Good reels for any large fish..

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by nhra22, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. nhra22

    nhra22 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Penn's are great. 209's&309's - GTI series are pretty much the same but more refined. Cast farther and are smoother. All will outperform even the largest Ambassadeurs. It takes a 9000bg or 10000bg to even approach the power and build of the Penn's. Okuma's are great as well. They more than outperform Ambassadeurs. The Classic series is on sale now on Ebay - 2 for $60.00 Mine has taken at least 75+ sharks to a good 90lbs without failing. Not bad for a reel that was only $50 at the time and is now $30-$35 on the net. Ambassadeurs are really overpriced for what you get. Sure they are reliable. But it is an outdated design. You can get a better made round reel from Okuma/Pflueger/Quantum/Tica... Ambassadeur has JUST now updated their drags. The other companies have BEEN using the latest in drag systems, and corrosion-resistant bearings. I just can't see any real benefit in paying $50-$150 for a real design that is so dated. Come on now, most if not all Ambassadeurs have 2 plastic gears still on the left side. What's up with that?
     
  2. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Man, you hit the nail on the head!!! YOu are exactly right, the same things I have been saying for a while. Can't beat those ole Penns.
     

  3. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I fish for the challenge in bringing the fish in(the fight). If I didn't want to fight the fish I would run trotlines instead. This is why I choose to use ABU's for fishing. These big reels you speak of are great reels but the fight doesn't last very long using a boat wench, LMAO!!!
     
  4. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I use Ambassadeur reels exclusively for my bigger blues and flats also. A 6500 strung with 30 lb Big Game on a 7' or 8' MH rod Vs. a 30 or 40 lb flat is a good matchup. IMO...you're at the limits of your equipment in that situation. It can go either way...depending especially on the amount of current present conditions dictate.

    If you're going to encounter larger cats than that...it's best to upgrade to the Amb. 7000 or 10000 strung with 50 lb or better braid line (My preference for the higher pound test lines) and a heavy action E-glass rod.
     
  5. nhra22

    nhra22 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    That is fine as long as you are planning on eating the fish. Extended fights result usually in the fish dying. If you are not planning on keeping what is on the other end, then you should end the fight quickly and let the fish have a chance. People on the saltwater boards I am on love using light tackle to fight big redfish and drum/shark. However, they don't realize or either do not care that the fish they are still throwing back are mostly will most likely die. The reason I was talking about Ambassadeurs is because you can still get better small round reels in that class. From the 5000's all the way up - other companies make equal reels, but that exceed Ambassadeur quality.
     
  6. nhra22

    nhra22 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    What was the point in this reel? My best friend Ray has one he brags about. It doesn't have the guts my 309 does. Nor the drag/power. And the clicker isn't that loud. What purpose does it serve? Except to lure old salts into buying one because they worship "the classsics".. it doesn't cast much farther than the Penn either. God forbid I compare it to a GTI series reel. At $150+ this reel should offer something that the $50-$60 reels do not offer. It doesn't. I don't know... what do they offer? Certainly it isn't power, and it clearly isn't refinement seeing as they are the same as all other Ambassadeurs, except bigger.
     
  7. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I've not had an Ambassadeur fail on me yet...and I've been catfishing with them since I could cast a baitcaster. (Which is almost 27 years) My biggest flathead on rod and reel was a tad over 40 lb...my biggest blue so far is a tad under 40 lb.

    That being said...I do know what you mean by there being tougher/more durable reels on the market. I have 3 Daiwa Millionairre reels that I bought in 2000 to use for hybrids, large mouth, and smallmouth bass that are just as tough as all getout...but yet smooth as silk. The drags are great on them. But they cost more than I care to talk about. They are still smooth because I don't subject them to the punishing/muddy conditions that I usually encounter when I catfish. I have ruined other brands of high dollar reels in a season or less by taking them wade fishing or bank fishing on a muddy gravel or sandbar...where they stand a very good chance of getting dunked in muddy water or what have you. I'd most certainly have to clean those Daiwas after every trip to keep them functional.

    The Amb. reels?? I've not cleaned them until the end of the 10 month fishing season...and they continue to perform every time. That to me is the bottom line.
     
  8. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I'm not sure what the line capacity is on the 9000....but the 10000 I like for its ability to hold a large quantity of 40 or 50 lb monofilament that I use to snag Spoonbill. The 10,000 will also cast an 8 oz sinker a country mile. No complaints here out of the 10000.
     
  9. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    When you catch big fish you will wish you had a boat winch. Those PLASTIC bushings in the garcias will not hold up. To many guys use garcias because they look pretty. To me I don't care what it looks like, I just want something dependable to haul in big fish.
     
  10. Cat Tale

    Cat Tale New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    Wilmington
    I don't know squat about the reels mentioned.Maybe I'm just plain ole old.
    I can tell you,I still use the same ole Penn reels I've had forever.The 5.0 and
    6.0 being my favorites.They are as old as most on the board.They still cast
    well and you could pull your boat back on the trailer if the winch breaks.If
    you feel like you need to play games with the fish,you can do that too!
    They can be had cheap these days due to people thinking they must upgrade.
    You do not always get what you pay for.Bigger is not always better.
    And new is not always improved!Keep it simple,no use to work hard to have fun!:)
     
  11. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    So far no complaints with the Amb. reels. Haven't caught a cat over 40 lb on rod and reel...but I have caught many flathead over 50 lb...77 lb being my personal best...on set line. That 77 lb was pulling the ENTIRE branch of a willow tree....and I mean half the tree when I say branch....under water, and was holding it there for a sustained period of time. I do know what you mean by big fish. They have incredible power. And it's a different kind of power than other fish. I have snagged and landed 80 lb plus spoonbill in heavy current from the bank. But one time I was snagging, and hooked a 60 lb plus flathead in the tail. That fish came straight to the bank...saw us...and promptly turned around and took every bit of 40 lb mono I had on my Amb 10000, and broke me off. There just was no stopping that freight train in the heavy current from the bank. Many times I have had to unhook my anchor and chase the bigger cats downstream when fishing from the boat. But yet a bigger spoonbill will get landed without unlatching from the anchor being neccessary.
     
  12. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Catcaller, I am not knocking the 7000-10000 garcias, Ambassadur 7000's used to cost around $140, but they have downgraded the reels so that more people could afford them and then distribute them to Walmart chains. They started putting cheaper parts in them and I have heard of some breakages. The 7000 is a good reel but what I guess I am getting at is there are to many people that want to be like everybody else and use the same things. They are also like bass fisherman and want pretty rods and pretty reels, this is catfishing, I don't care what it looks like, just as long as it will not fail during playing a big fish. I just don't feel like those small garcias will hold up on a river such as the mississippi with 10-16ounce current. Hauling in the sinker alone is enough to wear one out, besides a monster cat.
     
  13. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

    Messages:
    1,454
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    I do like Penns and have them up to the old Senator 9/0 as well as the 109's etc. They are horses! But, I like reels and use the abu's the most, perhaps for the looks, or balance, or casting, or reliability, or the parts available. To me a lot of the good reels can do the job, but it is like blonds vs redheads vs brunettes - just a matter of taste. I'm sure the saltwater guys get fish that really test a reel, but the big asian carp in the Mississippi tailrace are sometimes on for more than 30 minutes with 80 lb line. No failures so far, but the small abu 5000 or 5500 drags cannot stop the 30 or 40 lbers. I like having a lot of reels and they become "old friends". 'Course, a fisherman needs a "new friend" or two each year!!!!!!!!!!!! Hannibal Mike Yes, there are even a couple of "stellas" in my life.
     
  14. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Oh I know what you mean Slim. The conditions that I fish in just aren't nearly as rugged as what you fish. The biggest sinker I might have to use...ever...in the worst of worst conditions on the Neosho is a 6 or 8 oz.

    I do share your concern about the internal plastic parts on some Amb. reels. I'm like you...I have heard of some breakages...but it hasn't happened to me personally. (Yet) If it ever does happen to me though...then it becomes a major issue. I've just had such good luck with mine over the years that I hate to switch brands just because I've heard someone had a bad experience.

    Call me stubborn...but I don't believe everything I hear...at times...I have a hard time believing what I see around this place! Lol. Good luck in 2006 with your quest for trophy catfish Slim. I'm ready for some warmer days.

    Brian
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Wal mart wanted to sell Abu reels that everyone could afford so Abu started producing reels strictly for them. As you know wal mart has big buying power. These reels use bushings instead of bearings,plastic instead of brass and so on. Thats why they are so much cheaper.If you want to buy a real Abu get it from a fishing mag. They cost more cause they're made better.
     
  16. Blue Bruiser

    Blue Bruiser New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    St Louis, Missouri
    As some of you may know I am ANTI - ABU. Penn GTI's are the only way to go . But thats just one mans opinion.
     
  17. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Blue Bruiser, my sentiments as well.
     
  18. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    Show me the plastic bushings in an ABU, there is a plastic gear, but it's sole porpose is to power the line guide. As far as bushings or bearings, it's a matter of choice you can get ABUs either way. I have some old ABUs over 20 years old and the bushings are still good. Yea the Penns do have a better drag but I have yet to have an ABU drag cost me a fish. I have a 6000 which was bought at wal-mart 3 years ago, it is identical inside and out to my other 6000 which is 10 years older and bought from an ABU dealer. Both these reels have brought in flats over 40lbs and the fight, while very exciting, was not all that long. Pictures were took and the flats were released and both splashed me as they swam off. I like Abu's and Penn's I own both and I will continue to use and abuse both. My reels get proper maitinance but I don't baby them. I go fishing at least once a week 52 weeks a year whatever the weather my reels are out in that weather, sun, rain, ice, snow, sleet. Through it all the Abu's have never let me down (my Penn is only 2 years old but so far it is doing well).
     
  19. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

    Messages:
    688
    State:
    Tupelo Ar
    I agree with penn being an awesome reel. I will say this, i was told about a 100+ pound blue taken from the mississippi. Unless i'm getting my wires crossed i could of swore i heard it was caught on an abu...............
     
  20. MNwiskers21

    MNwiskers21 New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    South Saint Paul, MN
    Hello,

    The only reels that I use for big fish are Abu Garcia reels. I fish cats and muskies regularly and absolutely love Abu Garcia reels. I prefer useing Abu Garcia model 5500 for cats spooled with 20lb berkly fireline, and for muskies model 6500 spooled with 30 berkly fireline. I have caught big cats and several muskies over 50 inches with Abu Garcia reels and have yet to have one fail. I also have a few Abu Garcia open face spinning reels that I also enjoy using.

    Take Care!

    Sincerely, Kevin