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About Trainman327

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 02/29/1964

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    Havre de Grace MD

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  1. When fishing some of the causeways in the Tampa area I get checked by FWC frequently. However, they only ask to see inside all my coolers. They have never asked to see my license.
  2. Never considered casting an International. LOL I learned to surf cast with Jigmasters on 7' rods. That's what my grandfather gave me to use and there was hell to pay if I backlashed it. I now use Squall 15 Star drag and Squall 30 Lever drag reels for surf casting on either prevail or battalion rods. Those cast like a dream.
  3. Thanks Tony. I figured I would get good information here. All of my saltwater reels are Penn. Some going back to my grandfather in the 60s. I have been able to get parts for his senators and jigmasters from Penn. I do have a few greenies as well, but I don't use them. I prefer the newer spinning reels. All his conventionals are still in use. One of his 1960s 9/0 Senators was used to catch a 500# Black Marlin in Costa Rica back in 2015. See in my profile picture. If they are properly maintained and repaired they should last for a very long time.
  4. I think this is the missing piece of information. Those washers were the worst part of the reel. Dried grease and dirt and there were two sets of two stuck together. It took some work to get them clean. I now think they were likely in the (( )) configuration because of how they were stuck together. When I reassembled the reel I put them in the (((( configuration. Now, when I set the drag to have slight pressure just above the free setting, it is far tighter in strike than it was before I serviced it. Unfortunately, I didn't see this information in any of the literature I found online. I will have to play around with it and see what happens. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.
  5. I purchased a used International II 50TW reel from a thrift shop. It functioned well when I got it, but I knew I should give it a good cleaning. I completely disassembled it, keeping all the parts in their exact original order. There was no corrosion, but a lot of dried grease. Everything was completely cleaning and reassembled. There is one thing different I noticed once I was done. The drag lever doesn't go all the way to the lower stop like it did before I cleaned it. It appears to functions properly and the drag was able to be set properly. I just don't know if this is okay or I did something wrong. The attached pictures show the difference. This is before cleaning. Notice the lever goes a little below the pin and covers the "F" This is after cleaning. Notice the lever stops over the pin.
  6. I also use a shock leader on the line, it's typically 40# to 100# fluorocarbon depending on the fish being targeted. When targeting snapper, using a boat rod with the jigmaster, I use 40#. When targeting grouper, using a Penn Senator 9/0 with 80# line I use 100# fluorocarbon shock leader.
  7. This was done at the suggestion of a boat captain of a boat I have recently started going out on. It's a great long range trip into the gulf and I plan to do it several times a year. Most of this trip is bottom fishing in 200+ feet of water. His suggestion, for those using braid, is to load 60% to 75% of the reel with braid then the final fill with mono. Their biggest concern is that when a fish moves around and tangles other lines, the braid usually can't be untangled and needs to be cut and also can cause the other anglers to cut their line as well. On the grunts and snapper the digging in wasn't an issue, but on a huge Amberjack, in about 180 feet of water, pulled hard enough the dig in big time. With the reels max drag around 15# I don't think going beyond 30# line adds any value.
  8. OK guys, I need to be schooled on putting top shot on a conventional reel. Am I doing something wrong and is it really necessary? I understand the value of having more line on the reel, but is doubling the amount of line really needed? I tried this on an Penn Jigmaster I've been using for 30+ years, using 30# Stren Super Braid with about 100 yards of 30# mono top shot. I used it for most of the day, catching from small grunts up to about 8 pound Snapper, in about 200 feet of water, with no problem. Then I hooked a 40 pound reef donkey and it became a mess. The top shot cut deep into the base braid and things got all catawampus. I had no trouble landing the Amberjack, but the reel couldn't be used again that day. I had to cut the line off due to how buried and tight the mono went into the braid. I figure the problem is the base line was not tight enough but if you are repeatedly dropping the line and retrieving it without a load on it the line will never stay very tight. Is there some new technique I need to learn for retrieving the line? I have never had this happen before and I have been fishing over 40 years. I was a part time mate on my grandfather's charter boat and catching huge marlin and tuna would cause some burying of the line, but it could always be pulled out when releasing line with the next bait. This top shot was a total mess.
  9. When I'm chunking and need to cast 8 and bait you need a heavier rated rod. The rods I use are not heavy rated until you get to the 12' rods. So for me the max is 12'. However, I usually stick with 11' unless I'm chunking.
  10. Although I have fished conventional in the surf since childhood when I finally replaced my grandfather's reels I had to do some learning all over again. The new reels were much smoother and spin more freely. I recut my teeth using a Penn Squall SQL15 star drag because of the mag brake. It was great at helping reduce backlashes. It took me about a full season and a half to reduce the brake setting to zero. In the areas I fish, from Lewes Delaware south to about Daytona Beach Florida, long casts are overrated. Most of the fish are in the slough. Sure, I try to get at least one bait past the bar, but the lines that are most productive are within 50 yards of the shore line.
  11. I'll assume this is questioning the rules in NJ since most people commenting are from NJ. But if not, each state has it's own rules regarding legally caught fish. Example: In Florida, I had a FWC officer approach me one day while I was cleaning a legal size Gag Grouper. He said I was in violation of the law because I was cleaning fish while still fishing. The only time you can be in possession of a non-intact fish is when you are not fishing. You must stow all your gear before beginning to clean your fish. He didn't give me a citation but, I never do anything more than gut the fish until I leave the area I'm fishing.
  12. Just got back from a month in Costa Rica. We have been there several time and can't wait to go back. We visited many locations, some for fishing and some for wildlife photography. As stated above, the Gulf side has the prettier beaches and the Pacific side has the better fishing. The main thing that can turn people off on the beaches of the Pacific side is the dark volcanic sand. It will be very hot mid day and wearing beach shoes is a must. The sunsets are magnificent. The Costa Rican culture takes a little getting use to. They are very laid back and friendly people, but most don't have much. Almost everyone says hello and good morning/evening. Things can look run down and even appear like there is really high crime when you see most properties are surrounded by fencing or barbed wire and many windows bared. But having a number of Costa Rican friends now, we have learned that it is more cultural than protection from crime. Although they are trying to protect their property from the wildlife. We have never experienced any crime in the 100+ days we have been there. The only time we ever felt uncomfortable was when the first "watchman" approached us and asked for money to park. These people will have a safety vest, a whistle and a roadside safety light helping people park and directing traffic. We've learned they are people just trying to make some money to make ends meet. Even many locals will pay them, but there is no requirement to do so. We don't do anything different than we do hear in the US. We have walked the streets of San Jose, driven many of the roads and stayed in no less that 20 towns and villages. Many off the beaten path and away from tourist areas. As for fishing, you can't get much better, but here again you need to be prepared. I only know of one tackle shop, in Playas del Coco, owned by a Frenchman. It is geared to the charter guys. There are very few people fishing from shore, or in boats for that matter. You need to take all your gear with you and will need to catch your own bait. I have purchased shrimp and calamari from the grocery stores, but that's about it. I have caught tons of reef fish, Jacks, a few Blackfin Tuna and even one 20" Dorado (Mahi Mahi) from the rock piles on the beaches. Every beach has a rocky area on the North and South sides and some even have rocky spots in the middle of the beach. It's in or near these rocky areas that I catch most of the fish. My favorite is surface poppers and shallow running stick bates. Shrimp type jigs work great as well. Bottom fishing, with bait, from the beach will mostly result in Sting Rays, some of them huge. Taking a charter is a must. I always take one offshore and one inshore. They will put you on some great fish. My FP ever is the Black Marlin in my profile pick, it was about 500 pounds, caught out of Playa Hermosa in July 2015. The water gets deep fast and have bottom fished for Snapper and grouper, in 150+ feet of water within 1/4 mile of the beach.
  13. Thanks Saltybum, it does. I think stealth is the biggest issue I'm dealing with. When using standard equipment you can cast far enough away to not spook the fish. I think kicking up the bottom is about the most difficult thing to avoid.
  14. The field I use is the high school practice field. Here where I live we have three ball field sized in the area. Regulation, 70' rec and 60' little league. If I went to the little league facility and started casting on one of their fields, they would call the cops on me.
  15. I'm cool with anyone who want's to call me out, it may be justified to some degree, but a few things to clear up. 1) I said I was new to Saltwater fly-casting. I have been fly-casting in freshwater streams and small rivers for 40+ years. 2) Just noticing there is backing on the saltwater setup was honest. In my freshwater setup I have no backing, never did. The old Royalist reel I have, from my grandfather, doesn't hold much more than a 100' of fly line. And the streams and small rivers I fish don't have fish in them big enough to challenge the setup or make big runs. These waterways are rarely to wide to cast to either side from the middle. Any trout or smallmouth near 2 pounds is a monster in these waters. 3) 100', 90', 70', who cares! What I was wondering is, can you catch fish that close to you? I was thinking the distance I cast was too short. I have not yet caught any nice fish with the fly rod in saltwater, but I do catch nice fish with standard equipment. I was thinking that I'm spooking fish within the radius I'm casting no mater what that distance is. But it seems that there is consistency here in saying you can catch within even 30'. 4) I find it amusing that there can be all kinds of intellectualizing why I'm wrong, lying, crazy, ignorant, stupid, or maybe some other adjective, but I'm still trying to figure how I can be incorrect. From 1st base I can hit home plate consistently. Even if it's a short 70' diamond I'm still doing fine according to the comments in this thread. From 2nd base I can get to just shy of the edge of the home plate circle. Again even on a short diamond that's 90'. That's why I was using a baseball field in the first place. Easy measurement and great targets to work with. I very much appreciate all the comments and information. As I stated above. I understand that my focus needs to be on location, presentation and fly selection.