DaveColangelo

Newbie - Surfcasting Rig Advice Needed

13 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hello Gang, new here looking for some advice on a surf casting setup. A bit of background. Ill be spending a good chunk of weekends this summer down on LBI and its about time I start casting the surf there (if anyone has a boat there and wants some company Im happy to join). Surf casting is just about the only fishing I have not really spent any time with yet. I grew up fishing the lakes in VT and fly-fishing the rivers up there. Moved down to PA, fly fish a lot of the streams around here and the smaller lakes. When I can get out on friends boats we usually jig for fluke or sand sharks or what ever is down there. I own a bunch of fly rods, some small spin casting stuff for the lakes and a few boat rods. It would seem none of that is quite right for surf casting so I'm looking to get some new stuff for the summer. 

 

Anyway heres what Im considering based on what I have read, 12 ft pole, spin real, 30Lb mono and some poppers or a double hook rig with some clams or squid chunks.

 

Im looking to fish largely on the beach from mornings, sun up to when the beach gets busy (lets call it 9:30 am) and evenings (any time after 6pm to sunset). These are just the most practical times to fish where Ill be near as people are a factor mid day. If the weathers bad ill most likely sneak out for some mid day fishing. Nights are more than likely out. There is one jetty near buy that I could head to so if there is a nice compromise setup that could work but sandy beaches will be the majority of it. 

 

Im open to poppers or bait no real preference but I was going to seek some local advice on that front when I arrived. Plugging may be a bit more engaging than just dropping a line so lets say Ill lean that way for now.  

 

Budget, lets say keep it under $250 total (rod and reel). 

 

Reel: Im a big fan of Penn reels (all my spin and boat rods have them) and being a Philly guy they have a special sentimental value for me. I know they build quality stuff so I have been looking at the Spinfisher V somewhere from the 5500-8500 size. Looking for some advice on size and line combos for this one. Not married to the penn stuff if anyone has suggestions otherwise. I have owned enough mediocre gear at this point to understand paying a bit more upfront will be better in the long run. If I go on the smaller side, I would consider the 5500 with 20LB and the bigger side would be 40LB on the 7500 or so.  

 

Line: A bit lost on this one. The stuff I have been reading seems to be all over the place. 30LB mono? 60LB Braid? Leader, no leader? Steel cable? Should I just get a spear and forgo all of this? Some sources are saying go as low as 20LB with a 9ft rod while others are saying this is way to inadequate.  

 

Rod: Not looking to go crazy here and buy some $300 graphite madness. Ive got an UglyStick 7ft that I use for small lake stuff and really like it, looks like they make a 12ft and 15ft anyone used these? Im open to advice on anything in the sub $100 range or right around there. Some sources are saying 9ft rods (I would go with the Penn) are optimal while others are saying 12ft (Possibly the penn or the ugly stick) is the way to go. 

 

Bait: I'm gonna head to local shop and chat them up when I get there but any advice in advance is always good. I have some poppers, lures and spoons lying around from the boat fishing I have done. Lots of egg sinkers and up down rigs as well. Anyone surf cast with gulp baits? I have had a lot of fluke luck with them boat fishing. Open to any advice here... 

 

---EDIT-----

 

After a bunch of research today Im leaning in the direction of the Penn Squadron II 10ft (model  SQDSFII1530S10) and the Penn Spinfisher V - 7500 sized with 20LB mono and a 40lb shock leader casting 2-3 oz poppers. 

 

 

 

Thanks In Advance 

Dave

Edited by DaveColangelo
more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

There's a lot going on here which is probably why you haven't gotten any responses yet.

 

First off, do you want to soak bait and hang out or do you want to plug for fish? Selecting the appropriate gear will depend heavily on how/what you want to fish.

 

If you want to fish with weight and bait then the 12' Ugly Stik big water you mentioned (MODEL # USBWSF2040S122) should be fine. If you want to use artificials like the poppers you mention, then the ugly stik may feel a bit dead and lame. 

 

I will steer you in the right directions of quality budget gear if you let us know more about what sort of fishing you have in mind. Jetties at night? Sand beaches only at day time? Give us some more info to go with....

Edited by TheNapeaguePissMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TheNapeaguePissMan Ive added in some edits to answer your questions, should narrow it down a bit. After a bunch of research pretty much all day I have a slightly better idea of what im looking at. The 10ft penn squadron rod with 20lb mono and a shock leader paired with the spin-fisher in the 7500 size, spooled with 300yards seems like a nice combo, any thoughts? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DaveColangelo said:

@TheNapeaguePissMan Ive added in some edits to answer your questions, should narrow it down a bit. After a bunch of research pretty much all day I have a slightly better idea of what im looking at. The 10ft penn squadron rod with 20lb mono and a shock leader paired with the spin-fisher in the 7500 size, spooled with 300yards seems like a nice combo, any thoughts? 

That would work fine, however I think you will find pretty quickly that you'll want to fish more than just poppers. 

 

I would suggest a few things. First, give braided line a try. I waited a long time before making the switch to braid... just do it, it's way better. I recommend you try Daiwa J-Braid x8 30lb. It's really nice stuff and not expensive. Use a 40-50 lb. mono leader. Learn some knots on youtube.

 

Spend a little more for the rod, you will be happy with it for longer. Maybe a penn battalion, a star stellar surf, or a tsunami airwave rod....

 

The reel you are looking at is an unnecessarily heavy tank. I would be looking at something that weighs under 20ozs if possible. 15 even better.... Maybe check out Shimano. Again it's a littlee more money up front, like 40 bucks more. I have a shimano Spheros and it's great, can get wet in the surf with no issues and weighs 16 ozs. I'd look at a 6000 series for a ten foot rod. 

 

Otherwise, if you think you'll be able to keep it dry, I would get a Daiwa BG4500 which is an amazing reel and only $120. I'm not a penn guy as you can tell, I just think there's better options out there now....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Here is what I use just for casting Popper's, plug's, spoon's. just about any lure other than bait. 9' Star Stella light 3/4 to 4 oz. Penn BTL ll 5000 series reel , with 17# BBG mono. leader is 30# Floro. I don't like braid, have given it 3 chances. I have no problems with Mono. I'm not saying braid is bad, it's great if you like it. But for a beginner, I would start off with Mono and then as I got better casting , Try braid. You want to stay with a rod and reel combo that is light in the hands to cast for a few hour's. This is my combo. I also have the Battlion rod's but there a lot heavier than the Star. Tight line's.

Edited by hunter123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

36 mins ago, hunter123 said:

Sorry, double post.

 

Edited by hunter123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could swing the Penn Battalion Surf Rod 11' (or 10ft its still a bit unclear on which one is the way to go). I see now what you are saying about the reel being overkill. Between the battle and the SSV the big difference looks like the "waterproofing" which people say is only splash proofing. The weight is about 2oz more for the SSV, is there really any advantage to having the splash-proofing? I do have a pair of waders so getting in the water is not out of the questions. Either way the 5000 (or 5500) size seems appropriate.  

 

Ill give Daiwa J-Braid x8 30lb a shot, I have been tempted to try braid for a while but a lot of people online make a fuss about it so I have been scared off for a while. All things considered I could always re-spool as this is the cheapest part of the rig. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a silly question, (assuming I dont go to a bait shop to have it spooled up)

 

If a reel is quoted at holding 320 YDS of braid but the spools come in 300YD should backing be used to insure a full spool up or are the last 20YDS not going to make that much of a difference? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, hunter123 said:

Here is what I use just for casting Popper's, plug's, spoon's. just about any lure other than bait. 9' Star Stella light 3/4 to 4 oz. Penn BTL ll 5000 series reel , with 17# BBG mono. leader is 30# Floro. I don't like braid, have given it 3 chances. I have no problems with Mono. I'm not saying braid is bad, it's great if you like it. But for a beginner, I would start off with Mono and then as I got better casting , Try braid. You want to stay with a rod and reel combo that is light in the hands to cast for a few hour's. This is my combo. I also have the Battlion rod's but there a lot heavier than the Star. Tight line's.

I think this post is great advice for a guy in the OP's position. Actually it's pretty good advice for a lot of us. This type of setup can do a lot of things very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Thank you redfin. I like the star rod's. Now that I'm pushing 69 years old soon, I like lite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

TackleDirect has some of the 9ft Star's in stock and they seem to have quite a bit of positive buzz around the internet. Slowly creeping up in price from my original choices but it seems most people are saying spend a bit more on the rod and I get that. Although the Battalion 10ft Medium-heavy is still a solid contender and since prime is offering free shipping it comes in substantially less than the Star from tackle direct.  

 

I may order it tonight, and decide on the reel later. The Penn Battle II and SSV in the 5000/5500 size seem like solid choices. 

 

I'm going to give braid a try for this setup. All my other stuff has always been mono and I've been itching to try braid. Ill give it at least half the summer and re-spool if I cant get the casting down. 

 

 

Edited by DaveColangelo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

My BIL fishes the 10' med-heavy Battalion with a Daiwa BG 4000...great setup. You can fish it for hours without getting tired and it's got enough power to handle the fish. I know you said you are a PENN guy (I used to be as well...still kind of am, actually)...but do yourself a favor and pick up a BG 4000 or 4500, you won't be sorry. It's about as budget as budget can get at it's price point, and it's a very smooth, solid reel. BIL has dunked it more than a couple of times...a good cleaning and it works like new. I'm not saying to reel it underwater, but with splashes and even dunks, a follow up cleaning will do the trick in most cases. 

 

PS Thumbs up to giving braid a shot like you said...it's easier to get used to then most people think and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Edited by Romer Treece

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was lucky to spend most of last week fishing, or at least trying to. However my luck only got me as far as being able to get out and fish, catching anything was far less fruitful. I tried casting a whole bunch of stuff at all different times and the best I did was a nice 10Lb mess of seaweed. But none the less ill be back out this weekend. 

 

There were two guys next to me on the peer last weekend pulling up fluke left and right on white gulp, my chartreuse seemed to go unnoticed so you can all guess what ill be picking up for this weekend. 

 

I did ent up losing two rigs due to wind knots. Essentially during the cast the knot got looped around an eye and the instant tension caused my braid-to-mono joint to snap. Im going to be trying a new not there this weekend. 

 

All in all Im quite happy with the braid and despite a few wind knots here and there I have not had any issues casing it and getting plenty of casting distance. The Penn reel is nothing shy of epic. 

 

So far my fruitless rigs have been: 

- Tsunami Talkin' Popper 

- SP Minnow 

- chartreuse Gulp (on a buck tail and alone)

- Squid strips (buck tail and alone) 

- An octopus hook smeared with hopes and dreams... 

 

More to come when i actually catch a fish... 

IMG_6523.JPG

IMG_6522.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.