RobH

Bought my first surf rod & reel I think I messed up

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Hi guys, I just bought my first surf rod 10ft  Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Spinning Rod, and a Shimano baitrunner 8000D reel. My plan was to use this setup for fluke and striped bass, jigging and or bait. I’m new to surf fishing, so I’m unsure if this setup is a good match. If not, please help. Though I’m still looking to pick up a second rod and reel to jig while my baits sits. So if there is a different recommendation on a reel to buy for the uglystick or a rod to buy with the baitrunner, please let me know. Thanks ahead of time. I haven’t chosen an exact spot to go yet but I am in the are of Asbury Park NJ and sea bright Belmar.

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Maybe get a st Croix triumph, 9ft, 1/2oz to 2 1/2oz for plugs and jigs. I have one paired with a Penn Battle 2 5000. 

 

I use this setup often and its been good for 5 years..

 

 

 

 

 

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My advice, go lighter.  I have an 8 footer for plugging and a 7 footer that is my primary go to set up.  Reel size, nothing bigger than a 4000.  Your going to catch more fish in the 20 to 30 inch range then the 30 to 40 inches.  Have some fun with a lighter setup and don't wear your arm out with something too big and heavy.

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Pay attention to the weight rating on the rod, 2-6oz or whatever it is...that includes your bait and weight. The ugly stick will probably be too heavy for jigging in Nj, but it should be an OK bait rod. There are only 3 places here I usually use jigs 2+ozs and none of them are beaches, but I will use heavy jigs on beaches when there is a lot of current. St Croix Triumph was my go to recommendation for a beginner surf rod when I worked in a shop, along with the Tsunami Airwave or Airwave Elite depending on the persons experience fishing. Talk to tackle shops, talk to fisherman, makes some friends on the beach...the best way to learn is to be taught first hand

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9 mins ago, HighEndHooker said:

The baitrunner is a great bait reel btw, I use them for all my bait fishing

Thank you for the help. The ugly stick rod I got is a medium heavy, 1-6. Will the 8000d baitrunner I bought work ok with this rod? Or should I downgrade the rod or reel?

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I cant tell you and shouldnt tell you what to do.  My bait rod is a diy built lamiglass 10' medium heavy with shimano 4500 bait runner.  Pulled in 40lb rays, 40" bass, 16lb blues...not sure we need anything bigger unless your fighting other scenarios like the canal etc...my plug rod is a 9'6" diy custom rod (got bored and glad i did) fast action 1-4oz, i dont go heavier than 2.5 ounce with a slammer 6500..my fluke/bucktail/bluefish rod and what i call my workhorse is a 9' medium/moderate action ugly stik gx2 with a shimano ultegra.  Point is light weight and made to suit...dont forget to work the drag... 

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surf fluking for me means bouncing bucktails and teasing with gulps. & other softbaits.

 

IMO a 7' ml or m rod with a fast tip is in order, as oppsoed to a heavy ugly stick.   

 

I have been breaking in a 6'6" Harrier and so far its a sweet little rod.  They have a 7' version and they dont break the bank while on sale.

 

For soaking bait, I really like the baitrunners as well.  I guess a big heavy ugly stick would be fine for that.  

 

For plugging? A billion options.

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11 hours ago, RobH said:

Thank you for the help. The ugly stick rod I got is a medium heavy, 1-6. Will the 8000d baitrunner I bought work ok with this rod? Or should I downgrade the rod or reel?

If you didn’t use it yet, I would return it for a 6000. There’s no perfect answer as to reel size on a rod; it’s all about balance and those ugly sticks are meaty rods. 

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Hey man, you can catch fish with that set up, especially bait & wait. It’s  going to be heavy to throw if you fish with constant cast & retrieve as in jigging - which you mentioned. Also, your rod is okay for bigger swimming plugs but it’s rated heavy compared to the 3/8 or 1/2 oz jigs that I normally use in calm conditions for fluke & surf bass. Like most of the others here, I would suggest  using a shorter, lighter, faster action rod and put a smaller & lighter reel on it. You probably won’t understand until you give this a try. You’ll be able to feel your rig hit bottom and even feel the current so much better. More importantly, you’ll have more fun casting & retrieving and catching fish. 

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The easiest way to spot the googan on the beach is look for the guy that is soaking bait and standing 20 yards away plugging/bucktailing.

 

DONT DO IT.

 

Become a master of each seperately. Each has its own purpose and its own conditions where they excel.

 

To answer your question: go with a light 8 ft settup and a 4k sized reel for bucktailing(penn battle was a good suggestion)

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6 hours ago, DragonsLax48 said:

The easiest way to spot the googan on the beach is look for the guy that is soaking bait and standing 20 yards away plugging/bucktailing.

 

DONT DO IT.

 

Become a master of each seperately. Each has its own purpose and its own conditions where they excel.

 

To answer your question: go with a light 8 ft settup and a 4k sized reel for bucktailing(penn battle was a good suggestion)

 

100% agreed. I think guys getting in to the sport mistakenly think they’re bettering their chances by covering both bases. Takes time to realize you need to focus to actually learn the intricacies of plugging vs bait.

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