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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new to this forum. Last time I fished it was for trout in Turtle Creek NB when I was in grade school in the 60’s. I’ve been retired for many years and recently discovered that both my brother-in-law in NB and son-in-law in the Valley fish in tidal waters of both beaches and rivers. This peaked my interest in Surfcasting and have been madly reading and watching YouTube videos to get the inside track on what one needs to Surf Fish since I know almost nothing about fishing in general. Even staying within just Surfcasting I found there is a wide range of what people use and recommend for gear. I went with gear I thought would handle most situations and with the lowest cost brand name models. This is what I ended up with for my wife and I:

One 8’ surf rod, 2 piece, line rating 12-20lb, lure rating 3/4-3oz, medium power mated with a 4000 size reel, 260/30 braid, 285/10 mono, 6.0:1 gear ratio, 25lb drag.

One 10’ surf rod, 2 piece, line rating 15-30lb, lure rating 1-5oz, medium heavy power mated with a 5500 size reel, 255/50 braid, 315/14 mono, 5.6:1 gear ratio, 35lb drag.

Again, middle of the road line weight I choose to use is 20lb test line. I found one video that emphasized using a shock leader for safety indicating using at least 10 pounds of line weight for every ounce of casting weight (e.g. 5ozweight = 50lb shock leader). Surf fishers recommended having enough main line on the spool to be able to cast 100-150 yds with extra for the fish to run so 150 sounded good to me. That means to save money the rest of the spool can be backed with low cost mono. Since I have no easy way to ascertain how much 150 yds will be, looking at the reel’s line ratings I thought splitting the spool up roughly half and half should work. I have yet to add line to the reels, but this next paragraph covers what I see happening. (I’ve been practicing 5 main knots.)

Reel Setup:
First half of spool is wound with 10lb mono for backing. The mono backing is attached to the spool using an Arbor Knot. Attached to the mono backing using a Double Uni Knot is 20lb braid wound to fill the last half of spool to within 1/8” of its edge. With another Double Uni Knot two rod lengths of 50lb mono shock leader is attached to the braid and a swivel or swivel snap is tied to the end with the Improved Clinch Knot. Finally a short 50lb Fluorocarbon rig leader is attached to the swivel or swivel snap of the shock leader using the Improved Clinch or a Nonslip Mono Loop Knot.

Have I got it right? Anyone see anything I have messed up, missed or should be aware of?
 

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I haven't tried surf Casting yet, but I've got budding interest and I've stopped a few times to see what local guys are using for Stripers in Pictou County and a couple of guys I've seen near Truro. When I asked what they use the answer is inevitably some vague variation of:
"A medium or stiffer rod, a reel with 50lbs braid" and what seems to be a mono leader of 60lbs or more, most rigged as a high-low or fish finder setup baited with mackerel chunk, or a bucktail tipped with white plastic. All the guys I met were catching steady and non seemed to think equipment warranted too much thought, so I've copped the same approach for now, except like you I also added a shock leader to my setup for heavier rigs when I finally get to trying it out since I read it was the safe bet.

Maybe you or someone will come along and tell me I missed something and did it wrong, but I just backed with a couple of dozen cranks with 40lb mono as a backing and to take up some room and then spooled 250y or so of 30lb braid on to my reel, which is about half of the spools of line I buy

On the braid front I ordered some cheap "Piscifun Lunker" braid on Amazon... 547y or so for about $35. I did a crude break test lifting a weight, and it managed 40lb with no break and I didn't feel need to test further ... that was dry line, so I have no idea how it will be until it's wet and I've fished it, but there doesn't seem to be any glaring difference between this stuff and other name brand braids I've used in the past so I've got no concerns yet
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm also on a forum called StripersOnLine.com and have learned quite a bit from their feedback. Based on their feedback and watching surfcasting YouTube videos I'm now going with a 40lb main line of all braid rather than 20lb. The 40lb braid is still a small diameter line and since the maximum amount of weight I see using is no more than 5oz, eliminates the need for a shock leader. I'm also going to try applying electrical tape on the bare spool and a double wound uni knot of braid on the tape so as to not need any mono backing. The whole reel will be braid except for a short lure or bait leader.

I created a few threads on StripersOnLine.com to get some of my questions answered. You don't have to join this forum in order to read my threads and the responses I've received which lead me to the above choices.
As of today the threads I created are still on the first page of the Main Forum using the name MontyZ and the topics are:
  • Surfcasting from Scratch,
  • Surfcaster's Shock Leader,
  • Braid-to-Spool Knots.
As you know there is a wide range of choices in gear and setup, for example, if your fishing for Striped Bass from a river bank versus casting through rough breakers on an ocean beach. I tried to pick stuff that would work where ever.

I too ordered cheap line from Amazon and should have the 40lb braid this week so I can load the spools for the first time. I have no doubt as time goes by and I learn more there will be more adjustments.
 

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Sounds like you've got your bases covered with your choices. There going to be a learning curve for sure, but it's a big part of what makes this stuff so engaging

I'll check out the stripers forum, thanks for the tip!

Good luck with it all, hope to see you post some successes in the future here. I'm newer to the forum here and it seems like the active community is fairly small, but I like to check on it periodically and would look forward to seeing how you make out with the new hobby
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I noticed somewhere in my NS online travels that someone mentioned that much of the NS fishing activity is now on Facebook. I'm not a big fan of Facebook, but I guess you have to go where the activity is. And good luck to you too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to waffle on my above declaration a bit. The guys on my other forum have convinced me as a noobie with no experience that a little 10lb mono backing is safest.
 
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