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Hey all, it looks like we'll be hitting the beach next month after about a 2 year hiatus.

A dumb question: any of you have experience with kids and spincast (the kind that is covered, with the thumb button, its a Zebco 33) rods in the surf? I am thinking having the boy try for the stuff close in the suds (mullet, pompano etc) - no need for the giant surf poles, not that he'd be able to do it anyway. The reason I'm asking is that he pretty much destroyed his little snoopy pole a few years ago by dropping it in the sand and salt water. He's much better now casting with a real rod but I'm still wondering if the spincast setup is still going to get destroyed even with care. I've never seen anyone out there with a spincast reel before.

Jay
 

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I have a couple of 33's Ive used at the beach, and on the piers. I rinse them before I leave the pier/beach and when I get home I will pop them open a spray a bit of PB Blaster in them, maybe add some grease if it needs it. They have about 6 yrs of occasional use and still work fine but are discolored from the salt. If I ever replace them I will buy these.. http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/s...LA_011673217&gclid=CPnW-oyfub8CFUEF7AodY0wAUQ I like that these listings are "saltwater models" notice the CCA combo on the sidebar also for $39...
I keep them for "plinking" and taking the nephews out. I have used them for everything from plugging for Spanish to 2 hook bottom rigs.
 
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I think either reel will be fine Personally I like open face if he can use it. Just practice with a 1 oz. sinker on land . count the step 1= put finger on bail 2=.point your finger where you want it to go.3= do the clock for the cast..... make up what he or she will understand. But let him count out loud each step.. He will be excited. he WILL HAVE FUN.. make it that way I tought a 4yr old. Use FRESH SHRIMP SMALL HOOKS ITS THE BIT THAT EXCITES good luck.
 

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In that wide open beach environment, your youngster might be able to learn to use a longer rod - say 7' - and get a little longer cast. Seven foot is the longest I've taught any kids with. Not one with a thick surf handle though - something with a thinner handle/grip designed for inshore (Reds) or freshwater (LM Bass) in Medium Heavy or Heavy action will work. Expense might become an issue here though. Stiffer Red and Bass rods are a little more costly. Going down to 6 1/2' brings $20 rods (no reels) into play. Shakespeare Excursion 6'6" MH at Walmart is $18-19. I have several of these and like them very much. They are in my first two choices for freshwater fishing rod. Light, sensitive, durable, virtually kid-proof. I'd have great confidence using them as you describe.

That length rod, with something like the Zebco 33 reel Sundrop mentioned, or Shakespeare Ti10, or the next size up 733 or Shakespeare Ti20, with strong & thin diameter line (slight capacity increase on 33, big increase on 733 - such as 10 or 12 lb Trilene XL/Magnathin/etc.) as main line with a 15, 20, or 30 lb leader could get the little guys casts a noticeable amount further out. I 'spect that'd inspire some excitement.

The relatively new (3-4 years on market I guess), and fairly inexpensive Shakespeare Ti line of reels has the push-button more on the back than the top, possibly making use by small hands easier. The 10, & 20 may fiit your need. The button being on the back may actually make the 20 size usable by little folk. Bigger is better for your plans, and little Johnnie/Suzie is gonna grow.

Edit: the newer 33 has the button more on top than back. The previous model 33 (some still in stores) has the button more on the back. The 733 has button on back.

That 808/888 size reel Sundrop linked to has the push-button on the back, and is about the biggest that style reels gets. Can be bulky and heavy but is otherwise great for the use intended. Walmart has 808's, and maybe 888s (higher quality 808) on the combo rack already matched with a rod. Might be something there for you. I don't think they're saltwater versions though.

Sorry to be long-winded. I babble therefore I am.

Hope something helps.

Good luck. And tell us how it goes.

Plus Fishin'
RW
 

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My wife and her mother used to go fishing with the spin-cast reels all the time, regardless of it being fresh water or salt water...worked fine for them, they used to catch just about everything with them, and to this day the wife STILL prefers spin-casts over any other kind of reel...mainly because of ease of use and the fact that the other reels cause "birds nests" left and right for her, and the spin-cast ones don't. They do make larger spin-casts for surf so yeah, completely legit to use one if that's what you're wanting, and for a kid, best thing for them to start learning on and then later on down the road slowly introduce them into the area of Spinning reels (or better, Fly fishing! LOL...yeah that's just....just me....lol). My son and daughter can both cast using spinning reels now, just took about oh...a month I think of them practicing till they got it down...daughter still messes up sometimes because she gets into "the zone" I guess lol. I think the son went back to a spin-cast though to keep things simple for him since he's an "over-thinker" lol; i'd have to look again, been a few months since I took them out since they had a cold spell of "nah not feeling fishing right now"...good thing they're begging recently, so, happy the cold spells worn off...

But yeah those "Snoopy" poles and the other cartoon ones...they're really meant to just...well they're not meant to last more than a month or two really....more like toys for them to practice casting on land and to feel like they're fishing with mom or pops...and flashy colors...lol

As for ANY rod or reel out there...they'll all get destroyed without care period...don't care if the setup cost you $20 or if it cost you $800...if you're worried about dishing out a lot of money and then it going "poof" no good after a short time...get a cheap Ugly Stik for a rod, get whatever you want for the reel, the zebco one will work just fine, then just make sure after every fishing trip you personally rinse it well with water...and i mean rinse it all! Shake it off a bit, let it dry, you'll be fine for at least a year or two if not more; when the boy's ready to move on up to a spinning reel and a long pole and go after the bigger stuff (honestly should be fine even around what....7, 8 years old for that I would think...I've seen some really young kids use full out big surf setups lol) then worry about spending a bit more. Just do what Fishingbear up there said with practicing with the sinker...that's how I taught my kids how to cast and fish was making them cast without a hook and bait, just a sinker lol. Only reason I said Ugly Stik (NOT the lite's mind you)...they can pretty much take a beating and keep on goin' (it's what I used with mine)...but if you want cheap cheap, meh, whatever rod, doesn't matter...just make sure to do the rinsing or it'll go bad from the salt, period and will end up like the snoopy one.

Good luck, and make sure to have loads of fun with the boy doing it...make it into a game! When I was teaching my kids to cast I would make a bet with them saying "hey, if you guys can cast your line out father than me, I'll take you to McDonalds"...still took them anyways lol but it made it fun for them and they "listened" to the advice I gave and learned to respect their equipment more because it became "their tool" to win the bet lol.
 
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