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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was reccommended to me that you can't go wrong with conventional tackle for surf fishing for big fish. So i recently bought a conventional reel and soon will buy a rod to go with it. Did i make the right choice? What are the advantages in using conventional rods and reels on the beach for blues and stripers? And would YOU recommend it? your advice is greatly appreciated.
Matt
 

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Yeah you can't go wrong for big fish is right , but if you never used conventional from the surf and are new to surf fishing be prepared for a few months or seasons learning and untangling backlash on most casts, return that reel and go with spinning or you may be turned off by frustrastion
 

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What is the length of casting rod you are planning to buy? If it is over 10', I would not recommend unless you got the room to store it and travel with it. I agree 100% with Fourtwenty. If you have not used conventional tackle before, dont! It may cause you lots of headaches and screaming cusses. It took me a while to learn to cast good without backlashes. Make sure you are in top shape if you decided not to change to spinning surf tackle. It will take lots of your body strength to cast and reel fish in. I had to lift 15 dumbbells to strengthen my arms and shoulders.


What is the name of your conventional reel, Matt17?
Good luck and have fun!
 

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Matt17 wrote:
It was reccommended to me that you can't go wrong with conventional tackle for surf fishing for big fish. So i recently bought a conventional reel and soon will buy a rod to go with it. Did i make the right choice? What are the advantages in using conventional rods and reels on the beach for blues and stripers? And would YOU recommend it? your advice is greatly appreciated.
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Hi Matt,
Yes, you made the right choice but there are a few things you need to know. First of all, Fourtwenty and bluefishmaster are correct! There is a lot to learn about conventional casting! Before working the suds, I strongly recommend that you learn the conventional basics and practice!

Secondly, please provide the reel specifics (model, size, line capacity etc) so I can recommend the right rod combination. I will also need to know if you are planning to plug or chunk for those chopper blues and the elusive cow.

Fortunately for you, this is going to be a long winter?. Therefore, we have plenty of time to get you started before the season starts! ;)

"Crazy" Alberto
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The reel i bought is the PENN SQUIDDER. its gear ratio is 3-1/3:1 spool width is 1-5/8" line cap is 275/12 & 220/20 and the weight is 16 oz. i want to get a 10' rod for it yes i will be using it for chunking and plugging blues and stripers. And Yes this is the first time i will ever be fishing conventional tackle. Thanx for all the great info so far.
 

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A Squidder is fine, but the newer reels have better braking systems & are smoother that may help beginners (Calcutta 700). A 10' rod is fine. I use a lighter 9' - 91/2' conventional rod for plugging with either a Newell or a Calcutta 400 & a heavier graphite 10' rod with a Newell for chunking. I feel that you have better control with a conventional set up, like the others said it takes allot of practice to cast conventional, especially plugging & casting lighter stuff. I myself use conventional about 80% of the time & can cast just about as far as my spinning rods. I feel it is an art to plug conventional like the old timers used to do before spinning reels were invented. Best of luck with your quest to cast conventional.
 

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A good place to practice your cast is in a winter morning in the beach or like me I practice inside a football field. That way I can see how far I cast. Make sure no one is close by. I once almost hit a squirrel and a few times hit sea gulls.

Pick a good warm day to go and practice.
I am using a 9' casting rod and a Shimano reel.

Like [email protected]# said, newer casting reel are easier to handle but if you practice it will work just as good.

Have fun and yes, it is a smart decision!
 

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Matt17 wrote:
The reel i bought is the PENN SQUIDDER. its gear ratio is 3-1/3:1 spool width is 1-5/8" line cap is 275/12 & 220/20 and the weight is 16 oz. i want to get a 10' rod for it yes i will be using it for chunking and plugging blues and stripers.
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Hi Matt,
Although the PENN SQUIDDER is a good reel... I do not recommend it for surf plugging! The ratio (3:1) is much too slow especially if you are trying to fool those fast chopper blues.

For conventional surfcasting I have Newell's 220, 229, 332, Shimano Cal's 400 and 700, Abu 6500, 7000, 7000c3 and 7500 series, Penn 965 and the GS series. Depending on the application (plugging or Chunking) all the mentioned reels have a fast ratio (4:1 to 6:1) rating.

You could use the Squidder for chunking. The squidder is an excellent boat (wreck / bottom) reel where there is enough torque power to crank a beast off the bottom.... but not fast enough for those fast choppers.

If you could live with just chunking? you could get away with it. ;) Also ? Make sure you practice? because there is just no way you could be better without it.

"Crazy" Alberto
[email protected]
 

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Matt-

I agree with all the previous replies, but you also asked what advantages there are in using conventional equipment. I can think of a few, and I'm sure others on this board can come come up with a few more.

For starters, line going on to a revolving spool is not twisted. When line goes on a spinning reel, each turn of the bail puts a twist in the line as it lays it on the spool - weakening it.

Another advantage, is that you can thumb the spool during a fight to add extra drag - you can palm the side of a spinning reel, but it's not quite as easy.

If you have to let a fish "run" while taking a bait, there is no comparison. The ability to drop back on a lightly hitting fish, or keep your bait on the bottom while drifting cannot be overstated. Knowing that your reel will be in gear - drag set - with just a turn of the handle is great.

For me, when fighting large fish conventional gear is the way to go. Like the oil heat company says, "It's just better."



Stephen Byrne
NY Bight Editor
Nor'east Saltwater
 

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The Squidder has pulled many, many bass out of the ocean. It is still one of the best reels for chunking.

It is however old technology. No reason that you can't learn to cast it. Thousands before you have.

If you just want to practice casting, get an Ambassadeur baitcaster (6500C3), half fill it with 20# mono, go to a pier and start whipping out a 2oz sinker. Can do the same with a Squidder. You will just have a few more backlashes.

If you want to sell the reel, I can always use another Squidder.

There is a way to put magnets in the reel to slow it down. I haven't tried it, but supposedly eliminates backlashes.
 

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Great comments from everyone and they are all correct. I use a Loomis 10'6" 1 - 5 OZ and either a Garcia 6500 high speed or Calcutta 400. I can cast between 125 to 150 yards with PowerPro 50 lb and a 4 oz tin. BUT it casts so much line off the reel the retrieve speed is still to slow to catch blitzing blues and bass (lesson: go for the Calcutta 700). Despite having over 30 years salt fishing experience with conventions they can be trouble. Headwinds are ugly. Reeling in big fish is no comparison - they can't be touched. Lighter weights are trouble to cast. If all you're going to do is surf cast buy two outfits or go with a spinner if you can't afford it. Highly salenated water or heavy sand concentrations will get in the reel quick. If you insist on using a convention, keep the squidder and purchase either the Calcutta 700 or the Garica 7500 Big Game and keep the second reel in your carry bag so you can swap out reels after you birdnest. The Penn Surffisher 11' is a good conventional rod for $150 and will handle big fish and cast far. Put that and your sqidder and use it for bait with up to 6 oz lead plus bait and buy a spinner for artificals. If you must use the convential, remember to keep your thumb on the far left side when casting so that it contacts the spool and not the line. An educated thumb is priceless.
 

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I have the calcutta 700. great reel, but too big for plugging IMO (unless you're really big) Great w/ bait or from boat and will plug nicely if need be. Getting a mag elite for plugging. Got my first bass over 10lb. on grandfather's squidder.
 

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nice reel , I have a bunch of squidders. They cast great and have a nice Bell to feather the cast. I use mine for Live herring and POPPERS....
Have a 229 newell and its a nice reel but its clunky due to no counter balance on handle and that might be a tad bit much for You to start out with....
There good on bass over 30 lbs.........
a shimano calcutta 400 is a good real had one when they first came out in the 90s and beat the crap out of it then sold it.....But that would be a good reel to.....
But I would stick with the squidder, they can throw just as far.. Ya just got to remember If your going to toss bombers and small lures go to spinning......
I went backwards sold all my abu's and newells cept for one and went spinning...
Backlash will always come.

Plugs not drugs..
 

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Next time you are in a bookstore, look at "The Trophy Striper" by Frank Daignault. There are many pictures of cow bass. In every case where the conventional reel is identifiable, the reel is a Squidder. Good reel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanx everyone for all the great info it's really helpin me out here. I'm a little nervous about the squidder considering i never used conventional before but I'm sure i will learn. Now all i need is a rod to go with it' I'll be sure to look at the PENN surffisher recommended by onthefly thanx a lot every1
 

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The Daiwa Sealine-X rod is nice too. Very popular budget surf rod. Action is a little light for chunking, but a nice rod for plugging/bucktailing. First Fishing Supplies in Flushing has the best supply in the area, but their prices are about $5 higher than the other shops. You can typically find the rods for $60-$80. For pure "stick it in a rod holder for an hour" chunking, an Ugly stick is heavy but fine.
 

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Based on the specs you posted on the reel, sounds like you got the "Squidder Jr" or model 146. Go out and practice with it. If you can get to the point where you only backlash one cast out of ten, any other reel will be a piece of cake to use ;)

Yep---all those cow bass in Frank D's books are on Squidders---if you notice, Frank was a lot younger then. Even a grizzled vet like him switched over to an Abu 7000 with level wind a few years back.
 
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