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What is the best conventional reel for surf fishing? Opinions please. (I am going to be putting it on my first convetional rod, a St. Croix 10'6" MH.) The more detailed/specific the better.
I know I will get great guidance so I thank you all in advance.
 

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The answer is...

Penn just came out with a new reel...the 525 MAG "T". It has some sort of thumb controlled lever to increase or decrease the magnet's effect during the cast. But just like the MAG 525, the reel lacks easy no-tool spool changes. If you carry tools and a workbench in your surf bag, then perhaps this does not mean anything to you.

Also, once you learn how to properly cast a conventional reel (it takes time) and control the spool from backlash... there is not much of a need for magnets (IMHO)

For my money (and there is not much of that)... the Penn 140L Squidder is the best conventional reel for the surf.

- Been around forever tried and true workhorse
- Easy tool free spool changes.
- Ball bearing design.
- Parts available everywhere.
- Great drag system.
- Fairly cheap ($65 - $75)

Perhaps the best endorsement on the Squidder that I have heard is what the owner of Terminal Tackle in Kings Park (and he sells lots of reels) said to me just yesterday, we were talking about conv. surf reels...

"As far as conventional, when somebody makes a reel better than a Squidder... I will fish with it."

So true!
 
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