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Little help pls to choose a bunch of boat rods/reels


Petroni
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With no significant background in boat fishing we just started chartering out of Poole for an extended family get together (me, my 3 sons, and 2 grandsons aged 7 & 10). First outing this weekend went extremely well and they all loved it and want to make it a monthly thing. So Granddad gets the job of sorting it. Got 2 full day hires booked for August so I have some time to think/kit up now. I am considering maybe 6-8 rods (all Ugly Stiks?) with 2 x spinners, 4-6 x 12-20lb but open to advice. I am struggling badly with reels and braid combo/brands as I have zero knowledge on this. I am looking for a steer. I would rather the lads learn to play fish rather than just crank them up on heavy duty rods so I am proposing lighter rods with medium weight braid maybe. Anyone have thoughts of how to tackle this (no pun intended)? I want to minimise my mistakes and avoid wasting money if I can. Thanks in anticipation all.   Peter

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Hi Peter,

The Ugly Stik boat rods get a lot of good feedback. I have a couple myself and for the price you'd be hard to beat them.

https://www.veals.co.uk/acatalog/shakespeare-ugly-stick-gx2-12-20-3735.html

Penn reels are good, either the Warfare or Fathom, but Shimano TLD's or Charter Specials are also well thought of. Every reel these days can handle braid.

As for braid itself, you'll need to match the breaking strain of the braid with the line class on the rods, so a 12-20lb rod is designed to work best with a braid of between 12 and 20lb B.S. I use 20lb braid on my 12-20 rods.

It will also depend on where you're fishing, what strength of tides etc. Generally you'll want to use heavier leads to hold bottom in stronger tides, and for this you'll need heavier rods that can handle the heavier leads. No point using a pound of lead on a 6-12lb rod, for example.

So, match your braid to your rods and your rods to the weight you'll need to hold bottom.

Braid is definitely the way to go over mono as you need less weight to hold bottom with braid as it has a thinner profile than the same B.S. of mono, so catches less tide.

What are the charters you've booked in August? Wrecking, reefing, general species etc? To a degree your tackle should be determined by the type of fishing you're planning. If you're breaming on reefs you could use light 6-12lb rods & braid, but you'd need at least 12-20 or maybe 20-30 gear for wrecking. Horses for courses but if you can tell us what fishing you have planned we can give more insightful responses.

Hope this helps.

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I have an ugly 12lb and think it’s great for the money. I’ve only had it 6 months but nothing has started rusting or falling off and I’m not great at looking after my rods. 
I also have a couple of Diawa sea hunter 6-12s that I bought as visitors rods and they are great value at about £45 each. I’ve had plenty of double figure thornbacks(raja clavita for Neil)  on them. 

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Another vote for ugly sticks. For the money you can’t go wrong . Also penn level wind reels are a must especially for the youngsters. I’ve got fathom 20’s or the squall is also a decent reel for not silly money. But as Andy says it does depend on the species you’re after. My 9 year old son catches 15lb fish on a 12-20 gx2 with a fathom 20 no problem. 

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Many thanks both. Andy135 your advice crystalises some of what I have picked up to date. Thank you. Our next dates at 7th and 28th August, again out of Poole with Silver Spray. As for what we will be trying for, I have yet to touch base with the skipper to see what the tides predict might be available but as long as I have some light/medium gear we can cover several bases. I can always beg/borrow some of the boats own gear for heavier wreck stuff if circumstances permit until I see if the younger lads attention spans are geared to the stuff that requires more patience. I am guessing the youngsters could still fish lighter tackle and keep busy even if a few larger baits were sitting on the bottom nearby and on heavier kit. So maybe add 2 x 20-30lb Ugly Stix to the mix?

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7 minutes ago, Saintly Fish said:

Also penn level wind reels are a must especially for the youngsters.

Avoid the penn warfare reels, I have one that lasted about 6 minutes before bits started disintegrating. 
If I was spending money on a rod reel combo I would go 70/30 on money in favour of the reel. 

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4 minutes ago, JonC said:

Avoid the penn warfare reels, I have one that lasted about 6 minutes before bits started disintegrating. 
If I was spending money on a rod reel combo I would go 70/30 on money in favour of the reel. 

Agree with this. A cheap rod can still give excellent service but a cheap reel is often a liability.

Edited to say I have a Warfare a few years old and it's been fine for me, but it doesn't get that much use.

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1 minute ago, JonC said:

Avoid the penn warfare reels, I have one that lasted about 6 minutes before bits started disintegrating. 
If I was spending money on a rod reel combo I would go 70/30 on money in favour of the reel. 

The Ugly Stix seem like a 'given', I just need to figure out how many of each and then find reels that suit. As always, views differ so I am looking for a general consensus (if I can find one). Your point of focusing on the quality of the reel makes great sense :)

 

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13 minutes ago, Petroni said:

Many thanks both. Andy135 your advice crystalises some of what I have picked up to date. Thank you. Our next dates at 7th and 28th August, again out of Poole with Silver Spray. As for what we will be trying for, I have yet to touch base with the skipper to see what the tides predict might be available but as long as I have some light/medium gear we can cover several bases. I can always beg/borrow some of the boats own gear for heavier wreck stuff if circumstances permit until I see if the younger lads attention spans are geared to the stuff that requires more patience. I am guessing the youngsters could still fish lighter tackle and keep busy even if a few larger baits were sitting on the bottom nearby and on heavier kit. So maybe add 2 x 20-30lb Ugly Stix to the mix?

A 20-30lb Ugly Stik is my go-to all round rod these days. Strong enough for 1.5lb of lead in the Solent but still sensitive enough to pick out delicate bites.

Until you talk to the skipper it's hard to say what gear will be best but if you had to hedge your bets a couple of 12-20's and 20-30's will cover most bases, paired with Penn Fathoms or Shimano TLD reels.

Brands of braid are down to personal preference. I like Daiwa J-Braid but others swear by chinese Spectra braid found on eBay. I've used this stuff in the past and it's certainly adequate, but not as thin, pound for pound of B.S. as the quality (and more expensive) japanese braids. The big advantage of braid is the small diameters, so to save money on thick braid rather undermines one of its selling points in my view.

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3 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Agree with this. A cheap rod can still give excellent service but a cheap reel is often a liability.

I have seen a lot of feedback about problems that come with level wind reels (extra things/bits to go wrong) although I can see their value for youngsters. Are the reported problems related to the quality of the reel or a more general problem with level winds overall? I have enough to think about without worrying needlessly if the problems are not significant. 

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I guess if you are all on the same boat then you’ll all be fishing the same place, a lot of what dictates the rod class is the  weight that you need to use to hold bottom or to get your lures down and not kiting in the tide so you will often find you will all need heavier kit more often than the 12lb class, after all you can fish a 6oz lead on a 20/30 rod but you’re not going to want to go the other way with 16oz of lead on a 12lb rod for too long. 

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4 minutes ago, Petroni said:

I have seen a lot of feedback about problems that come with level wind reels (extra things/bits to go wrong) although I can see their value for youngsters. Are the reported problems related to the quality of the reel or a more general problem with level winds overall? I have enough to think about without worrying needlessly if the problems are not significant. 

Level winds themselves are not a problem, it's more to do with the level wind mechanisms at the cheaper end of the market. For example, the Warfare level wind is noticeably less well designed/engineered than the Fathom, and it's clear to see that the Fathom is the premium reel in Penn's UK line-up.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

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3 minutes ago, JonC said:

I guess if you are all on the same boat then you’ll all be fishing the same place, a lot of what dictates the rod class is the  weight that you need to use to hold bottom or to get your lures down and not kiting in the tide so you will often find you will all need heavier kit more often than the 12lb class, after all you can fish a 6oz lead on a 20/30 rod but you’re not going to want to go the other way with 16oz of lead on a 12lb rod for too long. 

Good point well made. thank you

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5 minutes ago, Petroni said:

I have seen a lot of feedback about problems that come with level wind reels

Ive always had level winds and never had a problem with them. Like I said earlier penn fathom or squal are good value and reliable. The warfare is probably dipping into the bargain bin a bit too deep. All reels will break and go wrong if not washed down with fresh water and stored properly after every use however. Look after the kit and it shouldn’t let you down. 

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Just now, Saintly Fish said:

Ive always had level winds and never had a problem with them. Like I said earlier penn fathom or squal are good value and reliable. The warfare is probably dipping into the bargain bin a bit too deep. All reels will break and go wrong if not washed down with fresh water and stored properly after every use however. Look after the kit and it shouldn’t let you down. 

So Granddad gets to keep the gear at his house then (as trusting a 7 year old to flush a reel rather than play Destiny is a lost cause I suspect)

 

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1 minute ago, Petroni said:

So Granddad gets to keep the gear at his house then (as trusting a 7 year old to flush a reel rather than play Destiny is a lost cause I suspect)

 

Good plan 😉👍

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As said already check with your skipper but i would think a 12-20 would cover most situations. The skipper should have heavier combos should you need to borrow/hire them. Another reel to check out is the original Diawa Slosh 20, no level wind but bulletproof and will land anything your likely to hook. I would also use 30-40lb braid even on a 12-20 rod.

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51 minutes ago, Dicky said:

As said already check with your skipper but i would think a 12-20 would cover most situations. The skipper should have heavier combos should you need to borrow/hire them. Another reel to check out is the original Diawa Slosh 20, no level wind but bulletproof and will land anything your likely to hook. I would also use 30-40lb braid even on a 12-20 rod.

Thanks Dicky!

 

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As for reels, I won't use anything other than ABU or Shimano

ABU 7000;s are good reels for general fishing, and can be bought cheap enough second hand or the budget models new. Shimano charter specials also extremely veratile for general fishing to tope all with the ease of lever drag. I would even use mine to go after blues if we had them.

It is all down to personal preferences, and having a chat with the skipper would be a good place to start and even using the boats tackle to try before you buy.....

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i recently bought a couple of 2nd hand rods - one an ugly stick, the other a penn uptider, i matched them with a Diawa Slosh 20 and a 30 - bullet proof reels im told. 

at the time of choosing i was also looking at Penn warfare, squall and fathom, and Shimano TLD or charter. 

I went with the slosh as they are solid fo rthe money - i loaded them with berkley whiplash braid. (backed with mono of course)

 

 

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5 hours ago, mike farrants said:

i recently bought a couple of 2nd hand rods - one an ugly stick, the other a penn uptider, i matched them with a Diawa Slosh 20 and a 30 - bullet proof reels im told. 

at the time of choosing i was also looking at Penn warfare, squall and fathom, and Shimano TLD or charter. 

I went with the slosh as they are solid fo rthe money - i loaded them with berkley whiplash braid. (backed with mono of course)

 

 

I come from mono only days so "backing with mono" is not something I am familiar with. Is the idea to split the, say, 400 yards x30lb braid capacity with 50% of each type (mone first then braid) simply to keep costs down? Or is the focus to have the main 'in the water' line as braid to keep the lead weights down? I am a little lost as to the reasoning for backing.

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5 minutes ago, Petroni said:

I come from mono only days so "backing with mono" is not something I am familiar with. Is the idea to split the, say, 400 yards x30lb braid capacity with 50% of each type (mone first then braid) simply to keep costs down? Or is the focus to have the main 'in the water' line as braid to keep the lead weights down? I am a little lost as to the reasoning for backing.

It's to stop the braid rotating on the spool under tension. If you put a bed of mono onto the bare spool first it helps the braid to grip the spool. It also reduces the amount of braid (and therefore cost) needed to fill the spool.

I use a different method, which is to bed the spool with a few turns of electrical tape before winding on the braid. The braid beds into the tape and won't rotate, plus I know that I have a full spool of braid, just in case that one big fish tries to spool me... I can live in hope, right?? 🤣

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yes backing the spool is just pre loading the spool with some cheaper mono - couple of reasons

1 - braid is so much thinner, you'll need a lot more of it to fill the spool and 2/3rds of that wont even get wet - saves money

2 - if you didnt pre fill the spool and just put less braid on - the rolling diameter of the spool will be smaller than a full spool and retreive will be slower

3 - Braid can slip on the spool - a good bed of mono gives it somethign to bite into.

you will also need a shock leader.

as an example - i fish in around 100ft of water max, i bought 300ft of 50lb braid and put half on each reel, after loading the spool 3/4 of the way with mono. I think have 2x rod lengths of 30lb mono for a leader

also make sure you load your braid on under tension - a damp towel, finger grip, any thing will do - just dont load it on loose as it will bite and bury on the spool when you have a fish - a good idea the first time you use it is to drop down with a heavy weight and reel back in a few times to settle it in.  

others may offer different advice, this is just what i've done. 

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34 minutes ago, mike farrants said:

you will also need a shock leader.

Just to be pedantic Mike, this is called a rubbing leader not a shock leader. A shock leader is used for when casting a lead from the beach.

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