MrNubbins

New Surf Fishing Setup

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Hey all new user here and all of the information that you guys have been posting has been super useful! I am looking to get a setup for Surfperch and small stripers. So far this is what I am leaning towards: Lamiglas LX 86 HC rod with a Daiwa BG 4000 running 20 lbs braid and mono.

 

Honestly I am loooking not to spend a ton of money, and have something that I can learn on and work on fundamentals while having a good time. Ive always been more interested in catching more smaller fish than catching a few huge ones. I think I want to mostly cast carolina rigs with sand crabs or gulp worms, along with Bucktail jigs as that will force me to cast often and improve technique. Also I think that jigs will be a lot more fun to fish than bait. Im based in the SF penninsula if that matters. 

My main concern is if the BG reel is just gonna get eaten alive in the surf, and if I should just go with something like a tsunami shield for the corrosion resistance. Also wondering if maybe I should go with a slightly smaller reel? Anyways let me know your thoughts, they are greatly appreciated.

 

Mods: let me know if this should be posted in "What is your Rod/Reel setup for the surf- proven setups and why" 

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The main thing to understand regarding reels being used is that water intrusion and sand can really do a number on almost any reel. Although if you're conscious to keep the reel out of the water and off the sand you can get decent mileage out of most reels. No matter how cautious you are eventually you'll drop your reel and being able to do some basic maintenance is important. So that being said the BG is a ridiculously good reel for the price but it will most certainly get destroyed if it's getting dunked and layed in the sand. I always tell people new to surf fishing never lay your reel down on the sand, keep it as dry as possible and always give it a light spray with fresh water when you're done. I'd go with a 3k BG for an 8'6"-9' rod. Keep it clean and it will serve you very well.

 

The rod you're looking at is a good choice but really anything with similar specs will do the job. You're right on with something in the 8'6"-9' range that's rated form 1/2-1 1/2. You'll have some fun on  perch without totally overpowering them and land small stripers fine. I'd also take a look at the Shimano Scimitar SMS90H2B and the ugly stik elite USESSP902MH.

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1 hour ago, BRossi said:

I'd also take a look at the Shimano Scimitar SMS90H2B and the ugly stik elite USESSP902MH.

Skip the Scimitar and go for the Clarus.

 

I"ve gone through 3 scimitars both casting and spinning, they're complete and utter garbage, can't believe shimano would put their name on those.

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I have the BG 3000 as one of my reels I use in SoCal. Used it pretty heavy the last year and it’s held up reasonably well. As previously stated, keep it as dry as possible and out of the sand and it should treat you well. For 20 lb braid, I would reccommend the 3000 or 3500 series. The 4000 would be overkill imo.

 

Another rod you might want to look at is the new Daiwa North Coast series. Budget friendly and superior to the Clarus imo. I currently use the nc962mhfs model but it also available in a 8’6” and 9’ model. Rated at 3/8 - 1 oz but is underrated and definately handles up to 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 just fine. I have caught up 27” WSB and 23” calico Bass from the beach with no problems. I typically throw anything from 1/2 oz swimbait up to 6” sp minnowz without any issues. I currently have it paired with my new slammer 4500 and 30lb braid. But this is my heavy rod for fishing rocky structure for calico bass, halibut and WSB. 

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Thanks for all of the fantastic info! Its good to know that as long as I try and keep the reel safe it should be ok. Fortunately I do have some mechanical background (working on motorcycles mostly) and wouldnt be opposed to opening up the reel in case it gets dunked. Thanks so much for the info on reel size, the more I thought about it the more sense it made. 

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Fwiw: I recently purchased a lamiglas x11 8'6, rated 1/2 through 1 1/2 oz, paired with a stradic 4000 and sufix 832 20lb lb braid. I tried it this morning with a 1/2 oz crankbait and I don't think it loaded really well. I didn't like how it felt at all while casting, I was wishing the tip was softer and felt the weight more and that there was more of a snap. I also threw a 1 oz Mickey jig (I really do love that thing), and wasn't overly impressed with distance there either. The rod feels pretty good otherwise. I am grateful to how light it is after lugging my old 9' fierce combo all over the beach. I was monkeying around at the beach only for about an hour and a half this morning and did not catch any fish unfortunately.

 

I probably should have gone with the medium heavy, 3/8 - 1 oz rod. I'm not sure. I went with the higher rating because I also like to throw 1.5 oz with a Carolina rig, like you.

 

At any rate, my point is I think you want a rod that is soft enough to load a small weight and with enough snap and backbone to chuck it far. Maybe heavy rated rods are not the way to go? Or perhaps I just personally didn't like the feel. Somebody mentioned I should try lighter line for further casts with the light weights.

 

As far as reel goes, I think lighter is good. But I have a bad shoulder, so there's my bias. But these salmon/steelhead rods are pretty light, even the cheaper ones and you'll likely want a lightish reel to match. I'd recommend visiting a store and handling some reels on the rod.

 

For me, I asked for a light one and the guy brought me a stradic ci4. I was so tired of deciding about rods by then, so I just went for it. The 4000 model  It's very light, feels pretty good, the rewind is like butter compared to my Penn fierce, looks flimsy but doesn't feel like it when handling it. 

 

I think if I had to do it again I'd go for a light, 8'6 mh rod with the cheaper nasci model, the smallest one that would fit 200 yards of 10-15lb braided line. I'm tough with my gear and light and durable don't often go together so that cost is attractive from that perspective. If that's DG feels fine on the rod, just run with it.

 

It's important to try the rods if you can. I went in planning to pick up the okuma sst, but the handle of the x11 felt really good to me. I tried a bunch of other steelhead rods but kept coming back to lamiglas cuz of the handle. (The one I really liked was a g1000 1/2 - 1 3/4!! I wonder if anyone has fished it here on the beach. It was really expensive but, at least in the store, man it felt so damn good. I'm very tempted.)

 

I really do wish I'd gone for the mh. I casted a 1/2 oz rubber/plastic sinker at the parking lot of the shop with both the x11 h and the mh rods and I was casting similar distances with both so went for the heavier rated one thinking it would also allow me to throw heavier c rigs. Which it probably will. But I really like throwing those light jigs and plugs. Many in the 3/8 - 5/8 weight range typically are perfect for perch. I find heavier lures too big.

 

Edited to add: I live on a farm and have plenty of space to throw a weight around here so I did this morning with the x11 h. It actually throws c rigs 1/2 to 1 3/4 fairly well. 3/4 to 1 oz is pretty sweet but I can swing a 1/2 oz fairly well. I did a rudimentary step-count way to measure and I was throwing about 60 yards with the 3/4 - 1 oz. 70 with 1 3/4. Maybe 45 with the 1/2 oz. 

 

A LC 110, 5/8 oz, throws well, about 45 yards. A SPRO McStick 110, 1/2 oz, suspending bait, which is what I was trying to fish at the beach yesterday, does not throw well at all. It is so weird. I also have a 1/2 oz rapala suspending lure and that throws pretty well. Just the way the two 1/2 oz lures load the rod, it feels so different in the hand. I don't understand why that would be though. In fact, I find that even the line doesn't really get fully tight with the SPRO. I'm not how to explain it exactly, its weird. 

Edited by Sapien

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Well, I ended up going with the lamiglas x11, and a 3000 bg, and then my Dad got excited and wanted to go fishing with me and got a similar setup, so everything has ended up quite a bit better than anticipated. We have gone out 2 times since then, and while it has been very fun (and educational) the skunk has reared its decidedly unfishy head on us both times.

 

For frame of reference, I have been using bucktails (mostly 1 oz ) and some carolina rigs with sandcrabs and going out to the coast on the SF peninsula. I also had fun with a sp minnow for a bit, but didnt really spend a lot of time with it. So far I have been focusing much more on the bucktails as it gives me more opportunities to improve my casting, and I feel like I am learning a lot about how the waves affect the jig and its position.

 

Now I wanted to ask you guys if bucktails are effective for surfperch, as I feel that the hooks might be a bit large (Im coming from a trout fishing background so give me a little break) and that the jig itself especially when paired with an otter tail seems... kinda large for most surf perch.

 

My next outing I am planning on focusing on looking for beach structure and trying to find better places of where to cast. Let me know if you guys think I should be focusing on something else.  

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Bucktails are usually too big for surfperch. It can happen, but it's very rare. And stripers rarely hit a Carolina grub rig. IMHO, the best lures for targeting both at once are Lucky Craft Flashminnow 110 and flies on the fly rod. The best bait for both is a soft shell sand crab. I think a sand crab is your most consistent producer overall, but I don't use bait myself. I like to constantly move around and cast.

 

My favorite spin rig for perch and striper is the Riversider Steelheader combo from Dicks... only $50 and tons of fun. The 10' rod is super light action and the reel is disposable, maybe one season if you're lucky. Its small but holds plenty of 20# braid. I've tried expensive reels in the surf and they always croak on me, so I use cheap ones. The stripers are small where I live... nothing over 26" in the last few years.

 

Looking for structure at low tide is the best thing you can do. Find some current. Then fish the incoming at dawn or sunset. Outgoing can be good too.

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15 hours ago, MrNubbins said:

Well, I ended up going with the lamiglas x11, and a 3000 bg, and then my Dad got excited and wanted to go fishing with me and got a similar setup, so everything has ended up quite a bit better than anticipated. We have gone out 2 times since then, and while it has been very fun (and educational) the skunk has reared its decidedly unfishy head on us both times.

 

For frame of reference, I have been using bucktails (mostly 1 oz ) and some carolina rigs with sandcrabs and going out to the coast on the SF peninsula. I also had fun with a sp minnow for a bit, but didnt really spend a lot of time with it. So far I have been focusing much more on the bucktails as it gives me more opportunities to improve my casting, and I feel like I am learning a lot about how the waves affect the jig and its position.

 

Now I wanted to ask you guys if bucktails are effective for surfperch, as I feel that the hooks might be a bit large (Im coming from a trout fishing background so give me a little break) and that the jig itself especially when paired with an otter tail seems... kinda large for most surf perch.

 

My next outing I am planning on focusing on looking for beach structure and trying to find better places of where to cast. Let me know if you guys think I should be focusing on something else.  

I do think that the hooks on a lot of jigheads I've seen at the tackle shops are quite large, even with the lighter weights. 

 

I found a 1/2 oz at the outdoor pro shop in cotati that had a size #1 hook, but I think even that is too large for perch. On my way back, I was wondering how hard it could be to just make your own. 

 

I dunno, depends on what you want to do. For instance, the easiest way (for me) (so far) to catch a fish is to throw a drop shot rig with 2 oz and let it sit. Its hard to read the water but with 2 - 3 ounces of lead and the heavier surf rod I was using earlier, you chuck it around a few times here and there and presto, a fish, and then, whoa, what's that,  another. For a new guy  lIke me that was exciting. And then it got boring. Lighter Carolina rigs with live crabs or worms (gulp, kalin, hammer - I have caught a fish on each of those) have worked well and are easy to use/understand. The artificial lures are a little more complicated for me but I love the idea of them. And how some of them swim in the water, so that makes me want to learn how to use them and catch a fish on them. 

 

The other day Kenny asks me, hey you going fishing and I say yes but what I'm really thinking is, no, I'm going to the beach to figure out how to throw these plugs that I bought. I may catch a fish in the process. And of course, subsequently, with that mind set, I haven't caught anything the last two times I've been out. But it's been a helluva lot of fun. 

 

At a lot of the beaches here, at high tide or around then, I'll fish almost at a 30 degree angle to the shore itself, so my bait or lure is in shallower water a lot. I've had luck with Carolina rigs and worms/crabs this way, I haven't with the crankbaits but I think the idea is sane (I hope). 

 

I'm still having a hard time with reading water, especially with identifying rip tides. I notice variation in water color and I wonder if I can make inferences out of that. On many of the beaches here for example, at high tide, there are points in all the breakers where the waves kick up a lot of sand. The water is visibly browner there (esp with sunglasses) and then it gets deeper and bluer before it breaks again. Ive been trying to cast around there and then reel it in at an acutish angle so my rig is in shallower water for a longer time. But, like I said, I've had no bites the last two times, using lures only. 

 

Which X11 did you end up getting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sapien
Typo

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Thanks for the advice. I am thinking I might go have fun with smaller minnows for the time being as I have them at the moment, while focusing on finding structure. I may experiment some with a trailer hook, but at the moment I dont want to focus on too many things. 


I got the 8'6 .5-1.5oz x11 Sapien.

 

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