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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a new reel. I have managed with my freshwater reels so far because I haven't got to hook into anything for a combination of reasons while fishing cayo guillermo. I am hoping to put a few things right and get a better weeks fishing. I need a reel that is capable of holding a good amount of line and can be versatile.

I was thinking a bit pit carp reel would also serve me here back in the uk or france for carp and would hold the line I may need like 50lb braid and 40lb mono for example.

Or something like this http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/leeda-icon-6500-surf-reel-p310411 that is around the budget I have for this as I don't fish much and am also looking second hand.

So that reel sounds like it would work. But I also want advice on how best to load it...I am going hard to see this time as I think in clear water the braids are too dark, so I am going heavy mono of fluoro leader. How should I load my spool and what knots to use please. I.e. joining braid mainline to a fluoro leader and I will have no backing to the spool fill fully with line.
Thanks
 

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I am looking for a new reel. I have managed with my freshwater reels so far because I haven't got to hook into anything for a combination of reasons while fishing cayo guillermo. I am hoping to put a few things right and get a better weeks fishing. I need a reel that is capable of holding a good amount of line and can be versatile.

I was thinking a bit pit carp reel would also serve me here back in the uk or france for carp and would hold the line I may need like 50lb braid and 40lb mono for example.

Or something like this http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/leeda-icon-6500-surf-reel-p310411 that is around the budget I have for this as I don't fish much and am also looking second hand.

So that reel sounds like it would work. But I also want advice on how best to load it...I am going hard to see this time as I think in clear water the braids are too dark, so I am going heavy mono of fluoro leader. How should I load my spool and what knots to use please. I.e. joining braid mainline to a fluoro leader and I will have no backing to the spool fill fully with line.
Thanks
I,d go for a shimano reel and fish a 50lb/ 60lb braid straight through if your just doing a over head thump. You can get braid in a lot of different colours , just use a small amount of backing line on the spool so the braid as something to bite into to
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am not sure what an "just doing a over head thump" is but it could be me. I am appreciative of the advice. I don't get to fish too much of this kind so I don't want to invest 100 pounds in a reel. I am happy to find something second hand. I am also now thinking what kind of size reel. I am seeing for example the Daiwa BG or penn Battle II 4000. If I am looking for fish that could be up to 40lb with luck but more likely less then what size do I need. In cuba you can get a catamaran to the reef where things start to work out better than from the shore and there you do need a strong setup. I can't stretch to a shimano reel and do feel that I can still find quality outside of that brand for £70.00 but thanks for your advice. When you look up in clear water at a bright sky I think I need something transparent like mono or fluoro, at least as a leader. I might look at tapered leaders unless I am missing something.
 

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I think it's a bit simplistic to lump all the fishing styles in Guillermo onto the shoulders on one reel. The point about fishing the island is that there are so many options that you need to have a few bases covered - spinning, popping, baitfishing, trolling - if you want to catch decent fish. Add to that the variety of venues (the pier, the bridge, the flats, the mangroves, the rocks) and the different challenge each one presents and you'll see why so many anglers bring so many outfits.
So, for heavy baitfishing (sometimes you'll be using livebaits from half to 1lb), I use a Shimano Big Baitrunner. Fish livebaits without an adjustable clutch and you risk losing your rod and reel over the side. I use 40lb mono straight through, as the snapper, jacks, amberjacks and tarpon will try to foul you up in structure, and braid and structure do not get on. If you're fishing the bridge, you'll also need to be able to handline fish upstairs - not a great idea with braid. I use a second spool with 25lb mono for poppering - because one day you might need more than 200m of line when something uncontrollable makes a run out to sea.
At very least I'd also recommend a lighter spin outfit, a) because it's fun, and b) because your best results will be on bait, dead or alive. Your Penn Battle 4000 is about right for this outfit, and you can use braid with this - about 30lb - as the beaches, flats and mangroves are a bit less brutal. If you're spinning in daytime a fluoro leader is a good idea, as are plastics or cheap lures rather than bespoke £25 a pop bass lures, as barracuda will be a customer and they have teeth.
For the Hobiecats, and trolling, a multiplier with a good drag is preferred, but at a pinch you could use something like a Big Baitrunner. It'll be awkward to handle though. In 2009, I used a 12-20lb boat rod for just about all my heavy shore fishing, including poppering (which got me a 38lb cubera), and that sort of rod would also be up to some of the Hobiecat trolling, but don't come crying back if a big snapper or grouper smashes it to dust in the reef.
You're right - a lot of the bread and butter fish will be small, let's say under 10lb. But the attraction of Guillermo is the chance of catching large, memorable fish, like your 40lbers or more, and if you set yourself up wrong, you're doomed to lose these once in a lifetime captures before you start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good advice thanks again mark!
I am looking at taking my Shimano EXAGE BX STC and find the best sized reel (now looking at daiwa BG's 6500 perhaps). It is no boat rod and may be at the light end of the hobbie cat work but I will risk it. I will have a couple of spools with said reel. I do need also a big pit reel so maybe I can get that and do the live baiting too. I have one spool I will mainline with 30lb mono leaving me with leaders TBD.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ah no spare spool with the BG 6500 and it looks like the same too with the shimano sorocco. Similar price, actually the BG is 125 currently in the uk and the sorocco is around 92. I did find the daiwa available using duck go go search engine (not at all in google!) to find askari (a german retailer expanding here) and they have them in stock with the best discount. I'm a bit perturbed though as the customer reviews are awful. However you tend to only review when things go wrong. I think that's the reel I covet though. I really may still go for a cheaper model since I will use this only occasionally though it is very well reviewed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm settled with the BG but not sure what size to go for. I will be looking to put 40lb mainline on and have a lighter spool for smaller fish.
Will the 6500 be too much for this kind of fishing. I might also take it carp fishing too. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What kind of ground will you be fishing and where? Is the reel for fishing of a beach , pier , estuary, boat?
It's a pier or might be from a boat (catamaran) There is also a bridge. I don't know where the rocks are and there is a mangrove as well.

I do have a few lighter spinning reels that will do lighter work, hence why I don't want to double up thinking the BG 4000 will be similar to a heavy pike spinning reel in some ways.

The Shimano rod is top heavy due to the lack of a long butt, so I am thinking the 6500 might work too. Just is it too much capacity...and I will need to buy a new spool. To be honest I might be able to get away with not buying another reel again this year as it's too infrequent that I go. Or get something that I can use for carp fishing a larger sized lake. In that regard the ocean baitrunner seems quite an interesting reel. Thanks
 

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The rocks are at Punta el Morro, at the far end of Playa Pilar. Currents cross off the point, trapping baitfish and attracting some very large predators. I've had 100lb-plus tarpon hit poppers here, and 20lb-plus jacks, kingfish and barracuda are possible, especially when sardines shoal up under the cliff. It's a big-fish mark.
The Shimano Oceanics are a pretty tough option (like the D Baitrunners), but because I fish heavy mono, I use a Big Baitrunner, which has better line lay and holds more. When you have fish like cubera, amberjack and tarpon that can easily run 200m or more, I don't think you can have too much capacity.
To give you an idea of how hard some of these fish fight, I'll tell you a story: a few years back I showed a couple of experienced UK carp anglers what to do from the pier, and one finally got a decent fish on his 3lb t/c rod. It ran him all over the place before it tired, and he and his mate were guessing the weight of the thing while they fought it. They agreed, from the way it bullied their heavy carp rod, that it was 'at least a 20lber'.
We finally got the fish on the deck; a nice chunky mutton snapper. It weighed in at a shade under 9lb. They were gobsmacked that a fish that size could fight that hard. The moral of the story is don't underestimate these fish, and don't confuse UK species with tropical ones. I cannot think of anything here that fights like amberjack, permit and jacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As always a real authority on the subject - awesome advice THANKS. I'm thinking to go for the daiwa 5000 or 6500 now, just going to find the one that weighs best for the rod. I'm guessing the 6500 won't be too big for those bigger fish, I could manage the lighter stuff (25lb mono) with my other reels. I feel the 4000 4500 and 5000 is a step up but I might see at times I still need more and so the 6500 is not too big for cayo guillermo. I hear what you say about a big baitrunner. Which do you mean a regular baitrunner 10000 st as in that size big...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"you'll also need to be able to handline fish upstairs" - this was in fishing off a bridge, is this the only way with a big fish? That would get interesting.
 

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There have been several ways to land big fish from the bridge. By big, 25lb-plus, I mean.
- If you're on the Guillermo side you might be able to land large fish in the small bay between the speedboats and the bridge. You need really strong gear for this - the fish will want to run into the mangroves with the strong current.
- If you miss that, you'll have to try to make it onto the speedboat jetty (tell the nightwatchman you'll give him something after you've landed the fish), and try to land the fish there - not easy once again because of the current.
- If you're stuck on the bridge crown ... well this is what the locals do for big beasts: handline the fish to the surface beside the bridge; then one of the party will need to clamp a knife between his teeth and jump into the water, swim back to the fish, kill it by inserting the knife into its brain/spinal column and twisting, then attach a lanyard through its gills and swim to the small beach between the bridge and the speedboat marina. This is usually applied to large, valuable edible species such as cubera, mutton snapper and permit.
- 'Smaller' fish under 10lb are usually handlined to the surface then hauled up till they can be flipped into the air over the parapet (you often know when a fish has been landed this way by the 'whomp' that carries down the wind along the bridge when the fish hits the tarmac).
Basically, if you use heavy gear, fish to about 10lb are okay from the bridge. Make sure you use a good length of shock leader of say 50lb for handlining. Anything else ... you're going to need help, a flying gaff, a swimming Cuban or lots of luck. I have never caught anything bigger than 10lb from the bridge. I've lost many, many monsters there though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have read through your advice a few times now more so that I can imagine solutions if I get a big one...there will most likely be others around as you know there are many fishermen around here. I needed a reel and found this one..
I will get closer to getting things right each tour thanks for all your help..
 
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