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Did a search but couldn't really find what I want. What is the best bait aster in this price range? Will use for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, squarebills, and any other moving baits. I know it'll probably be between the black Max, American hero, and mettle. Thanks!

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I do not have any experience with the American Hero or any lew's casting reels so I can't comment on that one but I do have 3 mettle reels and a silver max.  The mettles have never given me any trouble.  They cast great and retrieve smooth.  I love them and highly recommend them to anyone that can get by with a reel that is only available as right hand and 6.4:1 ratio.  The silver max works well but is just a little finicky on the breaks.  It's not bad but it seems like it always takes me a few casts to get it dialed in where I like it.  I don't have to do a lot of adjusting on the mettle.  the silver max also recently broke on me.  The level wind stops when it gets to one side and does not go back the other way.  I do like the silver Max well enough that I plan to buy a new paw and put it back into service but the fact remains it had a failure and all 3 mettles are still going strong and I've had them longer than the Max.  Maybe it's just a fluke thing with my reel.  Anyway I suggest the mettle unless you need a lefty.   

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Southwest Parts in Dallas has the Black Max for $40.00 on close out.

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Go to Amazon  Type in Diawa Exceler  You will find Sportsman Outfitters has this reel for $68 bucks with free shipping.  Now this is a quality Diawa reel with a very smooth drag.  It normally retails for $99.00.  I upgraded 6 reels this spring. 3 are Diawa TatulaR's ( $200 reels ) 2 are Diawa Tatulas($150 each) and one is an Exceler 6.3-1. I got to fish all of them at Dale Hollow in TN. during vacation.  The Exceller is as smooth as the others and I tested it heavily with 6 pound smallies in deep water.  I have a friend that regularly catches strippers as well as snakeheads up to 25 pounds ( off the Potomac while bass fishing) using several Diawa Excelers  and they have held up for over 3 years now.  This way you purchase a one hundred dollar reel for much less instead of settling for a lesser quality reel at its full price.  By the way I have purchased 3 reels from Sportsman good people to deal with.  Good luck let us know what you get. 

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I use mostly Abu Garcia Revos, and a couple Okuma's, but recently I bought a KastKing Stealth on Amazon to try out.  It was less than $60, high speed and extremely light being made of carbon fiber.  If you are going to spend less than $60, I would recommend these reels.  I used it to throw a buzzbait and it cast a mile and never had any issues.

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