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About Last_Cast

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  1. This was fantastic feedback - thank you for taking the time! Like you, I also spend many hours on the jetty, and I typically bring two rods this time of year - one for togging, and one for plugging. The repetitive nature of the task is really hard on the shoulder and elbow (I work in physical therapy, so I have a good understanding here), and I know that I have degraded my joints significantly in recent years. Simply put, I want to introduce a bit of balance into the equation. You're right about not having the same feel and hooksetting speed on the left vs right - that's a major concern to be sure, but I'm sure I'll become proficient eventually. And frankly, I'd rather lose a few fish than blow out my right shoulder prematurely. I decided on conventional both to offload my right arm, but also to learn a new skill. I've never fished conventional before and simply put, I would like to learn. I agree with your point of going lighter - that was also part of my decision. The Penn Squall SQL200LPHS I ordered is 9.3oz, with 43" of line retrieve per turn and 24lbs of drag. That's some serious specs for that weight - I'm not sure I would be able to find those that in a spinning reel (I haven't looked, honestly). I'm not sure what the Tsunami TSTIISC-1002H rod weighs, but I expect the outfit to be significantly lighter than my previous setup. Thanks again everyone. I'll be sure to report back in a few weeks with a review of the new rig. Tight Lines!
  2. Mike, I checked both Amazon and TackleWorld. Amazon has the FTH300LPHS listed for $279 and TackleWorld does not have that size in stock.
  3. Thanks for the input everyone. Mike, that's a great point, however, the SQL300LPHS is $179 vs the FTH300LPHS at $279, which is a pretty big difference. If it was $50 more I'd swing for the Fathom, no doubt. I'm leaning towards the SQL300LPHS and the Tsunami Trophy Surf 10' (TSTIISC-1002H), which would put me right at $300 out the door. Any opinions on this pairing?
  4. Hey guys, I'm looking for recommendations for a conventional setup for togging the NJ jetties. My budget is in the $300 range. My current setup is a spinning outfit (9' rod with Tsunami SaltX600 spooled with 40# braid). I'm looking to switch to a conventional rig to give my right shoulder a break (biceps tendinitis). I have ZERO experience with conventional reels, but I'm willing to put in the time to learn. I'm looking hard the Penn Squall Low Profile line, specifically the high speed models due to the faster retrieve, which I think would be beneficial in getting those tog up out of the rocks quickly. As for rods, I would like to stay in the 9-10' range - I like the longer rods because I feel I get more vertical angles when dropping into those closer holes. I would love any input and advise here. Am I on the right track with the Penn Squall Low Profile, or should I look at the Penn Squall II Star Drag? Which particular model/size of the would you recommend? Which rods would you guys pair these reels with? Thanks!
  5. Having to pull over to take a nap when you're only 30 mins from home, because you literally can't keep your eyes open anymore...
  6. I think you're spot on with the 9'6 and 11' as well. I have both of those rods - the 9'6" is paired with a Penn VI 4500BLS (30# Sufix 832) and the 11' is paired with a SaltX6000 (40# Sufix 832). I think you'll be happy with the options you selected.
  7. I pair mine with the Tsunami Airwave Elite 10'6, and I'm happy with that combo (spooled with 40lb Suffix 832). I have also used the SaltX 6000 on the 9'6 version of that same rod, but I prefer a smaller reel for the 9'6 (currently using a Penn Spinfisher VI 4500). I'm happy with the SaltX overall.
  8. I also noticed that gas can, seat, and life vest float by today - scary to think about that... You're right that the conditions looked great for stripers, but ultimately it was disappointing. I was ready for the rain, but that wind was gnarly today! I did manage a few 15-17" tog though, so all in all it was a good day..
  9. I've started using Loctite gel to glue my paddletails to the jig head (I first crush down the lead barbs on the jig head to minimize tearing into the plastic). You obviously can't change paddletails once you do this, but they stay on great - no more adjusting the soft plastic every other cast. I highly recommend this method.
  10. Great point. Which situation calls for one vs. the other, in your opinion?
  11. I've been thinking about this one for a while... What do you guys see as the crucial difference between the bucktail and a paddletail jig or swim shad? When would you use one vs. the other? What does a bucktail do that a paddletail or Zoom on a jig head cannot do, and vice versa?
  12. Good points there, and I think this is what I do instinctively as well. I do find myself going with a Hi-Lo rig when there is no current in order to get the bait of the bottom just a bit. The problem I run into with the FF rig in especially heavy current, however, is tangling of the leader portion onto the main line. How do you guys handle this?
  13. When bottom fishing with bait, when is it appropriate to use one vs the other? I tend to fish the fish-finder rig when fishing bait for stripers or flatheads, but will sometimes switch to a hi-lo rig if I feel I need to get the bait off the bottom a bit. Am I thinking about this the right way? I'd love to hear your opinion on this topic. Tight lines!
  14. I'm conflicted about all of this. I am certainly doing my part to self-quarantine to the best of my ability - I have not set foot in any store whatsoever in over a week, and don't plan on doing so anytime soon. I do, however, want to go fishing - one, to get some fresh air and exercise, and two, to catch some fish to eat (white perch - I'm not keeping any bass). If I can go fishing with basically zero human contact, catch some fish for dinner and thereby avoid stepping foot in a supermarket, I see that as a win for everyone. Part of me is rationalizing the fact that I want to go fishing - I fully accept that. I don't want to be part of the problem in any way - I've seen the crowded running trails and basketball courts in my neighborhood and I realize that's a major problem. I just don't see how a solo fishing trip is anywhere near as problematic. I'm not looking for answers here, just wanted to rant and commiserate with my fellow anglers... Stay safe everyone!
  15. So, I'm fairly new to the saltwater game, having started only four years ago. Coming from a PA trout fishing background, I initially found the size of the gear required for for surfcasting frankly intimidating. I started with a 9' Tica rod for chunking, which seemed HUGE at the time, but by the end of my second year I realized that I would need something significantly bigger to handle the 6-8 oz sinker and bait when fishing rougher surf. Now, my chunking rods are 11' and 12', and my plugging rods are 9'6", 10'6", and 11' and I can handle them with confidence. I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that the big gear is more about the weather and surf conditions than the size of the fish. I have not caught any stripers or blues over 15# (yet), but those big rods have absolutely been necessary at times. Just yesterday, I used the 10'6" rod to cast 3-4oz metal through the wind to catch the schoolies that were around - that size rod was definitely not overkill for those conditions. Do I wish the fish were bigger? Of course! But I still needed that bigger gear to fish those conditions. I for one am in this game for the long haul. Despite my 2 hour drive to the beach, I'll continue to spend my free time making that trek to battle the wind, rain, and heavy surf. I'll continue to lurk on the jetties in the middle of the night. I'll continue to battle traffic, and crash exhaustedly in Wawa parking lots when too tired to drive home. Being a relative newbie to the game, I fail frequently - I have a LOT to learn. Maybe I missed the "good old days" of striper fishing, but I still plan on putting in the time and effort required to succeed in this sport. And who knows, maybe someday I'll even catch that big fish! Tight Lines!