Russ57

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  1. Just to be clear guys. I have always been a salt water guy but a couple of years ago I was mowed down by a drunk driver while mowing my yard. So now I am badly broken and poor (we are talking 1Mill+ in medical bills and 7 months in a wheel chair and I'm lucky to have survived). I don't want my salt water fishing days to be over and investing a lot in freshwater UL reels makes me feel like I am caving in and giving up. Still I have to be realistic and need to get out of the house and doing some fishing. I have enough salt water rods and reels 2500 size and up. I'm just looking to add 3-4 reels in the 500-2000 size range. I want something decent, and maybe something that isn't going to seize up the second it smells salt water. At the same time I don't want to make such a financial commitment that I end up mentally feeling like I have decided I'm abandoning all hope of get back out in the blue water. Just so you understand where I am coming from. And Please, no pity party needed. It wasn't the point of this post. More like I want you guys to understand why I need some reasonable priced UL reels. Right now I need them to get me fishing and out of the house. Later on I hope they don't get much use. Still there are some salt water fish in my area that could be caught with a 1000/2000 size reel so salt water capable is a plus (but not essential).
  2. Thanks gentlemen. I was looking to spend less than the Stradic and get newer school than 700/1300 SS. I have been taking advantage of NFC blank sales and need 4 UL reels. Lightest rod is rated 1-4# and heaviest is 4-10#. These are freshwater ratings.
  3. Reel will likely be used mostly in fresh water but I'd prefer something that can handle saltwater. I could see it used for catching bait and maybe flats/inshore fishing. Mostly fresh water exotic panfish/peacock bass. Would like low weight, great drag, and reasonable/low price. I was thinking Fuego or Nasci. Kinda like something along the line of what the old Daiwa 1300 ss was just a bit smaller/lighter. 200 yards of 6# mono would be nice but I could live with 150 I guess.
  4. FWIW part of it comes down to understanding the different types of rods and their intended use. For example a back bounce is made to fish a heavy weight on the bottom in current. You lift the tip, and therefore the weight off the bottom, let it drift back a few feet/yards, and lower the tip. So they have a strong tip but more of a moderate action back bone. They can make a nice moderate sized snapper/bottom fishing rod. Often times the same blank is used for back bounce, musky, and swim bait rods. Hot shot rods are almost the polar opposite. They are designed to work a plug on the top using only the current. They are the fastest blank around with a very limber tip leading to a ultra quick shut off into a strong back bone. They are a great blank for casting lighter weights for fish that fight on the top of the water column in open water. The lighter powered ones are favorites for flats fishing in my area. But yes, the general purpose ones are often of the "buggy whip" type. Length is a clue as hot shot and back bounce typically aren't any longer than 8 1/2 feet.
  5. What you fish for along with how and where are needed to offer any decent advice. I am just mentioning that there are plenty of 8 foot blanks that will cast two ounces. There are probably more builders in the Carolina's than anywhere else. The 2021 edition of International Custom Rod Building Exposition was held at M.C. Benton Convention Center. Anyone may attend but tickets go fast. Likely you would see and learn more in a weekend than you might in a lifetime of just fishing on your own. +
  6. I think you have more options than you know but just have to think outside the box. As mentioned steelhead, and perhaps salmon, rods are a place to look. Musky and swim bait are another. There are mag bass blanks that will cast 2 ounces without problem. Plenty of spin jig blanks in the MH to H rating will cast 2 ounces. Sorry, I build my own rods, so I can't name names. Just saying at a max length of 8 foot you could be including musky, swimbait, spin jig, mag bass, and back bounce rods in your search. Steelhead and salmon will be available in longer lengths. I think your best bet would be a mag bass in 8 foot designed for casting Alabama rigs.
  7. * Not the best resolution but it should get you on the right track. 525mag.pdf
  8. I do think you would happier in the long run with a Stradic but it is an extra hundred bucks. Given that the reel can last you several years (at least) I think it is worth it. If you must adhere to the budget you have set add the Daiwa BG and the Okuma Epixor to your short list. Ugly stiks....seriously dude....wash your mouth out with soap....we have got to get you into building your own rods. It is dirt simple/easy as long as looks aren't important. NFC has blanks for $85 (normally $225)....PacBay minima guides, Fuji pipe style reel seat, and EVA grips....Think $125 total range.....for a rod that is $500 factory built (but is pretty). Do reach out to me if you decide to go down this deep and additive path as there is so much you don't need to waste money on to begin with. I thought you were buying high end St. Croixs.....as in you have deep pockets.....maybe I have confused you with someone else???
  9. Just to be clear, I'm not saying you need, or even want, a live bait blank/rod to fish live bait. What I am saying is it has a lot to do with the bait, the technique used, and the fish targeted. IMHO live bait blanks are best used for very speedy fish, ones that might tear hooks out of their mouths, and with techniques that might have slack line prior to the fish taking the bait. Also for when you need to cast baits that might tear off the hook. For example, I'd say the guys fishing in the Southern Kingfish (King Mackerel) Association tournaments are almost exclusively using live bait blanks. Here is a post I made on another forum for a guy asking about them. " In my area we have a lot of saltwater fish in the under 100# range that are very fast swimmers. We are talking 60+ mph fast. We often fish live bait. Sometimes we sight cast but mostly we free line or fish them under a balloon. We normally fish mono in the 12-20# range. So we aren't fishing much drag and we know these fish are going to make a long initial run (sometimes as much as 200 yards). The problems come in when you start to gain line and you are putting a lot of pressure on the fish. In a split second you can go from thumbing/cupping the spool, pumping the fish up, and gaining line.....to him heading the other direction at 60 MPH. You need that give in the mono and that soft tip in a live bait blank to handle the sudden surge. It happens often in the fight but it is always guaranteed to happen right at the boat when that fish sees the gaff. You need the strong butt to keep him out of the props and from running under the boat....yet at the same time the limber tip and stretch in the line to absorb shock before the drag starts to give. It is a delicate balance between finesse and trying to over power the fish."
  10. When fishing bait I use two very different types of blanks. It depends on how I am fishing. I suppose I should mention I build my own rods so that allows me to pick the type of blank I want rather than buy what someone else calls a "live bait" rod. For bottom fishing I will typically use a spin jig blank. The St. Croix inshore (Tidemaster and up) are a good example. I use them mostly for dead bait or smaller live baits that aren't moving around much (like shrimp). The sensitivity makes a huge difference IMHO. The medium power 8-17# is perfect for smaller snapper and the like. The 10-20# is better if the fish are running 5 pounds and better. The 15-30# will handle ones into the 20# range assuming you don't have to fish too much lead. When I do have to fish a lot of lead I'll use a St. Croix musky blank. These are all fast action 100% graphite blanks. I considered their SC3 series the perfect blend of sensitivity, price, and durability. Too bad I can't buy them anymore. When I'm fishing live baits that move a lot (like a blue runner/hardtail/speedo/goggleye), I'll use a live bait blank. I'll free line and fish them under a balloon as well. A live bait blank will almost always be a composite blank. They have ultra soft flexible tips, with quick lock up, and very powerfull butt sections. They are fast to extra fast actions. I wouldn't use them for bottom fishing but they are good for trolling. Sensitivity isn't a key factor as your soft tip will give you visual feedback. The Seeker CLB series is a good example. I imagine it can be bought as a finished rod. I suppose I should mention a thrid type as I think it could be right for you. I like a popping blank for fishing shrip under a cork. They are also great for lures with treble hooks. A typical nomenclature used in the past was P704. That would be a 7'0" 4 power popping blank. They come in powers 0 to 4. The 0 power is an UL and the 4 power will handle gator trout, snook, bigger redfish, and smaller tarpon. They used to say 2 power for trout/redfish and 3 power for bigger slot size reds. These blanks will be anything from fast to moderate action depending on make/model. They are usually 100% graphite. From what I read in your posts I suggest you look for some inshore St. Croix rods about 10 years old. The SC2 line will be greenish color and the SC3 line will be copperish colored. You wouldn't be buying these to save money. You'd buy them because they are better than most of today's offerings. Then I'd suggest you add a 2 and 3 power popping rod. Lamiglas, Loomis, Rainshadow, Castaway all offered good ones. You just need to know which ones were good so do your home work. One of my favorites is the titanium chrome colored Xcel blanks from Rainshadow. 10-15 years ago you had more domestically produced blanks than the market could support long term. The majority of those companies are long gone and the few remaining ones have been forced to source blanks off shore. This is why I suggest looking for some of the better rods from 10+ years ago. It helps to learn the history and the names involved. Typically the top rod designers have developed blanks for several companies over the years and have been involved in building many different plants.
  11. Think you would do better with okuma komodo. SX won't fish a lot of drag. Now if you want to catch dolphin/kingfish/sailfish I'd say get the SX.
  12. I haven't bothered to read the entire thread. All I'll say is it gets a lot worse when you start building your own rods. Especially if you live in an area where flats, inshore, offshore, and fresh water are all solid options. Just when you think you are good to go some evil company with awesome to die for blanks will offer you deals you can't afford to ignore (and can't afford to pay attention to). It gets even worse when you start dreaming about retirement, and hooking up with your brothers, and think you need to build three of every rod.
  13. It has been hinted at but nobody has said it out right. If you can cast a longer rod with the same tip speed as a shorter rod you will cast longer distances. But there will come a point where you don't have the power to maintain that tip speed. Once you past that eventually tip speed will go down enough where casting performance suffers. I'd say if you are walking the beach and plugging 9' is all most people want to handle. If it is bait and wait for a bite, bump that up to 11'.
  14. Another vote for the old green Penns. Probably not a lot of difference with the Z models, just never owned them. The Mitchells were never my choice but they were popular. The Daiwa Black Golds were nice reels by any standard so I don't know if that would be my choice to abuse. I have a fond spot for the vintage Dam Quick reels and they might be overlooked and therefore cheaper. So you can go old, try and buy cheap, and do the maintenance yourself. Or you can buy something new and sealed. I think most of us would buy a Spheros if we were in your shoes. Comes down to what you can find locally for dirt cheap at a yard sale. If you go Ebay you might be surprised at what some of those old reels are selling for.
  15. I'm not sure I recommend either anymore. I own both and wouldn't part with them FWIW. The 6500 abu is a good choice for casting heavy weights. If you get one of the better models you are close enough in price to where I'd tell you to get a Akios S-line 656 CTM, assuming you want a round reel . These days I'd go low profile over the Calcutta. Or go in the other direction and get something like Avet SX/Penn Squall or Fathom. I'd say my Penn 525 Mag will do anything an abu will casting wise (but it is harder to control) and it has the gears and drag to bottom fish or troll with. But yes, it is plastic, isn't sexy, and doesn't ooze quality when you look at it. (PS don't buy a made in china 525).