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Rod and Reel Setup

3409 Views 26 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Abu
I have been using the cheapy zebco walmart rod reel combo for lik 14.00. What do you guys use I am planing on buy a new set. I like open faced. But suck at baitcasters I always get backlash.
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How fat is your wallet Eric! LOL! The important thing is to stay within your budget. And before ya buy it make sure ya touch it real good and be sure that its what ya want. That and match it with the kinda fishin ya are gonna be doin the most. Stand back cause ya are gonna get alot of us willin to spend your money! LOL!
elshale said:
I have been using the cheapy zebco walmart rod reel combo for lik 14.00. What do you guys use I am planing on buy a new set. I like open faced. But suck at baitcasters I always get backlash.
well, if you ask around on here you will get many differnet answers and their theorys to why they use what they do. I started out pretty much the same way you did, with a Zebco from Walmart. I then decided to try a baitcaster. I hated them for the longest time. After a couple months of using it( and a few dozen chunks of bait later :crying: ) I got pretty good with it, and I would never go back. If your looking to try a baitcaster, Walmart has a fairly nice and inexpensive Tidewater reel for around $35, and you can get a Big Game rod there also for around $20. It would be a fairly nice combo for a little over $50. I don't know if you have a Fleet Farm nearby, but they also have a Tidewater reel, A little higher priced, but all in all a better reel.

I myself use a Penn reel, and I love it to death. Gander Mountain and Cabelas carry a variety of nice reels, with some very nice Penn reels for a good price (under $50). If Your looking for a Spinning reel, check out the thread in the reel reviews...there is some great info in there.
Hope this helps :rock-big:
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IMO, for really heavy duty catfishing, you need to go to baitcasting type reels, but you can certainly get open faced spinning reels suitable for rods capable of handling 30#-40# test line. Because of the stiffness of heavier mono, I'd recommend using a good braided superline, though. I've got some 20# test Remington Core-Lockd on a regular sized open faced spinning reel, and it's the same diameter as 6# test mono--casts great with no memory.
Thanks Guys. I will get a baitcaster setup next just so I have all three to use and get good at. I was born and raised in MN and open faced was all I ever used for my walley, Pike, and Bull head fishing. Oh and hooking into a big Sheep Head rocks to on Red lake. I am getting use to Just plain Catfishing I love the way the always have a little more to give while you are pulling them in.
Nothing wrong with open face spinning reels for catfishing. Just make sure you get a reel that's up to the task of catching what you're targeting. I've caught 3 or 4 blues over 36 lbs up to 47 lbs on spinning reels and flatheads 37 and 40 lbs as well. Just use that drag and you'll have no problems with big fish on spinning outfits.
if ur getting a baitcaster i would recommend the abu garcia 6500.......its a great real, i got one on a 9 ft eagle claw the time i knew how to cast a small baitcaster but with the bigger rod and bigger baitcaster it was like learning all over again...............once u figure out the mechanical brake and ur release point u should be alright...........
Thanks I am going to look into that. My only problem is I am a huge cheap skate. But if the price is right for the quality I can convince myself
well for a 6500 and a nice rod ur gonna spend about $100 dollars, but if u clean ur reel out once a year it should last a lifetime
That is the truth. My father still has his orginal zebco rod and real.
I always keep an eye out for sales. Once a while a combo will go 50% off at sportmart,sportsauthority,or dicks. For bang for your buck shakespeare combos are great. Just bought an S. ugly stick to replace my S. synergy rod since my dog snapped my rod hopping in the car. Can't blame him for being excited to go fishing. :) My 7ft finnor combo is my favorite medium combo. The reel has 8 bearings very smooth. I like to spin the reel hard and see how long it spins for by itself when choosing a new one. If you are not going for monster size cats i would go with 7ft med spinning with fireline. I seem to have quicker reaction time setting the hook with lighter combos for those smaller bait stealers.
dont buy a combo because it is cheap. save your money and but one that you keep for a long time. i prefer abu bait casters they are pretty easy to clean and oil and if something wears out parts for them are easy to get and parts are reasonably priced, and easy to find. they are alittle pricey but well worth the money and time it takes to learn to use them. once you get the hang of it it will be all you want to use. as far as rods go i like the eagle claw 7 ft or the ugly stick 6ft 6 in rod. both are good rods and both can easily handle a 40 to 50 lb. flattie.
It all depends on what kind of fishing your gonna be doin later on in life and what your targeting. If i were to spend my money on a rod and reel and planed on using it for a long time i'd by an abu or penn. I run all abu 6000s and 6500s. I am also planning on picking up a couple penns here in the near future. If you get the brake on the side adjusted right on an abu it will sure help on that backlash problem. I to am a cheapskate. But i know you get what you pay for and i needed something that was up for the challenge.
Spend what ever you think is right. Hate to say it but you also pay for what you get. I'm starting to move away from the abu's they don't seem to build them like they use too. I'm finding there newer break system's and drag's are weak. I'm going more towards light ocean reels. My next reel is probably going to be 150.00$ and the rod Gator is building it. Then again I really enjoy fishing and have no problem spending money on it.
Howka , Brothers and Sisters;

I just had to put in my two cents worth on this

subject, I use both reel types, my favorite is a Penn

9500ss spinning,with 30# Trilene Big Game,on a 7'

Seeker Rod, this is a pricy rig but it works well, thats

all for now; Big Trebles = Big Cats; Thanks John. :D
I am a firm believer you don't have to spend mega money to catch big fish. I also use the cheap "catfish combo" from Walmart. The reel looks like a big Zebco, the rod is white (easy to see at night), 30 lb. (walmart's generic brand) mono line. I have caught a 35 lb flat (see avatar), and got a 50 to the boat but lost him getting him in the boat. (not the rod and reel's fault). I have considered going to abu's and probably will as soon as I figure out how to cast 'em. But, for now, I am successful using what I have.
eric, If price is an issue that understandable, but you want to get a good rig that will hold up to the rigors of cattin'. Ya might want to check out E-Bay and look for a good quality baitcaster. I've seen good used penn reels go for bargain prices, don't let the used part bother Ya with a lil claening and oilin' they will last a lifetime. The larger abu garcias seem to go for pretty much retail so not much help there. If You go this route make sure Ya deal with a reputable selller one that has lots of positive feed back. I personaly use abu 6500's & 7000's and recomend them highly but the price of one of these reels might shy you away from them but they are worth the investment. I had a nice penn 310 that worked fine untill My buddy threw it into milford lake, but thats another story. found it under the seat of a truck I bougght for parts with a lil cleanin and oilin it was good as new just not as smooth as My abu's. One more note You might check Your local pawn shop for a deal on a rod and reel. Learn to throw a Baitcaster Its worth the time and frustration. One more word to the wise DO NOT scrimp on line its the ONLY thing connecting You to the fish Buy high quality stuff its worth the extra money Hope this helps......good fishin' Brad
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Thanks For all the advise Guys. I will mull it over I might just have to stick with what I know and that is open faced. I might just get a larger openface rod and real. I am pretty good at heaving those things pretty far and will my attention span on a bait caster it would be disasterous.
well if its money and value ill give ya a suggestion. wal-mart. you can get a berkly big game spinning rog for $20. big stiff cat rod. then go to the reel section. they should have them. ive seen them at all wallys here. a openface. its big. quantum xr-60f. i have two.

i now use baitcasters and have 5 abu's and a couple penns but for a year i drifted with these two big open face on rhino rods( wich ill never but again) both broke, but the reels were great. i never caught a huge fish on them but i have dragged my 17' 50hp fish and ski boat back against current with them and 50# spiderwire and pulled up huge logs and they still work. they come with a graphite spool and a metal spool.

the best part. $21. thats $40 for the set. ya should be able to catch large fish no problem. this is it compared to a smaller, um,um, um.... oh ...oh ya. bullhead reel. ya. thats what i use this other reel for, bullhead. ya bullhead. :eek:

if you loosen the front drag they have a weak line out clicker. they hold 300yrds of 12# 165 14#. they will hold about $30 of thinner braid. i use mono backing.
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here is a pic of the reel. most wouldn't buy em cause threre $21. thats to cheap. take it from a guy who has two and hasn't had a prob with either. some one has to be the first. lol. hope this helps. since ya want to stick with spinning i won't try and change your mind.

the other reel is a shimano solstace 2000rg. its an adveradge size spinning reel to show the size comparison to the xr-60's
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