Help an Amateur Surf Fisherman Choose a Reel?

PanPan Posts: 15 Greenhorn
Hey, Y'all,

Last year I irretrievably busted my spinning reel (fell pretty badly and caught myself with the rod & reel in hand - bent mainshaft and bail). I was gifted for Xmas a $100 gift card to Bass Pro. So that's where I'm at.

Here are the reels I'm considering, in no particular order:

PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel SSV4500 OR SSV5500 @ $140/$160

PENN Spinfisher V Long Cast Spinning Reel @ $200

Penn Fierce II Live Liner Spinning Reel FRCII6000LL OR FRCII8000LL @ $100/$110

Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel FRCII5000 @ $80

These are the ones that seem to suit my needs, THAT I'VE FOUND. If you know of one that might better suit me, I'm all ears. My rod is a 10' Shakespeare Ugly stick, medium/heavy. I've 3 other rod/reel combos I fish at the same time. One is a pretty light Pflueger President 6900 Series Spinning Reel, 6940, that I cast and retrieve while I watch my others. I'm damned near exclusively a surf fisherman in the salt. I fish the Florida panhandle just east of Destin but west of Miramar in a nature preserve called Coffeen Nature Preserve in a 'resort' (dunno what to call it, it's regular homes set amidst woods or on the beach - my family usually gets 1-2 beach front house and 3-4 houses set back a bit in the woods but within easy walking distance of the beach. It's a reunion we've held there for 41 years straight) called Four Mile Village. It's on the internet if you care to look. Anyway, I fish for whatever will bite so long as it has some size to it, excepting of course those damnable fish stealing sharks. I catch and release scrupulously - for 2 reasons: first, as a Louisianian (by the Grace of God) I hold no license and, two, I'd never catch enough to feed the horde that is my family. My brother fishes w/ me sometimes, but we've never caught enough during the entire 8 days we're there to make so much as a single meal for everyone.

I never seem to be able to cast as far as I'd like which is why the long caster appeals to me, and I'd like to try catching one of those little guys that hang out around knee deep (super easy to catch w/ just some line and a brim hook if you throw a little chum out) and casting him out there to swim about and attract a predator (besides a damned shark) which is why the live liner appeals. I'm 99% sure I can rig something up with a regular spinning rod to do this - and the bizarre drag systems on the live liner make me leery of it.

While I've got you, and you've read this far and know my situation, ANY tips are most welcome (beyond reel recommendations I mean). ESPECIALLY if you know a place around there (Destin, Fort Walton) that sells LIVE shrimp!!! Used to be, as a kid, we could collect big, fat sand fleas just by bending over and fish Pompano - now they've literally disappeared, as in NONE. As have sand crabs, 99.99% of seashells and just about every fish except this plague of sharks. I think the sharks are driven to our 'private' beach by there being huge hotels as far as the eye can see to the West of us, packed with holiday makers. People walk down to fish 'our' waters, and I'm happy to see and help them (and I've even lied for a father and son when a property manager came snooping and I said they were with my family). But those waters don't bear fish like they used to. I'm sick of hearing about my parents generation just pulling big gamefish out whenever they pleased. I remember it, but was too young to care much about fishing. They'd literally throw out a bottom rig with three hooks and pull in three big Pompanos. BIG ones, after a 15 minute wait. grrr. There's also a large stocked freshwater lake full or brim, bass and catfish - though I can fish for those at home in Baton Rouge.

Wow. I rambled. Please give me as much advice as possible!

Thanks & God Bless!

PS: This year we'll be there in early June.


  • PanPan Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    I'm leaning towards one of the PENN Spinfisher V's.
  • flattieflattie Posts: 268 Deckhand
    Start throwing baitcasters it'll help a lot
  • PanPan Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    WHY would a baitcaster be better?
  • MuskyChaserMuskyChaser Posts: 134 Deckhand
    Get a Spinfisher, they are completely sealed and will last WAY longer than the Fierce. Size of the reel really depends on the fish you plan to catch.
    Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for HD big game fishing!
  • BeachwalkerBeachwalker Posts: 33 Deckhand
    Fishing on the beach 300 days of year hands down the spinfisher v if you have a bigger budget then the slammer 3. Dont buy anything under 150 capt. Chris beachwalker
  • PanPan Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    Why the Slammer III?
  • MuskyChaserMuskyChaser Posts: 134 Deckhand
    Pan wrote: »
    Why the Slammer III?

    It's just a better all around reel. Smoother drag system, completely sealed (as is the Spinfisher), etc. Only drawback is it's more expensive.
    Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for HD big game fishing!
  • BeachwalkerBeachwalker Posts: 33 Deckhand
    Its price range is 250 to 280 I have 4 5500 they have some up grades from the spinfisher v but the spinfisher v is a great real I would buy that and you would be happy and buy a 8ft rod that is fast action and 12 to 30 lb blackfin rods make a great rod. If you need more info contact me on facebook beachwalker guide service
  • Panoply40Panoply40 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Thanks to you all!

    I went with both the Penn Fierce II Live Liner AND the Penn Slammer III.

    Can't wait to get to a beach! I think the Live Liner will give me an edge in those crystal clear Gulf waters on Fla's panhandle. I'll catch a small fish in close to the shore (very easy), put a hook through him and cast him out. Since it'll be a real fish, the fish I'm after will be fooled - or that's the plan.

    Thanks again!
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