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Help on choosing a strong reel

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I live in Portugal, and I'm planning to go to USA in 2012.


I'm planning to buy a strong reel, mainly for fishing barracudas from shore.


A have been seing the following models:


Fin-Nor AHAB

Fin-Nor Offshore

Shimano Saragosa

Shimano Baitrunner

Penn Battle

Quantum Cabo

Okuma Cedros


I will use it with:

>14 ft rod

>robert lures (rangers)

>rapala x-rap saltwater

>heavy spoons

>Braided Line


I saw several posts about those reels, but I would like to ask your opinion because it's very dificult (in some cases impossible) to try the reels.


Thaks in advance



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Of the reels you mentioned Saragosa stands out as an obvious winner. It has a nice balance of strength, drag, and good castability. I'd say a 8000F would balance well with the rest of your setup.


Now as a new member you owe us a joke. Let's hear the funniest Portuguese material :)

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Shimano, yes.  And if you're not throwing a lot of bait them I'd stick with the tank-like Sargosa.


Okuma, please no.


Penn, eh, they're getting better.


Cabo, meh, not bad.


Fin- Nor - well, the OffShore is plenty tough in the drag area, but the reliability doesn't match the Sargosa.  Certainly Shimano parts would be easier to get in Europe.


For your knowledge - Alan Hawk, the guy who made the saragosa recommendation, is known for his blow by blow illustrated internal breakdowns of popular reels (look them up on SOL) that follow a period of on the water testing. 


Check out the Penn Battle thread - many surfcasters note that the reel doesn't like to get very wet, let alone dunked which causes real reel problems.  biggrin.gif

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Just out of curiosity...why the 14 foot rod? I can't imagine there's a 14 footer out there that can cast light lures like x-raps very well, and certainly not farther than an appropriately set up 10-11 foot rod. Not only that, but barracudas usually hug the shoreline structure, so casting far shouldn't be a big factor - at least in my experience it hasn't been. When I target cudas from shore I am usually using something more like 7 or 8 feet long and quite light. What you're describing sounds more like the gear needed for roosterfish.


Also, the typical barracuda youre going to see near shore in the US (Florida I have to assume) is going to be quite small, so fishing heavy gear might take a lot of the fun out of it.


That being said - I do think the reel recommendations so far are correct. Cudas like a very fast retrieve sometimes, and the saragosa has the highest retrieve rate of the reels mentioned.

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Where in Portugal do you live that would require a 14' rod? Reason I asked is because I am of Portuguese decent (mother), have been to Portugal a plethora of times and have fished it quite frequently for the amount of time I was there.


I've fished Costa da Caparica's sandy beaches and its jetties, o Rio Tejo and a few area's in Algarve, mainly in Albufeira, and up north with a tenkara fly rod near Gois. The only purpose I could see for a 14' is because there is epic surf there, so possibly for getting over the breakers, but I'm not exactly sure when (conditions), and (where).


When I say epic surf, 10-20' waves aren't out of the ordinary depending on where you are like Nazare.


For an all purpose reel, I'd probably consider a shimano bait runner or saragosa....I've fished both on my friends 10' and its a fine setup however he isnt using a larger size, and maintenance could be a pain in the ass, but I'm not that mechanically inclined.


I've also seen sick birds who fish near Boca do Inferno in Cascais which is almost like fishing off the cliffs (just for you to think about) in Hawaii for GT; the guys were using 50~70# mono because its super rocky.



We need more information....cause Portugal over all is BIG with fishing opportunities and many different types of structure.


My cousin is coming here in June and I cant'll be his first time back since he was 8! :D

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