Level wind or no level wind?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by PaJay-p, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. PaJay-p

    PaJay-p Guest

    I just bought a couple of high end shimanno baitcasting reels of ebay. I didn't realize that they were not levelwind. My question is how does the line go on the spool evenly if there is no level wind mechanism to move back and forth. Help Please before I break them!:confused2:
     
  2. MAX1955

    MAX1955 New Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    State:
    KENTUCKY
    From what I've read you use your thumb.
     

  3. motard1

    motard1 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    TEXAS
    Use your thumb and index finger. IMO,sell em and get some with levelwind. Last thing you want is to try to keep your line straight while winching in a biggun.
     
  4. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    If you want top casting distance, the non-level wind is the way to go. I use a thumb or finger to wind on the line. When winching the big one in, a level rewind is not your top priority, you can always fix that later. Trolling from a boat, there is no reason not to use a level wind. I fish from the bank or in the surf, so distance is a priority for me. I don't really miss a levelwind now that I am used to not having one.... Try it and see how you like it. No levelwind also means less to go wrong or break...
     
  5. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    I usually run the line in the grove between my thumb and index finger and just nudge it from side to side. it doesent have to be laid out perfect like a levelwind would just even. imo its not hard to do the hard part is remembering to do it because if you dont it will bunch up on one side and jam in the frame. DONT try to make a long cast to straighten it out!!!!! more than likely the line tangels up and your sinker goes flying and the line that has streatched to breaking point comes whipping back at you, been there done that. I had mono draw bloody lines on my face, luckly i had sunglasses on:cool2:
     
  6. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    I guess if your asking how to put the line on the reel the first time youll want to pinch the line between your thumb and finger to move it back and forth and hold pressure. after you got your weight on it to hold the line tight while reeling all it takes is a nuge.
     
  7. Pacman

    Pacman New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    South Carolina
    I have two of each levelwind and non. Non-level wind is much less expensive on average on Ebay. The longest cast will be on a non-levelwind that has been smoothed with the thumb as it is reeled in. If you fish the Pee Dee, it probably doesn't matter that much. If you throw it out the maximum distance it probably isn't coming home anyway. Too many snags along the way.
     
  8. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I pefer the level wind reels.
     
  9. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I prefer the level wind reels, no need to "have to remember" to feed the line back and forth. You're not going to be casting all that far anyway so why have one more thing to worry with when you're fighting the big one! Once you remember it's not that hard to do though, I just prefer to let the reel do that little bit for me:wink:
     
  10. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    My first reel was a Penn 77.No level wind,no drag.That was 55 years ago.I fished with that reel for over 40 years until it was stolen.I just naturally worked my line with my thumb without ever thinking about it.I was no more conscious of it than I was of reeling.Now I had level winds for my kids and guest,but I do not remember using one for over 40 years,and then only when I became crippled up in my hands.

    In the first half of the 60's the US Navy sent me to school in Philly.I went by the Penn reel plant.They treated me very nice and a elderly gentleman showed me around and talked reels.He did not like level winds as they are a weak point on a reel.If you will look it up,the big reels do not have them.To make one that would stand up on a big reel would be just too big and heavy.Also.The big fast saltwater pelagic fish.Many swim in excess of 50 mph.That level wind has to STOP and change direction at those speeds each time it goes to the end.The bigger and faster the fish,the more strain on that level wind.You can get by on small reels for slow small fish.

    Folks.The largest record breaking fresh water fish is a small slow fish by saltwater standards.We do have a few large saltwater fish such as Bull Sharks,Sturgeon and Salmon enter freshwater.These may get large,but they ain't a Wahoo.That level wind is in slow motion with our fresh water fish.It still can get a heck of a strain on it for that milli second when it is stopped and that line is already heading for the other end.It and the spool is trying to play catch up when that line is going out.Just the opposite when reeling under a load strain,but now in slow motion.That little plastic gear connecting the level wind and spool gives and absorbs a lot of shock.They still often strip.

    Also,engaging your reel from free spool to a hard set drag.The higher the speed of the spool,the worse.Reels often disintegrate inside when this is done at high speed.This is why lever drags are used for such.You can set your drag down low,to a strike and then to a full.Your drag acts exactly as a clutch type brake as that is what it is in your reels drive train.It is just adjustable and built to slip with out burning up.If were not for the give in mono the instant of engaging,you would tear the hook out of a fish or break your reel,IF you could could hold on to it.Braid is rough on a reel in this respect.No give.

    Now this is the best that I can remember what was said to me that day.I have discussed it with other reel makers since and they agree.If you wish to check this theory out,just tie on to a trailer ball and have your buddy take out.To check out what it is like for the fast ocean fish,the guys use to drag piece of shrimp net behind a pickup truck and snag it at 30 to 50+ mph. while engaged and disengaged.I have seen the biggest Penns made go flying.Much money was bet on this.This was millionaires who could afford such and paid no attention to us kids accept to use as gofers.We got free cokes and often a few bucks out of this.A lot learned from this from the 50's was used to improve reels.Every Florida Millionaire wanted to be a Hemingway back then including the drinking and fishing.I saw this stuff done at Naples Florida out off the Airport Road.They use to do this,shoot skeet and race Swamp Buggies out there.I use to fight the bushes and snakes for the Clay Pigeons they missed and sell the Clay pigeons for half price and the Rattle Snakes for $1.00 a foot.

    Due to loss of feeling and use of my hands,I use level wind now.Being about 7 lbs.of drag is my effective limit now it is no problem.Level wind works well on the fresh water reels as long as you don't find something fast to hook on too.There are a lot of moving parts there exposed to the grit and grime.Washing the grease out and replacing it with dry Moly will help there.The grit sticks to the grease,but not to the dry molly.3M makes a spray Teflon that drys.It should work,but I have not tried it yet.If you fish from a clean boat,this is not much of a problem.
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I've been fishing with conventional reels for a little over 50 years. The only parts I have ever worn out/had fail were levelwinds (pawls and worm gears).

    Not to say level winds are bad...they're not. Just pointing out they are the Achillies heel of conventionals.
     
  12. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    I remember playing around with some OLD non levelwind reels, when I was growing up.it took me awhile to get used to moving my thumb back and forth smoothing out the line.

    I was thinking on buying a AVET. non levelwind, in one of these weight class's
    SX: 15-20#
    MXJ: 20-25#
    MXL: 25-30#

    They are the ABU'S of the saltwater IMHO.

    For freshwater I go with the Level-wind:wink: