Tidewater, Abu 6500, Penn 209, which reel?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by gadzooks, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    I've found one of each at a pawnshop and believe I can get them for much less than the asking. All are in good condition...I'm pretty good at judging reels, having done all my own repairs for over 30 years. None of these reels show much wear and tear, other than normal scratches. The Tidewater appears to be pretty new. (stolen and pawned reels?) I've never owned a baitcaster larger than an Abu 5500. so don't know much about the larger ones. My use will be for blue cats and I want to be prepared for one in the up to 40lb range. I'm most familiar with the Abu products, then the Penn's. I may also use the reel for gar fishing for gar in the 20 to 60 lb range, but not often. Suggestions welcome.
     
  2. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Abu 6500, It will cast much better than the other two.
     

  3. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    I personaly don't think you could go wrong with any of them. I own all of em and like them all.
     
  4. DELLIS

    DELLIS New Member

    Messages:
    314
    State:
    OHIO
    i have a penn and tidewATER ifr i had to choose between the 2 the penn byfar i would love to try abu 6500 :)0a32: maybe the ole lady will see this and get it for christmas)
     
  5. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    It would be unfair for me to rate all three reels, even though I do own all three. The tidewater reel I have not fished with, the penn 209 and the abu 6500 are both great reels but I do lean toward the 209's more than the 6500.
    If the reels are cheap enough, by all three, try them, and then sell or trade the ones you don't like. Check ebay to see what they are selling for, that will give you an idea of what the reels are worth.
     
  6. winston61

    winston61 New Member

    Messages:
    161
    State:
    Texas
    You will like that reel. It will cast a mile.
     
  7. rocket256

    rocket256 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,604
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Name:
    McGill
    An Abu 5500 is just a small version of a 6500.
    Abu Garcia 5500 C3 Series Reel Line Capacity:205 yds/ 12 lbs.
    Abu Garcia 6500 C3 Series Reel Line Capacity:245 yds/ 14 lbs.
     
  8. countrycat15

    countrycat15 New Member

    Messages:
    668
    State:
    gastiona,nc
    i think i would go with the abu 6500
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    ABU6500 performs well and easy to work on if necessary. Parts are easy to obtain also.It will last uou for years. Good Luck with your decision.
     
  10. Skipjack

    Skipjack New Member

    Messages:
    309
    State:
    LaGrange, Ky.
    I think that of these three I would go with the 209.
     
  11. tnkatman

    tnkatman New Member

    Messages:
    846
    State:
    Bluff City, TN
    I'd Go With The Abu 6500.
     
  12. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I noticed that you are not that far from saltwater.You might wish to take that in consideration when making your choice.I found it convenient to buy gear that I could use in both.Then I found out through time that gear built to handle saltwater seemed to stand up to and last longer in freshwater also.I think it is great that you have found yourself in this situation of having to make up your mind in the middle of plenty.Many times our decisions are based on the best that we can do with what we can find that we can afford.We never get too old to feel like the kid with money in the Candy Store.I am happy for you.I am only familiar with the Penn.I would buy one again,and again, and again.I consider them a "work horse or mule"in their line class.Please let us know what you do,and how you like your choice.This is how we all learn.peewee-williams
     
  13. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I would get the Abu 6500.
     
  14. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    I've fished both Abu and Penn for years and like both for different reasons. Both my Abu 5500C's and 6500C's will outcast my Penn's. My Penn 9's and 209's will out wench the Abu's.

    If push comes to shove the primary decision factors in my opinion are line capacity and required casting distance. Although the Abu will cast farther it's the Penn that will work better under heavier lines and have enough remaining line in reserve if needed.

    Considering the new braided lines small diameter the line weight v/s castability issue could be a mute point.

    Whichever you choose your gonna have a reel or reels that will last a lifetime. No kiddin, a lifetime!

    Best to Ya

    Larry Collier
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've got a Tidewater, a 6500, and a bunch of Penns. The Tidewater is a good 'throwaway' reel, that should last several seasons of hard use. The 6500 is an excellent casting reel, designed for light to medium use, and probably won't stand up to hard use without aftermarket parts to beef it up. For instance, the drag on mine won't tighten enough to pull in a 10# blue cat against the current below a powerhouse; an aftermarket drag system would fix that problem. For me, another problem is the small line capacity of the 6500; I tried using 30# mono on it, and found that a long cast would almost strip the spool. But then, some of the places I fish require casts of 100 yards or more. The Penn 209 won't cast as far as the 6500, but it's a workhorse that you can pass down to your grandkids. I've got Penn reels that are over 50 years old that are still in use. If you want a really tough reel that will cast long distances, look for a Penn 320 GTi or GT2. They will cost more than a 209, but if you need the additional casting distance, that's the way to go. If you don't need the distance, go with the 209.
     
  16. BigCat72

    BigCat72 New Member

    Messages:
    337
    State:
    OHIO
    i use abu 6500's they are great