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Best Baitcasting Reel For Plastics?

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I've been smallmouth fishing for quite some time now. I currently have been using a St.Croix Legend Xtreme spinning rod with a Pfluger Patriarch spinning reel. I love the rod so much I bought a second one only in a casting 7' Medium. I have used baitcasters for a little while but only cheap ones. Ive been looking at spending around $200 to $300 on a reel. Ive looked at Shimano Chronarch CI4+ , Pfluger Patriarch, and some of the Abus. My favorite way to fish smallies are with using plastics. Strike King Coffee Tubes one of my favorites. Any info or feedback would be greatly appreciated

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There is no BEST reel.  Find one that you are comfortable with, that fits within your budget, and buy it.  Only then should you look at the name on the reel.  I love the Patriarchs, but that is only personal preference.  There are other reels out there in that price range that are just as good, but very few are better.

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I'd be all over that Core in your price range.  

 

I am not yet willing to spend that much on a reel, so my weightless plastic reel is a Lexa 100 at the moment.  

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Check out the spool size. Some spools are smaller than others.

 

Check out the gear ratio for the fishing you will do. Slower for moving and topwater baits and faster to drag them out of structure, grass and slop.

 

6:1 is the middle ratio and go from there to what you feel comfortable.

 

Ball bearings are nice but you don't need a reel with 1,000 bearings. Just get a nice reel with the number of bearings you like.

 

Reel weight can be another consideration. Bring your rod with you to the store or select one identical to yours at the store, and put the reel you are considering on the rod to get a feel of how it feels and works together.

 

When getting a rod be sure to view the line test and bait weight and get a baitcaster that can handle the rod's parameters.

 

And be sure to get the "correct handed" reel. Right or left handed. I go with a right handed baitcaster and have to switch hands after casting but I like it as I can keep my right index finger on the line when fishing plastics and have the left hand under the rod in front of the reel to get a hard hook set. But that is just me.

 

Stick with a good name brand and you can't go wrong.

 

Start saving your pennies and dimes to add to your reel collection. The Bait Monkey loves you!

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I second the core, its my favorite for light tackle.... The chronarch

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The best reel by Shmano you can afford is your best bet. If it's mostly for plastics, would get one with a faster gear ratio.

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Chronarch 50e for me. I love this reel for soft plastics. I can throw stuff as light as weightless Zoom Finesse worms (with a size 2 Gammy Wide Gap Finesse hook). Granted, not as far as spinning gear, but as I've said before, if I need to throw 'em on the 50e, I can throw them far enough.

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Pretty much anything in the $200-300 range will work fine. I like reels with a bit faster retrieve, say better than 28 IPT. My Zillions are my favorite for this stuff, but that's a bit outside your range.

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Thanks everyone on the feedback. I have placed my order and I have settled on the Shimano Chronarch 150 CI4 Plus with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. I had an opportunity to use this reel for a day on my pole and it was sweet. Also got to test the CORE100MG and that was another great reel. I caught 7 largemouth that were 6LBS or bigger and 5 smallmouth that were in the 3-5LB range and the Chronarch CI4 Plus is a work horse. I would recommend the reel to any one. 

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If you are using spinning tackle for smallies, the Shimano Sienna 4000 is a nice reel and i would recommend that one on a nice 7 ft gloomis rod if the  money is there.

 

Tight lines

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