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Keith Benning

Another surf rod length question

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I have fished for about 30 years for just about everything freshwater, but I want to start to get into saltwater fishing on our yearly Florida getaway from the sub arctic temps of Northern Minnesota. My wife has a school conference deal in Orlando in June that I am going to tag along with on. Since she will be busy all day, I will be forced to fish all day for five days.(I'm just going to have to take one for the team). I have one Diawa surf rod/reel, but I would like to pick up two more rod/reel combos before I head down. I just sent off my ABU 7000 C to have some tweaks done for surf casting so I can get some practice on technique going. I talked to a guy that is a surf guide in NE Florida and decided to do a guided deal the first day so I can get some of the learning curve out of the way. I am looking at fishing 45 min north or south of the space coast area for the rest of the trip, and my question is rod length. The guy talked about going with a 13 foot rod for casting distance, but most of the ones I look at stop at 12. I can get a really good deal on St.Croix rods at the factory outlet up here, but 11 and 12 are the longest for the bait casters. Once they get into that length they go into the heavy action rods. I plan on fishing for whatever is around at the time, so there is no real target species. Is a 13 foot rod really going to give me that much more distance than a 11 or 12 with proper technique?

 

Thanks

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My humble opinion is that you will see more distance with good casting technique than a longer rod. Have no idea of your body size but it takes a pretty good sized guy to really load a 13 ft surf rod. I would stick with the 11'6" to 12 ' rods. A 13 ' rod in my opinion is a little more difficult to control than an 11 -12 ft rod also most rods in the 13 ft range are heaver type rods rated for weights up to 10 oz. If you are fishing the Space Coast I believe 4 oz is the max you need to throw and most days 2-3 oz works fine. Most 13 ft rods will not load with the lighter weights. So my recommendation is go with quality and I think you will be happy with the 11-12' rod around here. I cast a 12'3" AllStar rod with a 6500 ABU and can get as mush distance as needed to fish here, I also have a n 11'6" CTS rod with a Diawa Saltiga reel and it wil;l cast a 3 oz sinker out of sight. The CTS is way lighter than the AllStar and just a little easier to load.

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Thanks for the info. I am 6 foot and around 230, in relatively decent shape. The casting rod choices are 11 foot medium heavy, 20 to 60lb line, with a lure weight of 6 to 16. The other is 11 ft, 15 to 40lb line, and 3 to 8 lure weight. Other option is 11.6 MH 10 to 25 line 2-6 lure, or 12 xh 20 to 60 line 4- 16 lure. I really want to go with St.Croix since the cosmetic defect rods at the factory outlet are about 40% off. I am planning on making the 2 hour drive next week.

 

Reel question- I have an Abu 7000 C that I was thinking of having some work done on. The work would go as follows:

ABEC#5 ceramic hybrid bearings $8.00 per bearing 2 reqd $16.00

Carbontex drags $7.50 ea

With CT conversion bar $62.50 total price

 

That being said, would I be better spending the 70.00 total for the reel upgrades with shipping included, or buying a ABU 6500? Budget is a factor, but I have until April to get the stuff, which leaves me a month to practice casting. My 7000 is about 10yrs old, so I am guessing that the inner workings in regards to spool tension/cast ability have been upgraded, which is why I was looking at a reasonably priced newer casting reel. I plan on starting with mono until I get my casting down.

 

Thanks

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First the rods. I am not sure what you plan to fish for but anything smaller than sharks, I would go with a rod rated in the 2-6 oz range. I should know but don't, abouit the shook season. It just opened and I think it will be closed in june. If not that is a fun fish to fish for. Live bait in the surf. Snook typically are right up next tot he shore line so long casting at least for them is not an issue. As long as your rod will handle fish up to 20 lbs you would be okay. We have a lot of whiting, sheepshead, pompano in the surf. That is typically longer cast with a 3-4 oz sinker with a double hook rig and sand fleas or clams for bait. Again a 2-6 oz rod is all you need. I use a 6500ct but have used 7000s. You can handle anything around here with a 6500 except sharks and even with them the 7000 is pushing it.

 

Something you may want to consider is a plugging rod in the 9-10 ft range. something that you can throw 1/2-20z with. Snook will hit minnow type plugs in the surf and there is always the possibility for spanish makeral, jacks and maybe some stray blue fish using small spoons.

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Kieth , I can't put up the web site here , so Google up Sabastian Inlet and see what they are catching on a daily basis , reports with pictures, there is plenty of pier fishing , so those Louisville sluggers are not needed , anything up to 9 ft with some good backbone and you will be in business , by the way , check Florida's fishing laws for license requirements , I believe fishing the beach you need one , and on the piers you do NOT , so my advice is explore your options Frank

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Ahhhh were do i begin :D first off unless you are fishing for pomps then IMHO you don't need anything over 9ft to fish our water.... what people often fail to understand is that the further south you go in Fl the less need to cast a zillion miles :D and

yes the norther fl guys will tell you different, "BUT" they don't fish our waters...and when they do, they end up casting over feeding fish..

IMHO you already have a good setup...( to cast far if you need too) now the only thing you need is one to walk the beaches and one to fish the bridges or piers... the reason i say that is because there might be times that weather might force

you off the beach and you will have to go to a inlet (pier) or Intercoastal (bridge)

 

For walking the beach (great thing to do during that time of yr) all you need a 7'6" rod (medium/heavy action)....a 4000 size reel loaded with 20lb braid... a handful of lures and you walk the beach and have a blast at times with that setup... most of our fish will

be right at your feet..

 

for the pier/beach/inlet and bridge setup to soak bait> a 9ft two piece medium/heavy action/ 8000 size reel and load it with 40lb braid this setup will handled just about everything that swims our water and the great thing about it, is that not to big

and bulky.. and even big enough to give you a decent cast if you need one..

 

and as far as a guided deal from NE Fl .... well "most" of those guys IMO are just out to make a buck... and the info they have is nothing more then what you would get off a "Fl fishing forum" and i know this is often look down on, (when someone talks about another

fishing forum) but at times... guys down here will go out of there way to meet up with you and give you a hand.. and a cold beer/soda is all thats needed at times :D

 

You also don't need to spend an godly amount of money on the reel/rod (seeing that they might not work in your area) if you have reels that will meet the needs i wrote down, then all you need are the rods...pssssss uglystiks at basspro shops run for less then

$50 and will meet all your needs ;)

 

I live in right on the outside of Orlando and if i'm around then, i won't have any problems meeting up with you at the Cape and wetting a line with you... Oh if you have freshwater setup "Bring them" don't forget you will have all kinds of lakes/ponds and Canals

around you.. OH and those setups are also great to catch baitfish or smaller gamefish...

 

Remember to have fun and its not rocket science down here, but some will have you believing it is :D

 

and are you planning are using livebait or lures??? also don't forget we have a wealth of great info here, just do a search on things... it doesnt hurt to ask, but at times you will also find things

that we have forgotten about...

 

and using Braid is just my choice, Mono line will do just fine if you arent into braid yet> 17/20 lb test for the 9ft setup and 10/12 lbs for the 7ft setup.... ;)

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Keith, Drako laid it out real good on East coast, NO surf above Tampa, so we are into flats, owing to local demagraphics one is rare to see a Lami, St Croix, Ben Doerr / or such , most as Drako say's ugly stick, shimano clarus,red bone, star nicklelite.star delux all less than $100, most 55-60 , reel again as Drako reported 3000-4000 back in mangrove i use 6-6 with 4000, bridge, piling, dock, Star Delux 20 with 5000 strong enough for snook, tarpon .

 

Our menu of fish differ slightly just our area the flats very shallow and no real shore line fishing, trout,red,although kids have hooked a Tarpon, big snook from inshore Grandpa's dock on shrimp. One never knows what is coming up river,

 

In Big Bend area one is also hard pressed to see bait caster type reels being used except for fresh water people,off shore different story for AJ, Grouper,Cobia, Penn 3/0 4/0 Daiwa 450H/400H ,also closer in many use 5000-6000 for cobia .

Make first trip fact finding , if get some good fishing in so much better .

 

Dont let any one BS I rode M/C coming out of Jax in Dec in snow flurries and freezing my azz ,to old now sold M/C bought Boat

 

Drako need a crew come on over Crystal River,spanish are here, sheeps head moving in , few Pomp / flounder still to early Cobia//kingfish

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Al Sears> i would come over in a heartbeat, but!!! i been busy with my inlaws (snowbirds) and ladies softball team (getting them ready)...

plus tax season keeps us so busy that we only have time to kiss and say goodnite (somedays) :D

but my betterhalf decided to make a fishing (couple) plan and believe or not i'm running around getting everything ready for this afternoon...

 

Weather is calling for 60% of showers this morning and the cold front is passing around 2am tonite... so i told her to get her coldgear out,

because i was going late nite snooking after i get thru with this couple fishing crap...:shock:

 

I hope to tie one of them on to a bullred out on the pier today and i'll hit the piling for sheepie and also try for some flounders before it gets late..

 

First time out this yr and she had to pick a day like this... she also got me back, my dumba## told her its going to rain, and

she replied "So what"............ the fish are already WET!!! damn her, :)

 

 

First trip of the yr... on a cold ugly day...WHOO HOO!!! i love fishing when it's nasty, it keeps all the wannbees at home... LOL

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I can get a 10.6 St.Croix mojo casting rod for 120.00 brand new, and I think I really can't pass 50% off, so I am going to head over to the land of cheese next week to pick it up. I hear you on the crappy weather Drako, I went out on the ice yesterday when it was 14 degrees and a hard wind and was the only one on the ice. Ended up going home with three nice walleyes and some crappies. You guys are making me jealous with the whole beach thing. Can't wait to get down and fish on water that you can't walk on top of!

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Kieth , before you jump on that St. Croix , which I own a nice 8 1/2 ft rod , great plugging stick , but a few weekends ago I went to a Fish fest , fishing expo in sout Tampa , came across a guy that makes an incredible gulf rod , the long version is 8ft 4 in , if memory serves me well , but it is a total of , less reel 3 oz , that is what I said 3 oz , it has more than enough backbone for Redfish , Snook and Trout , do yourself a favor and check this guy out , Google him up and read for yourself , Kris Greene Custom Rods , see what they have to say about his rods , as soon as I come up with the change I will be on it , take the pressure off my right arm , Frank

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Drako, I am open most any time for rain check, today a steady wind from West at good solid 20 gust to 30 and temp was 57 , water temp around 61,not much action at all even guides not getting any charters,Rained most of night Keep in touch.

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