New IT&T Board Feature - Hands-on Tackle Reviews 2019-21

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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The latest in this "hands-on" eval thread. Here's the new Daiwa Ballistic LT2500D on my 6' Grappler Type J ML. Its all "dooded" up with a carbon-fiber crank arm upgrade, EKFan "Winn-type" ball knob, and a matching protective Gomexus reel stand. The dopey factory felt drag washers have been deep-sixed and replaced with the "manditory" CarbonTex drag washer upgrade.

Oh yeah, plus a pair of spool-supporting ball bearings in place of the factory plastic bushings, ala Daiwa's VERY up-market Exist LT. Now loaded with lime green 20lb "Jordan Lee" Berkley X-9 - per my earlier thread on that subject.

This reel is approx. 5oz lighter than my much-loved Tsunami Evict 2000. It will take over fluking duties, while the Evict, with its far more substantial stainless steel gear set will sail with me for blackfish.

Cost a few bux extra for the fancy stuff, not to mention a bit of time to get the handle/knob combination just right, but really, "at what price happiness?"

NOW we're ready for some serious fluke "cast-jigging!"

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CaptFP

New Angler
Mar 25, 2020
90
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Westchester County NY
Just saw that Daiwa just came out with a new Ballistic and Saltist spinners in the MQ configuration. Shaves off another ounces from the standard. A couple of places have it in pre-order.
I’m off this week so I’ve been doing some fluke fishing. Picked up a Daiwa Proteus PIN70MHXS to cast updrift if I had to go over 5oz jigs. Wanted something longer for the party boats.
When we got to Block Island it was wind against tide so I headed up to the bow with the spinner. Well I never picked up my conventional setup for 2 days. What a pleasure it was to cast 2 and 3 ounce jigs instead of dragging 6-10oz rigs. The two of us ended up with fulls limits of fluke to 7lb and seabass to 3lb.
Might be headed up again tomorrow tonight in my buddies boat and I may pick up a shorter rod and either the Stradic or the Ballistic in 2500 size. My Saltist 3000 was a little heavy but balanced well with the Proteus but my tackle monkey is screaming for another outfit.
Thanks to NYA community for the great recommendations and keep the posts coming
 
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Snapprhead27

Well-Known Angler
May 21, 2020
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Just saw that Daiwa just came out with a new Ballistic and Saltist spinners in the MQ configuration. Shaves off another ounces from the standard. A couple of places have it in pre-order.
I’m off this week so I’ve been doing some fluke fishing. Picked up a Daiwa Proteus PIN70MHXS to cast updrift if I had to go over 5oz jigs. Wanted something longer for the party boats.
When we got to Block Island it was wind against tide so I headed up to the bow with the spinner. Well I never picked up my conventional setup for 2 days. What a pleasure it was to cast 2 and 3 ounce jigs instead of dragging 6-10oz rigs. The two of us ended up with fulls limits of fluke to 7lb and seabass to 3lb.
Might be headed up again tomorrow tonight in my buddies boat and I may pick up a shorter rod and either the Stradic or the Ballistic in 2500 size. My Saltist 3000 was a little heavy but balanced well with the Proteus but my tackle monkey is screaming for another outfit.
Thanks to NYA community for the great recommendations and keep the posts coming
Not to hi-jack your post but more of a piggyback. What style bucktails does everyone use over 2 oz? I feel like the 3oz and up that I have is wayyyy to big. I'll have to take measurements of them when I have a chance.
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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2 - 6oz - for straight up and down jigging, this is how we do it on my boat.


For casting/retrieving with the spinning rig - I use just a single jig (no high hook), with my custom HTLureco ball heads. 2 to 4oz:


In fact just yesterday I gave Clint at HTL an order for yet another 10 pcs each of his custom-hooked 2,3 & 4 oz ball heads. The freakin' bottom I fish eats these for lunch - every single trip. If you ain't losin', time to move the boat.

Various species of GULP! go on the hook, including 6" jerk shads, 5" jigging grubs and 5" swimming mullets, maybe with a THIN trailer of cuttlefish or belly if I'm in the mood. And I stress the "thin" - no more than 1/2" wide, so it moves enticingly with the current and jigging motion.
 
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Snapprhead27

Well-Known Angler
May 21, 2020
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2 - 6oz - for straight up and down jigging, this is how we do it on my boat.


For casting/retrieving with the spinning rig - I use just a single jig (no high hook), with my custom HTLureco ball heads. 2 to 4oz:


In fact just yesterday I gave Clint at HTL an order for yet another 10 pcs each of his custom-hooked 2,3 & 4 oz ball heads. The freakin' bottom I fish eats these for lunch - every single trip. If you ain't losin', time to move the boat.

Various species of GULP! go on the hook, including 6" jerk shads, 5" jigging grubs and 5" swimming mullets, maybe with a THIN trailer of cuttlefish or belly if I'm in the mood. And I stress the "thin" - no more than 1/2" wide, so it moves enticingly with the current and jigging motion.
Thanks! I knew there probably was previous discussion on both styles.
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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So far this season my best two fish have come on the Ballistic/Grappler combination!

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6lbs4oz and 7lbs even. Both took a Gulp! 5” Jigging Grub (6.4: Nuclear Chicken and the 7 came on Salmon). Both colors fished on my custom 2oz. HTLureco ball-heads. Awesome deep head-shaking fights! Well worth all the tough boat prep this Spring!
 
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Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
Staff member
Dec 19, 2018
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So just wanted to give a quick update on the chartreuse 20lb J-Braid X8 I put on my Gen4 Winch.

This line is really, really nice on a revolving spool reel. Lays on the spool beautifully, is smooth, knots draw tight without drama, and handles just great. I think I might like it more than the Berkeley X-9 and 832 loaded on my other fluke reels. its THAT good! Also, unlike many other lines, its seems to hold onto its bright color quite well.



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Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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All my comments apply:

 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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O.K., time to come out of hibernation - IT'S BLACKFISH SEASON!

And today's my 66th Birthday! Jeez, that's alot of tides under the keel, that's for sure! In commeration of this momentous achievement I decided to treat myself to a new tog jigging setup. The Tackle Monkey was hungry once again and must be fed!

If you've read anything on this board at all, you know that I'm in LOVE with my 6' Shimano Grappler Type J spinning rod in the ML power, which absolutely slays the fluke on my offshore jigging grounds. For that work I mount my quite light weight and smooth-cranking Daiwa Ballistic LT2500. However for tog I prefer a bit more substantial reel, and so my Tsunami Evict 2000 gets the call. But I really do want something a tad more powerful rod-wise, should a real bronto bulldog pick up my jig and head for his rocky home. So, finding the same stick in the more powerful "M" strength on-line for $70 off (thanks, George!), well it was a no-brainer. The rod arrived Thursday, and its just about perfecto for my needs. No, it IS perfecto.

I originally intended to use my Evict on this rod, but after receiving it I got to thinking - what if I bring TWO jigging rods aboard, so that I can switch off, one to the other, in the event of a snagged break-off? Less lost re-rigging time means more time soaking my crabby jig, thus more fish hook-ups. Makes sense to me, at least.

But then, what reel to go with this slick new stick? After much thought and watching a bunch of Tackle Advisors vids on YouTube, I narrowed it down to the Penn Battle III DX (because: all brass gears), the new Shimano Spheros SW Inshore, and the really new Daiwa Saltist MQ. I would have gone with another Evict 2000 (still love that little beastie, btw), but I really did want to sample some of the other newer offerings out there.

With the above mentioned candidates in mind I ran over to see my friend John at Trophy Tackle for his valuable, knowledgable input. The man's a fount of info - and will always give the straight "insider" poop on the goings-on in the tackle market.

Well, first off, John no longer carries Daiwa rods or reels - don't know why and didn't ask. As my Sicilian grandma used to say, "Minda you bizness, little boy." To my disappointment, the Battle III DX has been sold out for a while and John was a bit unsure as to their ETA. Supply Chain is a b*tch!, in his business (and mine as well).

What John did show me was that Spheros SW Inshore 3000 - and wow, what a smooth reel! I think of my little Ballistic as a real smooth turner, but this Spheros SW Inshore is next level. And at right around $119, a freakin' steal! What Shimano did with this reel was to take the last Stradic, the "FK" version, gave it some additional water sealing, subbed in a teflon bushing for the line roller instead of the troublesome ball bearing, and then applied a seriously-nice new paint job. The tooling for this reel was already paid for, so why not?

Oh, and they dropped the price by $70 - a not too inconsequential point of consideration. It features Shimano's aluminum/brass Paladin geartrain - a big step up from Daiwa's zinc main-geared BG series, which comes in at right around the same price. I just wanted a slightly more substantial reel, though for fluke jigging this latest little Shimano would be the bomb! And at that asking price, it will be a can't-miss winner. Check one out for yourself and see if I'm not speaking the truth!

John also brought out the standard Battle III (with its aluminum/brass gearset), the Spinfisher VI 2500 and surprisingly, the Quantum Smoke 30 - which was also quite nice, but came equipped with a ridiculously small handle and knob assembly - like FW bass small. Meh. Like I said, the Spheros felt like it would SLAY on the fluke grounds but seemed a little light-duty for the punishment I had in mind for it, while the Battle III and Spinfisher VI were just a bit too heavy weight-wise for my taste. More so even than my Evict, which is no lightweight in its size class. Hey, the Tsunami's stainless steel gears ain't light. Strong as h*ll though - that's really the Evict's forte.

Then John whipped out the Penn Clash II 3000 - and that was that - decision made. A VERY substantial reel, cranked near Shimano-smooth, if you know what I mean - and it just oozes confident strength. To my relief, unlike most currrent Penn spinners, it is NOT that yucchy (to me) black and off-gold that Penn seems to love so much. Rather, the all-aluminum body is finished in a tough-looking dark gunsmoke flat finish of some kind, while the rotor and handle are semi-gloss black.

Penn's attention to detail on this reel is evident. Example: the little round cap that covers the sideplate hole on the side opposite the handle? Just about every small spinner I've ever owned has a "cheapie" one made of flash-chromed or just plain old black plastic. Not this reel. Instead it carries a nicely machined and anodized aluminum cover cap - and that's the kind of small matter that matters to me. The overall effect is of a high quality reel, one that presents like no Penn spinner I've seen. Plus the handle shank has some very interesting cut-outs, and is sold with an extra ball-type EVA knob, in addition to the standard big, wide EVA paddle.

Done! I had John fill it with my new favorite line, 20lb Daiwa J-Braid in fluorescent green, and off I went, with the other half of a very nice self-granted birthday gift. The Tackle Monkey was fed and quite happy.

For now, anyway. So, let's see if I can get this new setup on my boat - or any boat for that matter, without getting blown overboard; what with these crummy weekend wind attacks. Pix for your perusal:

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And the siblings - all rigged and ready to sail:

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