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I know what alot of you are thinking... Cheap Zebco push button crap! Right? I agree that 95% of the spincast reels out on the market are in fact, pure junk. (not just zebco) The Pro Staff 888 is an exception...

I've been using nothing but these 888's for the past 3 years and I love them. I've hauled in dozens of big cats and carp in the 20-35 pound range with ease. Sure the drag is not the smoothest and the retrieve could be a bit faster, but for me, that beats picking out birds nests in the middle if the night after I've had a few cold ones! And yes, I do know how to throw spinning and baitcaster reels. I choose to use spincasters for cat and carp fishing.

Anyways, the first thing you have to do to these reels in order for them to perform well is change the line and make sure you don't overfill it. I have all 5 of mine spooled with 25lb Big Game in Solar Collector. The reel casts a mile. Also ya gotta love these big power handles. Feels great cranking the big boys in! The one flaw that these reels do have is the back cover/thumb button is plastic. I wore out the "ears" on the button on one.

I called Zebco and they sent me a new cover at no charge, they have great customer service. Also take note, the 888 is totally rebuildable! The reel comes with a parts list.

The gears... Heavy duty indeed. Has 3 bearings, 2 for the handle, 1 for the drive. Pretty smooth feel overall. The base is all metal too which is a good thing. The bait clicker is made well too, never failed me once. Also take note, the metal clicker tab can be "adjusted" to make it louder by giving it more contact by bending it some. Just something I figured out. Hope you all enjoyed my review. Rip lips and fish on!



 

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Nice review! Just shows that if used and set up properly, many reels will work well for catfish.There are a lot of catters that say spinning reels are not suitable for big cats, or any cats either. They seem to not realize the fact that many LARGE saltwater fish are caught on spinning gear as well as mono line on a regular basis. Fish as big as and even bigger than the fats and blues targeted here.
 

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good review , I think the 808, s are still ok too , no matter how many bait casters I have , I like being able to know i can still fish if I bird nest a reel , if I have a 808 or some kind of spin cast with me . :)
 

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I've thought about picking one of those up just to have it for the occasion a bddy goes with me and is not too adapt at using a baitcaster.

Are the 888 and 808 all metal or are they plastic bodied? It looks like the top half is metal for sure. I haven't touched a Zebco spin caster in ages.
 

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To each their own, and nice review.

But try throwing braid on those, or using line over 25lb. I had one of these reels for a while and it worked 'fine' with 15lb Cabela's Big Game mono but when I started getting into bigger cats and carp, I had to switch. Ended up with 3 Okuma Avengers and recently found myself into 5 Abu's (4 6500c3's and a 5500c3).

I gave my spin cast reel to my roommate and he has even ditched it (not completely, uses it to catch bait) for the use of okuma avengers as well. For the price point, there is no reason to not go to a more advanced, more bearings, and more optioned reel like the ABF's
 
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