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Largest reel needed?

815 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  johnny d
Just a question for those fishing in the bay and other inshore saltwater areas in NJ.
What is the largest reel you use or would need?
For black drum? For maybe Shark?
I ask this because I have a buddy that insists on keeping 4/0 through 9/0 reels on his small boat at all times, "Just in case". From what I've seen I've never really saw the need for anything much larger than a larger baitcaster.
What justifies the larger tackle? I know there are some big black drum caught in the Delaware Bay but none much over 100lbs, and I've not seen any big sharks on the NJ side. Is a 4/0 way out of line? How about larger reels? I've seen a lot of guys using 4/0 reels for deep drop fishing but not in the bay.
At what point is it just overkill?
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I fished for years in the bay with a Penn 112 3/0 reel but the problem with that reel was that you cranked your arm off if the fish turned towards the boat. They're also heavy to hold all day long. I went to a tuna jigging stick and a Daiwa Saltist reel now, it's lighter, faster and the rod can do all the lifting and pulling.

I do have a few Penn 340 and 345 GTi reels just in case I go outside but that's rare these days with the cost of fuel. I think you could get into some decent sized sharks over on the DE side but their rare over here from what I've seen. I did nearly get spooled once out near the rips using a huge spinning reel set up with 80lb braid, what ever took the bait pulled like a truck and I had nothing to stop him. Luckily the hook gave or else I'd have lost about 250 yards of new Power Pro. I never did figure out what it was but I assumed it had to be a big shark the way it hit and ran. I had the drag maxed out and all it did was make the reel smoke as it ripped out my line down to the last few wraps on the spool with me propped against the stern of my boat. I had live lined a whole bunker with a 12/0 SS hook and put it in a side rod holder just to see what may happen, I should have had a bigger reel but if it were a big shark, I have no idea what I'd have done with it if I did get it back to the boat. I would have liked to have at least seen what it was though.
Of course it wasn't so much as it being a case of too light a reel, it was a matter of just not enough line on the spool to play out the fish. A larger reel would have maybe held enough line to let it run and get tired before I had to really think about putting on the brakes. I was more concerned that day of not losing $40 worth of new line rather than fighting in a fish that most likely wasn't to be on the menu.
When I saw the spool getting down to the last 1/3 or so of line, I started tightening the drag in hopes of breaking the leader off and saving the line.
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