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Cody0707

Buying A Reel Without Touching It

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I don't have any big sporting good stores around me that sell decent setups. Walmart is where most people buy around here. The nearest BPS is about a 2.5 hour drive. How many people buy a reel without demoing it first?

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I have. Some I've been happy with, some not so much. But I don't think it would have been any different had I been able to handle on in a store first. That does not tell you very much about a reel. It's how it performs for YOU in the conditions you fish in and the type of fishing you do that counts. And you won't know that until you own one.

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I have done it and sometimes regreted it. Now that we have a Cabela's in CT. I usually take the ride and fondle them first. I strongly recommend touching if you can. But even then its not 100%. The real test is on the water and thats when you find all the dislikes of a reel.

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If you can it's always good to feel them and see what you think but like said if you can't then it's fine. The real test is on the water.

Jake

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I have no idea where 'here' is (helps to fill out your location) but since you said most there's bound to be anglers around you that have other than what Walmart sells, ask them if you can try it out

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I live in a small town with WalMart as the primary choice for tackle. I have a Gander Mountain about 60 miles away and a BPS store about 90 miles away. Shipping costs for on-line orders are usually cheaper than gas to make the round-trip to the stores. So, I do research on-line first, then order on-line. I've bought some rods and reels from eBay as well. Out of the 31 rods and 36 reels that I've bought on-line in the past few years, I've been disappointed with 4 or 5 of the rods, and have lukewarm feelings about 2 of the reels. Everything else has been fine and I got good prices on everything.

But then, I'm not that picky...

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you can get burned buying something from the store just as easily. Always check to see what the return policy says before you buy something.

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I would make a day trip to Gander Mountain. Kill two birds with one stone. Get your dad a fathers day present while your there. Or something.... find another reason to go other than just feeling out reels. Although that is a good reason. The way a reel feels in my hand is as important to me as the performance itself.

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i've lost count of how many new reels i've bought over the last 5 years since i got back into fishing but it's well over thirty. at least 90 percent of those were models i had not handled before, relying on reviews, reputation, and/or recommendations. i have only been disappointed (meaning: did not meet my expectations) a handful of times.

the most disappointing experience i've had is the BPS johnny morris carbonlite i ordered online. it was the singlemost unrefined-feeling reel i've ever experienced. i eventually found one in a BPS store that was decent but i had to go through a few boxes to find one. i'd say getting a good one of those is pure luck of the draw.

oh, one more thing. checking out display reels in person doesn't always tell you the whole story either. at BPS and cabelas, for example, they mount the display reels on heavy "handles" that you can pick up and spin the handle a few times. the problem is, the sheer mass of those display mounts masks the weight of the reel so it's very hard to tell how much the reel really weighs PLUS it also dampens any vibrations coming from the reel, making them all feel smoother than they might really be.

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21farms, brings up a good point about the display mounts, if I am interested in a reel, I personally go see the reel first and I also get a new one from the box and attach it to a rod to see how it feels. Buying a reel on-line is convenient, but you are taking a risk. Unfortunatley, for Cody0707, the big chain fishing shops are far from home and he has to the roll the dice.

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I usually go into DSG or gander and ask to see a reel thats not on display or have the take it off and mount it on a rod and see how i like it most of the time there cool with it so far iv never been told no i cant do that. I did this with the revo mgx I played with they let me get one out of a box and mounted it on a 7'6 veritas and fell in love.

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I live in Tallahassee, FL. The closest Gander Mountain is 151 miles away. BPS is 171 miles away. DSG is 90 miles. I drive a pickup truck so none of these would be cheaper than shipping.

There is a sports authority and they are building an academy sports.

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Unfortunately, due to distance I can see why your option would be to order on-line.

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Check on-line for some reviews of the reel and then read the reviews on the stores web-site. That should give you a lot of insight into the reel. Plus the major stores have great return policies.

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Never had an issue, as long as you stay on highly recommended premium reels, there would not be a problem buying without touching it. But for rods, definitely need to hold it to check the balance, weight and feel.

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How much does spinning a handle at a counter REALLY help you? Order one from Tackle Warehouse, give it a shot. If you don't like it, return it.

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I believe Tackle Warehouse also has some sort of loner program where they ship you a reel and you get to try it for a few days and you can send it back. I've never used the service, just heard about it.

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Never had an issue, as long as you stay on highly recommended premium reels, there would not be a problem buying without touching it. But for rods, definitely need to hold it to check the balance, weight and feel.

Agree with everything stated above. Given the choice, I'd prefer to fondle it a bit. I bought my Avet sight unseen on reputation and the fact most of their models are available both right and left handed, I was not disappointed.

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i'd caution against putting too much stock into the online reviews on the BPS website...some of those people have clearly drank the kool-aid :grin: IYKWIM

some of the more-entertaining ones go something like these:

  • "i caught a 4-pounder my first time out with this reel...this reel rocks!"
  • "i don't own this reel nor have i ever even handled one but it seems like a great reel. i give it five stars!"
  • "kvd uses this reel so i must be good! five stars!"
  • "what a piece of junk. i'm new to baitcasting and prefer the reel hanging under the rod like my spinning setups. this is pure junk."
  • "i love this reel!. i can pitch 50 yards with it easy and flick 1/8-ounce balsa baits 120 yards effortlessly!"
  • "made in thailand? 'nuff said. one star"
  • "worst reel ever! i've used this on two fishing trips so far and have been skunked each time. if i could give this reel zero star, i would!"

i especially love reading the reviews of new reels that were posted before the reels were even released :eh:

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I've done it for all but three of mine. Just do your homework and realize that shipping works both ways if you don't like it!

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i especially love reading the reviews of new reels that were posted before the reels were even release

or when people post reviews on a reel because they've had one of the reels in that line 3 models ago

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Around 95% of my reels have been purchased from Tackle Warehouse and so far I have been very lucky. I have relied on forums mainly this one and one other to make my decision on what reels to purchase. I have purchased only high end reels and immediately send them off to be "super tunned" after fishing with them only one or two times.

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I just bought two reels I have never felt before but herd a lot of good things about and I could not be happier

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I buy my rods in person, but I buy most of my reels on Ebay, and have only gotten one bad one. To my knowledge, the only manufacturer that won't warranty reels purchased on Ebay is Shimano.

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