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FrankMon Sep-11-00 08:59 PM
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#834, "Calcutta Reels"


          

I recently bought a Calcutta 250 and have been fishing using it for primarily halibut here in SB and calico bass down in Palos Verdes. I initially noticed that the drag was smooth once it started to pay out but that there was a large amount of pressure was needed to begin that payout of line. I didn't like that at all. I thought it was just not "broken in" or something. Anyways, that problem just got worse over the next 3 weeks and cost me at least one fish and a fastrac (not counting the Moby ##### fish). This past Sunday in PV, I had the joy of noticing a very loud grinding gear sound during every 10th cast or so. I was a bit distressed that my $170.00 piece of crap was crapping out on me, so I went in and returned/exchanged the lemon at the Hook to a disgruntled Mr. Shin (sp?).

Previously, I talked with a guy at Turner's Outdoorsman down in LA and he told me a bunch of stories of Calcuttas going bad, most of them with several of his own, even after repair by Shimano. He told me not to overtighten the sideplate screws or else you'll warp the spool. He also said the those same screws tend to back themselves out on extended fights if you use your Calcutta on things like football sized tuna. Point 3 was that the drags tend to burn out on big runs and that the replacment drag kits aren't cheap (20-30 bucks or something).

So, I "upgraded" to a Penn International 965 with currently EXCELLENT, and I assume cheap HT100 drag washers. I think I have to fish 15 pound on it at least though 'cause of a possible small line eating problem though (I needed to beef up anyway....). I wanted to know if anyone else has had problems with their Calcuttas. Maybe its due to all the plastic parts in the right sideplate. To be fair, the Penn has a bit of plastic too, but it seems to be in really low-stress areas having to due with the levelwind, clicker, and backlash control. I talked to a friend of mine and we seem to agree on the idea that good Shimano equipment is a bit too tempermental and not quite tough enough for non-freshwater-bass-boat environments...even though it is usually very, very nice to begin with. (Talk amongst yo'selves)

Oh, didn't see the tackle board....

  

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Replies to this topic
RE: Calcutta Reels, Frank, Sep 13th 2000, #1
RE: Calcutta Reels, Amish Ed, Sep 13th 2000, #2
RE: Calcutta Reels, brian, Sep 13th 2000, #3
      maybe i just got lucky, but..., Dave, Sep 14th 2000, #4
           Quantum IR410CX, Leapin' Bass, Sep 14th 2000, #5
           RE: Quantum IR410CX, angler dude, Sep 14th 2000, #6
                RE: Quantum IR410CX, tree, Sep 21st 2000, #22
           RE: maybe i just got lucky, but..., Amish Ed, Sep 15th 2000, #10
RE: Calcutta Reels, Matt Peters, Sep 15th 2000, #7
RE: Calcutta Reels, Leapin' Bass, Sep 15th 2000, #8
RE: Calcutta Reels, Rob, Sep 15th 2000, #9
      RE: Calcutta Reels, Mickster, Sep 20th 2000, #21
RE: Calcutta Reels, Amish Ed, Sep 15th 2000, #11
      RE: Calcutta Reels, Matt Peters, Sep 18th 2000, #12
           RE: amb c4 5600, pat papa, Sep 18th 2000, #13
           RE: amb c4 5600, Amish Ed, Sep 18th 2000, #15
           RE: Calcutta Reels, Amish ed, Sep 18th 2000, #14
                RE: Calcutta Reels, Matt Peters, Sep 19th 2000, #16
                     split ring pliers, Rob, Sep 19th 2000, #17
                     RE: split ring pliers, matt peters, Sep 20th 2000, #19
                     RE: Calcutta Reels, Amish Ed, Sep 19th 2000, #18
                          RE: Calcutta Reels, Matt Peters, Sep 20th 2000, #20

FrankWed Sep-13-00 04:09 PM
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#835, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Ya I'm repling to myself.

I fished Goleta Beach for 2 hours late this afternoon and caught my first fish on my shiny new Penn, a legal flattie. Ahh, what sweet music that is! He sucked down a 4" fishtrap in about 8 feet of water. The fight was pretty good and he ran again both times I missed him with the net...I gotta stop doin' that.

It wasn't a typical afternoon, one that made me glad I use a wetsuit. The whitecaps kept breaking over my tube and soaking me. There was a lot of loose kelp in the water but I stayed away from shore, kind of by the stairs and it wasn't too bad. Didn't even loose any swimbaits!

Many people seem surprized my 250 went south. I kind of am myself......

  

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Amish EdWed Sep-13-00 05:31 PM
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#836, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Yeah Frank, had way too many problems with my 400, even after Shimano "fixed" it. After 2 seasons with the p.o.s. I traded it for a Diawa SL20. Everyone thought I was nuts, even the guys I worked with who new how bad the reel was. But, it was the best thing I ever did. A year and a half later I made the mistake of buying a Corsair. I only wanted it to last through 3 months of Calicoes. Well I went through 4 of them in 1 month, never fished them hard and the last one was bad in the box. Finally took it back where I bought it and exchanged it for an Ambassdeur 5 Star. I now own 3 different one and no Shimano's. They may have good customer service, but I'll take a better product.

Amish Ed

  

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brianWed Sep-13-00 06:54 PM
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#837, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

This is really interesting. Besides the crapsairs, I've never had too serious a problem with like any shimano products that I couldn't crack the reel open and fix myself. My smaller calcutta, the 200XT, japanese model has had some problems which I wasn't too happy with however. Every now and then it makes a sound like there's a piece of sand or something stuck between the frame and the spool. I still don't know what it is and can't fix it. I don't really want to send it back to japan to get it fixed, so I'm gonna have to deal with it. After all those wsb this year, the drag is pretty hurt on that reel too. But as for the 400S, I've had no problems with it. At one point it made a squeaking noise and that was due to the roller bearings accumulating rust in them, but a little reel oil loosened that right up. I probably don't fish the calcutta as hard as Ed does, he being a deckhand and all, but I've had the reel for a couple years and never had to replace a single part. Drag's still as smooth as the day it came outta the box. The corsairs on the other hand... Well, they make great paperweights...
-Brian

  

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DaveThu Sep-14-00 04:53 AM
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#838, "maybe i just got lucky, but..."
In response to Reply # 3


          

It's kinda strrange for me to read about all of these problems you guys are having... I bought my first corsair (a 400) about 6 months ago and have had problem free operation ever since. I fish about 3 days a week from my kayak so it isnt that it isn't getting used. Last weekend I sailed to catalina and used it to boat several 10 to 20 # yt and the drag worked great - I am pretty anal about keeping it saltwater and sand free, but so are most people I know. These posts have kinda scared me as I have a buddy that is thinking about getting one too and I was thinking about upgrading to a calcutta. Since I don't want to steer my friend wrong, can any of you guys reccomend a better reel in the same price range as the corsair?


  

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Leapin' BassThu Sep-14-00 07:10 AM
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#839, "Quantum IR410CX"
In response to Reply # 4


          

I've had great luck with my Calcuttas. I have a 250, 150, and 50. I haven't got around to getting a 400 yet because I have a Quantum Big Iron IR410CX.

The Quantum has a very smooth drag and has seen quite a few nice fish (yellowtail, seabass, & salmon up to 30 lbs.). Last weekend up at the Feather River I started off using my Calcutta 250 with 15 lb. After being broke off twice I switched to the Quantum with 20 lb. It took me another 5 fish before I finally landed one - I finally got one that didn't head into the current and structure. The salmon were in the 20 - 30 lb. range. Anyway the Quantum has held up great. One of the reasons I bought it over the Corsair was because of the one piece frame. One thing I like about it over the Calcutta is it's 6.3 to 1 gear ratio. This came in really handy last weekend at the river trying to get my line in quickly which helped eliminate snagging other people's lines.

So that's my suggestion to you. At $85, a third of the price of a Calcutta 400, I feel you can't beat the Quantum. I haven't had it serviced yet so I have no idea how their customer service is.

****************************************************

You can't catch tomorrow what you kill today - please practice catch and release.

  

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angler dudeThu Sep-14-00 10:15 AM
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#840, "RE: Quantum IR410CX"
In response to Reply # 5


          

I second the motion for the Quantum IR410CX. I own one thanks to Leapin' Bass' advice several months ago. I've enjoyed fishing with it tremendously this summer (mostly bass and barracuda). No problems whatsoever... I never thought I'd buy a reel made by Zebco but this is no ordinary Zebco. And, for just $89 at Sportmart, it's a great low cost alternative to the Calcutta.

  

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treeThu Sep-21-00 11:58 AM
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#841, "RE: Quantum IR410CX"
In response to Reply # 6


          

One more vote for the Quantum IR410CX. Have had great luck with it so far. I like the Calcutta's to but personally I feel this $90 purchase can't be beat. However, I don't know how it will hold up against 20 - 30 lb fish as I mostly fish halibut, calico, sanbass, barracuda, swrf.

  

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Amish EdFri Sep-15-00 06:28 PM
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#842, "RE: maybe i just got lucky, but..."
In response to Reply # 4


          

Congrats, you're the first person I've heard of who fishes their Corsair regularly and has been problem free. As far as recomendations go, here's my 2 cents. If want a good 12-20lb reel (instead of a Calcutta 400) try the Diawa SL20 ( I got my by trading my Calcutta 400). They are durable and the free spool is amazing for it's price. Plus, they're 6:1. You can get them all over for a $100. Slightly cheaper is the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 6500, they run around $90 for that size. Similar to the SL20 in capacity and gear ratio, but it's lighter. I have a 5 Star the same size, but instead of 4 bearings it has one, and the freespool blows away my other 2 Garcias. I have put that reel through major abuse with only one minor problem, which I'm just to lazy to fix. They cost around $60. I also have a C4 5500, and a C3 5500. Both are great reels also. I fish 8-12lb on these and they do a great job. fished them 6-7 days a week this summer and have had no problems. But, these do take a bit of cleaning, but only a rinse postfishing and oil once a week. So, in short heavy bassing go for the SL, light line go Garcia.

Sorry, that was probably 4 or 5 cents.
Amish Ed

  

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Matt PetersFri Sep-15-00 05:13 AM
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#843, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 0


          

This is a great discussion topic. Living in South Orange County, literally miles from Shimano's HQ in Irvine, you'd think I'd be all about Calcutta's and Curado's and Calyxes (sp?) After buying a Calcutta 250 the first year they came out, like 92-93ish?, I had troubles with that reel. I still have problems with it. I'm a freshwater bass guy! I'm not talking about intense drag issues. I would be out fishing and like every 100th cast the reel wouldn't re-engage, the handle would spin and not catch. Then the problem started occuring every 50th cast, 25th and so on down. Ridiculous! Not to mention the side plate screws do back themselves out! Suddenly you'll have super free spool because your spool is literally free from any magnetic spool control. Not good if your throwing a bulky bait into the wind!

I have it repaired like 5 times and it still isn't fixed! I keep it and basically have been thrashing it in the saltwater lately. I keep it clean and oiled, and now it's got a great squeak to it. This has become my reel for my off my surfboard excursions. And the sad part is, it's not even reliable enough for that!

I have another newer Calcutta 250 ( A high school graduation gift)! It performs much better than my older one, meaning the gears engage the spool every cast! However, the sideplate screws always need to be checked.

I talk to all these saltwater boys around the Dana Point Harbor. They love Shimano. For the bigger, wider, two speed, big game reels I guess Shimano is solid. However, in the bass world I beg to differ.

I use a ton of Abu Garcia 4600C4 reels. 6.3 to 1 gears, smooth enough drags, and priced right! Although I'd like to get into some higher performance low-profile reels, I don't think I'll go with Shimano. I hear the Curado is good. However, when Shimano floods the market with reels like the Corsair, I sort of have trouble with that. Corsair's are serious junk, team Mickey Mouse! They're priced where you could get a solid Garcia or Quantum reel. Yes Quantum makes some solid reels at a reasonable price.

Shimano has a weird business model approach to competitive bass fishing. They seem to help some guys out, but you'd never know it from their lack of presence. John Murray, a personal hero of mine, I know is backed by Shimano. So I know Shimano must have some good to them.

I try to be open minded, but I have a hard time with Shimano's products!

southernswimbait.com
BigBait Fishing in the South

  

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Leapin' BassFri Sep-15-00 10:26 AM
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#844, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 7


          

I use a Quantum E600ti for freshwater bass fishing and it is great. I prefer the low-profile reels for fw bass. Actually before I bought my Calcuttas I was using them (I have 2) for halibut and white seabass with 12 and 10 lb. test with no problems.

Pete

You can't catch tomorrow what you kill today - please practice catch and release.

  

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RobFri Sep-15-00 11:15 AM
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#845, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 8


          

This is a good thread. And just when I got rid of the tackle board =)
Well I have owned a couple shimano reels and just quite a few other brands so I will share my opinions.
I have 3 corsairs, a 200 ,300 , and 400. I have a Calcutta 400, 4 curado 6:3 to 1's, and two symmetry spinning reels.
The corsair is, as mentioned above, basically a piece of junk. The two most common problems are when the handle spins backwards during the cast or when lifting a fish out of the water, and when the reel suddenly engages mid cast. I have taken my corsairs apart, every SINGLE piece to try to determine the cause of this and I know why it is. On a calcutta and the corsair there is a piece on the inside of the main side plate that is part of the anti-reverse system. On the calcutta it is forged as part of the frame. On the corsair this piece is a nylon piece attached with a screw coming from the outside of the sideplate in. If you take this screw out and put it back in, or if this piece is not PERFECTLY aligned the anti-reverse will fail intermittently which causes the two problems I mentioned above. So yes, the corsair is junk for that reason but aside from that it can be a very good reel for the money. My recommendation if you have them, keep sending them back to Shimano until you get a good one, then make sure to never un-screw this screw, that's what I did. If you don't have one, don't buy one!
As fer the curados, I have actually had only one small problem with the 4 that I own and that was that the drag just wasn't all that smooth. I haven't gotten around to sending it back in but the other 3 have been perfect and required little or no maintenance.
My Calcutta 400 has also been next to perfect. I did send it in for the dartanium drag upgrade after smoking up the drag on some small yellows at Catalina. Since then the reel has been perfect. Things to check are the bearings especially the one under the mechanical break. This bearing will rust pretty easily, so keep it lubed. Screw the reel together tightly but don't cinch it down really hard. I initially had problems with the screws backing out but now I have a better feel for the correct tightness and don't have that problem. Should the reel be that way? No, but for the quality of the reel I am willing to deal with that initial hassle.
On the subject of the calcutta 200's and 250's I have heard many problems, mostly having to do with the spool getting bent. I don't know why this happens, whether it's overtightening the screws or what, but I know that I would be leery of buying one after all that I have heard. If I wanted a reel that size for ocean I would probably buy a small newell (the 220 I think) and use that. Newells are sweet and very very tough.
That's my .02
Thanks everyone for posting their thoughts.

-Rob

  

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MicksterWed Sep-20-00 05:39 AM
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#846, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

I know this is switching a bit from the Calcutta, but it does relate to Shimano Corsairs. I had a Corsair 300 and it too began to reverse spin when it wasn't supposed to. I found out Shimano revised the 300 to a 300A and fixed the problem(s). When I had mine sent in for repair, they automatically upgraded me to the Corsair 300A, and it looks like they did a good job on it (so far). It feels solid. I've been using it about 4 months now and haven't had any problems with it so far. Perhaps I should go play the lottery while I'm at it....

  

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Amish EdFri Sep-15-00 06:44 PM
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#847, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 7


          

Know what you mean (see my first post in the thread). I had a Curado on order, but cancled at the last minute. Just couldn't buy another Shimano bass reel. Bought my C4 and C3 instead and love em. I work at Dana Wharf, so not all of us love Shimano. I have Crusaded against them for 3 years now on the boats, it's like a voice in the wilderness. Good thing there is some choice in the market place. Perhaps, competition will help them to improve. The new Calcuttas might be a step up. But, they cost 25% more, and are unproven. I admit the Curado seems to be a decent reel, but for 30 bucks more you can get 2 Garcias. That's enough now, I need to get some sleep. BTW, I work at Billy's Big Game on friday afternoons, stop by and say hi.

Amish Ed

  

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Matt PetersMon Sep-18-00 07:39 AM
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#848, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 11


          

ed,

I don't know of or have heard of Big Billy's Big Game? Pretty cool you work on the Dana Wharf boats. You must know two very good friends of mine: Chris and Jake Crawford. Saltwater boys gone tournament bass style (not to mention Joe Crawford)!

I'm on your wavelength regarding the Garcia reels. I love the C4s. I need to get into a good low-profile reel for performance. Buying a bass boat is my top priority, so the high dollar reels will have to wait!

matt


southernswimbait.com
BigBait Fishing in the South

  

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pat papaMon Sep-18-00 09:18 AM
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#849, "RE: amb c4 5600"
In response to Reply # 12


          

I bought a C4 5600 about three months ago and have had no problems up until recently. The problem is this, when the bar is pressed to go to free spool sometimes it does not click back when the reel is engaged.I opened it up and there is no part that is broken. I always clean my reel after I use it and even oil it after every use. the reel works but I have to be careful how hard I push the bar, if I push it too far then it gets stuck.

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to correct this problem. Otherwise I am satisfied with this reel, I have gotten numberous Halibut and a few wsb and the drag worked great.


Thanks for the help

  

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Amish EdMon Sep-18-00 08:13 PM
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#850, "RE: amb c4 5600"
In response to Reply # 13


          

This sounds like the problem I have with my 5 star, but it took a year and a half. Does the reel actually engage? Mine doesn't, but all I need to do is pull the lever up with my nail and it engages when I crank. My reel is abused though, I rinse it when I remember, and oil it every month or so. You might want to try some Corosion X, this is what I'm going to do to the 5 Star when I have the time to fiddle with it. I basically poured it all over my C3 and C4 for both it's protective properties and as a lube. Just make sure you wipe off the excess. If it acts kinda tight (free spool) don't worry it should fix itself within a few casts. If this doesn't fix it I'd suggest you take it to some one who knows Garcias. There is the possibility that there is a spring that needs to be bent back in place. Unfortunately, I don't know which spring, I was told this by a friend who works on reels. Good luck, and let me know when you fix it.

Amish Ed

  

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Amish edMon Sep-18-00 05:17 PM
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#851, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 12


          

Hey, Matt

Small world. Yeah I know Chris, but not his Dad or brother. I'm going to be fishing the fresh for the 1rst time in like 15yrs on Sun. In a tourney no less. I hope to fish it regularly in the future. I can't even think of buying a boat though. Got a kid on the way. That's why I have a tube. But, I love it and can't imagine not going tubing, even if I had a boat. Hope you get yours soon. I'm sure you'll love it. Do you tube also, or just use your board? I surf, but have yet to bring a rod out with me. Maybe we can meet for a fish or surf sometime.

Amish Ed

Oh yeah. Billy's used to be Anglers B & T. It's on PCH after you cross the bridge going towards Doho. There's an AM/PM, A's Burger, and a Carl's Jr. on the street. Billy's is on the right of Togos, in the same building as Dive and Surf. Stop by on friday after 1pm if you can. We're supposed to be open until 7, but Billy closes early sometimes if it's slow.

  

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Matt PetersTue Sep-19-00 06:23 AM
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#852, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 14


          

Ed,

I know the place. I bought some great spoons there for bass fishing. Schurmy Shads, aluminum spoons. Totally old school and radical.

Yes, I do float tube. I haven't been in mine for over 6 or 7 years! It's at my folks house, in Laguna Niguel, ready for action. I don't know if my waders are still water tight or not! I guess there is always surf trunks and wetsuits too!

I got spoiled fishing out of bass boats and kind of got frustrated with float tubing. My roots in bass fishing began at Oso Reservoir in a float tube. Talk about going for it. I had to learn everything the hard way!

I'll try and stop by on Friday. Does that shop sell split ring pliers? Good ones?

I'm definitely down for a fish or a surf.


Matt

southernswimbait.com
BigBait Fishing in the South

  

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RobTue Sep-19-00 08:01 AM
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#853, "split ring pliers"
In response to Reply # 16


          

Thinking about changing out some gammies for your big tournie Petes? Hook up!

  

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matt petersWed Sep-20-00 04:42 AM
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#854, "RE: split ring pliers"
In response to Reply # 17


          

Yeah buddy,

Throw me some some deep little n's and some speed traps.....death on them smallies.

Super psyched for the trip!

  

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Amish EdTue Sep-19-00 07:28 PM
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#855, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 16


          

I don't know about the pliers. I'll check tomorrow if I remember. It looks like my fishing/surf days are fri., sat., and sun. But, I have that tourney this weekend. I either be fishing or surfing on fri before work if you can make it. I was thinking about tubing Laguna or Poches if the swell is down. If not then I'll surf. Let me know.

Amish Ed

  

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Matt PetersWed Sep-20-00 04:49 AM
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#856, "RE: Calcutta Reels"
In response to Reply # 18


          

Isn't it great to surf when there's swell and fish all the rest of the time! I know there's a solid northwest ground swell in the water right now, with some trace south hemi still mixed in. The swell is fading though, and the weekend could be flat! I've got a wedding to go to on Saturday at noon. Sounds like you've got Southerland on Sunday.

I'll be your shop on Friday between 4-5:30pm. I know the Jig Stop's got the pliers I need if you don't.

Be glad to meet you. Maybe we can pull off a fish or a surf sometime here!

matt

southernswimbait.com
BigBait Fishing in the South

  

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