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Reel recommendations please

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mtl50

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I need some insight on a conventional reel strictly for bottom fishing. I am very familiar with the conventional for casting off the beach, but not for just bottom fishing. Dropping 3 to 8 ounces in 75 to 150 feet. Anything from your typical small Florida bottom fish, to an occasional cobia, Spanish, mackerel, and grouper. Been looking at the Fathom II with the lever drag. Going on an 8 foot six rod rated to 10 ounces. Probably will be spooled with 50lb braid and a 50lb mono shock leader. A smooth drag is vital. The reel weight is not important. I’d be very interested in hearing your recommendations in the reasoning behind. Thanks in advance. Mike.

Tight Lines and High Tides Forever! mtl50
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Your intuition is good.  My favorite 'Florida' general bottom rod setup is a 8' heavy Daiwa Proteus with a 2 speed Fathom 30 LD; 50lb braid backing to a short mono topshot to fluoro leader.  I never found myself fishing less than 8 ounces on this setup, and you shouldn't be undergunned except with really big grouper/AJs close to structure. 

 

If you're expecting smaller bottom fish, I'd go with 30lb braid and size down the reel.

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Fathom is a great choice whether you go star drag or lever drag. Pure bottom fishing for snappers and grouper I’d personally go star drag, but if you’re going to mess with pelagics a lever drag could come in handy.

Edited by C.Robin
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2 hours ago, c7272 said:

Your intuition is good.  My favorite 'Florida' general bottom rod setup is a 8' heavy Daiwa Proteus with a 2 speed Fathom 30 LD; 50lb braid backing to a short mono topshot to fluoro leader.  I never found myself fishing less than 8 ounces on this setup, and you shouldn't be undergunned except with really big grouper/AJs close to structure. 

 

If you're expecting smaller bottom fish, I'd go with 30lb braid and size down the reel.

Usually no more than 6 oz’s. And most of the time smaller fish. I am going to put it on a St Croix Legend Elite Musky 8’6 rated 2-8 oz. Just because I have it and can’t get rid of it. I’m thinking of going to a 20 level wind. Any thoughts? Thanks. 

Tight Lines and High Tides Forever! mtl50
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22 mins ago, mtl50 said:

Any thoughts?

 

I'd stick to lighter braid and go with 30lb test, maybe even 20lb.  If you downsize the line you can go with a size 12 or 15 Penn and still have plenty of room for a topshot.  30lb braid on the 15XN 2 speed would be very capable and easy to manage the line, plus gives you plenty of power to stop medium sized bottom fish near structure.

 

I don't like levelwinds, call it personal preference, but consider they tend to be for lighter use and may not hold up to the sort of drag 20 or 30lb braid will handle.  I've seen level winds fail when used as bottom reels, from simply binding up to catastrophic failure.

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 Just for this i got a custom built 4/0 and a international 20 that alan tani bump the drag up on,,,,,but I should have got a avet hxj raptor 2 speed,,,,if you don't want to spend that much penn baja special works,,,,I love the head boats in Florida,,,,,:laugh:

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6 hours ago, c7272 said:

 

I'd stick to lighter braid and go with 30lb test, maybe even 20lb.  If you downsize the line you can go with a size 12 or 15 Penn and still have plenty of room for a topshot.  30lb braid on the 15XN 2 speed would be very capable and easy to manage the line, plus gives you plenty of power to stop medium sized bottom fish near structure.

 

I don't like levelwinds, call it personal preference, but consider they tend to be for lighter use and may not hold up to the sort of drag 20 or 30lb braid will handle.  I've seen level winds fail when used as bottom reels, from simply binding up to catastrophic failure.

The only reason I thought LW is because I have some problems with my hands. But you think that a 20 size reel would be enough? 

Tight Lines and High Tides Forever! mtl50
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4 hours ago, bennie said:

 Just for this i got a custom built 4/0 and a international 20 that alan tani bump the drag up on,,,,,but I should have got a avet hxj raptor 2 speed,,,,if you don't want to spend that much penn baja special works,,,,I love the head boats in Florida,,,,,:laugh:

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20221203_191928.jpg

Sweet! Which boats do you go out on?

Tight Lines and High Tides Forever! mtl50
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4 hours ago, mtl50 said:

The only reason I thought LW is because I have some problems with my hands. But you think that a 20 size reel would be enough? 

 

The 20 size will be plenty big, especially with lighter braid.

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3 hours ago, bennie said:

Lady stuart in Fort peirce 8 times and 4 private charters for that jump up to a custom built 9/0 but I think hxj raptor has enough drag to do anything and 2 speed

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Be interested to pick your brain about the charters. Going to send you a PM.

Tight Lines and High Tides Forever! mtl50
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On 2/12/2024 at 5:32 AM, mtl50 said:

The only reason I thought LW is because I have some problems with my hands. But you think that a 20 size reel would be enough? 

Anecdotal evidence aside,....lol...

I see no reason to not consider a non disengaging (synchronized) levelwind (not an old penn peer though) for your requirements.

Put line on and keep it in sync and maintained,.....low chance of anything going wrong.  Don't do that... expect failure and a lot of typing on the internet to say how levelwinds suck.....lol

 

 

Edited by drumbum
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