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For all of you guys that spend hundreds of dollars on reels, what is the quality difference between one that costs 200 and one that costs 50. I use black max reels right now and I'm looking at getting a couple new ones soon, just wondering what the differences are and if it would benefit me to upgrade.

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I was in your boat just recently. I couldn't figure out what it was that caused people to say "save some money and get an expensive reel". Then I got a BPS Pro Qualifier. I knew immediately after tossing it a few times that I'd never go back to a low end reel. Smooth retrieve, smooth casting, casts a mile.

 

THEN, I got a Shimano Citica and it made my Pro Qualifier feel like a piece of crap tank. It feels like nothing is in my hand when casting. Then, when I reel in a bait, it is so smooth that the absolute ONLY thing I feel is what is on the other end of my line. That, imo, is the biggest difference maker: a high quality reel allows you to forget about futzing with the reel and concentrate on fishing. I can cast weightless flukes a mile with zero backlash. And that is with fluoro NOT treated with line conditioner.... I have yet to try braid on it. Invizx is so good it doesn't need KVD, though.

 

Higher price tag typically equates to lighter weight, smoother retrieve and less backlash if you want a list of attributes. Long story short: yes, it IS worth it to spend a bit of money on a better reel if you take fishing seriously.

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I was in your boat just recently. I couldn't figure out what it was that caused people to say "save some money and get an expensive reel". Then I got a BPS Pro Qualifier. I knew immediately after tossing it a few times that I'd never go back to a low end reel. Smooth retrieve, smooth casting, casts a mile.

 

THEN, I got a Shimano Citica and it made my Pro Qualifier feel like a piece of crap tank. It feels like nothing is in my hand when casting. Then, when I reel in a bait, it is so smooth that the absolute ONLY thing I feel is what is on the other end of my line. That, imo, is the biggest difference maker: a high quality reel allows you to forget about futzing with the reel and concentrate on fishing. I can cast weightless flukes a mile with zero backlash. And that is with fluoro NOT treated with line conditioner.... I have yet to try braid on it. Invizx is so good it doesn't need KVD, though.

 

Higher price tag typically equates to lighter weight, smoother retrieve and less backlash if you want a list of attributes. Long story short: yes, it IS worth it to spend a bit of money on a better reel if you take fishing seriously.

The higher quality should also add longevity to the reel

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depends really....there are some good quality reels at $100 and there are bad ones at $100

 

my lowest price reel is $60 shimano sedona and its fine so far(couple months old) and it gets fished regularly in saltwater...i also have $400+ reels that have lasted 10 years or more and been through hell without having to be cleaned or lubed :D (saltwater use mostly and never rinsed and regularly dropped in the sand and water haha...if my reels cant handle the hell i put them through then i change till i find some that will :D)

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depends really....there are some good quality reels at $100 and there are bad ones at $100

 

my lowest price reel is $60 shimano sedona and its fine so far(couple months old) and it gets fished regularly in saltwater...i also have $400+ reels that have lasted 10 years or more and been through hell without having to be cleaned or lubed :D (saltwater use mostly and never rinsed and regularly dropped in the sand and water haha...if my reels cant handle the hell i put them through then i change till i find some that will :D)

I pretty much agree with this.  Both derekxec and myself use mostly spinning gear, we use some conventional gear but not for bass fishing.  The debate on quality and personal favorites will never end, some defend their position with in an inch of their life, I don't quite as passionate I just want the fish.

I own reels from $30 to well over $200, the most expensive I own is my least favorite.  For freshwater my Shakespere agilty has been going strong for several years and I can't believe how smooth it is with a pretty darn good drag, when or if it dies I'll just buy another.  My 3 supremes work like they just came out of the box, none of my freshwater reels have ever been serviced.  I own quite a few saltwater reels, many different brands and sizes, mine do get rinsed but not every time I use them, a drop of oil every now and then, but only get serviced when they need them, which is not all that often.  IMO these reels are meant to be used hard, sand, salt air, saltwater and the fish themselves that put a strain on these reels, if you have one that's worry free and performs, you got a winner. 

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Qulaity of materials my friend, just as with anything else. In the end, it only depends on what it's worth to you.

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Good question. Sometimes there is not a lot of difference between a $150 reel and a $400 one. An example would be the Curado 50E vs a Core 50. But there is usually a pretty noticeable jump in quality, drag, castability and smoothness from the $50 level to the $150-$200 level. Really depends a lot on the reels you're comparing, though. I own a bunch of the USDM high end baitcasters. Some are worth the money, some are not in my experience. But even then, some would totally disagree with me as the "personal fit" thing enters into it as well. Some place a LOT of emphasis on looks, what a particular rod/reel combo looks like. Even to the point of having reels painted. I personally have zero interest in that arm of tackle buying. But whatever floats your boat. Point is, you need to figure out what is important to YOU and research as much as you can.

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Every plastic framed $50 reel I have purchased over the years is no longer being used.  On the other hand every quality metal framed reel I've got (BPS, ABU Revo & round, Shimano, etc.) is still being used.  When you consider that, all those reels are a better buy, at least to me.

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Well I tried to get away with the cheap trout fishing reels and the bass wrecked all my reels in a few months. I fish everyday for a few hours 7 days a week, till I get burned out so my fishing stuff takes a beating. I figure I'm up to at least 500 casts per trip if not more.

I started testing out the 3 & 4 ball bearing spinning reels and most of them are in use today. But as I moved up into the quality reels with more ball bearings I find them needing break in time.

With my bait casters I started off with a $12 Shakespeare reel. It even had adjustable brakes. It was on super clearance. My baitcasters today are $100 reels on average and were on sale too.

I figure if your on a tight budget being a youngster you can start out with a decent reel that's on sale. You don't need the top shelf stuff right away.

I still have my first quality reels from 1970 and today there antiques. I seen my DAM Quick spinning reels in an antique shop while on vacation. I took them off there rods

And put them in my old fishing stuff box.

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There is a point of diminishing returns but that's closer to $250> Up to that point you generally get a smoother, better casting, longer lasting reel with more features.

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The level of quality that works for me is Pro Qualifier baitcast reels, and President spinning reels. Some will tell you that these reels are junk. They are not. Others will say they they are just as good as any. They are not. I have used many high and low end reels, and have been around long enough to know the difference. The reels I use meet my needs at a price I am comfortable with. If my disposable income was higher I would probably have a couple of high-end combos; not that I need them, they are just fun to use!

 

I would rather have 10 of my combos than a couple of high-end ones. That decision comes from on-the-water experience, and it is right for me. How anyone else spends their hard earned dollars is their own bidness!

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Putting the price tag aside I want a reel that fits the fish I'm targeting as well as standing up to the demands of the conditions I fish in.  Arguably bluegills give a really nice fight, I highly doubt I would spend over $500 for a stella even if I targeted them 7 days a week.  On the flip side if I were targeting fish like dolphin 7 days a week, I'd be very inclined to buy a stella or other top of the line reel.  Even giving consideration to some that believe that # for # that bluegill may be a tougher fighter.

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I forget difference in my reels till i fish one then put it down a pick a nicer one up. I fish my mettle for lite T rigs and flukes. I love that reel. Then when that bite goes down, pick up other T rig rod or top water. Which is a Abu Stx And quantum tour. And it blows me away the difference in them. Same on some spinning reels to

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Just like everyone said it all depends on what you want/have to spend on a reel. I try to set a budget of around $150 for a reel and $100-150 for a rod. You can get plenty of quality stuff in this range.

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Great question. I was always someone that refused to pay more than $120 for a casting reel and then I would wonder why I couldn't pitch like the pro's or cast full out without getting backlashes now and again. A couple of years ago I broke down and laid out 3 bills for a revo mgx and had the "A HA"  moment. Pitching and flipping was now a breeze and once it was adjusted I could cast as hard as I wanted into a stiff wind. So what's the difference. Better and lighter parts, better build quality, smoother, spools that are 5 times better everything is better. One mgx turned into 2, plus 2 Premiers, a Winch, a Zillion, a Chronarch and a couple others. Warning, once you get a taste you won't go back but here's the thing, it has made me a much, much, much better fisherman. Gone is having to work at casting witch really allows me to concentrate on other aspects of fishing. Another advantage is that casting rods are now in play for some techniques I always used a spinning rod for like finesse worms or weightless Senkos. Long story short, investing in high quality casting reels has improved my fish more than anything else in the last 20 years. As for spinning reels, mine range from $80 to $200 and I don't think the difference is nearly as dramatic as with casting rods. Sorry I got so long winded.

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I decided to revisit baitcasting a couple years ago, just because, and started with a BPS Tourney Pro. It was great to start on and last year I upgraded to a BPS Pro Qualifier and experienced a big improvement in distance & reduction in backlash. This Spring emptied my wallet by way of a BPS Johnny Morris Signature Series and again I experienced longer, nearly effortless casts. Each time I upgraded it was by roughly $50 and was well worth it. I'd say the $100 range is best for a new/novice baitcaster.

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The solution to your dilemma is a Abu 5500 C3. The reel is built like a tank and relatively inexpensive. Not the prettiest or lightest reel but it will last forever.

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