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This is the combo I've started with & still bring on the boat every trip. shimano sienna reel sells for 29.99 at academy put it on a med 6'6' or 7' ugly stick also about 29.00 at academy or go to walmart they carry the ugly stick intercoastal rods for 35.00 this combo will last for years & has landed many bull reds using 12lb line. almost everyone on this site will want you to get a more expensive combo. i have some too. but most of the time I still use the ugly stick intercoastal rods
i like them better than graphite
I use a Shimano Stradic 2500 spooled with 20lb power pro. its a light reel that can handle reds,specks, perch jerking and even a jackfish (if you don't get spooled)
As far as rods i tend to stay away from ugly sticks and all stars. Ugly sticks don't have enough sensitivity for me and all stars had some defects. I went thru 5 all stars breaking right below the tip. My favorite is a Castaway or a Falcon original. Length is a personal preference. I like a 6ft rod. Let me know if you want to make a trip one day and you're more than welcome to make a few casts with my setup.
Whats your price range? and do you prefer baitcast or spinning gear
as far as reels go i wouldnt suggest anything high quality at first untill you learn what you like best. i stick with basic generic reels (but not the elcheapo ones) and i get them from walmart or academy spending $25-$35 for the reel.
the reason for this is they get beat up pretty good and i consider them disposable tackle like baits, if i get a year or two out of them im happy. the salt and abuse wears on the reels and i dont expect them to last long and im not one to spend time cleaning my reels after every trip. all i do is loosen the drag all the way so it doesnt weaken the drag spring. (something everyone should do)
as far as rods go i wouldnt suggest anything high quality at first untill you learn what you like best. the length and sensativity of it vary for each fishing style, i use longer rods based on if im bank fishing or looking for long distance casts.
i stick with basic generic rods (but not the elcheapo ones) from walmart or academy spending $35-$45 for the rod. the reason for this is they get beat up pretty good (dropped and stepped on) so i consider them disposable tackle like baits, if i get a year or two out of then im happy. the salt eats away the eyes and the fiberglass or grafite can get brittle and break after some age so i dont expect them to last long.
the type and strength of line has a lot to do with your type and style of fishing.
if you are fishing with live or dead bait then heavier line can be used to handle the abrasive things like rocks and oysters it may come in contact with so something in the 15-20lb area might be best.
if you are fishing artificial cast and retrieve baits then too heavy a line might reduce casting distance and too light will allow fish to break off so something in the 12-15lb area might be best.
if you are going after large fish then 20-25lb
you also need to match the line you use with your rod, it will say right on the rod what size line it is designed to use. you may want to use heavy line so it doesnt break but using anything heavier then the pole is designed for can snap the pole then the fish will still most likely still get away anyway.
as you get experienced i hope you learn to gravitate into light tackle fishing, you lose some fish with light tackle but its so much fun to use and IMO it can catch more fish when fish are spooky. also it gives you really long casting distance for reaching fish where the boat cant go or in very clear water when fish are staying out of normal casting range because they can see you.
Me&my Daughter her 1st Nice Red Taken on Zebco 733 Hawg Med Heavy Rod 6' 6'
^5 keakar Same here&I've caught some good Fish w/o No Problem as for as Reds go Trick is i learn the Drag has to be right too loose you miss ummm when you try to hook ummm, too tight and he's gona don't matter if it 16' or 30'
i keep the drag a little tight for hook setting then immediately loosen it after setting the hook, your ok until he gets close but the shorter the line the more he needs to be able to strip line quick if he runs. i also leave about 4-5 ft of line out when netting so i stretch the pole up to net it so if he gets spooked and runs i have a cusion to give out line.
also i sharpen the hooks too, often as store bought they arent as sharp as they need to be.
i sharpen them so they dont slide on your fingernail but dig in so it takes less effort to set the hook. reds mouths can be tough and regular not very sharp hooks can lose you some fish.
keakar i normally don't keep mine real tight even@1st hook, i have it where i can pull it out w/some tension on it, To me you gota know how tight it is yourself by testing it,if i know its big then i loosen it lil, I check mine after 1st cast or before i make 1st cast,My wife Jess Lost a Big one over@Lake P not for from Dockside Marine&Tackle and it wasn't that drag was too tight in fact was too loose so it went where ever it wanted to go,I had to get her New Zebco 733 Hawg thats all she uses w/ good Success
you should get her the zebco 888 pro staff she will love it, its made for 20lb line so its got a much better drag system and i respool it with dupont stren 14lb mono line.
she will be able to cast a mile away and its got 26 inch per revolution retrieve on it. i catch everything with it from specks to 27 inch reds.
of course the reds peel a lot of drag and take time so you have to be patient and wear them down but those 888's are great for salt water light tackle.
My Lady w/1 of her catches of the day@Catfish Lake Marsh Drum
Cool keakar might have to look into that next time the 733 Hawg comes w/ 20 lbs i put 14 LBS stren Works good here her Drum on it and she caught some bigger
i wanted to share my reasearch on sampling different zebco reels and i tested the zebco 333, 404, 733, 808, & the 888. i respooled all of them with 14lb stren florescent line because thats what i always use.
first let me say, zebco reels are for the most part very very basic/cheap reels designed for freshwater use by non serious fishermen and kids but i wanted to see if any of them were decent enough to last and hold up to the rigors of salt water fishing.
i did this research on them about 10 years ago so anything brand new may be different. but from what i have seen they havent changed much.
i quickly dismissed the 333 and the 404 as having little to no drag control or any drag to speak of for that matter so they were not up to handling even 16'' reds so i put them aside.
the 733 kept falling apart (the back end that is) but i dropped it (slipped out of my hand and hit the floor) but i think it was more because of the 3 piece design and how it connected as to why it kept coming loose after a few casts so it went to the side as well.
i was quickly left with only 2 choices, the 808 and the 888. the 808 drag was pathetic and even tightened all the way i was getting spooled by 20'' reds or the line would just pop but the 888 with its star drag was very smooth and easy to adjust on the fly and i could control it very easy to set the exact amount of pressure i wanted without ever losing control. the 888 acted like a very nice spinning reel but with the convienience and long casting distance of a spincast reel.
i loved em so much i bought 10 of them so im still using the ones made in 98-00 years.
i have noticed they took the star drag off of the newest 888's which was THE most high quality reliable drag they ever had on thier reels IMO so im sad to see it go and i fear they will now be like the 808's and have crappy drag systems as well now.
review of 2012 version zebco 404 reel: ITS PURE JUNK
thursday i tested the new 404 reel and at first i thought it was doing ok for specks but the drag, once i tightened up too far i couldnt loosen it again while fighting a fish and it didnt want to let go even after being loosened all the way it seamed to jamm without any drag. i lost 2 nice reds and something else i never saw because of not being able to loosen the drag.
today when i opened up the reel i found the reel cover shield thing wasnt made of stainless steel but some sort of zinc coated regular steel ??? i dont know who was the genious who thought of that but with only being used for one fishing trip i find its got rust spots all over it. the line spool is also made of plastic and thats the reason the drag was sticking is its a metal disk being pressed against the plastic line spool.
you have to just about break the reel to pry the back cover off to get to the gears for cleaning and to grease them so i cant see this reel lasting long for any type of fishing. i'm now throwing it away after only using it once.
i hope all this probably completely useless info helps someone avoid buying a junky reel and wasting money. i think the 888 is still worth trying but its about the ONLY zebco spincast reel i suggest you might want to buy
keakar,,,,,They do make Saltwater series 733 my wife had one got bout 2 years out on it. Ummm the Reg 733 Hawg works as Good or better to me&the come w/20 lbs Cajun Line now@Walmart, i have Stren Clear Flor on all mine 12-14 lbs w/ out any Problems, I have 4 Shakespears 3 spin cast 1 bait cast&1 Daiwa Spin Cast&that Daiwa is 5:1 ratio I got in on medium action rod,My wife has 2 other 733 that are like new uses as back up the one she uses regularly&one of her spares both are on Med Heavy Rods Ugly sticks Nite Glow Tips, Only reason i don't like the 733 or use it is I don't like the feel of it&its not High Speed But she loves ummmm easy to use Works for what she catches, I had Bought her 808 series b4 the 733 its works good too But lil Bulky Have caught some good reds on it and even 4 ft Bull Shark
glad to here the 733's arent bad, after being dropped, the one i had the back wouldnt stay on to properly test it
Ummmm keakar My Wife 733 stay in the Boat it worked good yest afternoon her catchin 3 specs 1 bass&even 3 ft Gator by accident