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Let's get a (Conventional) reel opinion

1365 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Thumb-Burner
Hi all. Been reading the posts for a while and now want to get some opinions before I put any MORE money into gear.

I've heard from many people on numerous boards from up and down the coast on how much better an Abu Garcia will beat the pants off a Shimano but isn't as good as a Penn.

So, after months of practicing my knots, reading up on rigs, shockers, leaders, lures, lead, lines and all the assorted trappings, I'd like to know what everyone thinks about their reels.

You're now wondering what I'd like to do with a reel. Well, everything that the regulars are doing: Fishing and casting for long distances, while handling either heavy line for whoppers or light line for bait.

Thanks for all your input. I have two reels (not going to tell you) but I'm searching for a new one.
:) :D
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1. What species of fish do you target?
2. What type of fishing? Saltwater? Surf? Freshwater? River?
3. Where do you plan on fishing?
4. Do you intend to bait fish or cast lures?

Answer these questions and you will have a good start on what type of reel you need...
Hmmm. I'm going for bait, drum, King Macks, sharks, and anything big and fun to fight.

I'll be going for surfcasting on OBX or any other nice sandy, deserted beaches.

Been reading up on Diawa, Abus, Penn, Shimano and finding different styles, from magnetic to levelwind.

Any suggestions?

Thanks! :)
Fishing the surf at OBX or AI calls for a 12' rod and at least 17-20 lb test line...and at least 250 yds of it.

Look into the Bass Pro Shops Ocean Master series or Tica 12' rods. If you're casting bunker into the surf, you may need to cast over 8 ounces. Rods that can normally handle "8 N B8" are normally referred to as "Heavers". Bass Pro Shops Ocean Master rods (spinning and conventional) can handle this load - along with some of the Tica rods. These rods are reasonably priced too. :)

Reels - Spinning - The Daiwa Emblem XT reels and the Mitchell Nautill (waterproof) are my first recommendations. They are reasonably priced in the $100-150 range. You can go cheaper if you want. Personally, the reel is the most important part in a surfcasting outfit and I would concentrate my efforts (and $$$) in a kick-butt reel. ;)

Reels - Conventional - ABU make reels that can handle long casting distances but some of them are a little short on line capacity. Check before you buy. The Daiwa SLH, SHV, or SHW reels are standard equipment at OBX and AI for surfcasters who need a strong, powerfull reel that has good line capacity and a tough drag. You can get a Daiwa SLH for about $100. The other models - SHV and SHW are considerably more due to additional bearings, etc.

Shop around and do your homework. A good setup (rod/reel) can run you over $200 easy ($100 rod and $100+ for a reel). It took me a long time before I finally picked out my heaver setup and I'm glad I asked around and got some good P&S feedback. :)

...And don't forget to be safe and always use a shock leader! ;)
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If you get a conventional, I would look for one without a levelwind. The shocker/main line knot may not fit through it or may break in time (Unless you can tie a reel small shocker/main line knot). Avoid the headache, get a non-levelwind model.

Levelwind reels are great for casting lures all day. ;)
OBX... or other uncrowded beaches?? :confused: The OBX i just came from had about 30 people for every 45 feet.. but just in a few key spots.. they just happened to be where the bigguns were... :rolleyes:
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