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Why Does Everyone Hate Graphite Side Plates?

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Coming from someone who has never looked into it. Why is there such a prejudice against graphite side plates?

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Non handle side doesn't really matter. Handle side graphite will flexes and makes it's harder to reel in.

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Non handle side doesn't really matter. Handle side graphite will flexes and makes it's harder to reel in.

 

 

Coming from someone who has never looked into it. Why is there such a prejudice against graphite side plates?

Who has a graphite side plate?

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The curado g's do I think?

I really don't see where it matters I've never broken A side plate

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Good question.  Stradics get a lot of praise here, graphite rotor and side plate.

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Graphite is thought to flex more so gears will not be perfectly in line under lots of stress. Not only does this make you fight the reel a bit, it can also lead to premature wear.

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Graphite is thought to flex more so gears will not be perfectly in line under lots of stress. Not only does this make you fight the reel a bit, it can also lead to premature wear.

That makes sense...

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Graphite and plastic are kind of dirty words when we talk about reels but truth is both have advanced with technology. Graphite is a form of carbon fiber so the Ci4 material has to be a composite of some type. Some really cheap reels boast of aluminum frames but they are cast, as opposed to machined and are brittle junk. I look at the complete package and reputation and try not to get hung up on any one feature.  

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Good question.  Stradics get a lot of praise here, graphite rotor and side plate.

and yet love this reel and smooth as butter with fish on!

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Graphite and plastic are kind of dirty words when we talk about reels but truth is both have advanced with technology. Graphite is a form of carbon fiber so the Ci4 material has to be a composite of some type. Some really cheap reels boast of aluminum frames but they are cast, as opposed to machined and are brittle junk. I look at the complete package and reputation and try not to get hung up on any one feature.  

 

Agreed, that's a very good way of looking at it.

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A Shimano tld is one of the most popular offshore reels used by many charter captains, these reels take a reel workout and pretty bullet proof.  On the smaller side, Pflueger trions are graphite too, don't hear many complaints on those reels.  I'm out one day a catch 150# shark on an cardinal 177  graphite frame with plastic gears, land the fish and 10 minutes I have another on the line and land it.  That was many years ago, I sill have the reel and it;s like new, I don't use it anymore, why? lol

From personal experiences I've had maybe as many if not more problems arise around the $200 price range, than some of my less expensive reels.  I'll probably continue to spend 150-200 because I'm one of the suckers born every minute.

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I agree with the actual fishing experiences of most of the other guys, I've never once had a baitcaster fail or perform poorly just because it had graphite side plates. I think it's a perception thing because one of the most popular low profile baitcasters ever, the Bantam Curado, had graphite side plates but you never hear anyone knocking those reels. The E series is another good example of this, I have 4 Citica 201E's that I fish with more than any of my other reels (with the exception of one) and they are some of my all time favorites. I've never even considered getting rid of or replacing them. I fish 3 of the 4 of them with the drags buttoned and 50 to 65# braid every trip and I can't recall ever feeling them flex or seeming to be difficult to reel.

 

It's all about perception, just look at how excited everyone is over the new Curado, it too has graphite side plates. I agree with the poster above who said to look at the reel as a whole and not to focus to much on any single aspect.

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Non handle side doesn't really matter. Handle side graphite will flexes and makes it's harder to reel in.

The way I've always seen it, neither sideplate really adds any structural integrity.

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Budget reels with graphite frames are what get a bad rap, (deservedly so, IMO.)  I've never seen too many people get up in arms over graphite side plates.

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Budget reels with graphite frames are what get a bad rap, (deservedly so, IMO.)  I've never seen too many people get up in arms over graphite side plates.

 

 I agree with this. You never hear about people having issues with their Curados. Here's something Bantam1 said:

 

The side plates are Graphite as advertised. Notice the webbing material added around the anti reverse bearing area. We added this to add strength during heavy loads when cranking.

CuradoE008.jpg

 

No matter what material is used, if they take the time to pay attention to small details, they can get away with a lot.

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Sounds like a load of horse crap the reel manufacturers concocted to make us buy more expensive metal reels :s .....that said I make sure mine have aluminum frames, don't care bout the side plates. ;)

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If an angler is fighting a fish and the sideplate flexes, they are not fighting the fish correctly. Apparently too many people don't know how to fight a fish correctly.  The simple pump and reel.  The rod fights the fish, no torque should ever be placed on a reel. A reels drag is there to protect the line and a reel is simply a way to store line.  Style, competition, copying pro's and flipping has made a whole generation of angler's who don't know the basic's.

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The way I've always seen it, neither sideplate really adds any structural integrity.

I disagree with that. The handle side plate definitely adds structural integrity, at least on the reels I've taken apart. Take the handle side plate off and feel how much side to side play is in the handle without it. That is force that the roller bearing, and thus the side plate take care of.

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If an angler is fighting a fish and the sideplate flexes, they are not fighting the fish correctly. Apparently too many people don't know how to fight a fish correctly.  The simple pump and reel.  The rod fights the fish, no torque should ever be placed on a reel. A reels drag is there to protect the line and a reel is simply a way to store line.  Style, competition, copying pro's and flipping has made a whole generation of angler's who don't know the basic's.

I would say this is true for big saltwater fish because the gear is just not powerful enough to winch the fish in, but in freshwater for bass, I typically avoid the "pump and reel" as it puts uneven pressure on the line and hook, my goal is to keep constant pressure on the fish as to not allow it to shift the hook in its mouth. the pump and reel can lead to a lot of lost fish especially with crankbaits at least in my experience. everybody has their own way of doing things if it works for you thats all that matters, but saying that your way is the only right way is a slippery slope that leads to scrutiny especially on these forums...

 

Mitch

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It isnt "my" way. Its the right way. Always has been, long before I was a thought in Daddy's mind.  You dont loose pressure when doing either, nor develop slack, nor any other term it could be coined.

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0119 is absolutely right.  The rod handles the stress and using the drag properly takes the stress off the reel, there shouldn't be any stress on the side plates or handle.  Using heavy braided line with a locked drag does only 1 thing and that's dragging the fish in quickly to get on to the next cast, but probably puts way more strain on the equipment. This type of pro emulation is the last thing I would do as a recreational fisherman.  What's more fun, playing a bass for 60 seconds or horsing it in 5?  So I lose an 8# fish, won't be the first or last.

 

I would hope that pump and reel is used in freshwater, little tough to be cranking a good size fish out of heavy muck.

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I'll use pump and reel with spinning reels or when pulling fish out of thick cover, but if I have the bass moving, I'm winching it in with my baitcaster. If the reel can't handle that, it isn't a very good reel. My graphite sided reels don't have any issue with that. I'm definitely not going to play a bass for 60 seconds in a tournament if I don't have to.

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Snookalot....0119 you are right...

Mitch.... You are right

Fishing for small fish as in LMB,as in money on the line, getting the bass in quickly, is very important . I learned very long ago to pump and reel down.... I then learned how to water ski a bigmouth in.. I only fish for joy and I apply my way of doing it when I need or want to. Big fish ? It's just my instinct to pump and reel.. Smaller species is most often quickly cranked in for me.

I just don't see a point in pump and reel on a 2 pound largemouth... But I choose how I fight the fish !

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How much force does it really take to "flex" a frame or side plate? If the frame is aluminum, the only internal thing making contact with the side plate is the crankshaft and where the spool shaft runs through the pinion gear. It's not like the gears are connected to the side plate. So the only pressure exerted from a heavy load would be from pressure from the spool.

 

Just my opinion, but I think we make too much of this. I'd rather have a somewhat lighter reel with an aluminum frame and graphite side plates that a heavy reel that I find uncomfortable to fish with.

 

Or maybe I ain't catching bass big enough to flex my reel, LOL.

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I curious about a couple of things:

 

1. are the graphite components of reels really a slab of graphite, or are they graphite fiber reinforced plastic?

 

2. If the frame of a reel is flexing, wouldn't that cause the gearing to become out of alignment and loose efficiency?  It would be harder to turn the handle when reeling a heavy thing in or the spool tension is so great that is distorts the frame.

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