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What pound braid for shark fishing in the surf?

ReidDavisReidDavis GaPosts: 12 Deckhand
I have a Penn Slammer lll 10500 for shark fishing in the surf and I don’t know weather to put 65 or 80lb test on it. I thought 65 at first for the line capacity but then I realized the reel puts out 60 pounds of drag.


  • BooBooBooBoo Vero Beach Fl and Ft. Lupton ColoradoPosts: 200 Deckhand
    You will never use all of that 60 pounds of drag unless you get into more than you will typically encounter on the beach. I’m guessing you will not use 1/3 of that 60 pounds. Heck, I might not even be able to stand up and hold 60 lbs of drag at the end of a 9 foot rod! I like a little heavier line simply because it doesn’t dig into my fingers as easily when casting out a hunk of heavy bait. While you don’t need 80 lb braid, your fingers may like it. I’ve caught some pretty good sized spinners and blacktips on 30 pound braid. On my dedicated beach shark rig, I have 65 lb power pro. Never felt under gunned at all.  
  • NrahNrah North Central FloridaPosts: 17 Deckhand
    edited September 7 #3
    I concur. Most of my line is 40  or 50 lb braid backer, but I find it's far easier to handle mono for the first 60 yards, or so. The mono is likely to stretch, and need replacing, if you fight in a decent size shark. But you can keep the braided line, and mono is cheap. Force the shark to fight the rod, reel, line, and you. Use the drag, of course, make the fish bend the rod, maintain tension. Most important, when you feel slack, and the fish is moving toward you, don't allow the braid line to tangle on the reel.

    But 80 lb test is just borrowing a lot of needless expense. If you do break a 40 or 50 lb line, then consider upgrading to 60. One major drawback to the stiffer line, is you will have reduced backing line capacity, in the event of a long, hard fight. You want to avoid having braid backer which is 2 or 3X the diameter needed to fight the fish. If you run out of backer line, before the fish gets tired, there is a far greater chance the fish is going to break the line.
  • CaptjamesCaptjames Pompano BeachPosts: 180 Deckhand
    There's nowhere for a shark to break you off if you're surf fishing.  So look for capacity over heaviest line, and lighter line to cast further.  I've caught 150lb sharks with 20lb test back in the pre-braid days without issue.  Sharks generally will make 2 100 yard runs and then they just swim from side to side, so basically wear them out is the key.  Like everyone else said, use the rod, drag and yourself to tire them out over brute force.  
  • Amelia_BelliAmelia_Belli United StatesPosts: 2 Greenhorn

    Hi thanks for this informative discussion. As a general rule, the best pound test for surf fishing ranges between 15 and 20 lbs when using monofilament, and between 30 and 40 lbs when using braided lines.
    Fishing is Love
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