Zebco Pro Staff 888 review

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by Jnagel, May 13, 2009.

  1. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    First off i'll tell you what led me to buy the 888. I originally had a Zebco 808 that i bought at the begining of last summer. After that summer out with fairly heavy use i found out i bought the cheap version. A notch formed on spinner head which made it almost impossable to cast, time for a new reel the notch could not be sanded out or filled. I went to the bait shop just planning on buying a 808 magnum. But then the shiny gold and black 888 caught my eye. With a black gloss abs plastic bottom and a shined golden front cover with red accents and bold black lettering it was quite a looker. This thing looks like it could tow in a boat but i wanted to check out the specs and see what she was made of. Ball bearing drive-Dual cam drag-2.58:1 gearing-All metal drive train-pre spooled with premium 25LB line. All for $4.00 more than the $26.00 808 magnum. I took it apart at the shop the the gears are actually quality steel not the cheap cast pot metal the 808 gears are made of. The crank rod rides on two quality ball bearings so its smooth as butter. I was sold & bought it right there. When i got it home i matched it up with my favorite rod, a Zebco 7' MH with a solid glass tip (great sensitivity and solid backbone). I took this combo with me fishing today at Glen Shoals. The first cast i put a 3/4 oz. egg sinker on there plus the weight of my bait so there was about six ounces. I droped 18 inches of slack held the rod by the butt and the reel then gave it a small side arm toss Holy S*** my buddy said i just casted out 40 yards easy with just a lil toss and the line went out silent and smooth as can be. The first few fish we 1-3 lbers so i put the drag up and cranked them in with no effort and just as smooth as can be with the soft oversized crank handle. I handed the pole to my buddy and he was just as impressed as i was with the performance of the reel, "farthest i've ever casted, it so smooth he said, its got power to spare" he loved the reel. The two biguns of the day were between 8-10 lbs. When i set the hook that sets firm everytime with the True anti-reverse system so there is to lag time in the hook set i realize it a big one. I loosen the drag and see what the pole is made of the drag is so wide range and easy to reach i quickly tire the two big guys and then tow them in with no problem at all. After all this is is my opion the Zebco Pro Staff 888 is the best lake catfishing reel for the buck & the best reel i have ever spend money on. Hope yall enjoyed my review.
     
  2. scout

    scout Active Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Louisiana
    Great review. I had one years ago and loved it.:006:
     

  3. tswebb71

    tswebb71 Member

    Messages:
    405
    State:
    So. IL
    Jake, I don't want to rain on your parade but "wait til next year." It will get where it won't hardly throw if it is like the ones I used to use. They used to be quality reels until they were outsourced to China. I hope you don't have the same probs I had with them though. Good luck and I am glad it is working well for you!!
     
  4. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    I hope not, i'm really lovin this reel. I bought the Pro Staff vs the plain stock 888 in hopes of a good quality metal drive train. But if it does crap out within a year there is a warranty, also the guys at the bait shop i bought it at would gladly refund or exchange they want to do people right(sadly i didnt get the 808 there) thats why i no longer go to wallmart for anything but terminal tackle.
     
  5. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Jake congrats on the new reel. That was a nice review. I hope you catch a lot of fish on it and it last forever.
     
  6. howards

    howards Member

    Messages:
    113
    State:
    IL.
    The thing I don't like about the 8XX's is that after a time their dargs will take a set and become a little rough...Good luck with yours.
     
  7. alton

    alton New Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    State:
    Illinois
    I hope you purchased the reel from Bluff City Tackle,because I know they will take care of you. Or did you buy from Mallory's, they are good people too. Good luck.
     
  8. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    Bluff City man i buy everything from reels to my sonnys from there. But man it sounds like everyone hates Zebcos i've only had a problem with my 808 cause it came off of a cheap bosshawg combo. I love my Zebcos and could never spare the money for a c3, ambassadeur, or any other Abu. I just cant afford that stuff guys.
     
  9. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill
    Don't let anyone convince you that you NEED the high dollar equipment! Anyone that has fished for some time will tell you a story or 2 about the big fish they have caught on the "less pricey" equipment I to this day use zebco reels all the time. My 33 works awesome for spawn fishing rock ledges for channel cats out of a boat. Just take care of your equipment and they will work well for you all the time. And use the appropriate size setup for the situation. That will tear up a reel in quickly.

    Anyway - I hope ya get a lots of years and memories out of your new purchase!!
     
  10. Catfish KID

    Catfish KID New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    godfrey,illinois
    brother you sound like you got a good head on your shoulders, its not often in this day and age that people only get what they can afford. your gonna do well in life with sense like that. good luck fishing my brother.
     
  11. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    Thank you brother, i really appreciate that.
     
  12. fishnfwl

    fishnfwl New Member

    Messages:
    3,334
    State:
    South Cent
    Fish with what ya like...... H3ll with the "Jone's" I would tell ya though, that the line head with the grove can be fixed I have fixed several of them over the years, yes it is something that you will need to do every winter but it can be fixed. If that reel is just on the shelf because of that, send it over I'll fix it up and send ya back some of the stuff to do it with.......
     
  13. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    THANK YOU RANDY ! ! ! I love my 808 and would love to get it back out i'm shootin you a pm your the man.:tounge_out:
     
  14. fishnfwl

    fishnfwl New Member

    Messages:
    3,334
    State:
    South Cent
    I ain't promising anything, but have had good luck in the past few years on some 33's and a buddy has I think it is a Great White? but any way I'll sure give it a shot for ya, better than setting in a box not fishing...... Do you happen to know what model it is? They make/made a 808, a 808E and a 808N
     
  15. Don Wessling

    Don Wessling New Member

    Messages:
    316
    State:
    IL.
    I have an old 808 that has never given me a bit of problems, but i bought a new 888 from Wal-Mart last year and I can't get any distance on a cast with it. Wish I would have spent the differance for the quality. I see in Catfish connection a couple of different versions of 808's , where can I find an explanation of these different types? I also have an old 733 that is bullet proof. For long casting I use Shakespeare spin cast reels with 7' ugly stik MH, and 50# Power Pro braid, this combo is my favorite.
     
  16. USNTWEEK

    USNTWEEK New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Illinois
    I am looking to buy a new set up . I like the spincast vice spinning reels and have looked at wal-mart at the afordable stuff myself. I have a little heartburn with zebco over a Rhino reel I bought a few years back but I like the looks of the 800 series reels. I am also mulling over the Berkley and Shakespear set ups. What are the opinions for these more affordable brands. Jake your review might even sway me back to Zebco. I like the idea too that Randy said they can be repaired.
     
  17. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    I remember when I was young. I used to use zebcos as well. But as time progressed I learned to catch bigger and bigger fish I started blowing my reels apart, Losing fish due to malfunctioning drags, breaking lines, etc, etc. Then I discovered baitcasters. Ambassadeurs to be specific. 6000's & 6500's, Fell in love with them and began collecting them thinking they were the biggest strongest reels I would ever need. In time I also got a boat that would take to places where bigger fish would frequent, and I started catching even bigger fish. Now I'm burning drag washers out of my ambassadeurs and finding problems winching in big fish in heavy current. Now I'm rebuilding my collections with 7000's and finding I need a bigger boat as well. I wonder if the 7000's will be big enough in the next 10 years? LOL, I honestly hope not! I'm glad to see you're happy with your new reel Jake. But I hope things progress as they did for me and you hook something that will ignite a passionate fire for bigger and bigger fish. And blow the guts out of it as well.
    :big_smile: Good luck!
     
  18. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,463
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Jake,
    Although I am not a fan of those reels, you did a really good job on the write up...W
     
  19. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    thanks for the feedback guys, and i prey to hook something that will blow the guts out of that reel just not untill i can afford a new one:wink:
     
  20. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    Great review. I had one years ago and loved it