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Reels For Adventure Surf Fishing

Page history last edited by Todd 13 years, 2 months ago




Reels For Adventure Surf Fishing



Banging out 100 to 150 yard casts and retrieving all that line back speedily requires proper reels. Many fish on the Mexican Pacific and Roosterfish in particular favor an extremely fast retrieve.  I consider a retrieval rate of 42 inches per crank the minimum desired speed.  45 inches and above is excellent.  A 300 yard 50# braid capacity is minimum.  This limits us to large spinning reels and if you add the attributes of long casting, worthy drags, and braid friendliness the choices boil down to only a few reels.  Slower reels not only make lure presentation less desireable, they also contribute significantly to fatigue when cranked furiously for hours on end.


Here are some excellent reels for long distance plugging with spectra braid:


This is the 45" per crank Tica GX Scepter.  It can he bought for less than $100 and has all the above attributes.  I have used this reel for many adventure fishing trips and it has served me well.  Don't let the low price fool you.  This is a very effective and worthy reel.



The Tica GX Scepter has a tendency to trip its bail shut in mid cast.  As with all large spinning reels, you should remove the automatic bail trip link mechanism.  The bail will still be spring loaded and you can easily close it with a touch of the finger. 



All models have the same reel body.  Only the spool depth changes so get  a larger capacity model.  You can always use cheap mono as a backing to fill the spool up.



Here is the 48 inch per crank Daiwa Emblem Pro.  It is an excellent reel and can be bought for @ $150.  


The weak point of this reel is its bail trip mechanism.  The bail is tripped shut when it hits the protrusion on the reel stem.  This system requires precise placement or the bail arms prior to opening the bail.  Failing to do this will often result in accidental closure of the bail in mid cast.  There is a small button on the bottom of the reel that is supposed to be an aid in all this but I find it awkward and of little use.  Some people eventually become accustomed to placing the bail arms in the precise position prior to opening the bail but it requires experience and attentiveness.  I much prefer to simply cut the reel stem protrusion off (yes, with a fine toothed saw).  The bail will still be spring loaded and it will close with a touch of the finger.  It will never inadvertantly snap shut and you will be much quicker in casting when fish present themselves in a "panic" situation.

All models have the same reel body.  Only the spool depth changes so get a larger capacity model and use some backing to fill up the reel.  This reel has been discontinued from production.  The new version "EmblemProA" has a unsatisfactory low retrieval speed.


The 8000 Shimano Stradic has a 42 inch per crank retrieval rate.  It is a bit on the smaller size but still holds about 300 yards of #50 braid.  It's a very nice reel for a bit over $150 dollars and it has the nice added feature of a sealed drag.  The Stradic has a crank that is a bit shorter than other larger reels.  This enables you to crank just a bit faster and also causes less fatigueing flex of the wrist.  The Stradic has a drag that will become sticky after multiple strong runs.  This can be solved by installing drag washers from the Smoothdrag company along with their excellent Cal's drag grease.  As with all internal bail trip reels, the internal trip linkage should be removed and the bail will then be shut by hand.  The Stradic gives up a bit in terms of ultra long casts due to its small spool design.



The pricey Shimano Stella 10000 and 18000 are exquisite reels with the necessary speed but be prepared for prices between $850 and $950.   It also gives up a bit in ultra long casts because of its short spool design.


The Daiwa Saltist is a newcomer with a whopping 53 inches per crank (5000, 6000, and 6500 models).  It comes with a manual closure bail so you don't have to remove any bail trip linkage.  I like the rotor brake that keeps the bail arms from rotating during the cast.  The Saltist gives up a few yards on ultra long casts due to its short and very large diameter spool design.  However, it casts well and the very high speed retrieval rate makes it quite desirable.  @$200



The Daiwa Saltiga SA-Z60000GT with 50 inches per crank is also an excellent and exquisite reel but be prepared for a price around $800.  The Daiwa Saltiga Dogfight is a top flight choice for those will to spend around $1000.  However, both of these reels give up a few yards on ultra long casts due to their spool designs.


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