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Discussion Starter #1
For large drum, what's the best bang for the buck today? From what I have read so far, penn fathom ii 15 seems to be pretty popular for $200. Have looked at abu and akois but keep leaning toward the penn.

What are you guys using that's easy on the wallet?
Thanks
 

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Best bang for the buck is the fathom 1 12 and 15. For around the same price a used saltist bg20h is a good bet too. If you wanna spend the extra money a new fathom 2 12sd and 15cssd seem like solid choices. I dont see as many of the newer black and blue saltist 20h but they are probably a good choice too. Every Akios I have held has disappointed me.
 

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While I have a lot of "high end" revolver casting reels, if I really needed to go the bottom feeder tackle route, it'd be with what I just bought and tested out - Penn Rival 15 (level wind completely removed) for $50 and a Fiblink (weird name!) 12ft 4pc rod for $65. Loaded the reel with Ande Tournament 16# mono, 40# shock leader, and with a 4oz payload the first Hatterras style cast went just shy of 300ft.

In order to fully remove the level wind on the Rival, I needed to pull off both sides, so I got an upfront and personal look a the guts and I was kinda impressed with quality, which included HT100 drag washers. The Penn site says the reel uses a "mechanical" drag, but I couldn't find any spool centrifugal brakes. I called up Penn and the rep I spoke with said "mechanical" meant using yer thumb. Hah! The reel could be magged, but at least for me it's not necessary. Subsequent tosses went over 300ft and nary a fluff on the spool.

Pretty impressed with that Fiblink surf rod, too. Well made with decent components. I also bought the 10ft version to use for plugging with an Abu 6501LW reel.

The acid test for any surf tackle outfit is a season on the beach - that'll hafta wait 'til the coming Spring for me.

Life's still good. ;)



BB.
 

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I've been very happy with my Akios 757 CTM, Penn Fathom II 15, Daiwa Seagate 30H, and Penn Squall 15 conventional star drag reels for surf fishing. They are all good reels for your purpose. However, all things considered, if I had to pick one it would be the Fathom II 15.
 

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I just switched all of my drum reels from the Diawa Saltists to the Penn Fathoms. I put the Fathom 15's on my 12 and 13 ft rods and the the Fathom 12 on the 10 footer.
 

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Tommy,

I just got my new F15 Nitron from Joe. I tested it a couple of days ago. Best cast - so far - was 401' with an 8 oz sinker. I know there is a lot more distance that can be achieved with this reel. It rocks!
 

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For the bucks, hard to beat most any Akios reel, they take the Abu to much higher level of build and performance.
 

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The Fathom2 is a very good reel, one of many. Not at all to dis the Fathom family, but like many things in life it can be monkey see, monkey do, and then on to the next tackle fashion fad. Fishing tackle today is a bountiful treasure of great choices, unlike way back in my day. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The Fathom2 is a very good reel, one of many. Not at all to dis the Fathom family, but like many things in life it can be monkey see, monkey do, and then on to the next tackle fashion fad. Fishing tackle today is a bountiful treasure of great choices, unlike way back in my day. ;)
I agree that there are several to choose from and don't have any hands on experience with any of them today.
 

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While the reel and line are quite important to surf tackle, casting technique and the rod are more important in terms of casting distance. If the beach to be fished requires some serious distance, technique and using a rod that has a known payload sweet spot will almost always make all the difference. Getting a cheap, old reel to run it's spool on a loooong cast can be done, just ask Danny Moeskops ...

 

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Seigler is perhaps the best Drum reel, but for its price point. I got to use Seiglers for testing purposes and did not want to give them up when I was asked to by Ryan. When they are in tune, they bomb it out there. I went from an average DrumPro to an above average one when I put a Seigler and a 13'10" Century C-Curve in my paws Fall of 2017. Only problem with the Century was when beaching drum you could not sweep them in like with a 1307, you have to get the drum closer and point the tip at him to slide them up on the beach.

I like Fathom 15s have three of them at the moment. I saw what the other Monkeys were up to with them I went on board.

Fished a Static Magged Avet for a while, it was nice but was a bit on the short side for casting purposes on the OBX.

For a while I was enamored with an Akios Shuttle Joker let me use, until the spool bearing started to hang up. Joker graciously accepted his toasted reel bearing back from me. The other Akios issue is that the drag seems to want to slip when you are reeling in a drum bait. So you fiddle around with the star drag.

I guess I will pay the ferryman and get a couple Seiglers next, unless something really special comes along.
 

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Seiglers are Excellent reels. I've used a couple.

"Best" is a very Very VERY personal word to use when it comes to most of the stuff of life. :)
 

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I static magged a few Avets - SX and MX - and was pleased with the outcome. Avets are solid reels with great lever drags, but I prefer star drag reels and haven't had the opportunity yet to work with the MXL star model.

There is a kind of silliness that abounds with all of the higher end reels, where it's assumed that spendy gear is better gear. In lots of cases, yes, and in lots of cases, no. It's just fishermen listening to the hype and jumping on the band wagon and then reverberating their praises, mostly to keep up with the pack and/or to solidify the reason that the $400 reel they just bought was worth the purchase ticket.

I'll keep working with the fifty buck Rival and see if it's beach worthy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
While the reel and line are quite important to surf tackle, casting technique and the rod are more important in terms of casting distance. If the beach to be fished requires some serious distance, technique and using a rod that has a known payload sweet spot will almost always make all the difference. Getting a cheap, old reel to run it's spool on a loooong cast can be done, just ask Danny Moeskops ...

Ok, you may have me hold off on a new reel purchase for now if I can use what I have...2 abu 9000C auto 2 speed with very little use. Other than being heavier than the new surf reels, sounds like they will cast almost as far for someone just learning the proper form. Would adding a mag control be worth it to help prevent blow ups in a headwind?
 

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Yes, most decent revolving spool reels are quite capable of decent casting distances. What does "decent" mean? I bought a bottom feeder $50 Penn Rival 15, removed the level wind, loaded it with Ande 16#, stuck it on a cheap $64 Fiblink 12ft rod and had no problem casting to 88 to 97 yards on the first outing with a 4oz sputnik sinker. The Rival has absolutely NO brakes of any kind and I can cast it hands off for the most part. Clearly there are nuances to all reels that can help or hinder serious casting distances, and lots will have to do with casting technique.

I love my Abu reels, 6501's and 5501's, some with the level winds removed for distance casting. Your Abu 9000 will be just fine as is with its spool centrifugal brakes. If you really think it will require mags, after testing/practicing without, static mags are relatively easy to add, I've done that more than a few times to Abu's, Avet's and Penn Squidders. I'm about to purchase another Avet and will not go for the MC (magnetic) model, but will add in a few static mags off the spool clicker side if need be as it's test out.

Do use mono line, load with 20# at least for starters, don't use braid at least initially. Whatever rod you test will will have a payload sweet spot, where its rated throwing weight range is typically not accurate. Try some weights in the low to mid range first before loading to the rod's "rated" max. Above all, have fun! Now load up and get throwing! :)
 
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