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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am new to the forum and this is my first post so hopefully I am following forum rules. I wanted to pick your brain on the topic of catfish reels.

I have never owned a nice rod and reel setup for catfish. I feel it is time to remedy that since I am looking to target cats more this year. When I was younger I mostly targeted channel cats and smaller blue cats with my dad on his boat at Clinton Lake. Most of the poles I have ever owned weren't much more than a cheap Walmart special $20-40.

I will probably be doing a combination of shore and boat fishing with this setup. I would like a setup sensitive enough that catching small channels will still be fun, but would like it to be able to haul in a 20-30+ pound flathead if I hook into one. I am wanting to setup 3 poles so budget is a little bit of an issue, but I don't want to waste the money on something cheap if I won't be happy with it either.

I have read good things about Bass Pros Catmaxx 3000. If you have ever owned/used one what was your opinion of them? It looked like a good budget friendly option. It seems a lot of people love the Abu Garcia ambassadeur 6500C3 which at $129.99 is almost twice the price. But again, I want to be happy with what I purchase.

Are there any other reels you'd recommend? Has anyone used a Mingyang MC600? It was another budget friendly reel at $75. Also, any rod recommendations for the type of setup I am aiming for would be great. I am guessing I'd want about a medium action rod.

I appreciate your advice!

squawkingJAYHAWK
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."
 

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welcome to the forum. I use abu 6500 c3 reels with 6,6 berkley big game rods. the rods are great and only $20. if you keep an eye on amazon you can get the abu reels for around 100. a friend has a kastking (mingyang) reel that cast good but the drag is a little weaker than abus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
welcome to the forum. I use abu 6500 c3 reels with 6,6 berkley big game rods. the rods are great and only $20. if you keep an eye on amazon you can get the abu reels for around 100. a friend has a kastking (mingyang) reel that cast good but the drag is a little weaker than abus.
Thank you for the info! Do you know anything about the Catmaxx reels?
 

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Bobby, first let me welcome you to the USCA forum. As far as reels, I am an Abu kind of guy. The 6500 would be perfect for fish in the 25 to 60 pound range. They are priced more than some but you will not find a reel that has been accepted more than the 6500s. Now I like a good deal just as much as the next guy so I have bought all (10 - 6500s & 4 - 7000s) off of eBay. On the 6500 reels, I generally pay $50 to $70 and they not only look like new, they work like new. A used Abu that has been taken care of is just as good as a new one. There are some basic guidelines to picking out a good eBay reel and if you just use those you are going to be happy with your purchase. And as Chad mentioned, they on occasion will sell for close to $100 new.

Now as far as the Catmaxx, I have never used one but a person that has a ton of great catfish videos and has landed many big fish is Steve Douglas and he has used them a lot. And has been happy with them. Look up his Tube videos if you haven't already.

As far as a Mingyang I have owned one and consider it a beginners cheap reel. There are several like it on the market in the past couple of years but I would only get those if I could not afford anything else. Not saying they won't catch fish but you get what you pay for.

Rod wise, there are several good rods on the market and I have used two. I use Rippin Lips 7'6" Medium Heavy rods and have been very satisfied with what they do. Strong backbone and good active (flexible) tip. Great for using circle hooks. They are the best fiberglass you can get at this time and have strong eyes made for heavy fish. The cost was and I think still in at $40 per rod with free shipping from Amazon. For a good rod that won't break the bank, they can not be beat in my opinion. They do have a trigger which some like and some don't. They also have an open blank in the rear handle, again which some like and some don't. There are other good rods available but when you buying three, cost is important.

As far as the right power of rod for your fishing, you will need to determine that before you buy. For channel cats, I would recommend a Medium rod. That is unless you are fishing in heavy (fast) current. Then I would say go with a Medium heavy. If you expect to catch catfish over 25 pounds I would say go with a Medium Heavy rod. One other thought to consider in rod selection is the amount of lead you plan on using. If you are going to be using sinkers in the 5 ounce or above range, go with a medium heavy.

One last thought. If you decide to try a Rippin Lips rod, since the shipping is free, I would recommend ordering one to make sire you like it before ordering more. Some Sporting stores carry them so if you can, holding one before you buy is always good. Also, if you get one from Amazon, they have been fast and very good about replacing it if there was a problem during shipping.

Ok, that is my 27 cents worth.

Good luck and tight lines.
 

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Welcome. You can't go wrong with the Rippin Lips and a Catmax. I have 5 Rippin Lips(med and med/hvy) and love each. Gonna get a couple more in heavy action. Don't have a Catmax but Steve Douglas's recommendation is good enough for me. I have mine set up with Abus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bobby, first let me welcome you to the USCA forum. As far as reels, I am an Abu kind of guy. The 6500 would be perfect for fish in the 25 to 60 pound range. They are priced more than some but you will not find a reel that has been accepted more than the 6500s. Now I like a good deal just as much as the next guy so I have bought all (10 - 6500s & 4 - 7000s) off of eBay. On the 6500a, I generally pay $50 to $70 and they not only look like new, they work like new. A used Abu that has been taken care of is just as good as a new one. There are some basic guidelines to picking out a good eBay reel and if you just use those you are going to be happy with your purchase. And as Chad mentioned, they on occasion will sell for close to $100 new.

Now as far as the Catmaxx, I have never used one but a person that has a ton of great catfish videos and has landed many big fish is Steve Douglas and he has used them a lot. And has been happy with them. Look up his Tube videos if you haven't already.

As far as a Mingyang I have owned one and consider it a beginners cheap reel. There are several like it on the market in the past couple of years but I would only get those if I could not afford anything else. Not saying they won't catch fish but you get what you pay for.

Rod wise, there are several good rods on the market and I have used two. I use Rippin Lips 7'6" Medium Heavy rods and have been very satisfied with what they do. Strong backbone and good active (flexible) tip. Great for using circle hooks. They are the best fiberglass you can get at this time and have strong eyes made for heavy fish. The cost was and I think still in at $40 per rod with free shipping from Amazon. For a good rod that won't break the bank, they can not be beat in my opinion. They do have a trigger which some like and some don't. They also have an open blank in the rear handle, again which some like and some don't. There are other good rods available but when you buying three, cost is important.

As far as the right power of rod for your fishing, you will need to determine that before you buy. For channel cats, I would recommend a Medium rod. That is unless you are fishing in heavy (fast) current. Then I would say go with a Medium heavy. If you expect to catch catfish over 25 pounds I would say go with a Medium Heavy rod. One other thought to consider in rod selection is the amount of lead you plan on using. If you are going to be using sinkers in the 5 ounce or above range, go with a medium heavy.

One last thought. If you decide to try a Rippin Lips rod, since the shipping is free, I would recommend ordering one to make sire you like it before ordering more. Some Sporting stores carry them so if you can, holding one before you buy is always good. Also, if you get one from Amazon, they have been fast and very good about replacing it if there was a problem during shipping.

Ok, that is my 27 cents worth.

Good luck and tight lines.
What guidelines/tips/advice do you guys have for buying the 6500's or 7000's off of eBay? I actually looked at them before, but I was worried about getting them in and they being in poor condition.
 

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EBay's pretty good with pics and descriptions (working order or not). I check a seller's reputation too. Regular sellers have a lot at stake so they're not likely to be shysters. If a reel looks clean, aside from some boat rash maybe, it's a safe bet it's in relatively good working order. The thing about good reels like Abus is they're built for a lifetime. I can't say I ever bought a bad used reel off EBay, and that includes Omotos, Pinnacles and Ticas too. The only thing I've needed to do is upgrade the drag on a reel or two I've bought off there.
 

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Bobby, I agree with Karl.

Here is the long version of what I recommend.

First, look over the pictures very closely. Most boat rash will be on the top where they have been upside down bouncing around. If there are not enough pictures or good pictures, contact the seller and request more. If you don't get them, don't buy. Ask about any dings, dents or damage and see what the seller says. Be sure the pictures are of the actual item you are purchasing or bidding on. Some have used a generic picture to represent their item. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You can message the seller by clinking "Ask seller a question" and then selecting other from the list. I always want to know what the number on the foot is. You can look up the schematic on the Abu site and see how many casting brakes it has, 2,4 or 6 along with other things. Then look at where the reel is coming from. If it has been on the coast, ask if it has been used in salt water. That tends to corrode the reel if not cleaned promptly. I tend to be a little extra careful about bidding on anything that has been used in saltwater. Several times I have found reels that just look like they need to be wiped off and cleaned a little. If you see a little smudge here or there, ask about it. Often the sellers are pawn shops and it amazes me that they don't take to seconds needed to just wipe the dust off a reel before taking pictures. But that can help you get a lower price. Also look at the seller's rating and the number of items he has sold. I prefer a rating of 98% or above and a seller that has sold at least 100 items. They tend to care more about their rating. A seller has to protect his rating and that generally means he will be as truthful as possible. And if you have a valid problem with the item they will generally try to make it right by accepting returns and paying shipping.

I generally bid on reels more than the Buy it now items. But if you can accept the price than do the buy it now.Make sure then, make sure then make double sure it is a Made in Sweden reel if it is a 6500. Some sellers will leave out the part or taking the picture that shows it is a 6500S.

I generally do not want the line on a reel unless I know the seller and know the specs of the line and that it is good.

When I decide I want to bid on an item, I decide one thing. What is the MOST I am willing to pay. Also I never bid in even dollars. I figure my max bid but often add a few pennies to it. On occasion, that will decide whether you win the item or lose the auction. I do not bid several times during an auction. I only bid one time and that is in the last 10 seconds or so before it ends. If you do it that way, you won't get involved in a bidding war that just runs the price up. With eBay, you only pay enough to beat the present bid. So if you bid 75 dollars and you only need to bid 69 dollars to have the high bid, that is all you pay. So, your max bid only means that is the most you are willing to go. I use a sniper program that takes my max bid and automatically submits it in the last few seconds of the auction so I don't have to be there. But that can just do the bid myself also.

You can also look at the folks that have already bid. They are given code names but you can get an idea of how many people are interested enough to bid.

One final thing, check out where the item is coming from since some items are out of country. Then check how much the shipping is. It is a tactic of some sellers to charge really high shipping to add to their profits. Generally for a reel, a shipping cost of 7 or 8 dollars is about right. And if you buy multiple items ask about combining the shipping. That will save you money.

If you win the bid, great. If you don't, just watch for another reel and try for it. You will eventually get what you want at the price you are willing to pay.

Ok, that is what I do almost every time. Hope it helps you. (and I don't lose a bid because of it. :biggrin1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Stay away from 6500 s reels made in china . 6500 c. and 6000 are made in Sweden very good reels. I've never heard of 6500 a. Catfish Ugly stick in 8 ft.
Okay, now I am a little confused. I know some of the lesser Ambassadeur's are made in China, but I thought all you had to do was look for the Made in Sweden text on the side of the reel. Can someone explain what the differences are on the 6500s, 6500a, 6500c or 6500 c3? I guess tell me about the 7000's as well. I didn't even know they made a 6000.
 

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Easy answer. Make sure it has "Made in Sweden" stamped in the side cover on the 6500 reel. If it does not have that it is made in China. The 6500 China model is a low quality beginners reel and should be avoided.

The Abu 7000 reels are made in China now but have kept their quality so, an older Made in Sweden version or a new Made in China 7000, is a good reel.

Does that help?
 

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Bobby, the 6500a was a typo on my part. You want the 6500C3 reels I think. 6000 and 5500 reels Made in Sweden are also good but have smaller spools and hold less line. May also have less drag I would have to check on that to be sure.
 

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Ok l will try to . 6000 reels are normally red in color . Newer versions have do not have bearing caps on both sides. One side has palming plate. 6000 has bronze bushing. 6500 has ball bearing. Answer to your question always look for made in sweden. The newer versions have a much better drag systems. 6500 c has 2 ball bearing and 1 anti reverse bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok l will try to . 6000 reels are normally red in color . Newer versions have do not have bearing caps on both sides. One side has palming plate. 6000 has bronze bushing. 6500 has ball bearing. Answer to your question always look for made in sweden. The newer versions have a much better drag systems. 6500 c has 2 ball bearing and 1 anti reverse bearing.
The ones I have been seeing new in the store are 6500 C3. Is that the same as the 6500 C or does the 3 mean something?

I guess if you guys can tell me which of the reel series to look for (model #), and approximate cost range depending on condition would be a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bobby, the 6500a was a typo on my part. You want the 6500C3 reels I think. 6000 and 5500 reels Made in Sweden are also good but have smaller spools and hold less line. May also have less drag I would have to check on that to be sure.
I know it depends on condition, but what would a good price range on eBay be for a 6500C3?
 
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