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Author Topic: Baitcasting Reels  (Read 677 times)

IKfish

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Baitcasting Reels
« on: March 13, 2018, 04:39:18 AM »

I’m looking for a new baitcasting reel online, hoping that some of experienced fisherman would give more info on what to look for when buying a baitcaster.
What’s your favorite baitcaster and what makes them the perfect beyond your reel arsenal. Thanks.
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Pferox

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 07:44:00 AM »

To be honest, I need to fondle a reel before I will buy it either in store or online.

Weight, balance, size, comfort in the hand, all play a part in a good match for a reel.  After I have gotten a few reels in mind, then I will go looking around for the best price.

What I want in a reel will definitely be different than what you want.  I want all metal construction, no magnesium, and has to be saltwater compatible.  Usually a higher line capacity, and braid friendly.

Check out a few reels that you might be interested in, and ask the gang here their opinion before buying, I'm sure you will get a lot of answers on that.
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SteelHorseCowboy

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 08:03:23 AM »

These folks will also be able to help you better if you can tell 'em what techniques you'll be using it for.

Daiwa Tatulas seem well liked here, and they're relatively affordable.

I've had an Abu Garcia Black Max II, I do not recommend. It took a dump right as I was starting to like low profile reels. Had probably a total of 20 hours actual usage.

My own three favorites are:
Curado K, 8.1:1, I use it for soft plastics, smaller lipless cranks and small spinner baits.

Caenan, 6.?:1, topwater lures, soft plastics, spinner baits

Ambassadeur 5000, 5.4:1, my baby. I do like the Curado better but please don't tell my Ambassadeur, and I use it for anything heavy, big spinners, big swim baits, etc. It's the one I also use to snag and haul in floating trash. I keep a couple big trebles and bank sinkers in my box just for that purpose. It has about the same IPT retrieve rate as some low pro "winch" reels I've seen, but lower ratio means easier cranking.

I still consider myself a noob and total amateur, and quite frankly I suck at bass fishing, but I'm learning a lot here. Best bit of advice I feel qualified to give is this: Don't buy any manufacturer's cheapest "entry level" model. I've had a couple here and there, my fiancee has too, and my kids, each one has been proven junk, except our two Shimano spinning reels.
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LgMouthGambler

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 09:21:57 AM »

Depending on what you are planning on doing with the reel, is gonna factor particulars. Heavy duty use, you are gonna want a aluminum frame and brass gears. The rest of the features are gonna be subjective on what you like. For instance, the type of brake system used, or overall feel of the reel in hand.
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Pacific NW Ron

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 09:35:30 AM »

What kind of budget have you set for the reel?  Personally, I like the Lews reels.  In my opinion any of the middle of the price range are good reels. 
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SteveTX

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 10:05:27 AM »

I’m looking for a new baitcasting reel online, hoping that some of experienced fisherman would give more info on what to look for when buying a baitcaster.
What’s your favorite baitcaster and what makes them the perfect beyond your reel arsenal. Thanks.
I'm going to assume your just starting bass fishing since this is primarily a bass fishing forum and your asking these questions.
Info to look for when buying a bait caster:
  • Style of reel body, low profile or round, purely a personal taste based on what you are comfortable holding and able to work. Keep in mind not all low profile reels feel even remotely the same in hand. Even the rod they are mounted to can make one not as nice to hold so this choice can be daunting till you find what brands and styles are to your liking. I suggest going to stores hold them and really spend some time studying how it feels. You have to hold it the entire time you fish.
  • IPT or inches per turn of line retrieved, certain techniques and applications determine better fit. Generally a upper 20" number is a good mid ground all around reel IPT if you can only have one. imho
  • Frame material, aluminum, graphite, or magnesium are most common. Aluminum is almost a no brainer with reel choices these days. You can get Aluminum framed reels well under $100 now that have a solid company and warranty behind them.
  • Handle length, many are in the high 80mm but low to mid 90mm is becoming the preferred choice. winter gloves work better with longer handle and cranking power is increased.
  • Weight of reel, with today's technology imho its absurd that a bait caster from any major manufacturer be above 7oz with a aluminum frame. This technology has been out a long time and many many companies have been producing reels that don't feel like a chunk of steel in your hand all day.
Some in depth things to consider
  • Braking system, there are many types magnetic, and centrifugal are most common. Centrifugal brakes seem to be where the market is headed from the last I read. And I like them better.
  • Drag, the materials and different types are way to much to list here research these with the search feature
  • Bearings, sometimes a over exaggerated number but generally speaking to a certain extent about 6 to 10 is common in a decent reel these days
  • Spools, these are for the most part irrelevant for the average bass guy most spools are fine. When going into a very specific dedicated bait, generally ultra light the spool choices become relevant.
  • Line guide, personally almost any reel for bass fishing these days has a perfectly fine guide. Daiwa lays claim to a t-wing system that is out of the box but it has its negatives (loud when engaging and depending on how you hold your reel can cause line laying issues)and the anglers by far are split as to actually if it is doing any good. Pretty much a personal choice
  • Gear ratio, pretty much a advertising number as IPT is much more relevant but if you need to know the numbers tell how many revolutions the spool makes for each turn of the reel handle. example 7.0:1 is seven revolutions of the spool to one complete turn of the handle. These are popular in discussing new reel purchases as a quick reference to a slow (5.5:1 range)  med (6.4:1 area) or fast (considered 7.0:1 and numerically higher) speed.
What’s your favorite bait caster and what makes them the perfect beyond your reel arsenal.
Currently my favorite is probably my Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool. Light weight 6.2 ounces, centrifugal brakes, one-piece aluminum frame, 20lbs. of drag power,  95 MM carbon fiber handle, all in a body that is very compact and comfortable for me to pitch or cast.  All from a company that very helpful and easy to reach that has been around a long time and should be around to take care of any issues if there are any years later. And the best part is this is not a $500 reel and doesn't need to be. We are bass fishing not trying to set some sort of precision launch for NASA.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 10:11:23 AM by SteveTX »
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IKfish

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 03:07:53 AM »

I'm going to assume your just starting bass fishing since this is primarily a bass fishing forum and your asking these questions.
Info to look for when buying a bait caster:
  • Style of reel body, low profile or round, purely a personal taste based on what you are comfortable holding and able to work. Keep in mind not all low profile reels feel even remotely the same in hand. Even the rod they are mounted to can make one not as nice to hold so this choice can be daunting till you find what brands and styles are to your liking. I suggest going to stores hold them and really spend some time studying how it feels. You have to hold it the entire time you fish.
  • IPT or inches per turn of line retrieved, certain techniques and applications determine better fit. Generally a upper 20" number is a good mid ground all around reel IPT if you can only have one. imho
  • Frame material, aluminum, graphite, or magnesium are most common. Aluminum is almost a no brainer with reel choices these days. You can get Aluminum framed reels well under $100 now that have a solid company and warranty behind them.
  • Handle length, many are in the high 80mm but low to mid 90mm is becoming the preferred choice. winter gloves work better with longer handle and cranking power is increased.
  • Weight of reel, with today's technology imho its absurd that a bait caster from any major manufacturer be above 7oz with a aluminum frame. This technology has been out a long time and many many companies have been producing reels that don't feel like a chunk of steel in your hand all day.
Some in depth things to consider
  • Braking system, there are many types magnetic, and centrifugal are most common. Centrifugal brakes seem to be where the market is headed from the last I read. And I like them better.
  • Drag, the materials and different types are way to much to list here research these with the search feature
  • Bearings, sometimes a over exaggerated number but generally speaking to a certain extent about 6 to 10 is common in a decent reel these days
  • Spools, these are for the most part irrelevant for the average bass guy most spools are fine. When going into a very specific dedicated bait, generally ultra light the spool choices become relevant.
  • Line guide, personally almost any reel for bass fishing these days has a perfectly fine guide. Daiwa lays claim to a t-wing system that is out of the box but it has its negatives (loud when engaging and depending on how you hold your reel can cause line laying issues)and the anglers by far are split as to actually if it is doing any good. Pretty much a personal choice
  • Gear ratio, pretty much a advertising number as IPT is much more relevant but if you need to know the numbers tell how many revolutions the spool makes for each turn of the reel handle. example 7.0:1 is seven revolutions of the spool to one complete turn of the handle. These are popular in discussing new reel purchases as a quick reference to a slow (5.5:1 range)  med (6.4:1 area) or fast (considered 7.0:1 and numerically higher) speed.
What’s your favorite bait caster and what makes them the perfect beyond your reel arsenal.
Currently my favorite is probably my Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool. Light weight 6.2 ounces, centrifugal brakes, one-piece aluminum frame, 20lbs. of drag power,  95 MM carbon fiber handle, all in a body that is very compact and comfortable for me to pitch or cast.  All from a company that very helpful and easy to reach that has been around a long time and should be around to take care of any issues if there are any years later. And the best part is this is not a $500 reel and doesn't need to be. We are bass fishing not trying to set some sort of precision launch for NASA.  ;)

When I saw this answer the first time Oh my god. Thank you so much for providing me with details. I'd love to say these are what I need exactly. I do lm bass fishing mostly and somewhat a beginner of baitcaster. When looking for reels online, there're just so many options. So I want to know more about baitcasting reels before purchase. Thanks again. It helps me a lot. ~c~
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zippyduck

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 03:51:12 AM »

I can't add much to Steve's post.

But I would stick to the bigger companies, Daiwa, Shimano, Lews, Abu Garcia, and Quantum.
I have fished all of them and have had few problems with anything, other than wearing them out. My brand I use the most is Daiwa especially since they introduced the CT models.

My favorite to recomend to a newbie is the Daiwa Tatula svtw as once it is set up right its vertually backlash free. You can throw light baits easily and also throw frogs.
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pjl63

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 10:45:32 AM »

My first baitcaster I bought as a combo -- it was a Lew's Blue Carbon GT from DSG for $70 on sale.  I used it for a few months then sold it for $20 less than I bought it for and moved on to a better reel.  I'm glad I started out with the Lew's because it was cheap.  Being cheap, it wasn't nearly as smooth as a better reel, so it didn't cast as far, but the backlashes when they happened were just annoying, but very manageable.  It wasn't hard to set up that reel so that it wouldn't backlash at all with a 1/2 oz or heavier lure, but then you really kill the casting distance. 

After that initial Lew's, though, I became a Shimano guy.  The SVS braking system is what really sold me -- the spool has four mounted centrifugal weights, and then the outside of the reel has a dial that goes from 0-6, so you can really fine-tune the amount of braking and change it on the fly.  That being said, the first time I cast my Shimano Curado 70 with a Texas-rig worm, having no reference as to where I should set the braking system, the ensuing backlash was so bad that I had to cut the line off my spool. 

I currently have 3 baitcasters -- a Curado 70, Curado K, and Curado I -- and I love them because of the braking system and the overall feel of the reel.  They're not the lightest and they don't dazzle you with a huge number of claimed ball bearings (the $200 Curado 70 is a 5+1 bearing system), but they just feel solid and precise.  Daiwa also makes fantastic reels  -- Shimano and Daiwa are two of a very few manufacturers left that own their own factories and make their own reels; Lew's, Abu Garcia, and Pflueger, for example, are all made by contract by the same Korean company, Doyo.
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FloridaFishinFool

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2018, 10:47:55 AM »


After that initial Lew's, though, I became a Shimano guy.  The SVS braking system is what really sold me --


I currently have 3 baitcasters -- a Curado 70, Curado K, and Curado I -- and I love them because of the braking system and the overall feel of the reel. 

Well said! Dittos X2

I have tried them all. Only one sold me same as above...
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hubcap91

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 02:12:34 PM »

As long as you get a quality reel with a metal frame and brass gears your are good to go. I'm not brand loyal at all. I own Shimano, Abu, Daiwa, Quantum, and Lews at the moment. All of them make a good reel. The different brake systems are a matter of personal preference. I tend to prefer the centrifugal brakes myself.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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SteelHorseCowboy

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 07:45:34 AM »

I do have one synthetic frame reel, the Caenan. I'd recommend it any day. Mine was well used when I bought it and ugly as hell from abuse.

But I believe at prices for new ones, one could get a metal framed reel. Mine casts lighter weights better than my brand new Curado. No idea which variable is coming into play there, maybe spool size.
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pjl63

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 10:28:04 AM »

I do have one synthetic frame reel, the Caenan. I'd recommend it any day. Mine was well used when I bought it and ugly as hell from abuse.

But I believe at prices for new ones, one could get a metal framed reel. Mine casts lighter weights better than my brand new Curado. No idea which variable is coming into play there, maybe spool size.
Which Curado is it?

Nevermind -- found your previous post.  The Curado K isn't a great lighter lure reel.  That's more the Curado 70's wheelhouse, and it is mostly due to spool size.  The Curado 70 weighs 6.5 oz and holds 105 yards of 10# mono, while the K weighs 7.6 oz and 155 yards of 10# mono.  The Caenan generally has the same sized reel as the Curado 70 (the HG model is slightly larger, but still smaller than the K).
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 10:44:11 AM by pjl63 »
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SteelHorseCowboy

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 01:42:07 PM »

That's about what I thought, the differences are visible.
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1ReelFanatik

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Re: Baitcasting Reels
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 10:17:41 PM »

I can't add much to Steve's post.

But I would stick to the bigger companies, Daiwa, Shimano, Lews, Abu Garcia, and Quantum.
I have fished all of them and have had few problems with anything, other than wearing them out. My brand I use the most is Daiwa especially since they introduced the CT models.

My favorite to recomend to a newbie is the Daiwa Tatula svtw as once it is set up right its vertually backlash free. You can throw light baits easily and also throw frogs.

Have to agree with this.  Another almost foolproof reel for beginners is a Daiwa with the Magforce 3D braking system.  It will have to be a used reel as Daiwa dropped this form of braking....my guess is because of the SV spool.  Probably cheaper to manufacture and gives similar results.  A T3 Ballistic would be the cheapest way to go.  There is an upgraded one for $85 on another site.  A steal for a $250 MSRP reel.
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