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Conventional Surf Casting Technique Help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I want to start using a conventional surf rig. I was going to start with tossing chunks and then later maybe move to big woods. I have not bought a rod and reel yet so I thought I would try casting with a 6’6†MH boat rod with a Penn 209. I figured the shorter rod would be easier to work on my casting technique (OTG) and handling a conventional reel. I headed down to the park today at lunch and I just started trying to cast. Initially, I set the line tension so the weight would just barely pull line from the reel when it was hanging. I found that the line would start to nest when the weight was half way out. When I tightened it more I did not get any onset of nesting but my distance went way down. Is it the reel or do I need to work on my thumbing technique or both? I was wondering if I will be killing myself trying to learn to cast conventional with a Penn 209 and I should go right to something like a 525mag, or Daiwa SL30SH or Abu 6500C3.
post #2 of 5
Was the 209 one with a big heavy chrome/brass spool? Those have a lot of inertia... which you counter with the bearing screw, or your thumb.
post #3 of 5
you are really going to be up against it.
short rod, heavy metal spool, well, it can be done, but it ain't gonna be easy.

You really need some form of braking in the reel, that can be OIL, Centrifugal Blocks or Mags, or a combination of any of the above.

OTG is the best way to learn, thats something to continue with.

If you are dead set on using end tension to control the cast.....

have 2 settings, one that holds the cast together in a following wind, then you can undo the tension mid flight (you need the right oil in the bearings to then take over the control)
and another, for when you are using air resistant baits etc. In this case, the amount you would release the end tension varies with conditions and skill.

If you really get into big baits on big rods and stuff, the sky is the limit.
I can personally put plain 8oz 750' on a good day, but in a fishing environment, with a not so solid underfoot hold and a bait, that is soon reduced dramatically.
However, 300 - 500 with bait isn't impossible with the right gear and practice.
Using typical 8 and bait rigs stateside, we found fish when the locals went home. On the Ebb tides fish would go out of range of the 9 - 10 foot rod and spinner men, while we where able to punch 4 and 5 oz rigs with bait and also 4oz metal like herrings patterns way out there.
Its a skill worth learning and my personal view is, that big baits, big sinkers are far more comfortable to fish on a conventional as you call em.
post #4 of 5
Get the better reels if you have the money. I learned on the same rig you did it handles like a dump truck. I have a 525 and won't trade it for anything. Don't limit yourself with old technology the new penns and abus are smoother and built for the task.

you will find conventional excel with lead so start of there, then move into casting lures which catch more wind ... you need the lead experience to get a feel for the reel the plugging will come easier if you know your gear.

once you know your reel you'll be able to use it on any size rod and adjust it with ease to fit each situation.
post #5 of 5
I second to longer rod and vote on Abu C3 too.
They are cheap, one of the best conventional reel for a starter yet can be tuned to be the best distance reels too. Easy to service as well, IMHO.

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