What reel for grouper/snapper

chaselongchaselong OrlandoPosts: 2 Greenhorn
Hello everyone, I have been flats fishing for years now but have recently started fishing around and in Tampa bay for snapper and grouper. I have been using my 3000 size spinning reels though and break off all the bigger fish in the rocks. I’m looking for a smaller sized conventional reel to catch smaller snapper around 20 inches and grouper up to 30” but could occasionally catch something a little bigger as well. I was considering a avet mxj in either the 5.8 g2 version or the raptor because I would like a small light reel with a good amount of drag. Would this be a good reel for that purpose or would something else work better? Thanks


  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 4,642 Moderator
    A Torium PGA 20 or 30, (34# of drag) loaded with 65# braid and a Terez  rod rated for 65 or 80 to 200 braid will do great.  Light and powerful.
  • mara5mara5 Posts: 151 Deckhand
    Options for reel: Okuma Makaira 10ii sea, Penn Fathom 25, either lever or star. The Okuma PCH rods are pretty nice for the price also.
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 532 Officer
      For years I've used a TD-5.Shimano made the reels for one year only
    and quit.Why that reel?Its caught 25lb.grouper,14lb.Mutton,flag yellowtails
    wahoo,blackfin tuna and sailfish.Light enough for small fish and line
     for larger fish.Still have two of these reels.
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 738 Officer
    I use Saltiga star drag 50's , everyone that has tried them has bought one or wants one . They are awesome reels
  • chaselongchaselong OrlandoPosts: 2 Greenhorn
    Thanks everyone for the reply’s, I like the idea of the Okuma Makaira, I like some of the Shimano reels as well. I’m definitely leaning more towards a lever than star drag, I think that style would just be more comfortable for me to use. 
  • tankardtankard Posts: 7,026 Admiral

    I prefer star drags for bottom fishing, but to each their own.

    I will tell you this, the Avet you mentioned won't have enough drag for grouper fishing, unless you get the raptor model. I have an MXL and while it's a fine reel, it just doesn't have enough power to stop a big grouper.

  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 738 Officer
    Lever drag reels are not designed for bottom fishing , they are made for trolling/live baiting . They are not designed to be fished at max drag . You will bind/crush the pinion bearing on an LD and need to replace it , because you are using it outside of what it was designed for . 

     Star drags are set it and forget it , also much better reaction time to go from free spool to full drag and vice versa .
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,052 Officer
    I use Avet MXJ 5.8 reels for shallow water Grouper trolling up here in the Big Bend area and have no problems. I load with mono and then a top shot of  150 yards of 50# Sufix832 braid.
     I also have the same reels on lighter rods that I use with 20# mono that I use for Kings and bigger Spanish.

    If I wasn't satisfied with their dependability. i would have switched to something else after the first one.


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • mango mikemango mike Posts: 242 Deckhand
    penn squall 30 or 40 star drag of course , they both work well.  caught red snapper to 30 lbs in the atlantic and handled them great. economical light weight and powerful

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