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nameiztaken

Best Tuned/Modded Reel for a Budget

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What would a good, inexpensive reel platform be for upgrading? (I did a quick search on this and couldn't find anything)

I was thinking, if you buy a used reel like a Citica E, then service it, and then say replace the bearings with Abec 7's, replace the handle with a carbon handle, replace the drag with Carbontex, etc. What would you end up with?

What do you guys think? Would this get you more bang for your buck than say a new tatula?

 

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What's your definition of "cheap"? 

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I own 5 Tatulas 3 Tatulas and 2 Tatula type Rs. Go online and order the Tatula for about $100 and enjoy it.  I chose the rs because I wanted the 8-1 otherwise they cast about the same have a great drag system and feel fine in my hand. Unless you are looking to purchase a $500 reel that weighs 6 ounces or less  than the Tatula will fill your needs well. I purchased the first type R to throw frogs last year. After a year of use I was pleased with it so much I sold off a bunch of Bass Pro Extrerme reels at the fishing flea market this spring. I replaced them with the Tatulas.  i caught a lot of 5+ pound plus smallies on Dale Hollow during vacation this April . 

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Not sure what your budget is but as for bang for your buck the BPQ and Lews Tournament or LFS series reels are excellent reels for the $. Each of these I have purchased used in the $50 to $70 off this very forum. 

As far as upgrades It would be just a personal preference if you wanted a different handle or some aftermarket bearings etc as all these reels work excellent as shipped. A good cleaning/servicing should make a great reel.    

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I have a tough time using the search function.  There are a ton of "Best casting reel", "Best casting reel for $100 or less", etc., etc., but finding one is a pain.  Best to save the threads in your "Favorites" if you ever want to reference them or provide a link for someone else.  This is not the type of thread I have saved....having read all of them the past 7 years.

Several times I have upgraded bearings and drags when getting a reel cleaned.  Sometimes get the internals polished (supertuned).  I can see the upgraded drag being a plus on many reels, but often times I don't notice enough difference in upgraded bearings to justify the cost.  However, I like the reel to "be all it can be" with me being the limiting factor.  Whether or not the cost is justifiable is up to you.  I do think polishing is normally a benefit.  Usually such a reel allows me to use lower brake settings.

I think it is hilarious that you ask if an upgraded Citica will be as nice as a Tatula.  First the Tatula CT cost about the same as a Citica while the original Tatula can be had for $25-$30 less.  Second you are seriously going to upset some Shimano fans.  :lol:  Third you could just go buy a $200 reel and have a better reel and not have wasted time sending it out or waiting for new parts.

I think the Tatula is a great reel for its price...or even more.  Many love the PQ, but I have zero experience with one.  My absolute best "budget" reels are Pinnacle Primmus reels for $104 (a $225 reel) when manventureoutpost was selling them off.  Great looking reel, tuned at the factory, very smooth, excellent casting distance and one of the easiest reels to cast with no backlashes or overruns.  Even my Curado 201E7 required adjustment when I took my last vacation trip to Florida.  The Primmus didn't.  (Ducking fire from the Shimano fans.)  :rolleyes:

Another fine reel...budget or otherwise....is the Lew's Tournament MB at $109 from ebay.

 

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I love the Shimano Curado D. They go for about $100 on the big auction site or here in the flea market. The Citica D is exactly the same but has a bushing instead of a bearing on the drive shaft. The bearing is $8 from Shimano. I bought two Citica D's last week on the big auction site for $65 or so. The original Curado D sold for just under $200 when new. I no nothing about other brands.

Of course you can add ceramic bearings to the spool as well but I've been having great luck cleaning the stock bearings well in lighter fluid until they spin free and then soaking them in a 50/50 mixture of TSI 321 and isopropol or denatured alcohol (little or no water unlike rubbing alcohol). Place them on a paper towel so it wicks away most of the solution which leaves a thin coat of the synthetic oil on the bearings. Great spool free time. Google TSI 321 to read about it and where to purchase. Developed by NASA for Apollo missions in space. Great stuff.

Edited by Bass Turd
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1 hour ago, Fisher-O-men said:

Ambassadeur 6500 is a beast of a reel.

I have one lol, a 6500 and a 5000

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Well you never answered the question of budget so I will assume you are talking about under $200. Look at the Alphas platform from Daiwa and the 50 series from Shimano (Many can be found from a $125 on up). You will find all the aftermarket parts, handles, spools etc. They both have several gear options as well. Most any reel can have aftermarket bearings, handles, and carbontex drag updates done. Site sponsor DVT or any other reputable tech could supertune and polish your reels internals and do a thorough cleaning of everything inside your reel.

If price isn't much a concern get a Steez or a TDZ/Zillion...

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By budget, I mean buying a low cost reel, and getting it to a point where it competes with high end reels ($175+)

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In that price range under $200 there is no reason to do anything to a reel. Those reels in the $100 to $200 are fine just the way they are.  You can not take a sub $100 reel and make it even decent.  You can take a $100 to $200 reel and spend $500 and you will only waste money. The $500 reels are made of super light housings, super light spools a bunch of high end bearings and incredible drag systems. What you need to do is give up the idea all together. Find a reel you like in the under $200 range and go fish with it!

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Well you should put ceramic bearings and Carbontex in everything anyway. 

As for your lipstick on a pig idea, Citica E. 

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19 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

In that price range under $200 there is no reason to do anything to a reel. Those reels in the $100 to $200 are fine just the way they are.  You can not take a sub $100 reel and make it even decent.  You can take a $100 to $200 reel and spend $500 and you will only waste money. The $500 reels are made of super light housings, super light spools a bunch of high end bearings and incredible drag systems. What you need to do is give up the idea all together. Find a reel you like in the under $200 range and go fish with it!

Never said I would be doing it, just had an idea that I thought might have a good turnout. I already have sub $150 reels I like, but have an empty rod and want to try something different (to me at least) :P

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9 minutes ago, nameiztaken said:

Never said I would be doing it, just had an idea that I thought might have a good turnout. I already have sub $150 reels I like, but have an empty rod and want to try something different (to me at least) :P

Different as in taking a budget reel and trying to hot rod it, or different as in trying a brand you haven't used yet?  If you haven't used a Lew's yet, then I'd suggest trying a Tournament MB at $109 off ebay.  Not budget reels, but I'd suggest a Primmus Xi XS or Helios Air for a great experience.  If you want to customize a reel, then I'd look at buying a used Daiwa...TD-Z, Alphas, Sol or older Fuego and have at it.  The TD-Z and Alphas should run around $150 while the Sol and Fuego can be found for $125 and less (occasionally around $100).  Lots of aftermarket parts.  You'd be starting with a very nice reel and making it even better.

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I like the TD-Z best of all time.  I add carbontex drag kit, Abec 5 or 7 spool bearings if I need them, 90mm handle (favorite is the TD-Z 100M stock handle to keep factory stock appearance) and a T3 1016 spool in the 103P and 103H models.  This build suits me better than anything else.  Quite expensive though when all is paid for and done but they will last me forever.

I still think the Daiwa Tatula's are the best bang for the buck going right now.  Great performance for what you pay for them!  I do like mine very much and I don't change a darn thing on them.

Just a huge fan of the Team Daiwa reels from years ago like the TD-A HSTA to the Fuego's and Sol/Alphas and of course the TD-Z's.

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1 hour ago, new2BC4bass said:

Different as in taking a budget reel and trying to hot rod it, or different as in trying a brand you haven't used yet?  If you haven't used a Lew's yet, then I'd suggest trying a Tournament MB at $109 off ebay.  Not budget reels, but I'd suggest a Primmus Xi XS or Helios Air for a great experience.  If you want to customize a reel, then I'd look at buying a used Daiwa...TD-Z, Alphas, Sol or older Fuego and have at it.  The TD-Z and Alphas should run around $150 while the Sol and Fuego can be found for $125 and less (occasionally around $100).  Lots of aftermarket parts.  You'd be starting with a very nice reel and making it even better.

Different as in hot rodding, the reel I had on the rod before was a lews, and it broke beyond what I care to repair, that kinda gave me the idea of hot rodding a cheap reel, also been looking at the older daiwas like you mentioned but I think I found a nice shimano to try it on. Will keep this thread updated for sure!

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5 minutes ago, nameiztaken said:

Different as in hot rodding, the reel I had on the rod before was a lews, and it broke beyond what I care to repair, that kinda gave me the idea of hot rodding a cheap reel, also been looking at the older daiwas like you mentioned but I think I found a nice shimano to try it on. Will keep this thread updated for sure!

Oh I didn't understand exactly what the original post was about. Your looking for a good block 350 or 454 to punch out put some good flowing heads on and a nice solid roller cam to make it talk to ya. :thumbsup: 

I can't help with reels in that respect. I'm not sure there are any that got a aftermarket base to do that with unless you have a machine shop willing to make custom parts. All I see retail is handles star drag and some spools for some real. 

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Just now, S. Sass said:

Oh I didn't understand exactly what the original post was about. Your looking for a good block 350 or 454 to punch out put some good flowing heads on and a nice solid roller cam to make it talk to ya. :thumbsup: 

I can't help with reels in that respect. I'm not sure there are any that got a aftermarket base to do that with unless you have a machine shop willing to make custom parts. All I see retail is handles star drag and some spools for some real. 

Haha, stuck with the old 302 for now, I do know some machinists so I might try that, thanks for the idea!

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Just now, nameiztaken said:

Haha, stuck with the old 302 for now, I do know some machinists so I might try that, thanks for the idea!

Using my engine building knowledge and how reels work precision will be key to actually making a aftermarket piece that performs better than the original piece. But as will anything mass produced it can be made better if your willing and able to do the work. 

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For a fairly cheap, highly customizable reel it is very hard to beat a TD-Z. You can find them on the auction site for around $100+ shipping and they are one of the most customizable reels you can get. I have bought a few of them this way so far and you can not buy a better reel for the money.

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7 minutes ago, tater555 said:

For a fairly cheap, highly customizable reel it is very hard to beat a TD-Z. You can find them on the auction site for around $100+ shipping and they are one of the most customizable reels you can get. I have bought a few of them this way so far and you can not buy a better reel for the money.

Is this what your talking about?  http://m.ebay.com/itm/182184622392

 

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Yes sir, I have actually been debating on picking that exact reel up lol it has a little rash, but that Gigas 105 spool is amazing. They are very smooth, light, and powerful reels. 

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The only downside to the tdz is the gear ratio. If you want to use it for a general purpose reel you'll need to buy a gear set and that's $50 but only if you're a lefty. No right handed options are available. If you put a swept handle on it then you'll need a new drag star. It adds up quick when you start buying parts. I have $220 in my tdz for upgrades and then the initial price of the reel which was $125. Then add the cost of getting it painted if you go that route.

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9 minutes ago, rippin-lips said:

The only downside to the tdz is the gear ratio. If you want to use it for a general purpose reel you'll need to buy a gear set and that's $50 but only if you're a lefty. No right handed options are available. If you put a swept handle on it then you'll need a new drag star. It adds up quick when you start buying parts. I have $220 in my tdz for upgrades and then the initial price of the reel which was $125. Then add the cost of getting it painted if you go that route.

A used Alphas F I bought required repairs.  Had it tuned and the bearings and drag upgraded at the same time.  It now has 6.8 gears.  Even without a new handle or paint job, there is no way I could get my money back.  Good thing it is never going anywhere.  :D

It was the same way with a '64 Chevele I had.  Line bored, Holly 850, Holly Hi-rise intake, high performance cam, tuned headers, new valves, brand new exhaust, etc. are things I as the owner enjoyed.  No one else was willing to pay for those improvements when I sold the car even though they got to enjoy the benefits.

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