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Should I get the Abu Garcia Ambassador 7000ICS or a different reel?

  • Yes (7000ICS)

    Votes: 14 31.1%
  • No get another reel (Please comment which one)

    Votes: 9 20.0%
  • Penn squall

    Votes: 4 8.9%
  • Penn fathom

    Votes: 17 37.8%
  • Shimano baitrunner d (BTR12000D)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Shimano Thunnus CI4 (TU12000CI4)

    Votes: 1 2.2%
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Hi Ray,
I dont mean to hijack the guys reel thread but I really think the Penn Senators for the $$ they are a great value. I have seen them used and abused and they rarely if ever break. For a "Big Catfish" reel they have a narrow model (113N/114N Series) that level winds 80lb dacron beautifully and makes for a real balanced rod & reel set. With a six or 7 foot stiff tuna rod used for catfishing you can throw it halfway across the Arkansas river if you practice at it.

I lived in Alaska for almost 15 years and fished for King Salmon and Halibut almost exclusively because that's what I like to eat, I caught my Smoking salmon in a net (Reds) but my Kings and Halibut on a R&R..Here is a good eating size fish of about 20l-25lbs, they call them "Chicken Halibut" but they are sublime with tempura flour beer batter and deep fried..

I grew up in North Alabama knowing that in the south paper mouth's and Catfish were the "Table Fish" meant for eating, but...I swear that Halibut will make you throw rocks at freshwater fish for table fare...Its that good..I simply wish I had never tasted it.
 

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Hi Lee,

Those "drop 8oz of lead straight down" reels you speak of...the guy is partially right ..however there are some innovative Japanese companies and American importers who make replacement bearings for these old reels that make them capable of casting nearly as far as a big surf rod.

They can't be equipped with the fancy magnetic braking features that smaller bait casters can but I can throw 3oz of lead and a 12" herring a country mile and upgraded drag material makes it simply a different reel. Throwing them any distance, well, it just takes practice...you WILL end up cutting some line off the spool during the learning curve but if I can learn to do it anyone can .

Search for ABEC-7 bearings for whatever you end up with..tuning these old workhorses and a judicious application of some metal polish like Flitz will make your jaw drop when you see how much smoother and fun the reel is to operate.

As a matter of habit, I would "tune" any reel I bought period, most if any aren't lubed properly from the factory for use, they are lubed for storage, think of it like cosmoline on M-14's. It may work.... but it ain't how it's supposed to work...my 2 cents..

Check out the tuned and modified Penn Senator reels on this guys website. You can take the basic reel up to any level of performance and function your wallet can stand; There is also some very good free information on DIY tuning of large salt/freshwater bait caster, bait droppers :)

https://supertunereels.com/

The Penn 113N is one of my favorites, I have owned several of them, parts are avalable and cheap, buy it on Ebay and make it yours and learn how everything works in it by refurbishing the thing yourself..I would rather have 1 of these than 10 of the newer plastic Squall's or whatever.

Guns and Fishing reels should be made of metal, kids toys and foreign cars should be made of plastic...

My Grandfather told me that it only hurts once to buy the best equipment.. and you never regret it..Buying crap will always annoy you and fail when you need it most and you will always regret it..


 

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Hi Lee,

Those "drop 8oz of lead straight down" reels you speak of...the guy is partially right ..however there are some innovative Japanese companies and American importers who make replacement bearings for these old reels that make them capable of casting nearly as far as a big surf rod.

They can't be equipped with the fancy magnetic braking features that smaller bait casters can but I can throw 3oz of lead and a 12" herring a country mile and upgraded drag material makes it simply a different reel. Throwing them any distance, well, it just takes practice...you WILL end up cutting some line off the spool during the learning curve but if I can learn to do it anyone can .

Search for ABEC-7 bearings for whatever you end up with..tuning these old workhorses and a judicious application of some metal polish like Flitz will make your jaw drop when you see how much smoother and fun the reel is to operate.

As a matter of habit, I would "tune" any reel I bought period, most if any aren't lubed properly from the factory for use, they are lubed for storage, think of it like cosmoline on M-14's. It may work.... but it ain't how it's supposed to work...my 2 cents..

Check out the tuned and modified Penn Senator reels on this guys website. You can take the basic reel up to any level of performance and function your wallet can stand; There is also some very good free information on DIY tuning of large salt/freshwater bait caster, bait droppers :)

https://supertunereels.com/

The Penn 113N is one of my favorites, I have owned several of them, parts are avalable and cheap, buy it on Ebay and make it yours and learn how everything works in it by refurbishing the thing yourself..I would rather have 1 of these than 10 of the newer plastic Squall's or whatever.

Guns and Fishing reels should be made of metal, kids toys and foreign cars should be made of plastic...

My Grandfather told me that it only hurts once to buy the best equipment.. and you never regret it..Buying crap will always annoy you and fail when you need it most and you will always regret it..


Damn! Nice information there Jerry! And I believe the same as your Grandfather.
 

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"The Penn 113N is one of my favorites, I have owned several of them, parts are avalable and cheap, buy it on Ebay and make it yours and learn how everything works in it by refurbishing the thing yourself..I would rather have 1 of these than 10 of the newer plastic Squall's or whatever."

Hey Jerry, anytime you want to make this trade, one Penn 113n for ten Penn squalls I'm ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
 

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Yeah, that's the one thing I overlooked. I've never seen the Penn Squall as being a plastic or cheap type reel. I've always seen them as workhorse type reels. The guide I fish with uses them exclusively, and I fish with him a lot. Over these past 4 years fishing with him, those reels have been as dependable, durable, and smoothly running reels as any Catfish reels out there.

I'm not saying that they are better than Fathoms or other choices other guys are using out there. But they can be counted on, day in and day out.
 

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Yeah, that's the one thing I overlooked. I've never seen the Penn Squall as being a plastic or cheap type reel. I've always seen them as workhorse type reels. The guide I fish with uses them exclusively, and I fish with him a lot. Over these past 4 years fishing with him, those reels have been as dependable, durable, and smoothly running reels as any Catfish reels out there.

I'm not saying that they are better than Fathoms or other choices other guys are using out there. But they can be counted on, day in and day out.
Hey Ray,

That's excellent news on the newer Penn reels. I don't have any firsthand knowledge of them, and at your recommendation I may buy one and use it for some experimental trolling setups I am toying with, the price is certainly right!

My only fear of the ABS reel body's is the UV around here, I have NEVER seen a place where the sun destroyed more plastic and rubber stuff faster than Arkansas! Even in Alaska between the cold and the UV plastic stuff did not last long before it became brittle, chipped, discolored and eventually broke. it just don't happen with metal Using stuff in a fresh water environment is another reason they may last down here. Exposed to salt and salt spray, I have seen pumps, outboards, gensets, and other power equipment that the tins (Body panels) had completely rusted off of the machine and they still worked perfectly albeit mostly unidentifiable..., the ones that worked perfectly? The ones branded Honda, Yamaha, Evinrude..I have seen Honda Gensets and power washers that were practically unidentifiable as power equipment it was so rusty, but would still start with 1 pull and run until out of fuel. As long as they put Seafoam in the gas as a preservative/stabilizer (Sta-Bil is garbage) and changed the oil fairly regularly the Honda, Yamaha and Evinrude stuff was the only stuff that lasted up there.
You eventually learn from the Sourdough's (Sour on Alaska but not enough dough to leave) that spend the $$ on the stuff that will last. I remember the first time I paid over $100.00 for set of long Underwear from Patagonia, after a couple of winters out hunting, hiking, snow machining and four wheeling I got the message...

I learned a lot from some of those Squarehead (Norwegian) boat captains and commercial crab fishermen. Look at every commercial salmon skiff, they are either running a Yamaha or Honda outboard...The other brands to remain unmentioned just blow up or break after a couple of seasons of hard hard hard use.

They have a commercial jigging fishery up there for Tuna and Red rockfish and Ling cod..
No electric reels, these guys load the tanks using conventional R&Reels....I wonder how the plastic ones would hold up to that daily grind of several hundred cycles of line out line in every day for weeks on end before blowing up? i am sure for a small catfish guide service they will work admirably, I'm just the kind of person who likes Custom big game rifles based on Mauser actions or forged reproductions (Montana Actions), single shot falling blocks like the Farquharson or Ruger No.1.

I know when I chamber the first or ten thousandth round or extract a fired one they will function 100% of the time. Just like I know my metal framed Senator reel is not going to come apart when I hook up with a #300lb barn door Halibut that is hell bent to get back towards Russia with my hook & herring in his mouth... But...I just read of this guy who caught a #100lb blue in the Mississippi river one a Zebco 202 with crappy 20 lb. mono? :eek1:.

One of if not THE best bass fisherman I ever knew used Zebco 33's exclusively..I think they are a P.O.S. but he would have given some of the big Tournament boys a run for their money were he still alive...A contradiction? Certainly..The same guy thought nothing of spending $1500 on an English #3 or #4 weight handmade bamboo flyrod to catch bedding bluegills on, but liked to cast rubber legged popping bugs, topped off with nothing but a Pfleuger automatic wind fly reel for $49.00 at Walmart...:o_O:...Talk about beauty and the beast? Jeez I used to give him hell about his tools but he was a great fisherman, god rest him...

Chance favors the prepared....


"Gratias age pro eo quod habe"


I enjoy chatting with you Ray! Best Regards!

Jerry
 

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Same with you Jerry. Whoa, now I see why you were talking about having extremely durable Reels. That sounds like an extreme environment up there in Alaska. If I was up there in that Sea, which I'd probably be scared shitless to be, I would buy Nothing But, the most durable reels I could buy.

Although some Catfish can get pretty big, the environment in the lower states just doesn't come close to the extremity in Alaska. I know a guide who guides on Wheeler lake in Alabama, who uses all Squalls for his Trophy Catfishing. And to be honest, those reels were made specifically for charter boat captains and their bottom fishing. They were made for saltwater. If you ever read the reviews for squalls on the internet. They are all pretty darn good.

With that being said, I always like buying the strongest, most durable equipment I can afford. And for me, that choice was a Penn Fathom 25lw.

The Fathom is just one Rock Solid Hunk of Metal man!

I love it, and I'm not worried about anything happening to it.
Plus it has a Max Drag of 30lbs.!

For most Catfisherman the Fathom is totally overkill. But I can assure you, you'd be hard pressed to find one more bulletproof for Trophy Cats. if that's what your quarry is.
 

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Well said Ray. I like my Fathoms also. Great reels, but on my next trip to the James I am taking 2 Abu BG7000NLD's on E-Cat 3's for the Boys to use plus the Fathoms. Small Lever drags with levelwinds about the same size as the Fathom 15LW with great drags. They have spent years fighting Stealhead on 2LB test and one was a Salmon Guide in Alaska and are great stickmen. They want to go to lighter tackle this year but I am going to restrict how light because I do not want to hurt or exhaust the fish. Have to always keep that in mind, Always! They have had their a$$ handed to them a couple of times already on the James with heavy tackle and know what to expect so I will try to find a happy medium for this coming trip. Time for a new challenge!
 

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penn fathom 20 star drag no level wind
heavy rod
good braid
plane ticket to Germany
:tongue1:
 
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penn fathom 20 star drag no level wind
heavy rod
good braid
plane ticket to Germany
:tongue1:
If only they had a Penn Fathom 20nlw.:unhappy:

A Penn Fathom 12nlw or 15nlw would work though. Spooled with 50lb Sufix 832, crank the drag up to the max of 25lbs, and just about any fish 200lbs or less will be landable.
 

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I use the mauser 98 actions too, Argentine, VZ-24, pre-war German with Lother walther Barrels, Timney triggers, Leupold 50mm, 30 mm tube, Boone and Crockett hairs.
 
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