NMurray

Talk to me about conventional setups

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I've used spinning gear my whole life. My grandfather used to catch big drum chunking bait with his conventional setups but that's the extent of my exposure to conventional gear. I'm aware they have their place in surfcasting but I'm getting more interested in bottom fishing and am curious about using something new and different to me.

I don't fish from a boat much 3-4 times a year. I've been using light spinning gear jigging for tog the past few years and I'm happy with that. What are the benefits of conventional over spinning? I'm not likely to do any real deep sea bottom fishing, mostly shallower water for porgies, sea bass, fluke and tog. Should I buy another setup and if so, where should I start?

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Also interested in this topic, particularly around jigging.  Here are my very amateurish thoughts on conventional gear...

 

I have always been a light tackle spin guy.  I bought a few conventional outfits for live lining this spring (Avet SX, Penn Fathom etc) and I have to say they are WAY better than spin gear for that type of fishing.  Mainly from the drag standpoint and feel when it comes to live bait and setting the hook.

 

I used a friends Shimano Trevala jigging rod and was very impressed so I bought a Shimano Grappler 6' jigging rod and mounted my Avet SX on it.  Such a great combo, so light it's comical, handles 40# braid.  6', ton of power.  I was using it in Maine this weekend live lining macks.  Wondering if this is an ideal combo or if I should look into a low profile baitcaster?

 

Happy to listen to others with more experience.

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If bottom fishing.. conventional is so

much nicer experience vs spinning. As the guy above mentioned, look @ the Shimano Trevala conventional rods. I love mine for fluking, and sea bass. Very light sensitive rod with a lot of strength. 

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For any line capacity/drag/strength equivalent, a conventional reel will be lighter and more compact. For bottom fishing, you have direct control over paying out line, throw the lever and thumb the spool. Conventional reels do not inherently introduce line twist. On the down side, the weight of the rig is top-heavy, and it's impossible to seal a conventional to the extent of a spinning reel.

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So given that I'm used to spinning gear I find reeling with my right really challenging. Should I look for a reel that has a left handed crank? For typical bottom fishing, I guess i should find a rod rated around 1-4oz right?

I'm unclear on all the different reels, what their sizing is and what setup to match it to. If I'm fishing for porgies BSB, fluke, tog etc, what reels should I be looking into?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

^^^ You can if you’re more comfortable reeling with you left hand but conventional reels are inherently different in that they have cranking torque a spinning reel can never match. The balance is also different with the reel being on “top” of the rod. I’d recommend trying both before committing to left handed reel. Personally I’ve always preferred to reel with right hand on conventional setups.

Edited by NPV

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10 hours ago, Sailah said:

Also interested in this topic, particularly around jigging.  Here are my very amateurish thoughts on conventional gear...

 

I have always been a light tackle spin guy.  I bought a few conventional outfits for live lining this spring (Avet SX, Penn Fathom etc) and I have to say they are WAY better than spin gear for that type of fishing.  Mainly from the drag standpoint and feel when it comes to live bait and setting the hook.

 

I used a friends Shimano Trevala jigging rod and was very impressed so I bought a Shimano Grappler 6' jigging rod and mounted my Avet SX on it.  Such a great combo, so light it's comical, handles 40# braid.  6', ton of power.  I was using it in Maine this weekend live lining macks.  Wondering if this is an ideal combo or if I should look into a low profile baitcaster?

 

Happy to listen to others with more experience.

Personally I’d never trade an SX (or equivalent round reel) for a low profile reel for livelining. Retrieving that much weight is just too much IMO for a low pro style reel. I also hate anything with a thumb bar as they have always failed on me at some point.

 

I know the new fad it seems is to go with a Tranx or Lexa but to me they will never be a reel I want to bait fish with. I think you have a good setup as it is, if the “new reel-itis” is setting in maybe look at an SX or SXJ G2 MC.

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There's a gazillion low profile reels out there now.  You can get one for thirty bucks that will feel as good as any when it's new.  They just don't last.  In general, round reels are more robust and are easier to work on.

 

Curado 70XG is my favorite.  It's about the smallest low-pro but will easily handle BSB, fluke and tog unless you are deep dropping and need more line capacity.

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If ya fish from a boat,  it's conventional reels.  Most party boats and charters have gear you can use.  

I can tell you what I like,  Abu, Omoto, Penn, but you might fancy others.  You have to go out there,  go on YouTube,  and eyeball what's up. 

:howdy:

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Spinning reels are essentially casting tools; they allow lighter lures to be cast than can easily be cast with conventional gear, and allow less experienced anglers to cast just about anything with a far shorter learning curve than is the case with conventionals.

 

But from any other standpoint, conventional reels are superior.

 

They offer far more feel and control.  Nothing is as sensitive as a thumb in direct contact with the spool, whether dropping a jig in deeper water or fishing a bait in the bay.  With a spinning reel, every touch is dampened by the rod, and there is no way to keep direct touch with and control of a jig falling through the water column or even a livelined bait that's still taking line off the reel, or is swimming around waiting to be hit.

 

Yes, there are baitrunners and that sort of thing, but they are clumsy compared to a thumb on the spool that can immediately respond with changing degrees of pressure appropriate to the situation.  When jigging, there is no spinning equivalent to clamping a thumb on the spool and setting the hook when a fish strikes on the drop.  Regardless of the application, with spinning gear there is no avoiding that moment of slack and lack of control between the time a bail is closed (or line is flipped onto a roller) and the line comes tight; with conventional gear, a thumb maintains constant tension and control.

 

And conventional is superior for fighting fish.  The line comes directly off the spool, which is efficient and trouble free.  There is no right angle of line wrapped around a roller, with the associated issues of rollers that don't turn, grooved rollers that eat line, shaft issues, etc.  People catch big fish on spinning gear, but they work harder to do it.  I have a friend who specializes in catching tuna on spinning tackle; he tells stories of going to 100-pound braid, anglers unable to lift fish, etc., while fighting the same sized fish that we can routinely catch on 50-pound, and sometimes even 30-pound, conventional gear (because fishing 100-pound line on big fishwithout some sort of harness beats up the angler more than the fish).

 

I went full circle, learning to fish on conventional gear, then using spinning for everything, even when conventional would have served better, to where I am today, owning plenty of spinning stuff for casting, and conventional for everything else, using each where it serves best.

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9 hours ago, CWitek said:

Spinning reels are essentially casting tools; they allow lighter lures to be cast than can easily be cast with conventional gear, and allow less experienced anglers to cast just about anything with a far shorter learning curve than is the case with conventionals.

 

But from any other standpoint, conventional reels are superior.

 

They offer far more feel and control.  Nothing is as sensitive as a thumb in direct contact with the spool, whether dropping a jig in deeper water or fishing a bait in the bay.  With a spinning reel, every touch is dampened by the rod, and there is no way to keep direct touch with and control of a jig falling through the water column or even a livelined bait that's still taking line off the reel, or is swimming around waiting to be hit.

 

Yes, there are baitrunners and that sort of thing, but they are clumsy compared to a thumb on the spool that can immediately respond with changing degrees of pressure appropriate to the situation.  When jigging, there is no spinning equivalent to clamping a thumb on the spool and setting the hook when a fish strikes on the drop.  Regardless of the application, with spinning gear there is no avoiding that moment of slack and lack of control between the time a bail is closed (or line is flipped onto a roller) and the line comes tight; with conventional gear, a thumb maintains constant tension and control.

 

And conventional is superior for fighting fish.  The line comes directly off the spool, which is efficient and trouble free.  There is no right angle of line wrapped around a roller, with the associated issues of rollers that don't turn, grooved rollers that eat line, shaft issues, etc.  People catch big fish on spinning gear, but they work harder to do it.  I have a friend who specializes in catching tuna on spinning tackle; he tells stories of going to 100-pound braid, anglers unable to lift fish, etc., while fighting the same sized fish that we can routinely catch on 50-pound, and sometimes even 30-pound, conventional gear (because fishing 100-pound line on big fishwithout some sort of harness beats up the angler more than the fish).

 

I went full circle, learning to fish on conventional gear, then using spinning for everything, even when conventional would have served better, to where I am today, owning plenty of spinning stuff for casting, and conventional for everything else, using each where it serves best.

To that point it absolutely blows my mind when you have the “Tuna Jigging Crowd” telling people Stellas and similar spinning reels are superior to conventional gear for jigging. And the conventional stuff is for more novice anglers.

 

You hit pretty much every good point in that post.

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I want to add to this with a question as well, my surf rod is a diawa ballistic 11ft, which accepts both conventional and spinning reels. I want a beach bomber conventional setup. But I don’t know if there are differences between casting conventionals and deep dropping conventionals or is there is such a thing.

is there a difference?

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