Heavy surf rod: what's best?

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kenmare
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Heavy surf rod: what's best?

Post by kenmare » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:29 pm

I've an old 11' 6" MT 8132, which I use with a large overhead (Daiwa Sealine SL250H) to throw heavy bait/sinker combinations on 15kg mono line when fishing for jewfish (mulloway).

It can consistently cast a 3 oz sinker or lure 90 to 100 metres, but only manages about 20 metres with a 4 oz sinker when I add a large bait for surf fishing -- the rod seems to overload.

Is there a better rod for throwing large baits and sinkers on heavy line? What Is the "best" length, weight and taper for this purpose? I've noticed in the US beach rods are often only 8' to 11', while in the UK rods exceeding 13' are common. Why is this?

Does switching from mono to braid line increase casting distance?

How practical are competition casting casting techniques --unitech, off-the-ground, and pendulum casts -- for beach fishing?

I've read about the hatteras cast used in surf fishing in the US -- how is that different from the off-the-ground and pendulum casts.

Any helpful comments or suggestions gratefully received.

John Softly
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Post by John Softly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:12 pm

This is a fairly difficult one to answer because I and my fishing mates do not fish with side casts as most Queenslanders but utilise UK distance techniques, methods and gear. We cast overhead reels, Abu 6000 size, spooled with line between 0.28mm and 0.40mm on UK (and NZ) built rods most of which are 13 feet in length. Sinkers range between 3 and 6 ounce and are usually Breakaway, Gemini or DCA’s with anchor wires incorporated. We do use the unitech or Brighton, OTG and pendulum casts for distance but distance is not the be all and end all as fish are not always feeding at the outside edge of a gutter. When they are it is the Pommy gear that will get a bait 100, 150 and for some 200 yards seaward.

Your MT 8132 is seriously lacking if it won’t cast 4 ounces and unless you are fishing rocks or rough ground your reel/line is somewhat overkill. Very few people can break 0.40mm mono through the rod and any jewfish can be landed on a clean beach with 0.40mm mono. The UK rods are expensive and the freight component is around $200. Landed in Aus there is not much change out of a grand if you are after a good surfcaster rod. Wilson’s of Brisbane import Kilwell rods and there are a couple of decent blanks in their catalogue worth looking at. Their original pendulum blank and they also have a 222 which has the texaluim butt. Both these are cheaper by far than their UK counterparts and both capable of casting 5 ounces. 12 foot 6 inches to 12 foot 9 inches is considered the best length for casting with the reel up the butt and 13 feet to 13 feet 2 inches for casting with the reel down the butt.

We find that mono is more user friendly with overheads and if you do get the occasional birds nest mono is much easier to unpick than in braid. Tournament casters use mono.

All the power casts are practical on the beach but the unitech is probably the safest as one can use this cast whilst fishing alongside other fisho’s. The OTG can be difficult when using anchor wires but it is strongly recommended that the OTG is practiced and mastered before moving on to the pendulum or unitech.

The Hatteras cast is basically an overhead thump combined with a little body rotation. You can find more of where the Americans are at by visiting http://floridasurffishing.net/forum/dcb ... &forum=100

The recommendations are personal and one mans opinion. Hopefully there will probably be other takes on this.

Cheers

John

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:13 am

Hi John,

Thanks for your informative comments.

Actually, I use a large Diawa overhead reel mounted high on the rod, although I do also have several sidecast outfits. The reason for the heavy line is that the NSW Central Coast beaches I fish have areas of reef that you need to be able to keep a fish away from.

My MT 8132 is able to cast a 4 oz sinker OK (just), but when you add a large bait, the combined weight is too much -- the rod lacks the required stiffness in the lower section. Seems much happier when the total load is less than 4 ozs.

I've noted from overseas websites that many surfcasters in the UK (and also in South Africa) mount their overheads lowdown on the rod. Does this provide advantages over mounting an overhead high on the rod, like most beachcasters do in Australia (and also, I believe, like they do in the US)?

On another board on this site I saw a recommendation for multi-piece South African made Poseidon rods. Do you know of these and have you an opinion of them? They seem very reasonable priced (compared to the prices you quoted) for a graphite surf rod with three interchangeable weight tip sections, for casting weights 4 to 7 ozs.

I respect you opinions.

Cheers,

Bob

John Softly
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Post by John Softly » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:46 am

Bob,
There was a time that everyone used the high mount for reel (the correct position is to place the butt cap in your arm pit and stretch your arm up the rod. Grip the blank with the thumb uppermost add 25mm and that is the position of the centre of the reel seat) but in the mid 70's tournament casters, more specifically Neil Mackellow, started casting with the reel down the butt (25cm from the butt cap). There are many reasons for the grass cast boys to use the 'down the butt' position. possible the main reason is that the hands need to be closer together when casting lighter weights and further apart when casting heavier. With the reel up the butt the reel has to be repositioned when changing weights but down the butt positioning only means changing the right hand position. That's for grass casting - fisho's do not need to go to those extremes and IMHO down the butt reel positioning is not conducive to fishing. Leverage is poor and the fish has the advantage. It is also more difficult to lay the line on the spool when retrieving when using the down the butt position unless you are using a reel with a level line - which is not a good idea!
I have seen a couple of South African blanks - Purglas being the best of the bunch. Many SA blanks are heavy and thick in the butt. Ask your tackle retailer about the Kilwell blanks. I have both the pendulum and the 222. I payed about $150 for the pendulum about 4 years ago and I think (don't quote me) but the 222 is about double that. A couple of English tournament casters use the 222 for 125 gram casting.
I also use Zziplex and Century rods from the UK the last one I bought was when I was over there. It's a Zzippy LDC (long distance carp) 13', slim and power casts up to 4 ounces. The blank cost me £90 but the guides Fuji guides purchased in Aus cost me $132!!!! Carp go 25 kilos plus but although their fight is dogged they are not very aggressive fighters. The blank handles tailor satisfactory but it was purchased with dart and bream in mind and I don't know how it would go with a decent Jew.
BTW as far as Daiwa overheads go I don't think I would go heavier than a SLOSH 30. I have a 20 but the gearbox is only suited to casting in the down the butt position. The gearbox on the Penn 525 and 535 (both magnetically controlled versions) is the same size as the SLOSH's but angled forwards and doesn't impeed the grip on the reel in the up position.
Daiwa's latest ofering is the 7HT turbo, a centrifugally braked 6000 size reel which is an update on the 7HT. A magnetic version is due late 2006 I think. First reports on this reel is that it is an improvement on the 7HT (the 7HT's large bearing on the right hand side has been made smaller) but very few people like the bright red colouring. From a fishing point of view I like the 7HT - very user frendly and the big bearing may have lost a couple of yards in distance but it ironed out mistakes in technique.
Cheers
John
Last edited by John Softly on Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:00 pm

Hi John,

Thanks again for your timely advice.

I'll stay with casting overheads from the high mount position as you recommend-- which also means I don't have to learn a new casting and fishing style.

I'm not sure I'll go the imported casting blank route though.

I've located an interstate rod builder (The Rodworks) who can make-up a Pacific Composite 5120 G blank extended to 12'7'', for high mounted overhead and incorporating quality Fuji component, for a little over $300 delivered to my door.

Says it perfect for punching 6 to 8 oz big bait/sinker combinations out-wide on 15kg line...

Should do the job.

Cheers,

Bob

Andrew Falkner
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Post by Andrew Falkner » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:14 pm

Bob

My first longrange beach rod was a Pacific Composites FSU5120G extended to 13' with a low reel seat that I used successfully with both egg beaters and non-levelwind baitcasters. I liked the rod and still use it because it has a light glass tip that shows the bites well. The rod stiffens markedly where the graphite starts and the 30 mm diameter parallel glass butt doesn't bend much. You will need a size 32 mm reel seat and even with big hands may struggle to control a big overhead reel. Even with coasters you may find it hard to lock the spool whilst casting large weights.

I suggest you find something of 30 mm diameter and tape the reel to it and see if you hands can get a good grip. You might also consider the non-graphite FSU's which have a heavier tip and are more through actioned and probably better suited to large weights and big fish.

Cheers, Andrew

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:14 pm

Andrew Falkner wrote:Bob

My first longrange beach rod was a Pacific Composites FSU5120G extended to 13' with a low reel seat that I used successfully with both egg beaters and non-levelwind baitcasters. I liked the rod and still use it because it has a light glass tip that shows the bites well. The rod stiffens markedly where the graphite starts and the 30 mm diameter parallel glass butt doesn't bend much. You will need a size 32 mm reel seat and even with big hands may struggle to control a big overhead reel. Even with coasters you may find it hard to lock the spool whilst casting large weights.

I suggest you find something of 30 mm diameter and tape the reel to it and see if you hands can get a good grip. You might also consider the non-graphite FSU's which have a heavier tip and are more through actioned and probably better suited to large weights and big fish.

Cheers, Andrew
Thanks Andrew,

I hadn't thought about reel seat diameter.

Or a non-graphite FSU 5120, for that matter. I find through actioned rods are more forgiving when using an overhead, so I'll definitely look into that.

So many decisions...so many choices...

Regards,

Bob

LEIGH ROBINSON
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Post by LEIGH ROBINSON » Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:42 pm

kenmare, iam on the central coast,you dont need to change your rod reel or style of cast ,may be a little fine tuning ,most the Jews Ive weighed in for other club members over the years have all came in with in 30 mts of your feet ,manly taken by casting unweighted pilles on Alveys fishing for tailor ,even targeting big Jews on our beaches you only need to catch some squid that day ,keep it away from fresh water and fresh and cold ,all the beaches that good Jew come from you can reach them quite easily with your gear , you can spend big bucks on top shelf gear but you dont need to as what you have will do fine , dont fish the full moon for big Jews but look for a good tide full 2 hours after dark ,you will get a lot more small fish on the making moon ,remember the bait is what you need ,and if you put in the hours it will pay off ,if you dont know where to catch live squid on the coast ,go and see Bob at west gosford bait and tackle ,tell him i said to help you out ,regards Leigh

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:33 pm

LEIGH ROBINSON wrote:kenmare, iam on the central coast,you dont need to change your rod reel or style of cast ,may be a little fine tuning ,most the Jews Ive weighed in for other club members over the years have all came in with in 30 mts of your feet ,manly taken by casting unweighted pilles on Alveys fishing for tailor ,even targeting big Jews on our beaches you only need to catch some squid that day ,keep it away from fresh water and fresh and cold ,all the beaches that good Jew come from you can reach them quite easily with your gear , you can spend big bucks on top shelf gear but you dont need to as what you have will do fine , dont fish the full moon for big Jews but look for a good tide full 2 hours after dark ,you will get a lot more small fish on the making moon ,remember the bait is what you need ,and if you put in the hours it will pay off ,if you dont know where to catch live squid on the coast ,go and see Bob at west gosford bait and tackle ,tell him i said to help you out ,regards Leigh
Hi Leigh,

Thanks for your suggestions. I'd already decided that new, expensive tackle wasn't the answer. It makes more sense to improve casting technique and fine-tune the terminal tackle if more distance is needed.

I've received similar advice to yours about jew often being in close, the need for good bait -- and getting the tide and moon phase right.

Bob Williams is a good mate of mine -- I was in his shop earlier in the week seeking his advice about catching jew. He knows I'm a man on a mission. I'll ask him where to catch squid, and mention you suggested I ask him.

I'm a member of Davistown RSL fishing club. Which club do you belong to?

Regards,

Bob

LEIGH ROBINSON
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Post by LEIGH ROBINSON » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:48 pm

hi Bob ,if your that close i will get together with you on a oval and point you in the right direction ,have look at the fishing club honor board ,iam still a member but dont like the long hours and half bag limits ,take the hours back to six hours and we all have to fish the same tides and conditions ,there no need to half the bag limits as if you can bag out on 2 or more specials in 6 hours so be it ,as this will not happen every comp ,long hours only give the fish stocks a flogging ,with up sizing the catch ,regards Leigh

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:08 am

Hi Leigh,

Well, would you believe that? It's a small world.

I agree about the competition fishing scene; I'm in it purely for pleasure.

Although it's not necessary to fish 24 hours, the half legal bag limits and bigger than legal minimum size requirements probably do help preserve fish stocks. Actually, the fishing's been a bit tough in recent times -- not many fishos have been able to catch the limit.

The club recently moved to a six hours of fishing over a weekend format during winter months. So perhaps you might want to give it another go. We could try the beaches for jew and big tailor in May or June?

We must catch-up at the club sometime. I'd welcome a few pointers.

Regards,

Bob

LEIGH ROBINSON
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Post by LEIGH ROBINSON » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:44 am

I know they move to short hours in the no" productive months " the fishing has been very good in Brisbane water and just as good of the rocks and beaches it hardly changed seasons due to lack of fresh water and this has kept the fish in all winter ,the have had a early spawn as the the bream iam getting on the rocks are all full of row and very copper in colour ,there was a Jew over 25kgs 10 days ago at the shark tower ,just on dark ,regards Leigh

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:57 am

Hi Leigh,

I've only been a club member since about March, and I didn't fish the "non-productive months", but I've attended most meetings and weigh-ins.

Some of the "gun rods", who put in maximum hours, might manage good catches at most weigh-ins, but the average anglers have tended to struggle. I know, I was there.

I agree the fishing has picked-up of late. Managed a 2 kg plus flathead myself last week, fishing Patonga Creek out of my boat.

Whilst I haven't fished the beach since last summer, I've been told that the cold currents have kept the fishing a bit slow, other than for the occasional salmon.

I'd like to talk to you about that 25 kg jew. I don't know where the shark tower is (Wamberal?). But you've got my attention -- I'd certainly like to find out!

Regards,

Bob

LEIGH ROBINSON
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Post by LEIGH ROBINSON » Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:45 pm

just came back from a fish on the rocks ,there were two small Jews taken ,this morning 4 to 6 kgs ,so there about ,

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