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I think like everyone here my first reel was a Zebco. I lived within miles of the manufacturing plant and they had a nice factory outlet here too. That all ended maybe 20 years ago when they went to China. My first “nice” reel was a Browning spinning reel I got around 1994. I know spincast was really big in the 80’s but can’t remember when they really started to fall off the map. I’ve had a mild urge to pick up a USA made 33 at some antique mall and fix it up or buy a large 808 and a casting rod, just to shake things up by haven't got around to it. Just had me wondering.
 

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Steven from Georgia
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Bass fishing popularity killed them i guess.

Funny you should mention this:
Monday morning i moved to a train trestle and set up on one of the columns. A little while later this older guy pulls up in a old 16' mod v aluminum boat. He starts casting around the other columns. When he gets close to me hes using a spin cast of some sort. I saw him catch 2 bass before he moved on down to the bridge.
 

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Aaron from Indiana
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I like baitcasters for the amount of line they will hold and their smooth drag. Ive only tried a few spincast so my experience isn’t deep with them, but none had drags that were worth a darn. I started fishing over 45 years ago with a Johnson Century. I have 2 US made Zeno 33s setup now for panfish, but smooth they are not. I generally grab a spinning reel for panfish, but my wife still prefers spincast.
 

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I don't know that they fell out of favor as much as manufacturing technology allowed baitcasters and spinners to surpass what the spincast platform could hope to offer.
Back in the day of knuckle buster baitcasters or twistomatic spinners the push button spincast was in some ways on par or better. But slowly but surely innovation made the former a more refined and usually more expensive option. Spincast held on for a long time on price point alone and still does to some degree.
Now with the advent of chinese slave labor rate reels, who knows what the future holds.
 

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They were never as good a reel as a bait caster. The could never handle braided line. The line is spooled on the reel by one small pin which would get eaten alive by braid. The spin casters had a low line capacity, weak drag system, were bad about twisting the line up so took its proper place in fishing as a beginners reel. They had their place and many of us used them for years. But as we became better fishermen and moved from pan fish to really strong fighters, we progressed to better equipment for the job at hand.

You can still get spincasting reels. Mostly used but there are a few still around.

I'll stick with my bait casting reels and spinning reels.

tight lines.
 

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I'm right handed and love a left handed reel. I started out with a Zebco 202 then a 404. Didn't really care for either. I bought a Shakespeare wonder cast left hand. It was good until it got some wear to it. I used spinning reels for years. At a store I was looking at the Johnson Century 100. Got to talking with the clerk. It can be rebuilt for right or left hand operation, on top or bottom of a rod. My first one was $9 and loved it. A few months later I found one in the clearance section of a hardware store missing the handle nut for $3. In the nut section I found a brass nut that fit for 8 cents. I now have 50 that work and a large box of spare parts.
 

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Winston, Indiana
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My first reel wasn’t a spin caster, nor were my second, third or any other…….. until that fateful Christmas when one of my relatives gave me a combo with a spincast reel.
I hated it at first sight and then hated it even more at first use. They are a loathsome product of the devil’s workshop.
The only good about them is that they fit nicely in the palm of the hand which allows you to throw them a really long way!
J. M. H. O. 🙂

…W
 

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The older spincast were better quality than the one's that I have seen made today. That being said I always did like the spinning reels better and recently have started using baitcasters. I still prefer a spinning reel, but the baitcasters fit better in my boat. Also like the baitcasters when trolling as it easier to let line out.
 

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Started with a Zebco 202, then a 404, when I got big enough to bail hay I got myself a 33 and thought I had arrived. I think advances in bait casters made them much easier to master with the auto breaking systems, plus the foreign market was able to produce them at a cost much less than they had been available at before.
 

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I hear about cast control with bait casting reels a lot. Don't know that I buy it though. When you cast some kind of bait, the line simply runs off the reel. Falls off a spinning reel, maybe the same with spin cast and on a bait caster, pulls the line off the spool. I love my bait casting reel, can't tell you why though. I think the precision of the cast is dependent on how the individual cast's with whatever rod he's using at the time! Actually for a great many people bait casting reels won't compare to a spinning reel for accuracy, talking about those that never learned to use them. Then at the same time spinning for a lot of people won't compare to bait casting either. People that bait cast tend to do it a lot and switching to spinning is going to take a bit different method. Come to think of it, I use casting when I expect the catch bigger fish, rod and reel just seems stouter to me. For smaller fish I have done UL spinning for years, Till just recently I've never seen a casting reel set up with heavier line that would cast a 1/8th oz bait worth a darn. But I'm working on that now!

The guy that has never cast a casting reel is most likely need to learn to pick out birds nest's before he get good at casting it!
 

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The guy that has never cast a casting reel is most likely need to learn to pick out birds nest's before he get good at casting it!
I agree but IMO the learning curve has been shortened with magnetic breaking and other improvements made since I bought my first one in 1975. I actually have more line issues with my spinning reels than I do my baitcasters but I would estimate I have made somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 cast with my baitcasters and I have indeed picked many a birds nest out.
 

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When I joined the BOC all my tackle was light weight. On ebay I won the bid for 3 Penn 155 reels. Seller said they were cleaned, lubed ready to go. Nastiest reels I ever seen. I removed 4 layers of grease. I practiced in the front yard, got a few small nest. Got it that I could cast 75/80 yards with 6 oz sinker. First trip fishing was with Coach on the AR river. First cast and I have the biggest nest I've ever seen. By the time I get the nest cleared Coach caught a fish and is ready to get back to camp. One trip at Shelby Forest on the MS river where I caught my PB flathead. Since then I've added a 9, 109, 209, 309, 500 and 500S to my Penn collection.
 

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I can’t really relate to your thoughts on falling out of favor but they did lower Zebcos quality when they moved to China big time. Zebcos have never been as long as lasting as a baitcaster. I use 1990s 808s, and 888s as backup for my baitcasters but haven’t ever used them. When I was a kid I started out with Zebco. I still like them though but I use baitcasters now. Good luck with the Zebcos!
 

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The best advice would be to just take a little time and learn to use a current day reel. I prefer bait caster for cat fishing and spinning for panfish (bait). Both are excellent reels.

Yes,,,,,everyone gets to use whatever they want but you could also take a horse & buggy to work. Newer gear is almost always better. And it saves the spin casters for the kids just learning.

No disrespect, just a thought.

tight lines
 
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