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    South Canty Angler

    Side caster/Egg beaters/or Free spool best for surfcasting off the beach? ive allways had egg beaters but looking at free spool one snow



    I suppose it just comes down to what you are comfortable with using, i guess fixed spools are more popular due to the ease of use, whereas the freespool has a bit of a learning curve so you have to master your casting etc so you don’t end up getting big backlashes and birdsnests on your spool.


    They all work fine and have their proponents.

    Free spools typically have more capacity and are lighter then egg beaters.

    Egg beaters/fixed spools typically have stronger drags, easier to cast and more forgiven when used on poorly designed rods.

    Side caster/alvey have massive capacity, are quite inexpensive, are very basic in their design so easy to maintain. They typically have a 1:1 gear ratio. Never seen a Rod designed for casting with a alvey reel so modifying a existing one would probably be required.

    For the type of fishing that is done on our east coast beaches it mainly personal preference.


    Ah yes the good old battle tanks of reels known mainly as alveys, best suited for low mount rods due to the size of them.


    I reckon spinning reels are the most convenient for surfcasting. Depending on what sort of fishing you do you can use a smaller freespool like an abu 7000 or other salmon type reel but they’re way to small for me. Reels like the Daiwa slosh are alright but don’t have a level wind so takes a bit of getting used to for surf fishing. As for alvey I’ve never used one so can’t comment but from what I’ve heard they’re very reliable reels that should last for a long time, and also have a good line capacity. Freespools and Alveys are best fished low mount.


    Fixed spools are the easiest to use and given a little tlc will last for a long time.However they do tend to be a bit on the heavy side

    Alveys .Ultra dependable and super simple inner workings . As Zac has said they are best with the reel mounted low down on the rods butt.Can be a bit clunky to use.

    Freespools. When you hit a good cast with a freespool :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: just so so sweet .Take a while to get used to but NO line twist and will last for ages ( eg have seen a 20 yr old abu still being used ) I have all of the reel types and use freespools 99% of the time.Can be used with the reel wherever you like on the rod.

    The other thing to consider is the rod you have or are planning to use.Theres plenty of rods for fixed spools but not a lot for the others.


    I disagree ……You can pretty much use any reel on any rod ….with a few exceptions like roller tipped boat rods

    That said , not all suit all reels ….some work much more betterer than others ….this goes just as much for rods used with eggbeaters …….

    Most people assume you buy a 12 foot surf caster and slap on an eggbeater and away you go …..thats fine , except your doing yourself out of distance , which contrary to popular belief , CAN make a huge difference when fishing

    The spacing of the line guides “eyes” on the rod have a major bearing on the distance you casr …Ive found most surfcasters have the bottom guide up to 300mm too close to the reel …..the first thing I would do if I was to buy say a 13 foot rod , would be to respace the bottom 2-3 guides with the bottom guide no closer than 1200mm
    Moving the bottom few guides up will increase casting distance by 50%
    The other fault with these rods , is again the guides ….casting or shock leaders are common , and the guides themselves are poorly designed to acommodate thier use …..
    The way the guides are mounted on the rod i.e the little feet , can cause breakoffs when casting …..with the loops of line and leader knot going past the bottom guide , sometimes both bottom guides , before flicking back and finally passing through all the guides in a uniform fashion , its something to do with the different line thicknesses …..and initial inertia I would imagine … know what I mean , that thawk click vissst ffffffffff noise at the start ….
    Often the knot gets caught under the feet of the guide , and SNAP ……….

    Take some insulation tape ….bind the entire guide , so you cant see any of it …..then carefully cut out the hole … the 2nd guide as well …….

    Chuck bungee cord on the rod butt , use it to hold the bail arm from flicking back over during the cast …..

    Now you can load into the cast with total confidence …..

    Fishy Bishy

    Jeepers FishforPot, sounds like you may need a new rod AND reel especially if you need to wrap your guides with insulation tape and cut a hole out???? And a bungee to make your reel work the way it should….WTF???

    You mention a person may disadvantage themselves in terms of distance if not using a free spool. There are in fact extremely good fixed spool reels you could do well to research.
    First and foremost would be my choice, a Daiwa Emblem Pro and after that if you find it too expensive, the lesser priced similar design Daiwa Emcast.

    Check out this spec:
    “Emblem’s huge diameter spool was designed for maximum casting distance and superior drag performance.
    Complete with spare aluminum spool and Daiwa’s CRBB ball bearing, it offers a tremendous value.

    Emblem® Pro Features:
    Seven ball and roller bearings, including Daiwa’s CRBB super corrosion resistant ball bearing
    Infinite Anti-Reverse
    One-Touch folding handle
    Free spare aluminum spool
    Ultra-tough Dura-Aluminum drive gear
    Stainless steel main shaft
    Selective self-centering
    Precision, worm-shaft levelwind cross-wraps line evenly on spool
    Twist Buster® line twist reduction “

    Check out the reverse taper design of the spool (where the line is stored) how it is wider at the front than at the base of the spool. This allows the line to “shoot” off the spool presenting more line with less friction.
    I personally added 50m onto my first attempt on my old rod, then upgraded the rod to a Kilwell Power Play which is yet another story.
    [b:ya4h96wx]In short, you get what you pay for [/b:ya4h96wx]and there is no sign of drilled out insulation tape guides on my rods and no need for bungees to hold the bailarm back when casting, the Emblem does all that itself.
    For the record, the first guide nearest the reel is a “choking” guide, designed to reduce the coils of line flowing off the front of your reel. It is always a good idea to compare the reel diameter at the front of the spool against the position of and size of the choking guide. This guide flattens the line to shoot through the other guides which are stategically placed to carry the line continually through the arc of the rod which can vary from one rod to the next and so on.
    Listen to specialist casters like “yeahnah” and you will be enlightened and your cast improved just for trying a tip or two.
    This guy CAN cast regular distances well over 200metres and doesn’t use insulation tape either. :wink:


    While my budget can’t stretch as far as spending up large on the likes of the reel you pictured there fishy, i did invest in a new reel based on the same principles with the long cast spool and what a difference it made to my casting. With my old reel which was a trusty old sislstar ef80b which served it’s purpose for many many years i would quite often have the shock knot hitting my guides as it passed through, now with the newer reel the line just peels off so cleanly and effortlessly that it’s no longer an issue. When i want true distance short of using a pendulum cast which i will perhaps practice one day but see no need yet i load up the rod using this OTG method shown by tommy and i’ve never had any issues with bailarm flipovers, shock knot hitting guides, line wrap around eyes or the like.
    Really though i think if you have to resort to diy measures to put failsafe measures in i think you might have to look at the gear in question or perhaps look at your casting style as i know it took me a lot of practice with the otg to get my line going straight out in front of me and instead of doing something crazy like jamming up on me on the cast or the line going off to the side something wicked.
    Each to there own though i guess and we all do what we are comfortable with and heck diy implementations are all part of the kiwi nature.


    I own a Daiwa Emblem Pro, it is a very nice reel with the ability to ‘lock’ the bail arm out of the way. Would not be buying another. Like all of the Daiwa surf reels I have owned the line eventually cuts itself a grove into the bail arm :evil: , Even my cheap Silstars and Shakespeare do not suffer from that. If Daiwa fixes that problem and improve their warranty I might get another.

    I really like the look of this reel

    It is a Tica Scepter GX10000, similar in design to the Daiwa Emblem pro but it is much better value for money IMO. It retails for around $200 less, has 9 years more warranty and you get two spare spools rather then 1 with the emblem. Not to mention the more ergonomic handle design, lighter weight and higher capacity. I have only heard good things with regards to the reliability of Tica’s surf reels so I feel Daiwa has a real fight on its hand.

    I believe Zac and maybe a coupe of other forum users have Tica’s so might be able to comment on their experiences.

    Fishy Bishy

    If you do want to get yourself equipped with these top quality reels from Daiwa direct from USA, the Emcast is only $US79 and the Emblem Pro is just $US134. With shipping, these work out at about $NZ135 for Emcast Plus and $NZ210 for the Emblem Pro.
    Here’s the link:

    By purchasing direct you save the built in cost of advertising and the warranty that is hardly needed in recent years. When did you last need to do a warranty claim for a decent product in recent years??
    Parts are available for both these model reels in NZ and plenty of people here that can fix them too.

    I would have a Daiwa as a first option anyday.
    They are the Toyotas of the Asian made reels and other brands have followed in Daiwa’s footsteps since the late 60’s.


    I am always to slack to send my reels away for warranty repairs. But my Emcast was in need of repair within a month or two of owning it. Then again after about a year when the plastics started to fail due to UV damage (Mainly cosmetic so did not bother me).

    My Emblem Pro suffered the same flaw within three or four months. I do not think it has in plastic so thats a positive. Both reels are still functioning fine but I expect more from a company like Daiwa.

    Fishy Bishy

    Its the NZ agents fault not stepping up to the mark that justifies spending less offshore to get what you want to fish with sometimes….. :roll:
    Unfortunately certain reel brand NZ agents are a bit slack in the service area when the pressure comes on and often they don’t even have stock of the better models like those mentioned in this thread.
    When you want it, you [b:1isyhk2a]CAN[/b:1isyhk2a] still get it.


    The most common cause’s of fixed spool reels snapping off during a big cast aside from a bail arm snap over is a combination of a slightly overspooled reel with the shock leader dragging a few loops of extra line off the face of the spool and then getting jammed up in the first guide esp if the lines not been wound on under tension .
    Combine that with the initial line lay of the shockleader which for true powercasting should have the knot at the base of the spool so the leader is not getting dragged over that knot at the start. Get both of those wrong and snap off city . Assuming that you are using a good quality line not some springy rope..
    My source for that info is from Jock Beloski ex NZ casting champ with fixed spools.

    I have only ever played with fixed spools on the casting court and topped out with a 180 odd mtr cast before my fingers were to sore to continue even with them taped up :lol:

    The issue of moving the base guides is a complex one as it has a lot to do with the reel being used .
    Some have a much bigger face to the spool.
    Not all reels have the same angle from the reel foot to the spool nor the same distance as well.
    Theres a lot of info about it on various rod building forums and theres an lot of discussion about on some of those forums about just how much the blanks flex has to do with it as well.
    Its a interesting thing to think about as I have an older kilwell rod that needs to be rebuilt but its a bit of a noodle so the guide spacings are going to be bit of a cast it and see how it works job I think.Its going to be for the wife to use as a light surf rod .


    I agree with yeahnah. A good cast with an overhead reel is somewhat like a sweet golf shot. It wont take long until your casting as far as your fixed spool reel and later you’ll get strangers saying “niiiice cast man”. Means a new rod though.
    Spend way more than you planned.

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