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Author Topic: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels  (Read 554 times)

hydrillagorillahunter

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Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« on: April 30, 2020, 06:26:24 PM »

Would be interesting to read different takes on low-end to high-end reels and personal preferences.  I started out on a low-end combo by lew's a few years back in getting back into fishing again, which I still have.  Since, I've slowly streamlined to higher end reels with high expectations.  Again, it was my personal preference to try a wide range of reels hoping I'd land on a brand to stick with. 

Unfortunately, it hasn't been easy and a lot of the high expectations I had fell flat.  Just to throw out some of the reels I have experience with - Diawa Steez SV TW, Metanium MGL 2020, Chronarch MGL(JDM), Lew's Mach 1 SLP, Shimano SLX XT, 13fishing Concept C, Kastking Royal Legend Elite, Quantum Smoke S3 PT, Curado K, Lew's Tournament Pro Speed Spool...

Long story short my Lew's Mach 1 SLP will retrieve just as smooth as my Diawa Steez at basically a quarter of the price and outcast it - granted it has a much deeper spool.  My quantum reel outperforms a lot of the high end offerings as well.  I can't speak to reliability because I have yet to experience issues with a lot of my reels; did have an issue with my Concept C.  Now yes you do get this sense of reliability with the higher end shimanos and diawas along with fit and finish.  I'd mention ease of casting with regard to back-lashing but for those proficient with thumbing their spools, this is more or less a non-issue.  Also, lighter used to come with a hefty pricetag too, but that lew's custom lite has kind of erased it. 

Maybe in a few more years of use some of these reels will resonate above the others.  But my train of thought lately with $400-500 to spend at any given moment isn't to get one high end reel, it's shifted to get a mid-tier reel from lew's or other and get several.  I guess it makes sense when a lot of pro anglers use mid-tier offerings, yeah some go high end, but seems the majority aren't blinging it. 

Personally, my $90 quantum reel is my favorite to fish with.  Would also need to add Shimano's SLX XT as honorable mention here - for $120 it's stellar. 

 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 05:00:22 AM by hydrillagorillahunter »
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Oldfart9999

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 07:18:59 AM »

I use BPS Pro Qualifiers, a hundred dollar reel that on sale is about 80$, well worth that. They are made by DOYO who makes BPS, Lews, Pflueger and others.
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Deadeye

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 07:39:26 AM »

I guess it comes down to some guys are happy with a Chevy, while the next guy just needs to have a Cadillac. Both built by the same company, one has a few more Blings.

Me personally, I'm more of a Chevy kind of guy. I look at my Rods and Reels as TOOLS, tools that I need to perform a job which is cast and retrieve a lure so I can catch fish. 

I started my voyage into Baitcasters with two $30 BPS Combos, now that was a mistake. Reason is that cheap of an outfit doesn't have decent braking and that's what a Newbie needs.

Eventually I made a move to Lews Speed Spool, the at the time $100.00 model. I knew a Shop that would sell the to me for $80.00 and take my old stuff in on trade, so I got rid of a lot of Deep Salt Water Stuff that I would never use again and bought a couple of Lews. Then put them on the Skeete Reese Rods that were being sold at WalMart at the time and I worked there so I got a discount on them too. So I had about $150-$160 in each outfit. I ended up with 4 sets and that was 8-9 years ago and I still use them today and they still work just as good as they did back then.

Those Outfits have caught a whole lot of Fish too.

Since then I've added a few other sets, some were bought on sale by chance I happened to walk by at a Gander Mountain and bought two of the Extreme Guide Series Combos for $75 each. They sold for $150. Still got them too.

But my Favorites by far right now are the BPS Carbonlite 2's, which have the dual Braking Systems. Once they are set you can pretty much forget about Backlashing. Bought the first two on Sale during the Spring Classic as a MH Combo for 50% off for $120 each. I've added 2 of the H Action Carbonlite 2 Rods that I put Lews Super Duty Reels on.

So my Most expensive out fit would be my Flipping & Pitching Rods with the Super Duty Reels (bought on line for $138 shipped) and the Carbonlite 2 Rods (bought with points and on sale for about $80 each).

I don't feel the need to pay $300-1000 for a Rod that looks Pretty or is "more sensitive". If I can feel every blade of grass my bait touches now I really don't know how much more I need to know. Reels unless they are for pulling Fish out of the Thick Stuff, like the Super Dutys are, I don't feel the need to pay over $80-100.


Like I said, to me they are Tools. Tools bought to do a Job, that is to help me catch fish.


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Bassinlou

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 09:15:12 AM »

I learned and starting using baitcasters in my mid-20's, before I knew bass fishing forums even existed. Unbeknownst to me, I started in the lower spectrum of rod and reel quality. My first b/c combo was under $100. Since I was self taught, any rod and reel above $50 was the "good stuff". Fast forward 20 years later, I have learned quite a few things.  ;)

As I look back, I went through my share of phases. For awhile I thought fishing with high end gear was the ticket. + $400 reels and + $300 rods. Please don't get me wrong, fishing with expensive gear does change the bass fishing experience but is it really NEEDED??

As I get older, I'm finding that the mid-tier levels of rods and reels is where its at for me. This tier is what I consider the work horse category. This level of gear can handle A LOT of fishing abuse. Do not confuse this with irresponsible mis-handling.

I have broken cheaper reels and rods due to hard fishing, and have broken expensive reels due to hard fishing... but when I compare my experiences with mid tier gear, these are the outfits that handle my style of bass fishing and that I gravitate towards the most time and time again. 

Experience, personal wealth, and time on the water, will dictate the type of gear that's right for you. 

Princeton_Man

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2020, 01:10:29 PM »

IMHO as you reach the $100-$150 price range there's very little difference in overall performance while there are still differences in fit, finish, and function. Will a Steez outlast a CT100? Parts wear and parts get replaced. If both receive proper maintenance, I doubt it.
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LgMouthGambler

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 01:48:09 PM »

I have been all over the world with reels....Ive been inside just about everything that is out there. I do like a fine reel as well, but you dont need to spend $300-400 to get one. The offerings coming out of the Doyo and Banax plants are proving to be really nice compared to years of the past. I own Shimano, Daiwa, BPS, Lews, Quantum reels of all sorts. I personally havent been personally impressed with the current offerings of Shimano and Daiwa, so the ones I have are about the era of the 2005-2012 years. There are a few Doyo and Banax platforms that have really blown my mind in performance/quality/cost.

To better help get you what you are looking for, what are your intended uses for this future purchase?
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FD

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2020, 04:25:41 AM »

Understand that casting distance is not determined by the reel only, but is a function of the Reel, Rod action, and Line combination. I wanted to mention this because some donít understand the importance of a balanced set up.

My personal reel of choice is the Abu Revo XS HS. I have over a dozen. They are extremely durable and require little maintenance. I paid anywhere from $100 to $160 each and abuse the crap out of them. Several made hundred of thousands of casts before they were serviced the first time.


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hydrillagorillahunter

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2020, 05:25:15 AM »

There are a few Doyo and Banax platforms that have really blown my mind in performance/quality/cost.

To better help get you what you are looking for, what are your intended uses for this future purchase?

I have a lot of nice water bodies that I'll either bank fish or kayak, on rare occasions will get out on the boat.  Like some or many here have done already, I'm just going through the progressions of trying out different brands to see what I like best.  As far as intended uses, I'm not gearing towards a specific technique.  Instead, I've been tuning into personal preferences like whether or not I prefer lighter or which casts smoother and farther with the least amount of effort, how certain reels palm, etc...  Thus far, as another mentioned here, I find myself leaning towards mid-tier reels.

Now you mention a few Doyo and Banax platforms have blown your mind with regard to performance/quality/cost...please, name a few if you don't mind.
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LgMouthGambler

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2020, 05:53:48 AM »

I have a lot of nice water bodies that I'll either bank fish or kayak, on rare occasions will get out on the boat.  Like some or many here have done already, I'm just going through the progressions of trying out different brands to see what I like best.  As far as intended uses, I'm not gearing towards a specific technique.  Instead, I've been tuning into personal preferences like whether or not I prefer lighter or which casts smoother and farther with the least amount of effort, how certain reels palm, etc...  Thus far, as another mentioned here, I find myself leaning towards mid-tier reels.

Now you mention a few Doyo and Banax platforms have blown your mind with regard to performance/quality/cost...please, name a few if you don't mind.

My favorite Doyo product so far is the BPS JM Signature Platinum. Its a crazy full aluminum construction reel that has the dual braking system. The spool is light, and that thing can cast far and easy. As far as the Banax brand, the S3 Smoke KVD model is a really nice reel for what they can be purchased for online.

Its funny, because my number one reel that I always kept with me through all the purchases is my Curado50E, and I have enough parts and full frame and sideplates that it will never be ann issue to fix, but that JM Sig Platinum is my 2nd favorite reel. And they are damn close in how much I like to use them both.  ~shade
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Sandman7925

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2020, 07:57:50 AM »

Iím a mid tier guy. And I have some top end reels. The top end stuff doesnít seem to be any advantage.
I will say that itís worth owning at least one high end round bait caster.
But for low profile the mid price range is just fine.


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hydrillagorillahunter

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 05:58:01 PM »

My favorite Doyo product so far is the BPS JM Signature Platinum. 

Funny because I've handled this in BPS and it felt nice and smooth.  It's always been on my list, not sure why I haven't snagged one.  Roland Martin runs one on his Youtube channel paired with a Favorite rod and at one point seemed like it was his go to setup in a lot of his vids, well early vids that is.

I have a smoke s3 so I know what you mean here.  The sheer performance of the smoke s3 for the price I got it for has blown my mind.  Once you dial that reel in it fishes ridiculously well and casts a mile.  The brakes on it are loud and it is a distinct sound, but I'll admit I've grown to like it...just feels like you're behind a workhorse when using it.
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LgMouthGambler

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 06:01:40 PM »

Funny because I've handled this in BPS and it felt nice and smooth.  It's always been on my list, not sure why I haven't snagged one.  Roland Martin runs one on his Youtube channel paired with a Favorite rod and at one point seemed like it was his go to setup in a lot of his vids, well early vids that is.

I have a smoke s3 so I know what you mean here.  The sheer performance of the smoke s3 for the price I got it for has blown my mind.  Once you dial that reel in it fishes ridiculously well and casts a mile.  The brakes on it are loud and it is a distinct sound, but I'll admit I've grown to like it...just feels like you're behind a workhorse when using it.
I dont have any issue with noisy brakes on my S3. Did you put a drop of oil on a q tip and swipe the brake drum?

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hydrillagorillahunter

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 06:27:23 PM »

I dont have any issue with noisy brakes on my S3. Did you put a drop of oil on a q tip and swipe the brake drum?

I haven't done this as quantum advised me not to oil the track.  Now their maintenance videos online advise you to apply a small amount.  I've ran dry, but will try this.  The link below at about 12 secs in is the sound I'm referring to...it's subtle in the vid, but still...you can hear it.  Assumed this was normal, but appears a drop of oil will quell the sound in running with your recommendation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3UmjlI6hek&feature=emb_logo
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Deadeye

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2020, 09:32:08 AM »

Reading this reminds me of a Test we did many years ago at a WalMart in the Sporting Goods Dept. We had started getting in some Higher Dollar Rods and Reels and I suggested to the Dept Manager that we set up a few and let the Customer's Test them out. He agreed to do it.

I took a Shimano Chronarch (?) and a Falcon Bucco in MH, a KVD Quantum MH Combo, and a Skeete Reese combo made of the Spinnerbait/Worm Rod (MH) and their Victory Reel. Each was spooled with 15 lb Big Game line and the same Crankbait lure (with the hooks removed) and I set the reels up to cast without any Backlash.

We took the Customer's that wanted to try them out Out Behind the Auto Service area and let them throw each and give us their feedback as to which one they liked the best.

I was expecting the Shimano/Falcon Outfit to be the clear winner, but it wasn't. The Clear Winner over and Over again was the Skeete Reese Combo and it was the Cheapest of the Three.

I watched Customer after Customer grab the Shimano/Falcon first and hand it back with a smile, then the KVD (lowest marks of the three) and then the SHOCK on their face when they tried the Skeete Reese outfit. Many stood there in Disbelief and were struggling to come to grips with it.

They would take the Shimano/Falcon back and mess with the settings, say the Lure was different, say all kinds of things, but in the end over 90% said they were surprised but the Skeete Reese Outfits were the Best for Casting: Smoothness, Distance, and Feel.

I know I was surprised when I set them up but felt the exact same way.

We sold some of the Skeete Reese outfits as a combo and sold a BUNCH of the Skeete Reese Rods after they had done the Test.


I ended up buying 2 of the Spinnerbait/Worm and 2 of the Jig/Heavy Worm Rods and still use them for a wide variety of things and they keep on going. I did buy one of their Pitching/Punching Rods and found it to be way to heavy to fish with for long. I kept it but only use it for Really Thick Mats that need 1-2 OZ to get through.


Guess doing all that showed me Personally that a Brand Name doesn't mean it's better or worse. How it actually performs does.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 09:35:33 AM by Deadeye »
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Eternal Optimism. It's what drives me to fish. Next cast is THE cast that will provide the reason why I am here. Big Bass, Small Bass, No Bass-- Everyday and Every Time out learn something. What worked and what didn't and why. In the end go enough days and then, Today is the day that it will all come together and the Fish Gods will smile.

DonM

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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2020, 11:13:21 AM »

My favorite Doyo product so far is the BPS JM Signature Platinum. Its a crazy full aluminum construction reel that has the dual braking system. The spool is light, and that thing can cast far and easy. As far as the Banax brand, the S3 Smoke KVD model is a really nice reel for what they can be purchased for online.

Its funny, because my number one reel that I always kept with me through all the purchases is my Curado50E, and I have enough parts and full frame and sideplates that it will never be ann issue to fix, but that JM Sig Platinum is my 2nd favorite reel. And they are damn close in how much I like to use them both.  ~shade
The JM Sig Platinum is by far the favorite in my small collection of rigs.  I have about 20, take four out of the rod box and generally use two.  :)  The second is the latest Carbonlite rod and reel.  I also have Lew's, Skeet Reese, Shimano and others, but sure do love that Platinum.
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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2020, 08:00:06 PM »

The most I've spent on a reel is $228, A Zillion.  After picking up a Tatula Elite, and having $500 to spend, I would get three Elites.  Three times $172 equals $516 which is a done deal.  :)
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Re: Low - Mid - High End baitcaster reels
« Reply #16 on: Today at 09:33:07 PM »

Ok I mostly agree but there is one high end reel I didnít see mentioned that is in a class of its own the aldebaren . Iím a mid tier guy myself ( but have gear from all over the pricing spectrum) some reels are ďspecific purpose ď reels and for what it does nothing even comes close to an aldebaren 50. Also if you want a blazing fast reel what choice do you have other than a Revo rocket or a zillion 10? No mid tier reel has gears that speed (10:1:1)That said my most used rod/ reels are 200-$350 combos . So I get it Iím in with what you guys are saying just keep headway for those ďfunction specific ďreels . So true though Iíll throw a curado dc next to a metanium dc or a tatula elite next to a steez and no shot your out throwing me 20+yards like some people claim  Iím sorry if you know how to cast and are throwing proper weights to your rod/reel/line selection most mid tiers throw high tier level (slightly under sometimes) also rods fall under the ďfunction specific ď category as well . Iím sorry you hold an xstasy, NRX,glx, megabass destroyer, or poisonAnd the difference is staunch. But once again ďform specificĒ. My most thrown rod is a $100 rod so I get it just easier to not switch a rod with every different type of bait you use . Now I  do find the low tier items like a $100 rod/reel combo clunky . I canít lie I notice a distinct difference from low to mid grade tiers. Sorry ending my rant.


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