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You want something easy to clean

ABU Garcia 6500 C3 is hard to beat. Put a power handle on it and don't look back
I got a stock blue yonder that I bought at Tw's down in kitty hawk in the early 90's, caught tons of fish on it including a few decent size sharks just clean it good once a year still kickin, its semi retired now just use it for spot and roundhead etc these days but awesome reel...cant go wrong with the abus...
 

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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.
As I've explored conventional reels over the past few years, for me it comes down to weight and balance. I have a couple of Penn Squall 12s that I've used over the past couple of years. They did double duty on a couple surf rods (8.5ft and 10ft) that I use for tailrace, jetty and inlet plugging and a couple of 8 ft inshore rods for local pier and shore use. Great casters and rugged as heck, love em!
This year I came in to some cash and thought I'd get a couple additional reels so I wouldn't have to switch them up so much depending on where I'm fishing. I had never owned an Abu so I grabbed the BY 6500 and a 5600c4. These particular Abus have aluminum sideplates so they're very lightweight (I think around 12 and 10 oz respectively)and they didn't balance so well on my surf rods while they were perfect for my inshore ones which are really lightweight St Croix Avid Inshore rods. I think I like a heavier reel for surf rods. The squalls are more than 15oz which isn't heavy at all but balanced out better on (physically) heavier surf rods. I don't get to fish out front surf much so I don't have any heavers but if I went that route, I think I'd opt for an even heavier more durable reel like the Abus with brass sideplates in the 20oz range. Maybe a 7000 size Abu or Akios. I don't have experience with any of the other reels mentioned but I read alot of great things about all of them.
 

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I'm a new relatively new guy to surf fishing.

I thought I really wanted a 7000 size Akios but then I make a post on here and more than one guy said, "What the hell do you want a big ass real like that for?"
I live in Iowa and believe it or not, you cant go down the one BPS in Iowa and handle a 7000 size reel. Nobody carries anything like that around here.
We were on OBX last Aug and stopped at The Fishing Hole in Salvo. They let me handle a 7000 and a anything else I wanted to look at.
I realized that a 7000 is a big ass reel to cast. I thought he said something about Akios might be making a 7000 SCM which would be shorter and maybe easier to cast...................... The 666 is just a wide 656 not any taller sort of like the difference between a 5500 and 6500 Abu just a wider spool. I like my Akios and I like the Abus I have also.
 

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I'm a new relatively new guy to surf fishing.

I thought I really wanted a 7000 size Akios but then I make a post on here and more than one guy said, "What the hell do you want a big ass real like that for?"
I live in Iowa and believe it or not, you cant go down the one BPS in Iowa and handle a 7000 size reel. Nobody carries anything like that around here.
We were on OBX last Aug and stopped at The Fishing Hole in Salvo. They let me handle a 7000 and a anything else I wanted to look at.
I realized that a 7000 is a big ass reel to cast. I thought he said something about Akios might be making a 7000 SCM which would be shorter and maybe easier to cast...................... The 666 is just a wide 656 not any taller sort of like the difference between a 5500 and 6500 Abu just a wider spool. I like my Akios and I like the Abus I have also.
the fishin hole, been a long time since ive been in there thanks for the memory!!
 

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Without knowing the length rod you're using and what you're targeting, I'd err on the smaller size reel. The Daiwa Saltist 20H (make sure it's the H model, as other models are boat reels and sits much higher off the rod and will be difficult to surf cast) is a great reel within your price range. Just look for them on ebay. The silver model is discontinued but the black/gold one are the same. You can find either used for about $125ish. I had a 30H paired up to a 13' rod and didn't like it as much as the 20H. The 30H is too wide for me and the 20H although it might look a tad small, holds enough line for most surf fishing. I personally use 14-17# mono for my conventional reels. I currently have a 20H as a backup reel but I strongly suggest you up your budget and get a Akios 656 SCM. It's a dream to cast as it's magged and built very well compared to the Abu's I've had. After using a 656 SCM for a season, I ditched the Abu's I had and sold off my 30H to get another Akios. I've used a Penn Squall and it's fine but think the Saltist is a better reel while for me, the Akios 656 SCM is still king for surf fishing.
 

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I'm thinking of buying the Penn squall 2 15cs model star drag conventional reel and was wanting to know if you have to guide the line left to right when you are reeling it in or does it do that on it's on.
 

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Without knowing the length rod you're using and what you're targeting, I'd err on the smaller size reel. The Daiwa Saltist 20H (make sure it's the H model, as other models are boat reels and sits much higher off the rod and will be difficult to surf cast) is a great reel within your price range. Just look for them on ebay. The silver model is discontinued but the black/gold one are the same. You can find either used for about $125ish. I had a 30H paired up to a 13' rod and didn't like it as much as the 20H. The 30H is too wide for me and the 20H although it might look a tad small, holds enough line for most surf fishing. I personally use 14-17# mono for my conventional reels. I currently have a 20H as a backup reel but I strongly suggest you up your budget and get a Akios 656 SCM. It's a dream to cast as it's magged and built very well compared to the Abu's I've had. After using a 656 SCM for a season, I ditched the Abu's I had and sold off my 30H to get another Akios. I've used a Penn Squall and it's fine but think the Saltist is a better reel while for me, the Akios 656 SCM is still king for surf fishing.
Agree I have a Akios 656 CTM (no level wind/best for casting weight and bait) and it does indeed cast like a dream. The CS and CSM models have a level wind. The CSM like the CTM has magnetic and centrifugal brakes. I would recommend those models due to the outstanding braking.
 

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I'm thinking of buying the Penn squall 2 15cs model star drag conventional reel and was wanting to know if you have to guide the line left to right when you are reeling it in or does it do that on it's on.
Thumb it on. It's second nature once you're used to it.
 

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I'm thinking of buying the Penn squall 2 15cs model star drag conventional reel and was wanting to know if you have to guide the line left to right when you are reeling it in or does it do that on it's on.
You have to level wind with your thumb. Takes a little practice, but is very important that you lay the line on evenly. If you do a poor job laying the line down it could result in issues on your next cast. Eventually it becomes second nature.
 

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I've heard people talk about the daiwa saltist and was wondering if I have to worry about wearing out the worm gear from casting it like my Penn gto 220 real I already have?
 
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