Level wind or no level wind ???

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by lawnman61, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I have been looking at some new reels and some have no level wind on them.
    Is it better with or without the level wind ??
    All my reels have the level wind and I have never casted a reel without it.
    Which do you prefer ??
    Just looking for some opinions on the matter.

    :wink:
     
  2. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    I grew up fishing the ocean with non-levelwind reels like the old Penn Jigmaster. I just got use to them. Now I love levelwinds, I can cast just as far as a non-levelwind especially since I only use braided line. My vote is Yes to levelwinds. :big_smile:
     

  3. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    I like the level wind too.... but I really like the Jigmaster/Squidder reels. I have both and like both. It's either thumb or mechanism to even out the line, which ever you prefer...
     
  4. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I never had a non level wind reel before, Can you cast further or better without the levelwind. I know Ozzy says he uses braided line and cast just as good but I don't use much braided lines. I don't like the idea of the line building all in the middle or just one side, I think it would cause a major problem on the casting if it didn't wind up level (more backlashing problems).
     
  5. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,685
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    on the non level winds you have to use your thumb to guide the line on the reel.it sounds like a lot of trouble but after you have used one for a while it becomes second nature.
     
  6. alton

    alton New Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    State:
    Illinois
    I have fished both and surf fished for years using Squidders and Newells, both non level wind reels. I now use 6500 and 7000 Abu's with level winds and I don't think I lose much distance. Every once in awhile I get real close to buying a Blue Yonder which is a non level wind which is built for distance, but I get nice casting distance with my 6500 and 7000 Pro Rockets with level winds. The bottom line is if you have never used a non level wind reel, I would not start now unless you have plenty on time and patience. Good luck.
     
  7. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    Im slowly trying to ween my self away from the levelwind for a couple reasons 1. alton mentioned more reel choices when the tackle buying bug bites:embarassed: 2. for the simple fact that 99% of the time when something breaks its the levelwind:angry::roll_eyes: so i figure why should i keep buying worms and paws for about $20 a pop when i can guide the line myself and save my $20 and apply it to reason #1:big_smile:
     
  8. dex

    dex New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I use both types of reels there is an advantage to both. Non levelwinds cast farther but levelwinds you don't need to guide the line. After awhile with the non levelwinds it becomes second nature to guide the line.
     
  9. StormCaster

    StormCaster New Member

    Messages:
    364
    State:
    New York
    For distance and no maintenance issues the CT or non levelwind.
     
  10. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have a non- level wind Penn 200 surfmaster.....I still haven't mastered it and may never. I use several penn reels with level wind and I much prefer them.:smile2:
     
  11. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I started using Penn Non-level winds in the 50's.Bought a few level winds 209 & 309 Penns in the 80's for kids and visitors Saltwater fishing.Never remember using them though I maintained them.I used my first level wind about 2000 due to crippled up and numb hands,I was winding my thumb and even fingers up and cutting them with the line.I never ever remember looking at my line while winding it all of those years.I worked it automatically with my thumb.I got my first bait casting reel a couple of years ago with level winds.

    "Level winds are the weak link on a reel.Most people do not really know how to use them and many destroy them with their actions,use and when re-rigging and not lining it up with the spool".These words were spoken to me in the mid 60's by a kind gentleman at the Penn Reel factory in Philadelphia,Pa.Other factory Representatives have agreed with this since to me."They are not put on big reels for big fish as to make one that will hold up would be huge compared to reel size"."The larger the line the worse it is on and to have a level wind".Many folk today use level winds as they do not wish to develop the reel skill needed to fish without one.They are on reels for the same reason and for the same people that automatic transmissions were put on cars.

    Most of the level winds today were designed many years ago for Bass fishing of which the record is a little over 22 lbs.999 out of every 1000 Bass caught are under 5 lbs.People now fish for 100+ lb.fish with these reels with 80-100 lb.line.The reel is built to handle 1/3-1/2 (recommended drag settings)the breaking strength of the line the manufacture states.Any more stress is abuse.Some kids hot rod cars.Some reels.Some never grow out of it and buy the reel designed for the size fish that they are targeting.I notice that many folk who fish for big fish with little reels are far more apt to be buying new reels more often.Boat fishing and following a fish is far different than bank fishing.People catch big fish with light line by following them till they tire.

    Now as I said,I ain't a level wind expert.The views I stated were from the people who made and sold them.Some on here do not agree with this.Your reel,your money.There is no need to modify anything that is right to start with.People who are constantly working on their equipment do so because it is broke,it ain't right or they ain't right.We have many folk praising a certain brand,yet constantly talking of changing,modifying,upgrading and defending these actions.I would and did buy reels that I was satisfied with and did not have to do all this to be satisfied with them.I have no understanding why folk buy a 1/2 ton truck to haul 10 tons of manure on either.

    50+ years /around/with guns and reels have taught me that far more are ruined and broken by the users than the fish and game.Fact of life.

    The right choice is always what makes YOU happy!

    I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  12. tdpasser

    tdpasser New Member

    Messages:
    829
    State:
    Gilbert AZ
    PeeWee has it right the reason some reels don't use the level wind mech is because a tuna or other high speed game fish would smoke the reel.

    The gear holding the leveler gets jammed on the corners.
    When it's jammed on the corner the line gets stressed when pulling from corner to the oposite corner and breaks.

    Cats are powerful but not high speed so the level wind is the way to go if your not using a spinning reel.

    My favorite level wind is the Calcutta, I have a large one which is left hand retrieve.

    If you go with a large spinning reel the Shamono Baitrunner is the best. It has a baitrunner lever which acts like the clicker on a level wind. The reel need a rod with large guide to accomodate it casting ability.

    Fish On!!
     
  13. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    The tournament casters use non-levelwind reels, but most, when plugging in the surf, opt for levelwinds.

    Cattin' with bait is obviously a different game, and a non levelwind reel reel will serve you well, and you won't have a worm gear/pawl/geartrain to maintain.

    I love my squidders, but they are a little more challenging in the dark, don't have any cast control, and are beyond my buddys' experience and skills, so I fish with Abu 6500 with levelwinds.
     
  14. stone

    stone New Member

    Messages:
    80
    State:
    CA
    Level winds are good until you drop it in the sand and the mechanism seizes. I like non level wind for 1 less item to maintain. level winds are nice with braids though
     
  15. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    I vote for Level-wind reels. I OWNED an Avet non-levelwind (conventional) reel for a short while. I had casting issues with it. I backlashed the reel so much I decided to sell it on EBAY. I'm inexperienced with these type of reels. I decided to stick with my Abu levelwinds. To me they are less hassle for the type of fishing I do. I can cast them suffiently well and they serve me well..

    Mark..
     
  16. stone

    stone New Member

    Messages:
    80
    State:
    CA
    the avets i have are magged so that they can cast reliably by the beach. out of the box, they are fast and unless you are using thick lines, it will backash.

    avets are great reels. hope you will try them in future