Re: conventional reel
My longest casting plugging set up is an 11' 9" Allstar Breakaway LDFC 119-2 (unfortunately long out of production) with an Abu mag Elite modified with the BB levelwind and BB winding cog. It throws far but I'm not getting 500' on a metal lip plug or rubber shad - in fact I don't know a single person who can do that. Shads and metal lips are not very aerodynamic plugs. Be happy with 50 yards, besides, on 90% of the beaches in the NE that's more then enough distance.
If you want to throw far stick to weight n bait, metal, Roberts Ranger style plugs, Poppers and pencils. All of those can be thrown more than 600' with the right equipment and practice.
For raw distance out of the box the Abu Blue Yonder and the Penn 525 Mag are by far the most popular reels but these do not come with a levelwind, something I believe is a necessity for plugging. For real distance you'll need a souped up hot rod Abu, specialty sideplates, bearings, magnets, spools...........$$$$$$$ - but these reels are designed purely for competitive distance over grass I don't know if they can stand up to the surf and salt.
That long cast reel won't do you a bit of good if the rod isn't up to the job. For even thinking about tossing a plug that far you'll need an English style rod, Zipplex, Century, Wheeler - these are big $ rods. If you want the performance for a better price I'd go with the AnyFish AnyWhere (AFAW) 13' rod.
Plugging with a 13' rod is going to be a killer. You'll be lucky to fish a half a tide before your arms are screaming.
If all you want to do is plug as far as you can without killing yourself the AFAW 11' estuary rod custom built dual purpose with lowrider guides teamed with a magged Abu or Abu Record and a Diawa Emblem Pro spinnng reel would be a truly great setup that, form the surf, could do whatever you want whenever you want
Go check out Tommy Farmers site, Carolinacastingpro . com
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