from you experienced casters!

I think I got your points. For whatever distance needed, there's room for "optimizing" current equipment and technique before buying a new "longer casting reel."

Assuming everything is about the same for two persons, that is, each has the right braid, reel, rod, shock leader, best technique, etc., I guess the answer may be obvious. A stronger person will likely cast farther. Give both persons better reels, and again, the stronger caster would throw farther.

So, for my physical size, I guess I need to work on optimizing my equipment/tackle and technique (with tons of practice) first, and see if that satisfies my casting distance needs.

Aha, but if I fail to fully optimize, maybe I can compensate for that by gaining more distance via the purchase of a new well-reviewed, I-really-just-want-a-new-one, cool, and shiny reel...lol.
 

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Whilst there ARE differences between grass and water casting, lots of things - casting technique and tackle - are reasonably similar.

The above video will be well worth the hour long listen - John clearly explains it all, and you will see that there is no need to change your current rod and reel ... however, there may be other tackle setup things to consider.
 

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Some suggestions to the OP ....

The Fathom II 15 has mag braking - use it to yer advantage.

Remove the spool bearings and soak them in naphtha (lighter fluid) to dissolve any grease/oil. Let the solvent evaporate. What will be left is trace of petroleum that will be fine for the bearing "lube".

Load the spool with quality mono and stay about 1/8" away from the spool's edge. Add a mono shock leader with a uni knot and run it around the spool at least 4 times while still having at least a half rod length drop of the payload off the rod tip. Rod payload ratings are typically not all that accurate. Accumulate sinkers in various weights that relate to the rod's listed rating and start casting. If the rating is 2-6 ounces, start at 2 and go up an ounce at a time.

All of the above is fine 'n' dandy but will be of little to no use at all until your casting technique is reasonably solidified. I would strongly suggest starting off with John Holden's simple and easy OTG cast and progress from there. Even without doing anything at all to yer reel or line or payload, proper casting technique will more than likely be an eye opener all by itself.



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't think I ever really saw JH videos. Saw several others, but I never really studied them. JH's approach (principles, relax, flow, etc.) seems so comforting and reassuring. He looks so relaxed without really trying so hard during casting. It's telling me I can cast farther. As JH said, the harder you try, the more frustration and the worst it becomes (backlashes, less distance).....lol...that's me. Am motivated; going to try and apply his technique.
 

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If you've been "thump" casting for decades, yer brain will be the biggest roadblock to good casting form. Don't overthink. Do dry practicing in yer house with a short stick to ingrain good technique into muscle memory and counteract old and bad casting habits.
 

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I want CT cages for my 940's!!!!! Where'd that come from....

OP- agree everything above. You have really good reels; ya might get a CT bar or Rocket cage / mag plate for your Abu just to have three distance reels. Can't speak to the Avet but I've see guys sling em. Get your technique in place then spend money on your rod. Suggest you try some if possible- don't worry about your strength level, look at where you are fishing and make sure you get the right rod length / power for YOU. No point in getting a 13' rod if your mechanics and a beach lip behind you won't let you throw as well as you might control a 12'. JMO.
 

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I think there's way too much emphasis on reels. The rod is most important, then comes the line, reel is last. Setup the reel with mono and add in a shock leader. A decent caster can take any Sweden Abu, disengage the level wind guide and large sprocket in the offside end plate, leave everything else box stock, and with decent casting technique it'll go well over 100 yards easy peasy. An Abu with 15lbs drag will do just fine in the surf for most species in the 40-50lb range ... or larger.
 

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No matter what, all the tackle will be second to casting technique when distance really matters to reach where the fish are feeding.

Doesn't mean just any tackle will do, but tackle follows technique.
 

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For the Abu Sweden reels, the 5500's and 6500's, a Rocket Reels mono mag end plate (that already comes with a bullet spindle for plug 'n' play) is a great way to "upgrade" an already good reel into a killer reel for better casting control and distance. I've done this to 4 or 5 Abu reels already, and added in a solid RR cage, too. On a few I also went with a Zzeta spool and all reels get ABEC 5 hybrid ceramic bearings.

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