Help With Reel Specifics

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Deftik's picture
Help With Reel Specifics
<p>Anyone who fishes with me knows my equipment has never (ahem) been top of the line. I&#39;ve actually been scoffed at aloud by trout anglers for my shotty pole and bucket approach to fishing, lets just say when it comes to fishing I&#39;m a bare bones kind of guy.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, now that I have an apartment where my brother (a grown man) can&#39;t get to my poles and ruin them, I&#39;m thinking about buying something that doesn&#39;t come as a combo on the cheap.</p> <p>So heres where I need your help. I&#39;m pretty set on buying a St. Croix Premiere 7ft rod, I checked them out at my local store and its nice, heres my dilemma. I want a widespool reel capable of holding heavier braid, I&#39;m not great at balancing out a rod (as my dad tells me all the time), so ....what I really mean to ask, what reel should I buy? I&#39;m hoping to stay in the $75-125 range for the reel, I want to have a nice set up for a change.</p>
pmk00001's picture
It really depends on what you

It really depends on what you are trying to achieve.  What your trying to catch, what size braid, etc...


Saying that, I'm a pretty big fan of the Daiwa SS tournament reels

Deftik's picture
That's ultimately my problem,

That's ultimately my problem, it will probably be multi purpose, so there really no clean cut answer, I bounce species alot. 

kernel j
Well, if it's specifics...


1.  What are the specifics of the rod you are planning to buy?

2.  What is the typical line you use (type, # test)?

3.  Spinning or baitcasting/levelwind?

4.  Bait & Wait or do you also fish lures a great deal?

5.  Freshwater or saltwater (if salt, you may want sealed).

6.  High capacity, large reel or something smaller?


For example....


I like the Shimano Symetre series in 2500 size for most of my fishing, it's about the right size for most pursuits and with 2/10 braid it has good capacity.  Spool lip is nice, gets good casting distance with light rigs and freelining corn.  The $100.00 price tag?  The first $20.00 is for bait & wait and the remaining $80.00 is for light (weight-free) bait and lure fishing.  For the former use, any cheap reel work just fine, they all have decent structural integrity and trustworthy drags.  It's the lure fishing where smoothness and line lay/castabilty features are worth paying for.  I moved up into such a price range by killing cheaper reels fishing alot of artificials, it's where the wear and tear really takes place.  Essentially, the moving parts are always moving with such types of fishing, depending on the lure type and retrieves it can eat 'em up.


Pmk00001's suggestion is a nice reel which has garnered some reputation with avid lure bassers and other types of tackle beaters.  Daiwa and Shimano tend to be pretty good in your stated price range.  However, if you're not using the new reel for a wide variety of methods, you may not get the bang for your buck.  Anything will cast 1/2 oz to the horizon, all of them sit in a forked stick at the same level of performance.  It's the other stuff you might do that justifies the price. 


Additionally, if you are going to get something in the higher price ranges, get a size you will use for almost anything you pursue to ensure plenty of utility per dollar.  A heavy reel which sees use a few times per year (the heavier braid thing) may not be the best idea.  Conversely, a medium size reel which is constantly in use (bass, bluegill, RH, carp, gar) is going to seem well worth it's price.


Fish_E_Hunter's picture

Not suer where you're located, but I'm sure you could stop in your neighborhood Sporting goods store and check out some reels. I like the Pflueger reels, specifically the President. Bang for the buck. And you can choose whatever size you want depending on how much line you want. You can go up in price from the President to the Supreme, or Patriarch. Most reels on the market are pretty decent and will do damage, just depends on how much you want to spend. Good luck!

Jknuth's picture
I am a Pflueger person as

I am a Pflueger person as well. I have only had one break down and that was after 10 years of abuse fishign way more then any person should. It was a small ultralite that landed many monsterous beast well beyond what was recomended for it. Last fish it caught was a Parrotfish in the keys. 
I have 7 Pflueger reels right now ranging from their smallest all the way up to a medium with a larger spool that has 300 yds of 12# braid. (Cant remember the reel number)
Drags are smooth as silk.

TheHugbot's picture
shimanos all the way for me,

shimanos all the way for me, I use a Catana 1000FA and it hasn't let me down, freshwater or saltwater. It's handled some pretty big fish and will hold enough line for most fishing situations. you'll want to get a bigger size or cats and sturgs though.

Corey's picture

I'm not sure which tactics you like to use, but one option I consider when selecting a reel is the baitfeeder/baitrunner/liveliner feature, which allows a spinning reel to be put into freespool/clicker moder, like a baitcaster.  This allows you to use Euro-style  bite alarms, to fish with live baits where you want the fish to take the bait and run with little resistance, and to flip your reel into freespool while you wander off to take a piss - so that an enraged sturgeon doesn't drag your rod into the water before you can run up and grab it. 

The monolith of this family of spinning reels is the Shimano Baitrunner.  This was the first American example of the family.  They're good, solid reels, but their minimum tension setting is higher than I like and their line capacity is terrible.  The spool is about at wide as a penny.  Also, they're way more expensive than they should be, given that they weigh as much as a brick and have few redeeming features.  Shimano dominated this market years ago but now they're charging tons of money for a mediocre product.  On the good side, I've used mine for 15+ years and it's been solid.  They run $160-$180.

The Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder is a vast improvement.  For one third the price, they offer a much lighter and compact reel with a smooth action, instant anti-reverse, and they come in smaller sizes.  Very light minumum tension.  Durability might be less than a Shimano, but you can buy three of these for the price of the Shimano and they are superior in every other way.  Mine still works after ten years, although I stepped on it a few years ago and bent the bail.  No problems with it except the line capacity is a bit on the low side because of the shallow spool - but still a hundred times better than the Shimano.  They cost $50-$70.

The last one I have experience with the Tika Sportera; I own the 12-17 pound model and have caught lots of big sturgeon and some sharks on it.  It has a huge spool for big line capacity, very low baitfeeder tension, compact design, perfectly smooth drag, and light weight.  Casts a thousand times better than the Shimano's tiny spool - and better than the Okuma.  Tika reels are designed for saltwater fishing, but the Sportera comes in smaller sizes (which I have never used but I would love to see them) which would be perfect for freshwater.  The Tika runs $75 (more than the Avenger but half the Baitrunner), and in my mind is the best buy for baitfeeder-style all-around live bait reels.

I also use Pfluger Prions, Diawa Emblem-X's, Pinnacle Deadbolts, and whatever normal reels Shimano is selling for less than $50.  If you don't want the baitfeeder option, you can't really go wrong.  I wouldn't count out Okuma's non-baitfeeders or the $50 Tika bare-bones offerings.  You don't need the baitfeeder option, and for lure-chucking and such they're clunkier and not worth it - but it's nice having the ability to switch your reel into freespool mode.  I like it for fishing gar, cats, carp, and snook with live baits.  It's nice for livebaiting pike, and when combined with an Arctic Warrior tipup, they are awesome for ice fishing for pike, lake trout, and burbot.

Hope this helps.

Conecuh's picture
I just got a larger Okuma

I just got a larger Okuma Baitfeeder a couple months ago for gar and cats. No complaints, and the secondary drag is very convenient for bait-n-wait. It was like $40 something on Amazon. And I also just got a Pflueger President for lure chunking, which is very nice.

Hey, getting both reels would put you just over a $100 dollars and still in your price range.

shorefisherman's picture
walmart berkley 7' lightning

walmart berkley 7' lightning rod and a cheap pfleuger reel, thats a bad ass 60$ combo.  Long casting, super sensitive, and even more so with power pro or nanofil line.  in the end it all depends on what you have confidence using.  I've never owned a freshwater combo over $75.

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture

Compare the Premiere to the Shimano Clarus. Shimano offers a life time replacement guarantee on their rods... St. Croix doesn't.  I always end up going with the Shimano... I have only made one return.

For reels: a 7ft ML or M spinning rod should pair nicely with a 2500 reel. What is your idea of "heavier" braid? I put 15 - 20lb on mine. A 2500 Shimano can hold 200 yards of 20lb braid. I spool with 100 yards of braid and then a mono backer. I have seen my backing once after wearing down my braid for a long time and making a long cast. Personally, I think filling a spool with 20lb braid is an expensive way to buy backing. So, if you can survive with 100 to 200 yards of 20lb braid you only need a 2500 reel.

As far as brand, I am really happy with Shimanos. But, if you want a baitfeeder in that size go with the Okuma. If you are looking at a larger 3000-4000 size check out the Cabelas salt striker. Not a dainty reel, but Made by Okuma to saltwater standards and less money than the nice Okumas.