abu garcia "black cat" -vs.- "6500 pro rocket" -vs.- "6600 c4"

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by jlwhite405, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. jlwhite405

    jlwhite405 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    State:
    oklahoma
    Im trying to decide between these three. anybody have input that might help me decide? I bank fish quite a bit, so casting distance is important. thanks
     
  2. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,709
    State:
    Independen
    The 6500 black cat is definitely one nice reel. I bought one from Steve Brown at Catfish Safari a couple of weeks ago, and finally got to use it last weekend. It comes with all the goodies- carbon matrix drag, power handle, titanium line guide, and a $15 dollar rebate to boot! Will cast a mile and has a very smooth retrieve.
     

  3. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    When it comes to casting distance from the bank, the pro rocket wins hands down. You've got two knobs to fine tune it more, the main tension adjustment is on the outside and easier to get to, and it has a stronger and louder clicker. I've got all different kinds from 6000 to 6600 and the rocket models are hands down nicer!
     
  4. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I have the Black Cat. Definitely recommend it. And it looks cool too! haha.

    Also remember it comes standard with the power handle, which for me was a big factor.
     
  5. kmcalester

    kmcalester New Member

    Messages:
    1,340
    State:
    Kansas City
    Where's everyone fishing?
     
  6. jlwhite405

    jlwhite405 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    State:
    oklahoma
    are there any stores that carry the rocket?
     
  7. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Messages:
    707
    State:
    Minnesota
    If you weren't aware they now have a metallic Blue Cat reel out this year, same as the Black cat but has the power handle. I got one on order. check out the Catfish Connection.
    thanks
    Larry
     
  8. Douglas Foster

    Douglas Foster New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    SW Oklahoma
    Well, since you asked, I'll try to tell you what I know, or think I know, about these three reels.

    The Black Cat is a 2007 special edition Abu that appears to be a 6500 C3 with the new improvments such as carbon drags and the 6 pin drum brake, and a very nice catfish engraving on the sideplate. Gear ratio is 5:3:1. 6500's are very solid reels that are good casters and very smooth when you reel them in. My opinion here is you can't go wrong with the Black Cat (or the 2008 Blue Cat).

    The 6500 Pro Rocket is from Abu's "international" series ie. they were originally marketed overseas, and not in the U.S.A. As pointed out earlier, they have dual casting controls. The older black Pro Rockets have two small brake drums and old style drag disks, while the newer green and the champagne color reels have the 6 pin drum brakes and carbon drags. Also to consider, the black PR's have the traditional two paddle handle, while the newer reels have a power handle, which is a notable improvement in my opinion. Gear ratio is 5:3:1. These reels are long distance casters and my personal favorites!

    Last we come to the 6600 C4. The two things that set this reel apart from the first two are the thumb bar spool release and the higher 6:3:1 gear ratio. This reel also has an extra bearing that the other two don't have. These are also good casting, very smooth reels. Some members here have said in the past that they like the faster gear ratio for getting their rig up and off the bottom of rocky or trashy lake beds more quickly. The thumb bar will be a matter of personal choice. I can take them or leave them, but my fishing pardner hits the thumb bar everytime he tries to set a hook and causes a non-casting backlash you have to see to believe! Again, they come equipted with the 6 pin brake and carbon drags. These are nice reels, but would be my 3rd choice of the ones you have listed.

    Good luck on your quest. Buying reels can be habit forming.:wink: Doug
     
  9. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Douglas is right on and probably covered it better than I could. The one point left out about the difference in the two is the location of the bait alarm, or "clicker". On the rockets, they're on the side of the end plate and use a better amount of force to engage them. On the ultra cast models (6000/6500, black cat, blue cat, 6600C4, etc.), it is located on the top/back of the end plate. Alot of people, me included, have a habit of turning the clicker on while fighting a fish and "palming" the reel. Again, it's just how you hold the reel and personal prefference.
     
  10. Douglas Foster

    Douglas Foster New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    SW Oklahoma
    That's a good point about the clickers, xringer.

    I need to correct something from my last post. After looking at the Catfish Connection website this morning, I discovered that the champange colored Pro Rocket has the standard two paddle handle, not the power handle as I stated earlier. All of the green Pro Rockets that I have seen do have the power handle. And while we're talking about Catfish Connection, I will encourage you to check out the 6500 CL Big Game. I have one of these also, and it is a casting dream. It is the same basic set-up as the Pro Rocket, except it has an extra bearing and comes with a power handle. Black and chrome, very sexy. If it had the word "Rocket" on it somewhere, it would be my favorite reel!

    You asked about where to purchase these reels. The above mentioned site is a very good place to start. The big E auction site is where you will find all of these reels, also. You will probably only be able to find the black Pro Rocket there, as it has been discontinued for a little while now. I've only seen the green Pro Rocket there, too. Catfish Safari lists some of these reels, and they are a great company to deal with and a BOC sponsor. I'm sure I'm leaving out some others. Surf the web, you'll be surprised at what you'll find. There is one site that starts with Castaliar or Castabum or something like that, that I would steer you away from. Customer service is not a part of their business.

    One last note, don't EVEN think you're gonna get away with buying ONE. It's like eating peanuts, the more you get, the more you want. Tell us what you start with. We all want to celebrate! Doug
     
  11. mr.whiskers83

    mr.whiskers83 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    Charles City,Va
    I have three of the 6600 orange rocket reels on uglysticks that I use for cats and carp. They are excellent reels that are very smooth and will cast a mile with little weight. I use them to bank fish and can most of the time put a line anywhere across the river I like. They can also be bought at wal-mart for about 90 bucks or at least here in VA you can.
     
  12. alton

    alton New Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    State:
    Illinois
    Well I have to agree with Xringer and Douglas Foster on everything they say. Personally I think the Black and Blue Cat reels are pretty much the same as a C3. I use the 6500 and 7000 Pro Rockets because I only bank fish and the dual cast controls will allow extra distance. If casting distance is not critical, you can't go wrong with any of the reels discussed. I will have to check out the 6500CL Big Game Douglas mentioned. I would also like to check out some of the Rodsmith 12' rods Douglas uses. No Academy Sports in Illinois and the websites for Rodsmith and Academy Sports have no mention of the surf rods. My son lives in Houston so I guess I will have to make a visit. Sorry I drifted from the subject. Good luck on your reel decision.
     
  13. firechief4201

    firechief4201 New Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    State:
    Catlettsburg, Kentucky
    Pro rocket would be my reel of choice.
     
  14. CATMAN1979

    CATMAN1979 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    WARSAW MO
    Ive got a question about garcias does anyone know if the spool bearings are the same size for a 6500 and a 7000?
    :embarassed: any help would be appriciated thanks
     
  15. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I appreciate the education on these reels. I have used Abu Garcia all my life, but mainly just the 5500s as I just recently started catfishin' exclusively.

    <One last note, don't EVEN think you're gonna get away with buying ONE. It's like eating peanuts, the more you get, the more you want.>

    Ain't that the truth!!! I started with one 5500 which BTW, has pulled in quite a few NICE cats, then bought two 6000s which are mighty fine reels, then two 'Blue Cats' which I love, and just got a 6500TC today. I am already browsing around trying to find the best deal on another 6500TC as I like my reels in pairs. I'd love to add a pair of chrome rockets, and maybe another pair of 'Blue Cats' before they are all gone. My plan is for at least ten, but knowing me, I'll just keep adding rod holders and buy more! :)

    One question. Someone mentioned that with the lower gear ratio of the TC reels, that they felt like they lost some winching power with those reels. All I had thought about was getting my rig up through the snags quickly, and I hadn't considered losing power while reeling. Then thinking about how you lose pedal power on a ten speed bike when you shift to a lower gear ratio, I can sorta see how this might be true. That being said, I do most of my winching with my rod, so I don't think that angle will come into play. Any opinions on this?
    BB in SC
     
  16. StormCaster

    StormCaster New Member

    Messages:
    364
    State:
    New York
    I always felt the Rocket was a better casting reel with the rocket bearings.
     
  17. Douglas Foster

    Douglas Foster New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    SW Oklahoma

    Catman, the spool bearings are NOT the same size. 6500's are 4x10x4mm. 7000's are 3x10x4mm. Not much difference, but just enough to bring things to a screeching halt if you get them mixed! I buy bearings from a company called BOCA bearing company. They have an extensive line of bearings at different price levels, and can help you be sure you are getting what you need. I use their Hybrid bearings, ceramic balls in steel races. They come in packs of 4 and are reasonably priced. They have a useful website, also. Doug
     
  18. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    They are about the same, if its a Abu its a good reel.
     
  19. uapipefitter

    uapipefitter New Member

    Messages:
    110
    State:
    potterville,mi
    The black cat and the pro rocket in the 6500 flavor were the first two reels I bought and I have to say the pro rocket wins out in the distance department. Probly by about twenty yards with same amount of weight. Both are really nice reels. :wink::cool2: Five year olds input.lol
     
  20. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    No, they're not. The ones for the 4600 through the 6600 size reels are the 4X10X4. The ones for the 7000 are 3X10X4. The first number being the diameter of the spool shaft. The second number being the height of the bearing on the outside diameter. The third number being the thickness of the bearing.

    You've got to be careful on the 7000s though. The old ones made before 1980 had a 1/8 diameter spool shaft and the bearings won't fit unless you change out the spool and pinion gear. All later reels are OK though. Also, some of the old "double knob" 5000 and 6000s (red) also had 1/8 inch diameter spools were the black 5000/6000C and 5500/6500C models had the 3mm diameter shaft.

    Hope this helps and didn't confuse you....Vince