I'm up in the Northeast, but the Spheros 12000 and 14000 have become a very popular reel up this way for casting to bluefin tuna with poppers and jigs. Typical fish are 30-60# and these reels have no problems whatsoever with them. The spool design is great for braid, and the drags are up to the task. I've had several friends who have had problems with the 9500's while on fish. Others have also done side-by-side casting comparisons and the Spheros will outcast the 9500 by about 20 yards with everything else being equal. I personally use the Thunnus 12000, as the Spheros weren't around when I bought it. I have a Spheros 4000 that I used all season for striped bass and never had a problem.
Hope this helps!