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Overall Tampa Bay Rod/Reel Combo

Any recommendations for a single rod/reel that could handle:
Short Casts with live bait to fish for Big tarpon 100lb
Trolling big lipped plugs in shipping channel for grouper, kingfish too...
Bottom fishing off of party boats

I am thinking a bait caster and prefer to reel left handed with a stout 7ft rod.

Thx for the help!


  • FishInFLFishInFL Senior Member Posts: 2,222 Captain
    Maybe an avet reel? Not sure the model though
  • BryanCBryanC Senior Member Oldsmar, FLPosts: 644 Officer
    Even the smallest Avet (SX) will have enough line capacity for Tarpon. I have the next size up (MXJ), and it holds about 400 yards of 50 lb braid. It's a tiny reel, not much bigger than an Abu Garcia 5500, so it is kind of surprising that it holds that much line. I guess it's big on the inside :shrug . I don't have the MC model, but I put some magnets in it myself. That helps to prevent backlash, but I still can't cast it very well. I get a birds nest every 10 casts or so. Pretty sure that's due to a lack of skill on my part.

    I think a small Avet would be a good kingfish reel. I'm not sure about using them for grouper though. If you set the drag to 8 or 9 lb or higher, the reel starts to bind when cranking (this applies to the SX, MXJ & MXL). And I also understand that if you fish high drag settings often, the right sideplate bearing wears out quickly. I usually have mine set at about 5 lb at the strike setting, and haven't had any problems. Most people use a lot more drag than that for grouper fishing. The bigger Avets might make more sense if you want to grouper fish with it, or other reels like Newell 634/631, Daiwa Sealine 450/400, Penn 113H. However, I don't think any of the bigger reels are good for casting. The medium Avets (JX, LX) might cast well in skilled hands - I wouldn't know :rotflmao

    If it were me, I'd get a spinner for casting, and a 4/0 size conventional for trolling & bottom fishing, but that's two set-ups. If you're going to get one at this time, try to figure out what you will do most, and get one that covers that well.
  • snookwhisperersnookwhisperer Senior Member Posts: 229 Deckhand
    I'd go with spinning gear.
    I use a Penn 750SS spinning reel with a Penn Slammer rod.
    I think I bought the set-up at Bass Pro Shop for 125.00.
    Put 50lb. Power Pro on it. It works for me.
  • FishInFLFishInFL Senior Member Posts: 2,222 Captain
    With the smaller avet and the penn, could you troll for grouper with either? I assume you would have to have a high drag Setting when using a big lipped plug. Thx
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