Which is better reel to use?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Delbert, May 1, 2006.

  1. Delbert

    Delbert New Member

    Out of the 3 different types of reels available, which do you prefer for catfishing. There is open spool, closed faced, and baitcast. It seems that every year the reels have gotten larger and more, so-called heavy duty, but do they perform like the manufactures say they will. I know that there are good reels out there like Abu's, Shakespears and Zebcos, but can they stand up to the abuse that large catfish can give. I like the larger Penn reels also, but to find a used one that's not rusty and neglected is like winning the lottery---I wish. So until I find a really good reel, I'm using a baitcast reel made in Australia by Silstar loaded with 75lb line.
  2. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    If your looking for used Penn reels check out the classifieds on this site and E-bay. Myself I like the big penns.

  3. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    For strength - baitcasting reels will hold up to the big fish... For casting distance - open face spinning reel generally has less drag so it should go futher, everything else being equal. Good reels, but just not up to the toughness of a baitcasting reel. Spin-cast (closed face spinning reel) - good for bait and small children. Of course, everyone will have an opinion. Yours is the only one which counts. lol
  4. photocat

    photocat New Member

    HOCO, Maryland
    Spinning reels:

    +'s= Light line, long casts, delicate presentations, presision casting; Bullheads, channels , and Blues sometimes (cody's 121 on 20 required a long cast), small flatheads

    -'s= Tendency to show line memory/tangle, can't hold really heavy line or if they do not much, Line twists alot (esp if reeling when drag's slipping), High elemental exposure, Drag isn't always the strongest, for higher line capacities, the reels get extremely large (compared to the weight line and/or baitcasting reels)

    Bait Casting:

    +'s= Very little to know line twist, high line capacity to size, Drag system is usually fairly good, Line-out alarm/bait out alarm/clicker, Once you learn the reel and set it correctly it casts very well, cranking power, heavier weights and lines, "pro" ; Channel Cats, Blues, Flats, Exotics, etc...

    -'s=Hard to use with light lines, Backlashes galore if your not paying attention when you cast or don't have it set right, takes a little bit to learn how to cast, not much fun pulling in dinks w/ (overpowering), casts are less distance then spinning reels.

    Spincasting (closed face):

    +'s= Cheap, compact, all line enclosed, cast decently, EASY to learn, can handle their own, Good for beginners; Bullheads, Small channels and blues

    -'s= low line capacity, can't handle heavy lines, can't take the abuse of too many fish, if you get a tangle it requires complex "surgery", hard to fix if there is a tangle, hard to get line out if it breaks and reels into the body, breaks all the time.

    I have all three though i only use baitcasters and spinning reels 99% of the time anymore. As for manufacturers... if i could afford it i'd have all Abu's and Shimanos but i've settled w/ Shakespeares for alot of mine cause i trust their products... though i have to say abu's drag and castability are phenomenal on the ones i've gotten.
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    I am a baitcaster man myself. I fish from a boat, so the baitcaster fits my needs better than any.

    I have some spinning rods for when I am after smaller cats, or just wanting to fight them a little more. The only time I used closed face reels was when I was younger and before I started pursuing big cats. With that said, I have seen some pretty beefy closed face reels like the Zebco 808, but I am not familiar with the gearing on those suckers and how they would handle the load of a big fish.
  6. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    For catfishing I have a baitcaster and a larger spinning reel. When I was younger I only used a spincaster that I had for years. One thing I really like about my baitcaster is the line out alarm.
  7. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Montgomery, Alabama
    I think the baitcaster is a better reel to use.
  8. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

    Fairbury, Illin
    Baitcaster is my favorite, but have some of all three.
  9. catchinghogs

    catchinghogs Well-Known Member

    I have silt star bait runners these reels were fairly inexpensive and have never let me down. This year i bought an Abu 6601ssc3 and so far the only good thing about this reel is it looks nice. But i have only casted it a couple of times still trying to get used to it.
  10. AdamL

    AdamL New Member

    I use Abu baitcasters. Once you own a couple and learn how to use and abuse them, you'll never go back to open face or 404's. Those things are for stubborn folks that catch the fish I use for bait.
  11. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Gastonia N
    I don`t think you will ever find a rusty Penn reel because they are made of brass and chrome plated.They may be corroded by salt water but with a little oven cleaner they will look like new.They almost never wear out if kept lubed talking about bait caster

  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    AdamL. If I remember correctly wasnt it you who was fishing with your dad and your dad was catching bream (supper) with a 404 and you were stealing his supper fish off the stringer and catching monster cats right next to him with an ABU?
  13. okiekrawler

    okiekrawler New Member

    roland ,oklahoma
    i gotta say my favorite reels are baitcasters, mainly the abu 7000c3. i did get 2 penn220 gto reels and for the money they work well. i have fished my 220's for a few months and i like em. they don't throw as good as abu's but they have served me well on my boat rigs.
  14. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Ludowici GA
    If you ask me Baitcasting is the only way to go. They have the second longest casting distance in the world the frist being held by a Averet reel which is a odd reel in its self and bets the spinning reel by 100+ feet but the drag system on the better made bait casting reels such as Penn and ABU have better drag systems than 90% of the spinning reels on the market. And with the type of fishing I do I need the line capicaty of those reels. Also I can not for the love of Pete cast a spinning reel worth a darn....LOL
  15. Chief

    Chief New Member

    one over looked feature of spinning reels is the ability to take the spool off and replace it with one with a different line or when your other one is getting low. spinning reels are balanced a little better for the most part wich is nice if you like to hold your rod. penn and shimano make baitrunners wich allow you to freespool with the bail closed. the shimano can hold #25 line wich according to my cabelas is way more than any abu.
  16. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    clk. tn
    Late last year I started to use baitcasters, a smaller one for lure fishing and a tidewater for catfishing. I do like them but have more problems with them than the open face spincast. I can also cast much further with the open face than the baitcast. It is easier to start with an open face spincast. They all can stand up pretty well for big fish especialy the baitcaster and open face spincast. Get a couple different poles and set them up with a baitcaster and open face spincast, see which one works best for you.
  17. pursuing_cats

    pursuing_cats New Member

    I have used them all, brand names, diferent makes and models cheap ones too. I prefer bait casters ut I will take an open face spinning reel anyday of the week. My wife uses open face spinners and she does very well with them. She out fishes me most of the time cause she can get further out with the spinners.
  18. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    Don't get me started on spincast reels ("closed face" reels).

    Bottom line - revolving spool reels (baitcasters, conventional) are inherently stronger than spinning or spincast reels, because the line doesn't have to make a 90 degree turn to wrap on the spool - and the gears don't have to make that same 90 degree shirt either. Baitcasters also will hold more line in a smaller package. Baitcasters arenot great at throwing light baits, however - and are a little bit trickier to cast overall. Baitcasters also do not automatically put twist into the line the way spinning reels do (any time the spool is turning - that is any time the drag is slipping - you are twisting the line with a spinning reel. This is because the line was wound onto a stationary spool and then removed from the spool as it turned. Try it at home with a spool and a string.)

    If you are going to be throwing very light baits (like under 1/2 ounce), then spinning tackle is probably better. Otherwise, invest the time and effort to learn to cast the baitcasters effectively. You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

    Give the spincasters back to the grade school kids.

    As for quality and standing up to a big fish - or lots of big fish: you get what you pay for. If you want a quality spinning reel or a quality baitcaster you are going to pay at least $60 for either. You can get good Abu's for about that (or on up to $200 plus if you want to go that way) if you watch for sales and look around the internet for deals. Penn also makes good tough workhorse reels. Shimanos are excellent, too, as are Quantum.
  19. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Newport N.C.
    I will put my shimano baitrunner up against any abu any day. These reels are designed for pulling in huge king mackerel and wahoo. I have caught blues to almost 60lbs and flats up to 42lbs and reeled them in with no problems whatsoever. I have had people fishing in my boat that had to take their abu's apart because they broke while fishing. I have used these baitrunners for over 2 1/2 years now and it still doesnt even need to be serviced yet. I can run almost 200 yds of 40lb big game without a problem. Don't knock the baitrunner until you at least fish with one. IMHO these are the only reels for catfishing for me. Try one out, they will change your mind.
  20. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    This is my first year dealing with them, but I think non-levelwind might be the way to go if you're fishing with heavy tackle. Greater capacities, great for dealing with backlashes (no worm gear to deal with), and a lot of them come with lever drags, which is better than the star. However, light spinning gear does the give the fish a chance...:cool2: