Surf Fishing Gear Used by the Pros
February 18, 2016
Akios reels and Cast Pro rods are paired for maximum casting distance.
While researching the new book Sportsman’s Best: Surf Fishing, written by Florida Sportsman contributor David Brown, I caught up with surf fishing pro Rich Vidulich about some casting techniques and tackle questions. It’s always good to learn what surf fishing gear the pros like to use.
Vidulich loves Akios reels and Carolina Cast Pro rods. Akios is a relatively new company, created by Simon Bradbury, the man in charge of product development at Abu-Garcia for many years. Akios, based in England, offers many models of casting and spinning reels for every imaginable surfing use. Vidulich’s top pick, the Akios S Line 656 Sportscast Shuttle, is a purpose-built long-distance surf reel with the ability to reach distances of 100-150 meters.
The spool can easily be controlled by magnetic spool settings to match the capacity of the surf wheel. It contains a range of 250 yards to 300 yards of line depending on which book test line you are using. The reel features 3 stainless steel bearings, a floating spool and a stable one-piece cage. Floating spool means the spool has the bearings in the spool versus the spool bearings on the side plate. This feature greatly increases the distance.
For its rod, Vidulich uses Carolina Cast Pro rods designed, developed and marketed by American distance casting champion Tommy Farmer. Farmer has ranked at the top of national surf casting competitions for over a decade. He consistently throws better than 700 feet. Tommy Farmer offers a range of seven models of varying lengths and weights in casting and spinning. Each rod has been designed with a fast taper, structural ferrel strength and they are exceptionally light to cast. The design allows for a parabolic and powerful swing. Parabolic means that the rod has a long throwing muscle from the heel to the tip. For Vidulich, the rod of choice for pompano fishing is the 13-foot, 3- to 6-ounce CPS model.
Vidulich likes these CPS rods paired with lightweight, lightweight reels like the Akios range. The 13-foot, 3-6 ounce CPS rod retails for $309.95. The Akios 656 shuttle costs $259.95. Rich also uses the less expensive Akios S Line 656 reel which sells for $159.95. This reel works like the Shuttle, except it has fewer features. The shuttle comes with an extra paddle style handle, extra spool and 3 ABEC ceramic bearings. The rod and reel combo weighs about 4 pounds.