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Advice on Choosing Inshore Reel

bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
Hey guys,

I've been lurking here for some time, but decided to make an account today to ask for some advice. Until recently I have been primarily a bass fishermen, however, I am building a house in St Augustine and have been trying to branch out to some more inshore applications as I will have pretty easy access soon. That being said, I will need a setup and although I've done extensive research, I'd like to get some tailored advice and thought this would be a good place to find it. I'll lay out some of the needed info below:

Target species - Anything really, but particularly reds, snook, maybe flounder and pompano.

Applications / locations - Primarily will be fishing from kayak or shore on Salt Run, intercostal, Matanzas River, salt water lakes, etc.

Price - I'd like the reel to be in the $50 - $100 range as it's my first of this kind and I'd like to have something not too expensive at first as I get the hang of it.

Now, I have a 3000 series / 6'6 med-fast setup that I figured I could use for the smaller species (flounder, pompano, sheepshead), but I want this new one to be a good "all around". I was thinking something in the 4000 series / 7-8ft MH moderate realm. I have pretty much decided on the rod, going with an Ugly Stick Inshore 7'6 MH moderate. However, I am pretty torn on the reel. I am considering the ones I'll list below, however, if there's one you think is better suited, please bring it up!

  1. KastKing Megatron 4000
  2. Penn Battle 2 4000
  3. Penn Pursuit 3 4000
  4. Penn Fierce 4000
Let me know what you guys think!
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Replies

  • gatorsaintgatorsaint Posts: 183 Deckhand
    Of the reels on your list I would stick with the Penn reels, the Battle would be my first choice. I don't know anything about the Kastking, but I can't imagine it's as good as the Penn Battle or Fierce. If you are looking at a reel up to $100 my first choice would be the Penn BG, it's right around $100. Another reel to consider is the Pflueger President, closer to $60. I'm a Shimano fan, but the I have a BG 3000 and like it a lot.
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 1,295 Officer
    You might want to look at the Diawa BG  series reels.  I have a 2500 and a 4500.....for the money I'm very happy with them.   I also have a Pflueger President 2500 - not a bad reel.  I got it in sale for $40, so couldn't go wrong.  I use it for bass fishing so no saltwater experience with it.  Also have a 2500 Battle II again a nice reel for the money.  Over all I like the BG  the best but just my opinion.
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 1,295 Officer
    edited August 1 #4
    Sorry one more comment.  I fish a kayak as well.  I use as short as a 6'6" up to a 7'.  Only thing to keep in mind is that as the rod gets longer it's a little harder to reach the leader because of the length.  I'm a bit height challenged at 5'8" so take that into consideration .  Hopefully you can try a few rod lengths to see what you like.  On the positive side the length will let you reach around the front a bit easier.  My kayaks are all 12'.
  • RBZog86RBZog86 Crestview Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    edited August 1 #5
    Are you wanting to stay with spinning reels? Or venture to a baitcaster? Penn has always been my choice for spinning gear, but Shimano is my “go to” on baitcasters. 
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 4,945 Moderator
    Just so you are aware, Penn just released a new Battle III.  Not sure of the price point but it should be about the same as the Battle II, @ $109.  Like above, I'd also look at the Daiwa BG, probably the 3000 or 3500.  Daiwa uses the same numbering system as other manufacturers but their line capacity is greater.  The 3500 would hold as much line as a 4000 Penn or Shimano
  • fishthe772fishthe772 Stuart FLPosts: 16 Deckhand
    Out of what you listed the battle would definitely be my choice. Penn reels are proven to be durable and I know a few guides that still choose their battles over everything else. If you are fishing out of a kayak I do agree it would be more beneficial to go with a shorter rod. You could just look into picking up a battle combo from penn that is already matched up with a rod and should last you for a good amount of time
  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 1,126 Officer
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    RBZog86 said:
    Are you wanting to stay with spinning reels? Or venture to a baitcaster? Penn has always been my choice for spinning gear, but Shimano is my “go to” on baitcasters. 
    Thanks for the info! Yeah, I was thinking a spinning setup for my first inshore.
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    So a lot of people brought up the BG's. A friend of mine just picked one of these up and loves it and was literally just telling me about it after I made this post. He has a bg2500 on a 7 ft for the same inshore spots / application I want to do.

    If I went with the bg, which size would be best for an "all around" inshore setup? Someone above mentioned 3000 - 3500. Is this ideal? I could bust down to a 7ft rod as well. @Garysmo brought up a good point about reach in the 'yak, so 7ft might be the better option. Can I get some opinions on 7 ft inshore rods? I've liked Ugly Stik in the past, but I'd be open to hearing opinions.
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    Garysmo said:
    Sorry one more comment.  I fish a kayak as well.  I use as short as a 6'6" up to a 7'.  Only thing to keep in mind is that as the rod gets longer it's a little harder to reach the leader because of the length.  I'm a bit height challenged at 5'8" so take that into consideration .  Hopefully you can try a few rod lengths to see what you like.  On the positive side the length will let you reach around the front a bit easier.  My kayaks are all 12'.
    This is a great point and one that I hadn't considered. I have a 7' bait casting setup that I use in the 'yak, but the 7'6 might be a little much. I'm 6'1, but not sure how much of a difference that makes.
  • BooBooBooBoo Vero BeachPosts: 40 Deckhand
    Salt run is where I cut my teeth on salt water fishing a few short years ago. I fished from my kayak that I would put in at Anastasia State Park, where we stayed. I was using a 7 foot Ugly Stick and 3000 size fresh water reels. It worked just fine on the trout and reds there but the reels didn’t hold up well. After gaining a little knowledge, my “go-to” setup for such tasks has become a BG 3000 on a 7.5 Star or 7 foot St. Croix. I favor the 7.5 foot Star. It is my favorite rod and I couldn’t be more pleased with the two BG 3000s I have.
    I fished Salt Run extensively for two winters. It was awesome for both trout and reds but I never caught a snook there except little baby snook in my cast net while getting finger mullet. If you would like more info on where I found the “hot spots” to be in Salt Run and some other useful info, shoot me a pm. I’ll be glad to help in any way I can.  

  • Terry RavenscraftTerry Ravenscraft Posts: 172 Deckhand
    I have use mostly older penns...i now have 3 Shimano bait runners 3500,4500 and 6500 ...wouldnt part with them ....my son uses the newer penns ...🤔
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 193 Deckhand
    If your kayak fishing plan on your reel getting wet with salt water. I would get the Penn Spinfisher V or VI and pack it with grease. It is Water resistant but not waterproof. 
  • Russ57Russ57 FloridaPosts: 28 Deckhand
    Daiwa BG hands down.  They run bigger in size than other brands/models.  2500-3500 range is what I'd suggest....depending on braid/mono.  In any case I'd get an extra spool and using both.

    Do yourself a big favor and get a nicer rod.  Figure around the $150 range.  I like St. Croix.  Maybe take a look at their Mojo Yak Casting Rod?  I haven't checked out the Star rods in awhile but I remember being very impressed with their Plasma line.  Saltwater rods run about a half power heavier than freshwater rods (medium equals medium-heavy).  I'd suggest 8-14 to 17# rating.

    BooBoo is giving solid advice based on actual experience in those waters.

  • FlecFlec Posts: 676 Officer
    I currently use both the Diawa BG 2500 and the Pflueger President 3000. Each reel holds about 160yds of 10lb braid. I like both,,but for the money I would get the Pflueger. Its drag starts easier and is just as smooth as the BG. I use rods in the $50/$60 range,,Calico Jacks online, or Marathons from ****'s Sporting goods. I have tamed a lot of snook,trout,and reds with these the past 5 years.
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,419 Admiral
    edited August 2 #17
    Daiwa BG 2500.For $100 you can't beat it. A 4000 is heavy for throwing artificials.





  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    johnD said:
    Daiwa BG 2500.For $100 you can't beat it. A 4000 is heavy for throwing artificials.





    And the 3500 is the same frame just smaller spool, right? I'm wondering if I should go 3000 or 3500...
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    Russ57 said:
    Daiwa BG hands down.  They run bigger in size than other brands/models.  2500-3500 range is what I'd suggest....depending on braid/mono.  In any case I'd get an extra spool and using both.

    Do yourself a big favor and get a nicer rod.  Figure around the $150 range.  I like St. Croix.  Maybe take a look at their Mojo Yak Casting Rod?  I haven't checked out the Star rods in awhile but I remember being very impressed with their Plasma line.  Saltwater rods run about a half power heavier than freshwater rods (medium equals medium-heavy).  I'd suggest 8-14 to 17# rating.

    BooBoo is giving solid advice based on actual experience in those waters.

    I'll definitely do some more research on rods. Thanks for the info!

    As for the reel, I like the idea of having a little bit beefier reel because this setup could double for slot catfish (and even some bigger boys), which is also why I wanted a little bit longer rod at 7'6. That being said, I'm not sure which size to go with. Is the 3500 or 4000 too large for throwing artificials?
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,419 Admiral
  • BooBooBooBoo Vero BeachPosts: 40 Deckhand
    Depends on which reel manufacturer you buy. Diawa reels run bigger than their number would commonly suggest. I can telling you first hand the BG 3000 is still a fairly compact package that will handle pretty stout fish. If casting a lot, weight matters a bunch to me. I can throw the little BG 3000/ Star rod combo all day. This red was on a Diawa BG 3000 and the 7.5 foot Star Rod. The fish was landed in a stiff outgoing current at the Sebastian Inlet. I think that is as far as I would want to push that rod/reel combo. It was enough for the task though. The current adds a lot to the task. I bet with continued use catching such fish, that little BG would get tired. A bigger BG.....bring em on! Those reds have some shoulders!
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    edited August 3 #22
    BooBoo said:
    Depends on which reel manufacturer you buy. Diawa reels run bigger than their number would commonly suggest. I can telling you first hand the BG 3000 is still a fairly compact package that will handle pretty stout fish. If casting a lot, weight matters a bunch to me. I can throw the little BG 3000/ Star rod combo all day. This red was on a Diawa BG 3000 and the 7.5 foot Star Rod. The fish was landed in a stiff outgoing current at the Sebastian Inlet. I think that is as far as I would want to push that rod/reel combo. It was enough for the task though. The current adds a lot to the task. I bet with continued use catching such fish, that little BG would get tired. A bigger BG.....bring em on! Those reds have some shoulders!
    Nice red!

    I don't imagine I'll be trying to pull in fish much bigger than that, but as I said, I'm looking for an "all around" setup. Being that you have a 3000 on a 7.5 ft, how is the balance for that? And do you think a 3500 or 4000 would be okay?
  • BooBooBooBoo Vero BeachPosts: 40 Deckhand
    edited August 2 #23
    Yeah..... if you want a little more beef to have a bit more of an all around rod, I would go with the 4000 and a 7 or 7.5 foot rod. Balance on mine with the 3000 is great. While a bit bigger, the 4000 BG should be just fine. Of course the rod plays into all that.
    Before salt, all my spinning was done with rods up to 7 foot. There is a pretty good difference in casting performances between the two for me with the longer rod feeling a bit better to me.
  • Russ57Russ57 FloridaPosts: 28 Deckhand
    Personally, I'd lean towards the smaller reel if tossing lures and the bigger reel for bait.  All around often ends up being something that sucks for everything.  There is a reason why the bass pro guys have seven rods on the deck.

    I build my own rods.  I'd say for what you want to do you need a spin/jig rod and a popping cork rod.  I can think of plenty of production spin/jig rods.  I'd be hard pressed to name a single popping cork one.  In fact I'd have to suggest a bass crank bait rod as many of them are built on popping blanks.

    A lot of what you want to do crosses over to bass fishing.  If you were to go buy a high end spinnerbait/worm rod and a high end square bill crankbait rod you would have just what you need for what you want to do in the salt.  Only difference is buying stuff that will stand up to the salt environment.

    For example a really nice rod might have titanium guides.  The largest guide, near the spinning reel, will run around 50 bucks in titanium but only a couple of bucks in a low grade stainless.
  • bakemeacakebakemeacake St AugustinePosts: 8 Deckhand
    edited August 3 #25
    BooBoo said:
    Yeah..... if you want a little more beef to have a bit more of an all around rod, I would go with the 4000 and a 7 or 7.5 foot rod. Balance on mine with the 3000 is great. While a bit bigger, the 4000 BG should be just fine. Of course the rod plays into all that.
    Before salt, all my spinning was done with rods up to 7 foot. There is a pretty good difference in casting performances between the two for me with the longer rod feeling a bit better to me.
    Thanks for the info! I sent you that DM by the way (:

    I've come to the conclusion that I should probably just go with two setups instead of one "all around." That being said, I think I'll go with the bg3000 for now and then a 4000 - 5000 setup down the road. I might wait a bit on the rod as I just dropped $250 + on a new bass bait casting setup, so the wife might have my neck if I do it again a week later. But I'll get the reel now and probably put it on my 6'6 ugly stik and then upgrade to a st Croix or similar in a 7'6 size after a little while.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,747 AG
    Russ57 said:
    Personally, I'd lean towards the smaller reel if tossing lures and the bigger reel for bait.  All around often ends up being something that sucks for everything.  There is a reason why the bass pro guys have seven rods on the deck.

    This... ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ And I am stunned how "over-gunned" people are... for fish that weigh a few pounds.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,747 AG
    BooBoo said:
    Yeah..... if you want a little more beef to have a bit more of an all around rod, I would go with the 4000 and a 7 or 7.5 foot rod. Balance on mine with the 3000 is great. While a bit bigger, the 4000 BG should be just fine. Of course the rod plays into all that.
    Before salt, all my spinning was done with rods up to 7 foot. There is a pretty good difference in casting performances between the two for me with the longer rod feeling a bit better to me.
    Thanks for the info! I sent you that DM by the way (:

    I've come to the conclusion that I should probably just go with two setups instead of one "all around." That being said, I think I'll go with the bg3000 for now and then a 4000 - 5000 setup down the road. I might wait a bit on the rod as I just dropped $250 + on a new bass bait casting setup, so the wife might have my neck if I do it again a week later. But I'll get the reel now and probably put it on my 6'6 ugly stik and then upgrade to a st Croix or similar in a 7'6 size after a little while.
    You do know that anything you use for bass...can be used for inshore. You just have to be meticulous with your after trip cleaning / maintenance.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Russ57Russ57 FloridaPosts: 28 Deckhand
    Yup, what duckmanJR is saying.  Go return that bass bait casting setup and get a one one with a saltwater capable reel (curado would work).  For the fish you are after you don't need heavier tackle than a bass outfit.  You only need stuff built with materials that can handle saltwater.

    Just think how happy the wife will be when you tell her you don't need to spend $250 on a bass bait caster and $200 on a redfish outfit.  Instead you can spend $350 on one outfit that will do both.  And for $350 you should be able to get a very nice bait casting reel and rod.
  • FlecFlec Posts: 676 Officer
    If you are going to go with two separate outfits and you plan to cast artificials a lot, then make your smaller reel a BG 2000 or 2500.  I thought my BG was a 2500 but it is a 2000 and it is plenty of reel for snook,reds, and trout. If you get into areas of heavier current with bigger fish, around inlets, then you can go to your 4000 size. 8-10lb test braid tied to a leader with a proper FG knot on your smaller outfit is a formidable outfit for fish up to 37" or so, even larger fish if you don't have to deal with mangrove shorelines.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,747 AG
    edited August 5 #30
    Flec said:
    If you are going to go with two separate outfits and you plan to cast artificials a lot, then make your smaller reel a BG 2000 or 2500.  I thought my BG was a 2500 but it is a 2000 and it is plenty of reel for snook,reds, and trout. If you get into areas of heavier current with bigger fish, around inlets, then you can go to your 4000 size. 8-10lb test braid tied to a leader with a proper FG knot on your smaller outfit is a formidable outfit for fish up to 37" or so, even larger fish if you don't have to deal with mangrove shorelines.
    I agree with John (flec ) ....to a point. I have two 2500 size spinners...one the Pflueger (sp) President...which I still contend (now that they fixed the crappy handle issue) is the best bang for the buck reel out there at < $60....and my other reel is the BG 2500...which is also nice....but I had a major failure (gear) with it...and the bearings are not great and the one under the occilator / rotor now is very noisy.... a big deal...no.. but it is more money than the Pflueger and as flec said...the drag is not as smooth. Full discloseure....I fish 260 - 280 days a year (think of the number of cast that is ) ...so I view ALL reels as disposable...so the best bang for the buck makes the enevitable toss in the trash less painful. This said...I also carry a 3500 Battle II .... It is on a broomstick of a Calico Jack ( broken 7 footer/heavy action that now is a stout 6'6" LOL ) It is my mullet heaver... and I cannot dislike my battle II ....and has a more durable finish than most. I *routinely* catch snook up to and some over 40 inches.... it is more than up to the task.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,747 AG
    Russ57 said:
    Yup, what duckmanJR is saying.  Go return that bass bait casting setup and get a one one with a saltwater capable reel (curado would work).  For the fish you are after you don't need heavier tackle than a bass outfit.  You only need stuff built with materials that can handle saltwater.

    Just think how happy the wife will be when you tell her you don't need to spend $250 on a bass bait caster and $200 on a redfish outfit.  Instead you can spend $350 on one outfit that will do both.  And for $350 you should be able to get a very nice bait casting reel and rod.
    Yes... If you are a competent baitcaster bass man who can skip docks and brush back the last leaf on a mangrove with it...it is by far the better outfit for raw power....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
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