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Thread: Throwing a Baitcaster in the surf.

  1. #1
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    Throwing a Baitcaster in the surf.

    Anybody ever throw a baitcasting reel in the surf with 2 oz pyramid sinkers? It has been a few years since I have been down to GS, but the last time I was there the surf was heavy and my 9' steelhead rods and 7' medium weight spinning rods did not have enough backbone to effectively throw the 2 to 3 oz pyramid sinker needed.

    I have some heavy bass rods for flipping and pitching that have much more backbone to them and are similar in weight to a surf rod, but still not as long as a surf rod. I am thinking I could really cast those heavy sinkers a mile if I can keep from tangling the crap out of them.

    Should I bring the baitcasters, or I am better off just using my spinning reels and buying traditional surf rods when I get down there? Anybody use baitcasters in the surf?
    Pier#r likes this.

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    Anybody use baitcasters in the surf?
    That's all we used when I was a kid (1950s).

    A south wind will teach you to thumb the spool.
    Pier#r and Haywire like this.
    People are shocked to see sharks in the water around here.

    If you see natural water taste it. If it's salty it has sharks in it. If it's fresh it has alligators in it. If it's brackish it has both.

    BTW, the water around here contains Vibrio vulnificus, aka "flesh eating bacteria," you might oughtn't taste it.

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  4. #3
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    I tried using my Calcutta's from the pier a few times and didn't care for it. And I used some Steelhead rods for Pompano and didn't like them either. You could take a baitcaster and try it but I much preferred the standard saltwater set-ups.
    Haywire likes this.

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  6. #4
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    I'm using a penn 525 mag on a 10ft st croix mojo surf rod and a abu garcia blue yonder on a 12ft cabelas trolling rod that I custom modified .
    Both reels do not have a level wind so you have to guide the line with your thumb on the retrieve. The mojo is rated 2 to 6 oz.I normally 4 oz with cut bait on it. I use 3 oz max on the cabelas it will get me 10+ yards past most of the spinning rod guys. I know there is more there I'm still learning /practicing (the last 5+years), if you free the spool up thumb control is critical , blow ups / bird's nests are easy to come by! With a longer rod be sure to use a shock leader of heavier mono 25+ lb at least, - the length of the rod with several wraps on the spool. Good luck jjm
    ,

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    Most world casting records are set with conventional reels, but those bear as little resemblance to fishing gear as a NASCAR does to a daily driver (and competition is over grass so no gear gets wet).

    Some very serious surfcasters use baitcasters of proper size and quality, such as east coast places like North Carolina. Reels to hold enough line would be more "catfish and musky" size than bass low-profile size. Done correctly baitcasters outcast spinning, especially at heavier weights where your fingers are cut up by holding spinning line. Keep in mind these guys are more often putting out a big sinker and bait, not throwing artificials cast after cast.

    By "done correctly" those folks mean 1) no level wind 2) upgraded bearings and lubrication 3) line setups with a running line of about 15 lbs and a shock leader about 2X length of rod for safety and 4) more elaborate casting techniques like OTG designed for throwing weight.

    Having tried it, l can see why it's appealing in concept but it's a lot like thinking you can "buy distance" in softball/baseball by buying more expensive computer-designed aluminum bats. Technique and practice is far more important than hardware alone.

    That said, longer rods are a little longer-ranged and rods stiff enough to throw the weight needed to hold bottom are necessary. Reels to match the tackle you have work best.
    jjfish and drumbum like this.

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    Thanks all for your help. Your feedback got me thinking about different ideas on how I can test throwing that kind of weight before getting to the surf. I may rig a couple of my flippin rods and take them to the football field and see what they can do on chucking that weight. I can throw a Spro Popping Frog a crazy distance so it will be interesting to see what a 3 oz pyramid sinker will do. If I get a huge birds nest or bust up the equipment it won't be as painful as when I am on vacation.

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    The most humbling piece of equipment for surf-casters is a tape measure on land. All those guys who say they can throw 100 yards from the beach -- well, a few really can. World record distances are closer to 300 yards, again with ultra-quality equipment. You'll appreciate that performance far more after measuring your own. However, if you snap off a sinker when a bail snaps shut or a bird's nest forms, then the range of the unattached sinker is multiplied.

    A single sinker also casts totally differently than a "bait rig" like a high-low or Carolina/fish finder with a saltwater-sized bait because wind resistance slows it quicker.
    jjfish and mike243 like this.

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    After a few seasons of dedicated practice, you will no longer have to worry about backlashes, they will become 'professional overruns'.
    midwestexile, jjfish, Dave and 1 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywire View Post
    After a few seasons of dedicated practice, you will no longer have to worry about backlashes, they will become 'professional overruns'.
    Actually Mr. Haywire, you were the inspiration that put the thought in my head of using baitcasting gear. For several years my son and I had the sincere pleasure of sharing the rail with you during some really good sheephead bites. After the first year of watching you winch sheephead in with a baitcaster reel I started bringing along a couple conventional rods and reels and found that they worked great, and lucky for me all I had to do was drop my weighted shrimp straight down. The following year after the hurricane screwed up the access to the far octagon we hired Pier#r to show us how to surf fish. By far the best money I ever spent and it greatly shortened the learning curve of catching fish off the beach. However, my typical freshwater spinning gear that works fine in low seas, is just not up to the task when heavy weight is needed due to heavy wave action or current.

    I think I will pack a couple xtra heavy flippin sticks this year and see if I can teach the no-good bait stealing heron a few new cuss words when the inevitable happens.

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    When I need extra distance over what spinning gear can provide, I break out my 12í rod and put on a Penn Squidder or Penn Jigmaster. Iíll throw up to a 6oz sinker but I usually donít need one that heavy. I fill the reel so about 1/4Ē of the spool is showing beside the line so I can thumb either the line or the spool. An educated thumb is a must and I usually spray the line with Reel Magic to minimize over runs. Theyíre easier to untangle with the Reel Magic if, I mean when, it happens.
    Learn from my mistake and donít use braid unless you enjoy smelling a burning thumb. Iíve never used a shock leader and donít plan to.
    As far as leader/sinker I use what I call a fish finder rig. Itís built in this order: hook, 16Ē-18Ē of heavy (50 lb) mono, swivel, plastic bead, 2í-3í of mono (50 lb again). Then feed a snap swivel or sliding snap swivel onto that length of line, attach your sinker to the snap, and attach that length of leader line to your main line. I usually tie on a swivel for that purpose. The fish I target with that leader set up wonít mind the hardware. Usually redfish, jacks or sharks. If my leader gets bitten or broken off, Iíll replace the 50lb mono with thin Seven Strand steel and secure that with lead crimps.
    If I have to cast that far for pompano or other smaller species, Iíll wade out and sling the spinning rig the best I can. Use Reel Magic on the spinning reels, too.
    I didnít mean for this to turn into a book.
    Remember Duane Allman


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