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alpaca

First baitcaster

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Looking for my first baitcasting setup. I want to spend around 150 total. Looking into a shimano convergence for a rod, and I have no idea about a reel. What should I look for in a good reel? So far I am looking for just aluminum frames, because I am hearing bearing count doesn't matter as much, as long as the reel is nice. What else should I look for? Does anybody have any reccomendations for a reel around $80? Thanks

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You might get a good used reel in the flea marker here.  $80 should get you a used Citica or Curado.

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I would get an Abu Garcia Promax reel. I think for the price point you're saying that reel is excellent. It's smooth and will definitely last you a long time. I would suggest also watch YouTube videos to gain further information on setting it up and casting it. Also watch videos on how to deal with birds nest. IMO until ur ready to hit the water and truly give it a go I would spoil it with some very cheap line you can find at Walmart for like 2 dollars and practice practice practice. Getting birds nest on the water when you're trying to fish is extremely annoying. It will still happen from time to time but it will be a lot less frequent. Once you have confidence in your gear I would spool it up with whatever choice of line you have confidence in me then go catch some hogs... Hope this helps... I'm faaaaar Tom now expert but I had a lot of growing pains when first starting out. If I had half this information I would have made as many mistakes as I did.  Happy fishin!!!

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I've been a big fan of KastKing for inexpensive, quality reels for the last few years.  It depends on what you want to do with it, but they have everything from a slower gear ratio White Max for cranking all the way up to the super-fast Speed Demon (9.3:1 gear ratio) for pitching and flipping techniques.  For an all-round reel, I would recommend something like their Assassin.  It's got a 6.3:1 gear ratio  - the gear ratio tells you how fast the line come in while you are reeling.  For instance, with the Assassin, when you turn the handle one time,  the spool will turn 6.3 times, to bring in that much more line.  The higher the gear ratio, the faster the reel.  Keep in mind that you can always slow down or speed up your retrieve to get the cadence you want, too.  Right now the Assassin is less than $60 on Amazon.

 

Bearing count is pretty important. The more bearings you can afford in a reel, the smoother and farther it will be able to cast.  It will also be smoother when you're reeling in.  Drag is also important.  The drag will help you bring in bigger fish and not allow them to take off on you.  Depending on the technique you are using and the line, you will have to set your drag differently.  That's probably a bigger topic than I should add here, but if you know people who are experienced with bait casters, I am sure they can help you figure all of that out.  Depending on what you are doing, you may want a pretty stout drag.  But keep in mind that you don't have to have it cranked down, so a higher drag will give you more techniques that you can use the same reel for. But both bearing count and drag are important, as well as gear ratio.  I hope that helps.

 

Also, as others have said, buy some inexpensive mono and spool up with that first.  Use that to practice until you are comfortable with using a bait caster.  I spent a lot of time in my driveway practicing before I ever took a bait caster out on the boat.  It's really worth learning.

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Welcome to the the boards.You can get a Daiwa Tatula CT on eBay for 100$ slap it on a 7' medium heavy Berkley lightning shock rod for 50$ max.Spool it with mono to start with as your probably going to go through some line learning to use it.You will have a very well rounded setup to start.Im sure others will be here to give you some input soon.Oh and dont get discouraged with it.It takes some time to learn,but youll love it when you get it.

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There is a new Lew's SSG1H  for $80 (a $100 reel) on another fishing forum.  Closeouts and For Sale forums are your friend.  :teeth:  I especially love closeouts.  The PQ often goes on sale for around $80.  Not used one myself, but it is highly recommended by many others.  The Tatula can be found for $15 more if you can come up with the extra.  The H2O Mettle gets good reviews.  An $80 reel that regularly goes on sale.  

 

 

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I got a new tatula 100 from academy a couple weeks ago for 89 on clearance.  

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Tatula 100 on Amazon for $104.95 right no I know that's pushing the limit but it's a good start!

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4 hours ago, alpaca said:

Looking for my first baitcasting setup. I want to spend around 150 total. Looking into a shimano convergence for a rod, and I have no idea about a reel. What should I look for in a good reel? So far I am looking for just aluminum frames, because I am hearing bearing count doesn't matter as much, as long as the reel is nice. What else should I look for? Does anybody have any reccomendations for a reel around $80? Thanks

What is your skill level?

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1 hour ago, TX-Deluxe said:

What is your skill level?

I am just getting into bass fishing, but I saltwater fish a lot, with mostly spinning gear. So I would say beginner.

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If you don't feel like searching for used stuff on the interwebz, check out the Lew's Mach I & II combos. They're great rods and reels for $130 and $169 respectively. 

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I would follow MD Bassin508.  Start with a very easy to learn, extremely reliable reel and that fits the Diawa Tatula CT.

I can easily give you a source to buy a brand new one shipped to your door for $100.  Send me an email to fishnkamp@comcast.net.

 

I would order the CT in a 6.3-1 ratio, it is useful for lots of fishing.  

The suggestion of the Berkley Lightning Shock rod is a good one.  

So is Dicks Sporting goods Quantum Escalade 6'6"MH for $49. 

 

I fish 4 Daiwa Tatula Type R reels, and 2 of the newer Daiwa Tatula CTs. They are all terrific reels.  I also fish 1 of the Quantum Escalade rods, it is a 7 footer.

 

Either of these would work well and would fit in your budget.  If you want to check out the Berkley rod stop in a couple of Wal Marts near you. They have these rods marked as $49, but some guys have found that if they have them scanned they came up as on clearance for $9.

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If you are forced to skimp on one or the other,skimp on the rod and buy a nicer reel.Its going to make learning a whole lot easier on you.

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If it was my money I would by a Cabela's Tournament ZX Bass casting rod on sale for $70 and a Diawa Tatula CT for $100 and pick up a spool of P-line floroclear in 10lb for $8

This is IMO the absolute best deal you will find on new equipment.

Cabelas just ran their sale on the rod so I'm not sure when they will run it again.

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How are the bass pro reels? Looking at the bionic blade, pro qualifier, and JM carbonlight. The carbonlight looks like the best choice. Does anybody have any experience with these?

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I've got two, a 6.3 and 7.1 gear ratio. They have been excellent reels and eod recommend them to anyone. The dual braking system makes them ideal for a beginner in my opinion. Once they are set up they are pretty tough to back lash. I use them from lighter jerkbaits to pretty heavy jigs and they have performed great. 

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16 minutes ago, Nscheele said:

I've got two, a 6.3 and 7.1 gear ratio. They have been excellent reels and eod recommend them to anyone. The dual braking system makes them ideal for a beginner in my opinion. Once they are set up they are pretty tough to back lash. I use them from lighter jerkbaits to pretty heavy jigs and they have performed great. 

 

Two of which reel?

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Two of the JM Carbonlite reels.

1 hour ago, new2BC4bass said:

 

Two of which reel?

 

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People keep recommending the pro max, but will the graphite frame last? That was one of my first choices, but the graphite scared me away.

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A Tatula or Tat CT would be the way I'd go, and the reel will outlast your first few rods. Nothing more frustrating than a cheap baitcaster when you're learning, and still pretty horrible once you have learnt! The Tats, or a Citica /Curado would be a no brainer.

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Last year I found a brand new Abu Garcia Pro Max on eBay for $51.  Pretty sweet deal.

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If you aren't extremely hard on equipment, as in throwing them around and general neglect, I don't see how a graphite frame wouldn't last. Every baitcast reel I have is a  graphite frame and I've had zero issues with any of them. Now I do only use them when I can, nowhere near how a professional would, but that shouldn't make any difference. If you want an aluminum frame, go for it. Just keep in mind there is nothing wrong with a graphite frame for the average guy fighting average fish with them. 

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