Help: Casting conventional reel with frenzies, poppers, halcos

jackxx45

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Dec 21, 2021
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carp
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Help wanted, constructive criticism welcome, please have no regard for my feelings!
I do GOM 60hr partyboat trips every year and mostly jig and chunk because I suck at casting. I really need to up my game and learn to cast because I want to participate in those wide open topwater bites. I’ve watched the avet videos on youtube. I am not ready to give up and buy a stella spinning setup yet.

Please help:
How to set up the reel? more line or less line is better? How long a mono leader? Better to have mono the whole cast? Or keep a short leader that keeps the knot/transition out of the guides completely? I dont even know what matters the most and what questions to ask. A complete how-to guide for this specific application would be most appreciated.

I can sometimes cast a 5oz Orca about 200ft, but those little frenzies and lighter poppers/halcos leave me in nests more than in the water. Usually casting off the bow shoulder to shoulder with 6 other guys.

My current setup:
Avet LX 6/3 raptor spooled 80# seaguar threadlock (packed full) and insert 100# mono about 12” and instaflex/tacglue for a clean transition.
UNited composites Predator 7’6” 50-80

Thank you in advance for your patience
 
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swami 805

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You can cast with that set up but it is far from ideal. Rods short and stiff, that reel doesn’t cast great either. If you want to up your game look at getting a dedicated set up for casting that stuff
 
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45king

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I totally agree with swami. A jig stick isn’t a popper rod but sometimes u can get away with it.

This is how I convince myself why I need to keep all 100 rods!hahahahhaa
 
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Deadlift500

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    a Longer rod will help cast farther.

    how big are the fish you are catching?

    unless the fish are well over 50lbs you might want to get a spinning set up, you can get a Penn Fierce III combo or similar with a two piece ten foot long rod for under $150 total. I’ve caught 40lb bluefin from a CA sportboat on my Penn Fierice III combo easily.
     
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    jackxx45

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    a Longer rod will help cast farther.

    how big are the fish you are catching?

    unless the fish are well over 50lbs you might want to get a spinning set up, you can get a Penn Fierce III combo or similar with a two piece ten foot long rod for under $150 total. I’ve caught 40lb bluefin from a CA sportboat on my Penn Fierice III combo easily.

    Most YFT we catch are 50-100# with the occasional cow 150-180. I think there are a lot more cows hooked but most guys are not equipped and they break off. I catch plenty of schoolies, I really want to stay geared for cows if possible.
     
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    stuman

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    Search youtube "casting surface iron"





    For bigger fish you will need straight spectra to a short top shot of 80-100 lb fluoro.

    The star drag is your friend.
     
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    jackxx45

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    I totally agree with swami. A jig stick isn’t a popper rod but sometimes u can get away with it.

    This is how I convince myself why I need to keep all 100 rods!hahahahhaa

    I thought I had a good casting rod! Please - Can you recommend a rod to match up with my Avet LX?
     
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    Deadlift500

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    Most YFT we catch are 50-100# with the occasional cow 150-180. I think there are a lot more cows hooked but most guys are not equipped and they break off. I catch plenty of schoolies, I really want to stay geared for cows if possible.
    Makes sense, practice practice practice with the conventional and a long rod then. Go to a park and practice just casting a weight with no hooks.
     
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    Bill W

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    H Jack… First thing is a conventional casting is frustrating but once you get the basics down it gets easier. First thing for me it is easier to cast mono. The spool needs to be smooth increasing speed and in contact with what you are in casting during the cast swing. While the line is going out you can feather the spool while watching the line coming out have a wave to the first guide just slowing the spool enough not to hinder the cast. Part one…

    Next trip grab a deckhand to watch your cast. Or if you know someone that can cast take him out to watch at the park.
     
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    Rubberhook2

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    That's how I learned...casting different sized weights in a park.

    Tip - Bring a small spray bottle of water. Casting dry mono sucks...
     
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    kzaam1

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    Try a Penn Fathom 25n. Straight #65 braid to a short 3’ leader. Should be able to get 400-425 yards of line. I can’t remember exactly. Always keep the leader out of the rod for maximum distance and to make sure the knot doesn’t get caught in one of the guides and blow up your reel. That 76 predator you’ve been using actually isn’t too bad but you would probably get more distance with a 8’ rod. I really like the Phenix BD 809XHJ. You’ll be able to throw a wide range of poppers with this rod. I think your chances should be really good at landing fish up to #150 with this combo and maybe even bigger.
     
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    surfgoose

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    You have a very fine outfit for dropping jigs. You will need to buy another rod and reel if you want to cast surface lures of all kinds. A two-speed lever drag reel is never going to spin up the way it needs to to make long casts. Just be aware that going to a single speed reel (either star drag, lever drag or spinning) is going to result in BOTH longer casts and much longer, harder fights for big tuna. The same is true of a longer rod.

    As was mentioned, mono is much easier to cast than braid, being more forgiving of your small errors. Wet your line before casting. That first cast with dry line is going to be a disaster. Either have a small spray bottle with you or at least splash water from the bait wells onto the reel. Set your line up so there are no knots going through the guides during a cast, so either use a less-than-rod-length topshot or a long topshot that exceeds your expected cast distance. I use 100 feet of mono over braid, and then 3 to 4 feet of fluoro to the hook or lure because I don't need to cast more than thirty yards or so, I don't worry about the other guys trying to hit the horizon.

    When you practice casting, remember that your butt hand PULLS down as you load the salt water rod, you don't just throw with your reel hand. And as the rod goes past vertical, roll your hand over so that your thumb is horizontal and the conventional spool is spinning vertically on its axis, not horizontally. This gives you much better thumb control than cramping your hand to keep the thumb upright.

    And VERY IMPORTANT -- watch your lure or bait as it flies, and the very instant that it gets to within a couple of feet of the water, SLAM DOWN with your thumb to stop the line going out. There will be plenty enough slack in the line so that the bait or lure gets all of the distance that it was going to get, without the sudden slackness of the line causing a backlash. Backlashes happen a huge percentage of the time because the spool is not stopped instantly when the pull of the cast object ends. Follow through the motion of your arm by lowering the rod tip down as you end the cast.

    I didn't think any of this up. About forty years ago I was in the same place in my fishing as you are, and the internet didn't exist, so I paid a professional fisherman who made his living casting for tournament fish to watch me and correct me for an hour. It was a life-changing experience, although I lacked the athletic ability (and never gained it) to go play with fish for a living.
     
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    swami 805

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    Go easy at first and get a Feel for it. Also don’t have your jig at the tip of your rod, if space allows have enough line out so the jig is about touching the ground
     
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