so im wanting to record electric guitar for my metal band.

simply the chain is: mesa dual rec > sm57 > podx3 live > reaper

i havnt really recorded with an actual amp before so i guess im new

im aware simply turning the amp down can sort of solve the problem but in my opinion the amp needs to be cranked to get a good sound

the tone isnt overly distorted.

and im thinking if i put "limiters" or compressors on it will wreck the tone

help plzzzz!
If you want to dime your Mesa and record you will need a quality mic preamp with a 20db pad... or you could just turn it down.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Unless I'm missing something, isn't the Podx3 a digital effects pedal? If thats the case you shouldn't feed the mic line into it, unless it doubles as an interface.

But like Cajundaddy said, a dB pad will do great. Try lowering your amp volume and compensating with a gain boost if you need to.
Did you turn down the trim on the pod?

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I would start with the PodX3 settings. I haven't used the PodX3 but this is where I would start...

Check Trim levels.

I imagine you're using the Mic Input. There should be a trim knob next to the Mic Input. Turn this trim knob all the way down. Counterclockwise as far as possible.

This should kill the signal completely received by your PodX3 from your mic.

While it is still turned down turn your Master Volume knob on the PodX3 to max. (Check your fader levels in Reaper are at unity gain).

Play stuff through your set up and because the trim is all the way down there should be nothing getting through.

Play and slowly turn the trim up until you get a good level without any clipping. This should allow the best signal to noise ratio received by Reaper. You can then use the fader in Reaper to adjust the mix.

If the trim knob is already turned down and the above doesn't or solve the problem then use the Master Volume on the PodX3 to turn the outgoing signal down. (assuming the clipping is occurring in Reaper) If Line6 is to be believed this should not affect the tone at all.

Another option would be to try adjusting your mic placement, moving it a few inches away from the amp might do the job.
Use the pad, turn the gain down on the interface (for you that's the pod), and if you're not turning the master volume up enough to get power tube distortion then turning that down should have minimal effect on your tone.

I know you say it sounds best turned up, but is that at standing level, or with your ear right up near the speaker like the mic is. placement makes an insane difference to the tone.