coastalfreak

Metal-Bodied vs Composite Spinning Reels for the Surf

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Hi all, I hope all is well. As you may have seen, I’ve been looking for a 1/2-2 oz surf rod to do some light live/dead bait fishing with primarily, along with maybe metals and bucktails for Spanish mackerel along with flounder and such. But mostly bait applications. I made a forum covering rods and you guys made some great recommendations, I’ve been searching and I’ll definitely keep your recommendations in the back of my head. 
 

Anyway, I’ve also been looking at reels in the 3500-5000 class for such a rod. I went to Cabelas yesterday and felt some very nice reels. After browsing, my favorites seemed to be the Battle III, Spinfisher VI, and I also felt my first saragosa and it was very nice as well. I’m not nice to my gear, so I’ve always preferred metal because I felt like it would handle abuse better.
 

Here in Louisiana the coastline does get salty of course, but a lot of our water is brackish due to the Mississippi River being a stones throw away from the SE estuaries as well as other bayous and river systems. So most of my fishing won’t necessarily be in full strength sea water by any means, although it’s certainly something I want to prepare for when fishing the open surf here and in Texas. 

 

If you were in my boat, would you prefer composite or metal? With all of the advancements in polymer science in the recent years it’s hard to overlook composite reels. Also, any specific models? Thinking about 200-250 tops for the reel. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Ci4 and Zaion are both tough, so I don't think you lose much going non-metal.

 

I think the primary inquiry is sealed vs. non-sealed.  If you want sealed, there is not really a composite option I am aware of.  If you don't need sealed, then a Ballistic 6000 would be nice (super light) if you want the additional line capacity and I assume, a larger main gear than soemthing like a Stradic FL 5000.  

 

But for the surf, a Penn Slammer 4500 (ipx6 sealed) would be nice for those sized lures and comes in at around 14.5 ounces.  Saragosa 6000 (sealed) is nice, but a good bit heavier.  You could also go with a Stradic FL 5000 (aluminum body, but not sealed).

 

Since you say you are not always the nicest to your gear, I think a Slammer 3 4500 is an easy choice. 

 

 

Edited by unctarheel78
clarification

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Just note however, that if you’re bait fishing, the minimum brag setting for the Slammer is prohibitively tight.  If this set up will spend a lot of time in the bait and wait game, take a look at the aluminum bodied Penn Spinfisher VI 4500 Live Liner which has decent sealing.  I believe it’s IPX5 rated as opposed to the IPX6 rating of the Slammer and regular Spinfisher VI.  The Shimano Baitrunner 4000D is lighter option with a composite body, but doesn’t enjoy any of the sealing in its Spinfisher Live Liner counterpart.

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For bait fishing a bait runner is nice to have but not necessary if you set your drag looser in the holder. The plastic bait runner reels Ive used, like the Okuma, are disposable. The metal ones like Shimano bait runner and Thinus and Penn Spinfisher liveliner are tough. Of the last two, I’d go with Shimano. Bait runners take some patience to service. 
At its price point, have you considered the Daiwa BG? It is a likely the best metal $120 reel out there.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

No question the newest composites get the job done just fine. Allot of good reviews on the the Daiwa Ballistics. I split the difference and grabbed a Certate 5000 aluminum body w/ composite rotor very light and a pleasure to fish with. If i'm staying out of the water I use my lighter unsealed reels but even then you have to pay attention, Dropped your rod while unhooking a fish and its in the wash I did that last season. If I plan on wading I opt to bring my Slammer III or my ZeeBaas. 

Edited by nfnDrum

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There isn't a rugged composite framed reel made.

 

Makes the choice pretty simple.

 

Wouldn't it be something if shimano made a Ci4 Saragossa

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21 hours ago, Water Dog said:

Just note however, that if you’re bait fishing, the minimum brag setting for the Slammer is prohibitively tight.  If this set up will spend a lot of time in the bait and wait game, take a look at the aluminum bodied Penn Spinfisher VI 4500 Live Liner which has decent sealing.  I believe it’s IPX5 rated as opposed to the IPX6 rating of the Slammer and regular Spinfisher VI.  The Shimano Baitrunner 4000D is lighter option with a composite body, but doesn’t enjoy any of the sealing in its Spinfisher Live Liner counterpart.

I have a live liner and fished it in the surf. The live liner does not like the surf the rest of the spinfisher doesn’t seem to mind it allcthat much. I’d probably opt for a regular spinfisher or a spinfisher longcast

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The industry itself has gone back and forth on this, whichever way they want to phrase it at the time to get you to buy their products, is the way they go. I've got composite reels from the 80's still working just as well as they did day one, metal ones the same, they however show more wear and corrosion damage.

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17 mins ago, Callmefish said:

I have a live liner and fished it in the surf. The live liner does not like the surf the rest of the spinfisher doesn’t seem to mind it allcthat much. I’d probably opt for a regular spinfisher or a spinfisher longcast

The older prior generation Shimano Baitrunners have proven to be excellent reels for me, even in the surf.  I still have an almost 20 year old Shimano Baitrunner 4500 that spent a lot of time in the sand spike that’s still going strong to this day!   :)

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18 mins ago, Water Dog said:

The older prior generation Shimano Baitrunners have proven to be excellent reels for me, even in the surf.  I still have an almost 20 year old Shimano Baitrunner 4500 that spent a lot of time in the sand spike that’s still going strong to this day!   :)

The spinfisher VI liveliner lever has a tendacy to be non-compliant around excessive moisture and the preset drag setings go off the rails when the reel gets wet. Works great for the pier though

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If you want a light reel my Stradic CI4 4000 has been great for me. It's been splashed plenty but never dunked.  Only replaced the line roller once and done a cleaning and relube once a year.

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