Beginners, you need to read this!

Discussion in 'Carolina Catfish Club' started by Mac-b, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    So, you want to fish, but you don't want to spend some big bucks up front to get your feet wet. Well, you don't have to have the $85 reel and the $39.95 rod, plus tax to buy what you need as a beginner. What I am going to share with you is not hearsay, but from my own experience.

    I started off with two Zebco combo's, lined with ten pound test fishing line. On weekends, which was the only time I could fish, I caught more than my share of channel cats and small blues than you can shake a stick at. Matter of fact, on several occasions, I caught enough catfish on my Zebco's to feed a dozen adults, plus their children, at the campground that I stayed at on LKN. My bait of choice back then was night crawlers and fresh shrimp. One day I happen upon some nice striper's and they took my night crawlers into their mouths and the fight was on, all on my Zebco 33. Later, I purchased two Zepco 808 and started fishing for large striper's and this reel, with it's 20 pound test line held up like a champ.

    Zebco now has quite a list of reels and combo's that you can buy for almost any kind of fresh water fishing you want to do. I will now offer a list of these products and how you can use them.

    Zebco 11 can be used for catching bream/blue gills, crappie and white perch.

    Zebco 33 can do all the above, plus you can handle larger fish up to ten pounds with your drag set properly.

    Zebco Pro Staff 888 replaced the 808 and it can handle some nice size cats and striper's. It has 20 pound test line.

    Zebco Red Rhino 3 has 12 pound test line. I have not used this one, so I will not offer any comments.

    Zebco Hawg 733 has 20 pound test line and can be used for catfishing, bassin and other larger fish.

    Zebco 44 Classic has 8 pound test line and can be used for bait fish and other small fish.

    Zebco One Classics has 14 pound test line and I have not used this one.

    Zebco 404 Classic has 15 pound test line and I have not used this one.

    In my tackle room, I still have my Zebco 33's, my 808's and my Zebco Hawg. Plus I have two new Zebco 11's that I purchased last year. Some of my Zebco's are over 40 years old and they still work as they were intended to do.

    There are other low cost reels and combo's on the market, but since I have not used them, I did not think it would be fair to comment about them. You can find Zebco products at all Sporting Goods Stores and at all the major retail outlet. Your best bet is to buy a Zebco Combo (rod and reel priced as one item).

    After all this verbiage, the bottom line is that you can fish without a lot of expense in the beginning if you so desire. If you decide that fishing is not your thing, then you are not out of a lot of money. But, if you decide that fishing is your cup of tea, then you can move up to more pricey gear and save your Zebco's for other duties, such as catching bait and white perch. It would not surprise me if a high percentage of the BOC membership started off with a Zebco Combo or something similar.

    The current North Carolina record for a channel cat (20 some pounds) was caught on a Zebco Combo (Barbee series/Pink in color). I swear!

    Give it a try, you might like our sport.
  2. andrew76

    andrew76 New Member

    southwest ohio
    Yea i bught a zebco 733 for my girl friend last yr and she got a 28# flathead with no problem.

  3. catfishbill33

    catfishbill33 New Member

    Clarksville, TN
    you almost said what I started with years ago.I still have my older zebcos but I have bought some more stronger equiptment.Nothing that was expensive but stronger than a zebco 727 which I had laid it down between my wife and me.Then to my surprise the reel-rod was gone and all i saw was a bunch of bubbles.the reel was gone with a big fish was on the other end.I have the zebco 888,808, and they are wonderful reels
    My wife caught a Big Blue with a shakespear tiger which cost 20$ at W/mart.

    Thanks Mac
  4. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Mac, I placed a copy here so members can comment. Thanks for so many great contributions.
  5. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Memphis TN
    I too grew up fishing with the Zebco 33, 202 and 808 closed faced spincasters. I have very fond memories of catching Bullheads, Channels, Bass, Crappie and Bluegills. From what I recall the 33 was by far the most reliable and best all around.
    So after a long Hiatus from fishing due to various distractions I decided to get back in touch with my love of fishing last year. I started out by getting 2 Zebco combos. One was, I believe a Zebco "Hawg" and one an 888. Both did well the first 2 or 3 times fishing. I managed to catch a few fiddler sized cats and even a few in the 5 lb. range no problem. But I soon started having problems that lead me onto bigger and better things.
    The "Hawg" had one of the little toothlike things that catch the line and spin it around the spool break off and the 888 had some sort of problem with the back plastic shell by the trigger button falling off. As I recall the button did'nt want to push in correctly either. Needless to say problems like this are unacceptable when night fishing for Flatheads especially when your a rookie. Theres enough things to try your patience while night fishing even for a veteran, without having to deal with tackle malfunctions such as these.
    So... My suggestion would be to go ahead and at least get something that will provide some good service through an entire season and beyond. Bass Pro shops makes a few rods that are worth there weight in gold in my opinion and under $30 dollars.

    1. Power Plus Rods are very durable and I personally know a fellow who uses them several times a week and regularly catches Catfish from 10 to 70 lbs. on them $24.99 :crazy:

    2. Diawa Beefstick - I just bought one of these and I swear you could beat a Cottonmouth to death with one of these and keep on fishing without damaging it in the slightest bit. $26.99

    As for reels

    A buddy of mine owns a Zebco Rhino baitcaster and it seems to be serving him well. Not sure how much it cost him but I'd guess around $30

    I like the Penn 209 Baitcaster which retails New for 59.99 but I see them go on ebay day in and day out for $20.

    If you prefer a spinning reel. Bass Pro makes a reel called CatMaxx I own one of these and it does a fine job. It's solid and sturdy, casts great and costs $35. I've landed several Flathead up to 28 lbs. on this no problem.

    The way I see it, just in case you end up loving catfishing as much as me you won't have to complain about having to go and get yourself a new R&R because the first stuff you bought turned out to be crap. :0a26:
  6. bowler man

    bowler man Active Member

    this makes me happy and sad to read ,,, one of my happiest memories is going into the local bait shop when i was 9 years old and asking my dad to get me that 202 in the case , well i asked and asked till he gave in :smile2: got the rod too , man a fisherman was born on that day , i cleaned and oiled that reel till it looked like new everytime i used it . had it many a year and caught many a fish and it held up to the abuse and served me well till a catfish removed it from a dock right before my eyes :sad2: . im fortty now and that is one of my best memories of my father , has been gone for 13 years now , but i still think of that day about everytime i am on the water, if you have kids take them fishing , it may not seem like it now but they will remember it forever :smile2:
  7. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Shelbyville, TN

    I could not agree more. Everyone puts so much emphasis on the fancy name BIG name brands............................ especially on this site! I like to consider myself the advocate for economical fishing! You should hear the heckling I get in PM's about my Tidewater reels................. would not change them for the fancy stuff!
  8. jr50898

    jr50898 New Member

    the best all around reel i ever used is the garcia mitchell 302. it was made as a salt water reel but works equally as well in fresh water. they dont make these anymore but they are in abundance on ebay for about $20. i own eight of them and wouldnt trade 'em for a boatload of shimanos.