Good beginners baitcaster reel for trophy catfish - Whats Your Recomendations

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by Fry Guy, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Fry Guy

    Fry Guy New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Warrensburg Missouri
    I have used spincast reels my entire life and have only on a few small occasions tried a baitcast but that was only for bass. I have been reading and I think this summer since I'm going to be puting allot of time in for big cats. I think that I want to convert to a baitcast but don't know much about them. Also I will be primarily fishing from the bank. I figure I'll get it while it's still cold out so I can get used to casting it with just a weight so I at least have some idea what I'm doing when the time comes. I will be using an 8 foot pole and want something that can handle a trophy cat yet won't break my pocketbook. I know I'm asking allot but if you could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.
     
  2. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I hesitate to recommend a specific brand; I happen to like abu garcia's in the 6000 series. The size and weight are comfortable, and they cast well. Maybe you know someone who has one that you could borrow before you buy. There are other brands out there that compare in size and weight, too. You want one that casts well. Since you are used to a thumb operated reel, you may want to get one with a thumb bar vs a release button. I think abu has a 6600c4 that has one, for instance. Read the owners manual first! Adjust the spool tension so that it freespools very slowly with the weight you'll be using, then tighten it just a little more. This will make for shorter casts, but less chance of backlash. Using a lighter weight (1-2oz) in the beginning will help reduce backlashes. Make short casts with it in the beginning, then as you get a feel for it, you can adjust the tension, using your thumb to slow the spool down, and start longer casts. Patience, Patience, Patience. Practice, practice, etc

    Good Luck
     

  3. nosnag

    nosnag New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    Florida
    The answer to that question is always the same from me.Get the best that you can afford.I would advise that you be sure that it has a anti backlash spool control on it .That is a small knob that is adjusted to the weights you are casting,that prevents over-run of the spool.A cheap reel will only frustrate you and keep you from enjoying the true experiance of using a conventional reel.Stick with a name brand and you will not be disappointed.A clicker is optional.It is nice to have but not necessary in your first reel.After getting used to casting, you can move up to them.

    BILL
     
  4. Fry Guy

    Fry Guy New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Warrensburg Missouri
    I don't have anybody I can barrow one from because I can't find anybody around here that seriously fishes.:mad: As far as brand name I'm not picky as long as it has a good price and is a quality product.
     
  5. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

    Messages:
    688
    State:
    Tupelo Ar
    If your fishing from the bank and going after big fish i'd go with a penn or abu. For the price of a medium sized abu you could pick up a penn 209 which holds alot more line. They are workhorses. Abu 7000's are a great reel and holds about the same amount of line. You could buy two penn 209's for that one 7000. I'm budget limited so the penn would be my choice.
     
  6. elphaba7

    elphaba7 New Member

    Messages:
    795
    State:
    Mo'town, WV
    I just got my first baitcaster. It is an Abu 5000, paired with a 7' Berkley Lightning Rod.

    I can't give you any advice on it yet, such as pro's and con's, but I have been told it is a great reel to learn the laws and science of a baitcaster on:p . As I start to build a bigger arsenal, my next purchase after this one will be a Penn 310 GTI.
     
  7. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    I would have to say the Abu 6000 line of reels. I have a 6000, 3-6500's, S.I.X., and they have been great reels and no problems at all.
     
  8. Willy

    Willy New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Missouri
    Think of it this way,you need to match the tackle to the size of the fish you expect to hook and land.If you are gonna fish the Mo river you need to be able to handle throwing up to 8oz to 10oz of weight and bait included,the rod needs to be able to handle 40 or bigger pound line. I would suggest a 7 1/2 or 8 tf rod rated med hvy or hvy action and if you look around you can find good ones for $35.00 to$50.00 in the Big Game or Bass Pro line of catfish rods. You can spend $95.00 on a ABU 7000 at Wally World that will last ya for years.Penns are alright but I have not been able to use one enough to really like them,several of my buddies use them and me personally have always been a Garcia fan.You can spend from $100. to $150. on a good river rig and it will last ya for years,I have about 3 dozen of them that I bought over a ten year period of upgrading equipment. My thought has always been being ready for that one in a lifetime fish and having the equipment to handle them.I run 7000 reels with 40lb big game on ECat#3 and#4s and have caught fish in the near 60lb range with no problem.Good equipment if taken care of will not let you down in the crunch time,pay attention to small details and when moby dick hits you will be ready for the fight of your life,it's intense and when the fish is landed you have to set down and shake but once that is over you are ready for the next one to go again.
     
  9. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    I personaly like Penn 209 reels good drag cast ok and give no problems for year of use, however, I have 4 tidewater reels I have been using in the last year or so and put 25# big game on them and have NO problems with them either, so I think dollar for dollar they are hard to beat. Don't worry about some of the people saying they have plastic in them, until someone reports serious problems with them save some money
     
  10. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    State:
    Fairbury, Illin
    Buy good tackle the first time around and you won't have to buy it again, as long as you take care of it. All you do from then on is add to it. Piece by piece until all you have is fine equipment.
     
  11. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    one thing I will mention is if you are new to baitcasters, READ the instructions or have someone that knows how show you how to adjust it correctly it will save you a lot of headaches and line. Its not that hard but, can sure cause a fellow problems
     
  12. etipriga

    etipriga New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    TX
    The first baitcaster i started out with was one of those shakespears u buy at walmart, it was like 30 bucks. It wasnt rated for it but i put about 100 yds of 40 lb mono on it. At first i casted about 20 yards a few times and then i decided to go for the big one. Yeah that didnt work too well. I do think that the big line on the reel helped out alot. I think it made it easier to cast and i know it made it easier to get the birds nest out. When you got smaller line its harder to mess with so id prolly start out with thick line

    Once i went and bought my big rigs i got 2 penn 9Ms and im very pleased. If i could go back i would prolly go with the 209 just cause its a little bigger. If i were you i would go with the 209, you could get one off ebay for around 30-40(shipping included). For that price for that much of a reel you cant go wrong. The abus are nice but 40 bucks for a Penn 209 thats hard to beat. You wont have ne problems getting to learn to cast just takes a little practice.
     
  13. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    If you want a quality reel that will last your lifetime buy an abu garcia. Just dont get it at wal-mart. All the reels at wally world are "special made" just for them to be cheap and inexpensive, they are made with bushings instead of bearings and more plastic parts than other models. I read this in the catfish-insider from the In-fisherman guys. Any reel from ABU with a B in the model # is bushings, also they are usually green in color. You don't say what your trophy fish size is. If its 20 to 30lb channels go with a 6500. If your going after 60 to 70 lb flats or 100 lb blues go with a 7000. You can pack a lot of 80lb power-pro on a 7000. When learning to cast just use some 20 lb mono,make sure to tighten the spool down so your weight only slips an inch or so when you jiggle the tip.Then cast easy the first dozen times,you aint going for distance the first day.Get used to the feel of your thumb on the spool. Make sure you stop the spool as soon as the sinker hits the water to avoid a birds-nest. I'm gonna send you a PM to a website that handels all the Abu garcia overstock and discontinued reels. You can get some good deals there.
     
  14. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Like the others I would buy an abu garcia 6500 or 7000 series reel..catfish connection has great prices on them..Unlike some I have had good luck with abu reels from walmart..I have a 6500 that landed a 50-lb flathead and I got that reel from walmart and it is still working fine.
     
  15. Rat

    Rat New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    Forrest Illinoi
    When I first switched to baitcasters, I made one error. I got several different makes and models, and wish now that once I made up my mind I'd have stuck with one. The problem is, some baitcasters you can re-engage the reel by turning the handle, and some you have to do it by flipping the lever. Some baitclickers operate up and down, some east to west. When you're sitting on a dark river bank and your rod is bouncing in the holder, you need to know what to do when you pick it up without a second thought. It took more time and trouble with several different brands than it should've to get them all down.
    I've got a Penn 209, 3 Tidewater 30L's, a Marado 711, 3 Diawa Rhino XL's, one Okuma 300L Classic and a Shakespeare Master 180. My personal favorite is the Rhino's for casting and clicker loudness. The only one I've had problems with is the Marado. Sometimes it doesn't release when it should, and sometimes it doesn't engage when it should. So it doesn't get used much.
    Rat
     
  16. Fry Guy

    Fry Guy New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Warrensburg Missouri
    Thanks guys, I just ordered one Abu 6501C3 (left handed because even though I'm right handed that's the only way I can fish) and one Okuma Stardrag SD30LX from the catfish connection plus some Gamakatsu hooks. Cost me about 165 bucks but it will be worth it.:)
     
  17. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Thats a great buy, and I am sure you will be happy with those reels.
     
  18. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    That sounds good, fryguy. I'd like to know how the Okuma works out. I haven't used any of them. I almost bought one the other day, but didn't know how the drag would be, so I ended up buying another Penn 9m instead.

    BTW, you do know that's not a catfish in your avatar, don't ya?
    HeHe.:)
     
  19. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Fry Guy

    This is just an opinion.

    I like the "K.I.S.S. Method" for fishing for the "Big Cats" and I too consider myself a beginer. If you CHANGE to a baitcaster how many mistakes do you think you will make @ 3 AM in the morning due to you not being used to it, hmmmmmm? Why must you have a baitcaster to get fish????

    Baitcaster are the "Classic" way to fish for the cats and u don't need a sturdy rod holder if free-lining. Just like bow hunters not liking crossbow hunters due to it not being the "classic" way to hunt with arrows. Just don't think for a min. that you must have a baitcaster & free-line to get big cats.

    There are a few advantages to tight-lining with sturdy rod holders Fry Guy.

    1) If the fish takes the bait and makes a run for it, most of the time you gottem vs alowing the fish to drop the bait if they want to. Even if your behind a tree.

    2) When tight-lining you can see alot more of what is going on as far as your bait moving & or very lite bites to a fish being on and no bite detected (THIS HAPPENS, I know).

    3) If using more than one pole you can have the second rod load up with a second fish while fighting another fish.

    etc., etc.

    I do like baitcasters and own some but preffer to tight-line and believe (opinion) it helps me get more fish.


    My 2 cents
     
  20. Fry Guy

    Fry Guy New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Warrensburg Missouri
    What that's not a catfish in my avatar:frk-big: Just kidding. I would love to put the pics of me and my 15lb channel but they were taken on a regular camera and I don't have the negatives so there's really nothing I can do. Thanks Steve. I have been fishing with spincast reels and will still use them I just wanted to experience the other side of it and see which I like better. Thanks again for all the inputs.