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First Mate
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566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked a Penn Surmaster 200 at a fleamarket for ten bucks.. It has seen some use but was well taken care of.
It was matched with a 7' rod. Should the rod be upgraded?

Even better. Is this a good reel?

Thanks to all that reply.
 

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Senior Member
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3,471 Posts
It's a great reel, basically a Squidder with bushings instead of bearings. The only other differences are that the Surfmaster doesn't have the switch at the bottom that allows you to backwind it (not that anyone I know ever does in this age of braided line) and also the retrieve ratio, the Surfmaster retrieves at 3:1, and the Squidder at 3.3:1.

My first rig was a circa 1972 10' Grizzly/Fenwick and a 200 Surfmaster. Started casting it over grass at the local high school field when I was 10 (liked the cool sound) and started fishing it when I was 17. I still have it and occasionally use it although the rod has been rebuilt twice and the reel has been tweaked so much you wouldn't recognize it anymore. Lots of cool aftermarket bits and pieces for the Surfmaster, Squidder and Jigmaster series of reels.



The one on top is the 200 with Newell bars, base, spool and bushings. I have another converted to the 100 (Junior) size that is one of the sweetest casting reels I've ever owned.
The bottom one is a tweaked 146 Squidder Jr.
 

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Senior Member
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The picture is deceiving, the spools are the same depth, it's the width that is different. And you can use the same sideplates with any width spool and frame configuration.

There's a lot of information on Penn conventionals right here:
http://stripers247.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5780
 

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First Mate
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566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What would be a good rod to match the reel with? Model? Length?
I'm planning on useing it in York Maine off the Nubble. What size line?

For my spinning reels I use 20#. Would it be good here?

I am starting to get in to Braid (fireline). What # would you suggest?

Thanks for all your replies.
 

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Senior Member
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Until you get very comfortable with the reel and have absolute confidence in your thumb, I'd stay far away from braid - stick with mono, 20# is fine 30 is even better to start out with.
When you do go to braid Stealth is the best I've ever used on conventional gear (hate it on spinning) It's thicker then other equal strength braids and the teflon is not just on the surface but all the way throughout the reel - makes it MUCH easier to pull out a backlash.

Grandpa Old Spook (RIP) from that other site did a series on Magging Penn reels - It's definitely worth doing !!

http://www.100megspop3.com/oldvalkyry/pennmag.html
 

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First Mate
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566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. I wss thinking of using putting 20b berkley big game on it. Or should i go with a heavier fireline? I have 14lb fireline on my cv4000.
 

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Senior Member
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14# Fireline on a Surfmaster = hours of picking at birdsnests. I use a minimum of 50# braid on my 200 but I'll go down to 30# on my 100 (again, Stealth only)
 

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Have it done at the tackle shop - don't forget to put a few yards of mono on first otherwise the braid might slip on the spool.
 
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