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Manual deep dropping - have you done it?

I've become increasingly interested in deep dropping the more trips I make to the Keys each May/June. This year if the weather is right, I thought I would try a couple drops in say 500-700 feet. I have 350 yards of 65 lb braid on a penn battle with 44 in per crank, and may get another high speed reel before the trip, which would have 30-40 lb braid.

Has anyone done this? What do you catch in May/June in 600 feet? How many drops for a non-bodybuilder before you would call it quits at that depth? I made 2-3 lb weights that I plan to break off to avoid the weight coming back up. Also got some 14/0 tilefish rigs and some lights, so I'm ready to give it a shot.

Am I nuts for trying this? I just can't yet justify an electric reel for one week per year, in which the weather has to be perfect.

Thanks for any and all advice, this is a great site.


  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    I have friends that fish that depth w/manuals, but most use Conventionals... You have to use Heavy Leads & Spinners have No Torque...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,207 AG
    You could look into seeing how you could buy fillets of the species that you'd hope to catch!
  • quyvan5186quyvan5186 Posts: 49 Greenhorn
    You could borrow my setup, its a older Japanese Tanacom that I bought used. Used once on a pulley ridge trip and from what my schedule looks, I wont be using it for quite some time. Bring something for collateral and she is all yours for your trip, if you are interested, pm me.
  • bite my baitbite my bait Posts: 459 Deckhand
    I have deep dropped manually at 600-700ft many times.does it suck?Yes.Especially when your picking up with no fish at the end......but definately doable.I do not recommend to do it with a spinner though,if you can get a 2 speed conventional go for it,but spinner is gonna be a back breaker.
  • ShallowSaltShallowSalt Posts: 195 Officer
    IF you're going to use that spinner (And I dont' suggest it), make sure that drag is set perfectly. Light enough to slip on a fish, but heavy enough to lift the rod with the weight and not have any drag slip. Pump and reel all the way up, don't try to use the reel to winch. You'll bend your pinion gear and main shaft and be SOL in a heartbeat.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,098 Officer
    As has been stated I've seen a lot of guys deep drop with conventional reels but never a spinner. A couple of the guys I saw used single hook rigs rather then taking the chance on having to reel up multiple big fish manually. Personally I would go with a 2 speed which could then be used for other types of fishing. The reels recommended on the Yankee Capts website, in order of preference, are the Okuma Makaira 15II-SEA (2 speed), Penn Baja, and the Penn Senator 113H.
    Also, why are you using a break away weight. That doesn't make sense to me, would get awfully expensive after while.
    BTW, you will also find a lot of opinions on type of rigs/size hooks to use and whether lights are needed.
  • NauticalWheelerNauticalWheeler Posts: 445 Deckhand
    I've done vertical jigging to 350 ft with a spinning reel and around a 14 oz jig, and it was a hassle. (I wonder if any of you guys have tried tipping a heavy vertical jig with a squid strip? Wouldn't make much sense if you had an electric reel I guess). I suspect that *could* work for deeper if you had a glow jig...

    Remember "high speed" spinning reels are low torque, and as stated you don't want to use the manual reel as a winch. There are some spinners with lower gear ratio and higher torque that are designed for jigging (such as the Stella 20K, but that is $$$). One problem with spinners is line capacity because it doesn't go straight down (or stay straight down) unless you have the perfect wind conditions. If your line goes to say 30-45 degrees from vertical that is a lot of extra line, considering not only the angle but also the bow in the line that the current is going to make especially with larger line. I am almost curious enough to try it with a big reel and thin braid (20-30 lb) if the opportunity came up.

    Regardless of reel, if you haven't deep dropped I think boat control would be a huge issue, particularly if you are aiming at a rather small area of "live bottom". It takes a long time for the weight to drop down, during which time the current has moved your bait, and both the current and wind are moving the boat. It's a lot of work for trial and error and you could miss the good spot.

    But I would think that for a DIY type trip, the #1 problem would be finding good bottom. It's a big ocean out there and it takes a long time to explore it. If you have a lead on some good numbers that's one thing, but I think it would be hard to find good bottom going down for a couple/few weeks a year, compared to local guys who spend a lot of time crossing overhead.
  • PhillyMarathonPhillyMarathon Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Unbelievable how much I learned in 24 hours. Unfortunately I was pretty easy to convince to buy a used electric reel, and that's what I did. I figure as little as we know, now we are at least equipped enough to drop more times, and who knows, maybe get lucky enough to hit a fish in the face on one of them.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but from reading reports, it seems as if tilefish would be my most likely target without numbers - just look for flat muddy bottom in 600'? That is likely drop #1, come June. Once that doesn't work a few times, we'll probably get discouraged and go looking for dolphin again.

    Thanks to everyone who replied, I'm glad I didn't go into this blind.
  • TavernierGuyTavernierGuy Posts: 917 Officer
    Get a Diawa Saltist 6000 load with 30 lb braid. Will cost you around $240-$270 for the reel. Then load it with 30 lb power pro. Rod choice is up to you. Low cost way and works very very well inside of 600 ft.
  • flbluerunnerflbluerunner Posts: 716 Officer
    Tiles are thick this year. Might suggest you go down to a #8 or 10 circle hook on a 5 hook chicken rig.
    John :USA
    2006 38 Luhrs IPS600, A true 38, the only one made with IPS!
    2001 23 Parker

  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,958 Captain
    Get a Diawa Saltist 6000 load with 30 lb braid. Will cost you around $240-$270 for the reel. Then load it with 30 lb power pro. Rod choice is up to you. Low cost way and works very very well inside of 600 ft.

    I have one loaded with 50 lb braid...I was considering trying dropping deep..or at least dropping a bait down at the humps as I have no clue where to start looking for bottom deep dropping...
    How much lead would you recommend? Also, bait? Squid, bonita chunks?
  • swordslayer71swordslayer71 Posts: 398 Deckhand
    I would suggest a penn senstor 4/0 with mono backing and a 300yrd top shot of 50lb braid if you're trying to do it on the inexpensive side. I've only fished electric for swords day timing and aside from that have dropped extensively from 500-1000ft manually. It can easily be done,just takes a while sometimes. I use 3-4lbs up to 500 ft or so and increase slightly from there based on depth and current flow. Can't go wrong with squid as bait.
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