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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster here.
Looking for some advice on an budget, entry level surf fishing set-up. I posted over on another site (I won't link to it, but the name is NCH&F if anyone is a member there) and got some good feedback, but was hoping for more from you guys. Here's my situation-

I grew up fishing with cheap Zebco combos from Walmart, fishing for anything that would bite. I literally lived on the lake during the summers when I was 13-16. Always enjoyed out-fishing my dad (though I bet he let me most of the time). Then I got a job, went to college, got married, bought a house, had a kid, and all the various other life events that happened along the way pushed fishing to the back burner. Now I am at a point where I can get back into it. I did buy a Shakespeare "Catch More" spinning combo for my general inshore fishing, but I want a nicer surf set-up. I live in Rocky Mount, so I'm not all that close to the surf, but I will have (the good Lord willing) plenty of opportunities to get to the coast. My father-in-law just took a job as a pastor in Elizabeth City, so I'll be up there plenty, fishing where ever I hear good spots are in the river/sound. Also plan on making my way to Duck/Southern Shores/Kitty Hawk on most of my trips up there to surf fish. I am also inth e process of applying for graduate school at UNCW, so I'll be at Topsail/Wrightsville/Carolina/Kure beaches as well.

I'm looking for advice on public access spots at the above locations (I did see the post on Topsail area already), as well as for tackle/rig recommendations and potential fishing partners at all those locations so I can learn for the locals ;)

I have only ever surf fished with general catfish combo rods, which worked fine. Never caught anything huge, but never lost anything really either. Never had much problems catching fish, just not a lot of keepers.
I've done a lot of research online and decided that the best bang for my buck would be to put together my own rod and reel. I found an Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder (ABF-50) reel on sale and am now looking for a rod to pair with it. Preferably don't' want to spend more than $50 or so. I've looked into the Okuma Tundra, and Tsunami Saphire XT rods. Any first-hand experience with any of those models would be great, as well as length/strength suggestions. I have usually thrown 2-3 ounces of lead with top/bottom rigs, but want more flexibility. Looked at the fish finder rig setup, which looks like it would pair really well with the baitfeeder feature of my reel. Any other rigging options I should consider?

I don't need to cast 200 yards, I just want to get to where the fish are and start taking some home. Thanks for advice in advance. I'll post in the new members section shortly so y'all can get to know me...

Rods:
Bottom of the list-
Ugly Stik
Off the list-
Diawa Beefstick
 

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Red X Angler
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the Okuma is a solid reel for the money I have a larger Avenger and a big Coronado. Don't waste your money on a Beefstick, just pure junk. I have used an Ugly stick and its durable but "whippy" but not bad for the money. save a few more bucks and go with a 11ft Tsunami Trophy. http://www.amazon.com/Tsunami-Trophy-Surf-Spinning-Heavy/dp/B007TAUZOU They have good reviews on many sites.
 

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Red X Angler
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check craigslist too I see a bit in your area. Search "surf" under "for sale" .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hadn't thought about Craigslist. I figured I'd buy new and get a warranty. Do the cheaper prices for used stuff make that much of a difference?

Also, I was thinking of a rod in the 8'-10' range. Would the 11' Trophy really pair well with my Okuma reel? I got the mid-range (size) reel because I didn't plan on throwing things half a mile...
 

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I use 5000-6000 series reels on 10-11 ft, or if Penn 550-650. Fits them nicely although I also use the 550 on a 9ft and it does okay if a little out of balance. 750s go on my 12fters. Often 5s and 6s are built on the same frame with different arbor and rotor sizes.

Haven't seen a Okuma 50 in person so you be the judge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ive always used those "heavy" catfish combos, which I'm sure you guys consider heavy (weight wise), so I'm used to it. Also, Ive always only held my rods, never used a rod holder. Just the way I learned.


I would love to have a nice, light-weight setup, but we'll see... Anybody have input on the "Tiger Lite" ugly stiks, or the Sealine model from Diawa? They are more than their entry level counterparts and have better reviews...
 

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Red X Angler
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a 50 or 5000 series reel typically is matched with a 9' rod. I would go up in length for distance. Not a bad idea to carry your reel so you can feel the balance on the rods you're shopping for.
As far as used vs warranty, I don't see much benefit in most rod warranties in the low buck range. Most are more of a hassle than they are worth. Shops don't warranty rods hardly anymore you have to send them to the manufacturer or the shop will and it takes forever if at all to get a replacement or your money. There are some exceptions but it isn't the norm anymore.. If I were buying high end (like $200 or more) stuff then the warranty would concern me.
Cabelas house brand Salt Striker stuff is good for the money too. IM8 graphite surf rods.
 

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Red X Angler
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Just go on and buy the good stuff. You'll never regret it.
I agree with DR but if I had always waited until I could buy "the good stuff" I probably never would have continued fishing. Sometimes "good enough for my budget for now" is better than nothing.. That's why I shop used quite often. I would rather have decent quality from 10 years ago than todays low buck junk at the same price.
 
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I wouldn't go so far as to say quality. It's a decent entry level setup for bait and weight. Fairly priced. A good setup for someone that fishes ocassionally.
I don't even know if you could get into what I'd call a quality heaver anymore for for less than 600. The rod alone is gonna well up there and the reels to get the job done aint cheap.

If you want a kick butt deal on a heaver, walk the beaches on the Outerbanks. There is plenty of people with plenty of money and lack of desire and patience out there. They'll spend gobs of money on a hopped reel they can't cast. They play at it a coupla trips maybe and give up in disgust. Anytime I fish the banks I've got 2 or 3 one hundred dollar bills in my pocket. I've bought em right out of the sand spike birds nest and all.
 

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Theres a good deal on a quality heaver combo now in the classifieds. Id buy it if i needed it.
Thanks for the plug :). I will say that if you're remotely interested in chasing some of the bigger critters that swim out there it's a great combo. The rod takes some muscle to load, but like most other entry level gear it's severely overbuilt. I know where you're coming from on the money front, though. The only reason I have it up for sale is I want some new toys but I'm too broke to get them.
 
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