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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would be a decent casting reel for surf use? I have several bait casters that I use fishing at the local lake so I'm used to casting them and would like to buy one for surf fishing to take along with my spinning gear & play around with it. I'll be using it to throw lead & bait, not lures, & I would like to stay below the $150 mark since this will only be used on the summer beach trips to the gulf with the wife.
 

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I personally like penn conventional reels, especially the fathom 15 but all of the following are good reels and seen often on the beach
Daiwa sl20sh or sl30sh (slosh20/30)
Daiwa saltist 20 or 30
Akios 656ctm or 757 ctm
Penn fathom 15
Penn squall 15
Avet SX mc
All of these are good reels. Also this is one of the most asked questions on the board so if you do a search of "conventional" in the title you will find a lot of info.
 

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I personally have 3 of the reels on the list - Daiwa Saltist 30H, Daiwa Grandwave 30 (Fancy SL30H), and an Akios (656 SCM model). All are great reels. For lighter baits, the Akios is my favorite for the 2-4 oz category while the reels are great for the really heavy stuff (6-10 oz) on longer (up to 14') rods.

For the lighter stuff the saltist 20, s20sh, or akios 656 reels really shine...

Sandcrab
 

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I have 3 Daiwa Saltist BG30's, 4 Penn Squall 15's, and 2 Penn 525 mags. The Saltists are flat out awesome if you can up your budget by $30. The centrifugal braking system, i believe, is very forgiving on errant casts. This is what I learned to cast with.
The Penn Squalls are equally as awesome and fit right in your budget.
 

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I converted to convo because my spinning setup is maxed out now and for distance. Picked up a squall 15 as my first convo. The penn squall are non level wind so you gonna have to learn to thumb the line for proper line lay. As a beginner I can tell ya that it's a lot easier than I thought it would be.
 

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At 159.99 the Akios 656 CTM is hard to beat. Holds 300 yards of .35mm (15 lb) mono, casts great and can be easily tuned from safe and docile to wild and crazy to suit your skill and the conditions.

Tommy
 

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I personally like penn conventional reels, especially the fathom 15 but all of the following are good reels and seen often on the beach
Daiwa sl20sh or sl30sh (slosh20/30)
Daiwa saltist 20 or 30
Akios 656ctm or 757 ctm
Penn fathom 15
Penn squall 15
Avet SX mc
All of these are good reels. Also this is one of the most asked questions on the board so if you do a search of "conventional" in the title you will find a lot of info.
What's wrong with the Ambassadeur bait castor reels? I have 15, most are 20 to 30 yrs old and still work great
 

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You beat me to it rd2. Seems Abu's have fallen out of today's discussions, and some markets. I have older versions of some of the other brands mentioned above, but our vintage Abu conventionals remain the go-to reels, both on the boat and in the surf. Easy to upgrade, easy to work on, easy to use, very competitively priced in their day, and parts are readily available. But I digress from the OP's question. I reckon gulf coast surf fishing, from the Tx coast, to the bend in Fla, and down the Fla coastline is as diverse as all up and down the east coast on the Atlantic. Based on the only input of "lead and bait", the suggestions above are all good ones. I'd narrow my choice down to a 5500/6500 size (Abu speak) 20/30 size (Daiwa speak), or the Akios mentioned by Tommy, depending on choice of levelwind or not, and also rod and target.
 

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At 159.99 the Akios 656 CTM is hard to beat. Holds 300 yards of .35mm (15 lb) mono, casts great and can be easily tuned from safe and docile to wild and crazy to suit your skill and the conditions.

Tommy
Tommy could spool a 12/0 on the cast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the advise guys. I already have an Abu 5500 that I use for catfish on a 7' ugly stik catfish rod. Didn't know how it would do with saltwater use, but after browsing the forum & reading the responses on this tread I will defiantly buy a surf rod & put it on it for surf fishing. I still want another though, I mean who doesn't & I already planned to buy one, so I'll probably order a saltist.
 

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Thanks for all the advise guys. I already have an Abu 5500 that I use for catfish on a 7' ugly stik catfish rod. Didn't know how it would do with saltwater use, but after browsing the forum & reading the responses on this tread I will defiantly buy a surf rod & put it on it for surf fishing. I still want another though, I mean who doesn't & I already planned to buy one, so I'll probably order a saltist.
I have 2 5500's one is a 25 year old reel and the other is a 5500C3 both work great for fishing the surf.
 

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I have an old 5600C that I used for years on a 7' Fenwick rod to cast metal spoons to hungry bonito and barracuda off the Ocean Beach pier in San Diego, CA. Loaded with 12 lb mono, it worked like a charm!

Sandcrab
 

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Thanks for all the advise guys. I already have an Abu 5500 that I use for catfish on a 7' ugly stik catfish rod. Didn't know how it would do with saltwater use, but after browsing the forum & reading the responses on this tread I will defiantly buy a surf rod & put it on it for surf fishing. I still want another though, I mean who doesn't & I already planned to buy one, so I'll probably order a saltist.
Keep that 5500 on that Ugly Stik and slay whiting and spots and ................ off the beach.

I have a little 5601 C4 that is on an 8' 3" Ugly Stick. That little rod and reel catch more fish than all the rest combined.

It has caught some nice pups 25" and even a 35" black drum cow nose rays ................................ Gota have some patience.

+1 on the 656 CTM........... I have the SCM and it is really a gooder made Abu from what I can see on the inside.

Bigger bearings bigger shafts.

I'm going to try something crazy when I fish the beach in Florida on spring break in a couple of weeks.

I got an old Diawa Millionare 4H off ebay and when it came I thought crap this thing sucks. The spool had a lot of side play in it and it was not very smooth.

I messed around with it and realized it had some missing parts on the end of the spool shaft................... I have a junk Abu QuickSilver and I looked at the pile of parts and thought it looked like the ball bearings from the Abu were the same size as the brass bushings of the 4h. They fit perfect........both sides. The rubber washer and the thrust washer were missing out of the adjustment side of the spool and sure enough the Abu ones fit just right.
I'm fixin to use a supped up Millionare on an 11' Tommy Farmer 2-5 rod to slay pomps in the surf.
You need a bait rod.
Good luck man
 

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Daiwa sealine either the sl20sh or sl30sh. It's basically indestructible, casts well and is about $120 brand new, depending on where you get it. I have a sl30sh and love it
 
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