27 posts in this topic

I've been pondering which casting reel to get, and am wondering if anyone has experience with the following. ABU Garcia Chrome Rocket, the Tica Striper edition baitcast, or any other in the 100 - 200 $ range.

Also, I'm probobally gonna get one with a level-wind, then take it off for baitfishing, put it back on for throwing plugs....is that feasable??

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

taking the levelwind on and off reels is a pretty complicated process in most cases. I know you have to modify the frames with cross members and such. There is also the drive gears that need to be fixed when you remove the levelwind.

If I was only occasionally going to take it on a trip I would go buy a cheap 30 or 40 dollar used levelwind somewhere and stick with it.

I would spend the rest of your money on a reel that is totally geared towards what you are going to use it for most of the time.

For surf casting here is a small list of the reels people on this board use.

Penn Mag525

Avet SX

Torium 14 and 16s

Abu 6500 and 7000's

Daiwa 20 or 30's (sho,shv and etc)

I am sure I missed some but do some research on those reels and you will be happy! I personally like the Penn 525's, esp for beginners.

If you give us a little more information about what you are going to be doing with the reel I am sure more people will chime in. tossing lures? Bait soaking? casting a mile over the bar?

Also what type of fishing will help as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right.....good points.

I'm primarily gonna use this for chunkin, specifically as my loooooong rod for getting way out there. I've got a 10'6" g loomis surf rod rated for 1-5 ounces, and I specifically want this as my distance set-up...and go from there. I did a couple bluefish tourney's this year in deleware, specifically around 3r's beach, where there is no cover and distance was the key for getting some bigger fish towards the middle of the day.

I have a bunch of spinning outfits that do well in the surf, but I want to get way out there and know casting is where its at. I've also fished next to Coop a couple times, and seen his bait going out there way past mine...while i was whipping my spinning outfit with all my might...good distance but not great. I've fished with casting rods and reels my whole life inshore for black bass, so i'm not new to casting reels and how to work 'em. That said, I was intrigued by the ABU chrome rocket because its marketed as a long distance reel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its probably going to boil down to personal preference.

what do you look for in a reel?

when i went into the conventional realm i opted for an avet because i liked the cost and construction method.

i've casted 1 abu, not a blue yonder, and had no issues with it, seemed like a very nice reel

go someplace that has all the types and get a hands on look at them

even better would be the ability to cast them, which could be possible if you near anyone, or gonna be near anyone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Distance connies are a different animal.

For a chunking reel I'd go with something that you will be able to throw consistently, hold up well to sand, has good line capacity, and a great drag.

Just about everyone on here has FISHING reels first on other boards you'll find more abus but if they are fished many of them are modified with mags etc which can get pricey and cost you some functionality (clicker). I think a magged reel is a great tool to have fishing the surf in any condition, it makes a huge difference for me in changing weights, wind direction, bait size, etc. I have to say go with the 525, aside from the sissy clicker it is the best out of the box with mag control and really the only one on the list above, good price too. If you are thumbing your surf casts you're shooting yourself in the foot and taking 20-30% off your casts.

I think the most important piece of getting improved distance is practice, especially with a conventional. Spinning gear lets you get away with a lot of mistakes and breakdowns in form and will still go a long way with the snap of a wrist. I'm also coming to the realization that for most people conventional casting on the beach doesn't go all that much farther. For example in the field with 20# line, 60# shocker, and 8oz I can cast a spinner around 130-140yds consistently due to line drag, in the field with a conventional and the same setup I can get 180 and really blast out near 600' once or twice out of 30 tosses (at least I could when I was 25# heavier) On sand I barely notice a difference, it all changes when you slap a bunker head on there, I'm willing to bet it's only a 5-10% improvement on sand compared to 20-25% on grass. If you toss lighter weights this will grow larger. Somtimes 10 yards is all the difference in the world and that's why I toss conventional especially when fighting trophy size fish. I'm willing to bet that for most guys on here a spinning rod setup with 40# braid would produce a distance difference that is nearly undetectable on sand. I love my conventionals, they are bullet proof, can land a tuna should I hook one and most importantly I can FISH with them and not worry about blowups, sand, or any of that stuff.

I fish torium 20's and 16's magged by me, unmagged they require a deft touch and a very smooth cast and can still drive you nuts.

One of my big goals for the year is to improve my FISHING distance, I mad huge strides on grass last year but my on sand distance has not seen the same improvements. But still improved greatly, I need to stop being a sissy and hit it, I need to work on casting on compromised footing, and I need to work on better rigs for big baits. Hopefully that'll get me 10%.

I know it's tough to swallow, but for easy distance I'd go right to a 12-13' rod first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats great. Thanks.

I looked hard at the 525 in the past.....so i'll probobally start out with one since i know my penn spinning reels are indestructable....

I am specifically looking to place smaller baits (bluefish rigs, smaller peices of bunker) way out there, so once i get some practice I believe the casting set-up will help me greatly....and I'll look hard at a 12' casting rod. I really like the g loomis surf edition:icon_rr:, when i held them in my hand I knew they were da bomb....Its just the price tag...ouch.

Thanks for you input....i'll get the penn and let ya'll know how it goes. You guys are great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you haven't bough the Loomis yet it's worth taking a look at other rods, I think you can get the same performance for much less.

edit: I see you already have the loomis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as reels, I'll second the 525. Easy to learn and it is a very long caster. If you keep moving that mag setting to the point of disaster, it will fly as far as most reels. Just start from the slowest settings and as you feel more comfortable, start dialing her down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the diawas and they have a new model out, the saltist which has a lower frame runs like $160. the diawas are the most user friendly reel out there I think. people complain about the frame on the slsh's and the sha's but the frame on the saltist sits about as low as the 525. I bought a 525 last spring and it crapped out on me this fall reeling in a drum. I was fighting a big drum and the spool wouldn't turn anymore so I had to walk up the dune to beach it. I took it to a shop and they said that the spool shaft was bent and one of the bearings was shot and it would be like $60 to replace the spool. I have heard of a few other reports with the same thing. I also didn't like the clicker on the reel, and I didn't care for the drag too much. the reel casted great but I didn't like a lot of other stuff so i never got a new one. ABU's are nice but it can get expensive to put upgrades in them. I have never fished with an avet but the people that have them seem to really like them. I have never fished with a torium but I have seen them become the "hot" reel to have with a lot of people buying them only to be displeased later and get rid of them. I don't know about the levelwind thing, maybe get 1 with levelwind and 1 without and throw plugs while soaking bait. I like the diawas and abu's and those are what I reccomend to people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the diawas and they have a new model out, the saltist which has a lower frame runs like $160. the diawas are the most user friendly reel out there I think. people complain about the frame on the slsh's and the sha's but the frame on the saltist sits about as low as the 525. I bought a 525 last spring and it crapped out on me this fall reeling in a drum. I was fighting a big drum and the spool wouldn't turn anymore so I had to walk up the dune to beach it. I took it to a shop and they said that the spool shaft was bent and one of the bearings was shot and it would be like $60 to replace the spool. I have heard of a few other reports with the same thing. I also didn't like the clicker on the reel, and I didn't care for the drag too much. the reel casted great but I didn't like a lot of other stuff so i never got a new one. ABU's are nice but it can get expensive to put upgrades in them. I have never fished with an avet but the people that have them seem to really like them. I have never fished with a torium but I have seen them become the "hot" reel to have with a lot of people buying them only to be displeased later and get rid of them. I don't know about the levelwind thing, maybe get 1 with levelwind and 1 without and throw plugs while soaking bait. I like the diawas and abu's and those are what I reccomend to people.

Wasn't that reel still under warranty? I would be very disappointed if I bought a reel in the spring and it didn't last past fall!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I "stole" the G loomis rod for $125.00 total on ebay...with minimal use....it was 275.00 retail. I wouldn't have paid full price for it...unless I was a Golf Pro:eusa_dance: or something.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites