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I have been lurking these forums long enough now to realize I must learn to use a baitcasting reel.  I checked the sticky posts and saw a lot of "best reel" conversations but I didn't see anything that addresses people brand new to baitcasters.  Any suggestions for a newbie picking a first reel?  

 

I'm certain I want an Abu Garcia Vengeance rod (7ft medium/heavy).  After trying numerous rods in several stores this one immediately felt right to me.  It felt so good I think I know what it was like to hold Excalibur.  Just felt great in my hand.  

 

My first baitcasting reel has to be under $100.  It will also be my only baitcasting reel for now.  I'm looking for one that will make me look less like the idiot that I am as I try to learn with it.  Are there features I need to look for?  I've looked at the Lew's Laser MG Speed Spool MCS and the Abu Garcia Pro Max Low but both of them are only available in 7:1:1 for left hand.  Should I be looking for a 6:4:1 since it's my only baitcaster for now?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks

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Daiwa Tatula CT!  It can be found pretty easily for under $100. It's definitely the easiest baitcasting reel I've ever used (and I've used a lot).  Super easy external brake dial.  Start with it between 15 and 20 (the higher the setting, the more braking).  Once you get comfortable, drop the dial for longer casts.  I'd go with the 7.3:1 over the 6.3:1.  You can always slow your retrieve when throwing moving baits but it's difficult to pick up a lot of line with the slower reel when your using frogs or flipping and pitching.

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6.4:1 is a good starting point.If your max is 100 I'd shop around online for a deal for at Tatula CT.If you can't find one you can't go wrong with something like a BPS Pro Qualifier.As far as the Vengeance goes,I have one.It ok,but I would cough up an extra 20 and pick up a Berkley Lightning Shock.

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I'm with these fellas ^^^^  Tatula CT is a fantastic reel for someone learning because it casts so well with little effort and has excellent brakes. They have an aluminum frame so they are sturdy, the drag is smooth, the handle and reeling is smooth as butter. Well built reels for sure.

If you're looking for something less pricey you can also look at the Fuego which has the same brake system as the CT.

 

Personally for 30 bucks more I would go with the CT though.

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Being a Guide and having taught many a new fisherman/woman how to throw a baitcaster, here are some tips and observations.  First, the biggest misconception that beginners have is that they need to buy a cheap baitcaster to start out.  While your budget of $100 is a fair starting point I would possibly try to find a used more expensive reel at that price.  The difference being that the more expensive baitcasters have better components, braking systems and drag systems that actually make them easier to cast.  Cheaper reels actually require more skill/experience to throw without backlashing.  That is a fact.  

 

Second, you need to educate your thumb because that is the #1 anti backlash tool you have.  You need to learn how to feel what your line is doing with your thumb on your casting hand.  To start out, after you spool your reel, walk out about a cast and a half of line.  Go back to your reel and put a small piece of electrical tape across the line on the reel.  This will help if you do backlash, you will not fubar a full spool.  Then tie a heavy hookless lure on your line and crank down the brakes (both magnetic and anti backlash) to begin.  Start with very short casts and as you feel comfortable, start backing off the brakes until you can make a full cast with the heavy lure.  When you can cast consistently without backlashing, you can remove the tape and start to experiment with lighter lures.  Then you can go to the lake because all of this should be accomplished before you try to do it on the water. ;)  

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Toxic what would you recommend?  I just got the abu garcia orra sx combo that Dicks has on sale.  I've never used one before and it seems good to me, so far I like it.  There is certainly a learning curve.  Now I got my combo for $80.  When I look at all these other reels, I can't tell the difference.  For all I know you're just throwing money away.  

 

So how expensive does a reel need to be to tell a difference?  

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I'm going to disagree Toxic, and this is just my personal opinion. I could be wrong but here is my thinking on it, getting a used more expensive reel could end up being an issue. For those of us that know a bit more about how a reel should function it isn't as big a problem. For a newbie who doesn't know how a baitcaster should feel, or function a used reel could end up being a piece of equipment that hasn't been treated right and when he goes to use it he won't know if the reel is the issue, or if his casting is the issue. It would also be a good idea to service the used reel which would cost some more money.

 

I think with the current reels out there a reel in the 100+ dollar range be it Daiwa or Shimano or a BPS Pro Qualifier, you're going to get a good enough reel to learn on. If the Pro Qualifier is on sale for 50 as it has been sometimes in the past or even 75, it is also a fantastic reel to learn on. It has dual brakes and easy to access so if centrifugal brakes work best for your casting style you're covered, and if magnetic brakes work best for you then you are covered there as well. The combination of the two helps for learners.

What I really don't recommend is getting a model lesser than a Pro Qualifier, or getting a reel from some off brand thats under 100.

I can't speak for Abu as I have never owned one. I also can't really speak for Lews in the 100 price range. My only lews was in the 200 range.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TOXIC said:

Being a Guide and having taught many a new fisherman/woman how to throw a baitcaster, here are some tips and observations.  First, the biggest misconception that beginners have is that they need to buy a cheap baitcaster to start out.  While your budget of $100 is a fair starting point I would possibly try to find a used more expensive reel at that price.  The difference being that the more expensive baitcasters have better components, braking systems and drag systems that actually make them easier to cast.  Cheaper reels actually require more skill/experience to throw without backlashing.  That is a fact.  

 

Second, you need to educate your thumb because that is the #1 anti backlash tool you have.  You need to learn how to feel what your line is doing with your thumb on your casting hand.  To start out, after you spool your reel, walk out about a cast and a half of line.  Go back to your reel and put a small piece of electrical tape across the line on the reel.  This will help if you do backlash, you will not fubar a full spool.  Then tie a heavy hookless lure on your line and crank down the brakes (both magnetic and anti backlash) to begin.  Start with very short casts and as you feel comfortable, start backing off the brakes until you can make a full cast with the heavy lure.  When you can cast consistently without backlashing, you can remove the tape and start to experiment with lighter lures.  Then you can go to the lake because all of this should be accomplished before you try to do it on the water. ;)  

 

This sounds like a great plan for learning to use it.  Thank you very much. 

2 hours ago, RichF said:

Daiwa Tatula CT!  It can be found pretty easily for under $100. It's definitely the easiest baitcasting reel I've ever used (and I've used a lot).  Super easy external brake dial.  Start with it between 15 and 20 (the higher the setting, the more braking).  Once you get comfortable, drop the dial for longer casts.  I'd go with the 7.3:1 over the 6.3:1.  You can always slow your retrieve when throwing moving baits but it's difficult to pick up a lot of line with the slower reel when your using frogs or flipping and pitching.

Man I've heard great things about the Tatula but I've only found them at $130+.  Maybe I just need to spend that or dig harder for a better deal.  And your suggestion about going with the 7.3:1 seems logical to me also.  Much easier to slow down for the crankbaits than speed up for flipping and pitching.  Thanks much. 

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Well, I just found a Daiwa Tatula CT 8BB in left hand with 7.3:1 at Amazon for $110.  Perhaps that is the way to go. :think:

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$100 Is a great budget to have, lots of good reels in that range that will perform great and last you a long time. BPS Pro Qualifier is a great choice, and I've seen them go on sale for as low as $69.99 which is basically stealing it. 

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I picked a fuego on the bay for 75 bucks built well,tight tolerances and 12 bearings in the right places.Use it on my  jig rod,I'm happy with it.

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Here is that Tatula CT for $98,69 with free shipping. 

I usually pay a little more and get mine shipped a little quicker.

This is one of the places others were talking about when they said it could be found for under $100.

I have purchased 3 Tatula CT reels at different times from ABCD on Amazon. You can trust them to deliver what they say they will. 

https://www.amazon.com/Daiwa-TACT100H-TATULA-Baitcast-Black/dp/B01CUWGKAO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1499892856&sr=8-3&keywords=daiwa+tatula+ct

 

This is a brand new Daiwa Tatula CT model TACT 100H, which is the 6.3-1 reel I use this a my all purpose reel. I actually fish 4 Daiwa Tatula Type R and 2 Tatula CTs ( these are the newer versions) and 1 Daiwa Exceler.  The Exceler was replaced by the Fuego.

I trust all of these reels to perform terrifically all of the time and they do.

 If you fill that reel with a line like 30 pound Suffix 832 braid, 14 pound P Line Floroclear, or 12 pound Berkley Big Game then you will have a nice combo.

 

Another option https://www.overstockbait.com/Daiwa-Exceler-100-Baitcasting-Reel-p/exe100ha.htm

 

For a rod consider a 7' MH Berkley Lightning Shock rod. I fish the medium moderate version for crankbaits and rattle trap baits.  Sometimes you can go into Walmart and find one marked for $49.  Take it to the checkout counter. There have been some on unmarked clearance and they sold for $15.

 

 

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You may also want to check out KastKing.  I have a few of their reels, everything from a 5.3:1 to a 9.3:1, and they all perform really well.  I would recommend the Royale Legend, which is a 6.3:1 reel with 11+1 bearings.  That is a good all around reel and good for a bunch of different techniques.  If you are only getting one bait caster, I would recommend something in that gear ratio range.

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I have 2 of these in 8 to 1 and like them I got mine on sale for $79.95 from American but they are sold out, here is one for under 100.00 with free shipping

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daiwa-Tatula-CT-100H-6-3-1-Right-Hand-Baitcast-Fishing-Reel-TACT100H-/272473972573?epid=1161168946&hash=item3f70b6df5d:g:M9YAAOSwnHZYREni

 

 

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6 hours ago, d**n Yankee said:

I picked a fuego on the bay for 75 bucks built well,tight tolerances and 12 bearings in the right places.Use it on my  jig rod,I'm happy with it.

 

I've not used the new Fuego but having just finished reading TT's review of the reel, I'd have to say this is probably your best bet at about $76 off ebay.  The Tatula will be a little more refined (from what I read), but best price scenario will be $97 from ebay.  You might want to consider the Pflueger Supreme from the same place.  I enjoy the Pfluegers I have.  I do not know if shipping was free on the Fuego and Tatula.  It is on the $100 Supreme.  The Pro Qualifier is another choice often recommended.

 

You can find better prices on some reels if you could use a right hand model.  The Supreme can be gotten for just over $78 in right hand from Jet.

 

I am not familiar with the lower priced Lew's, but a lot of guys on here recommend them.  Take a gander at the LFS or MCS.

 

Any of these reels should work fine for you.  Ideally you would get to handle each reel on a rod to see what feels the best for you.

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I watched my buddy start off and become good with a baitcaster and he started off on an abu Garcia black maxx combo for 60$. He swears by it being an amazing beginning cheap baitcaster. 

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I find reels with just the external systems are the easiest to get dialed in, easiest to adjust, and the pins inside can be tricky to get right, you can be losing distance and not realize it until you grab a different reel. Just my opinion but my buddy just picked up his first casting reel, He grabbed the Orra sx combo which is actually super nice and only $79. It is built with same material as the Revo for most part, just doesn't have the same internals but I think it is pretty much the same quality as the Revo S but that reel is on sale for $79 at several stores, the STX is 104 on Ebay as one seller puts the revos really cheap for a week every month.

 

IMO the STX is not the easiest reel to get dialed in, but once you do it is super nice, so are all the abu reels down to the pro max. Keep this in mind....Shimano reels like the curado and citica hold their value so you can get a good chunk of your money back after a few years if you keep it in good shape. Same with ABU REVO's, Guys pay $70 for Gen 1 reels that look fished. Daiwa reels are also a good deal, as mentioned the Tatula and Fuego are great options.

 

Check out combos from cabelas and bass pro, they put the vengeance with the Revo SX and few other reels I believe and you save money. 

 

If you want a reel that is priced awesome right now, casts super easy, light, looks really nice, good drag etc...Okuma Cerros or the calera which has 1 less bearing but they are great for any size lure, super easy to adjust, quality frames, bearings etc. Okuma also has great service if you have any issues. I like the Cerros better than many reels that look just like it and have similar features etc. 

 

If you have a Gander mountain by you you may get lucky....reels and rods went 60 percent plus for everything if store is closing, They carry tons  of options since nobody buys fishing gear their but you can find your rod and a Citica for under $110 for both or Lexa  etc. Guys are winning top quality reels in auction right now for crazy prices, notice all the citica reels going for under $100 and reels like ducket 320 which is 229 going for $80, Komodo under $100, Exo etc. This is the best time of year to be on point with Ebay and look for auctions or buy it now and search Just Entered. Prices will only go lower with Icast coming up. Just get the best value for you, if you like the feel of an Ardent Apex better than a reel more expensive, get it since all major brands have reels in same category. 

 

Orra sx is a fantastic combo. Rod feels just like a Vendetta without the color. Cabela's rods in a combo are the best way for price and warranty. I love Cabelas rods, the $40 Rod lifetime is just priced low, quality is fantastic, they use pretty good blanks many guys like. The combos put Revos or curado with $100 model rods and only cost $179 or something. Soon they all go on sale where you can get the Carbonlight and PQ at bps for $100. Time to fill stores with 2018 stuff at list price.

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Nice post primetime.  :thumbsup3:

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On 7/12/2017 at 8:31 AM, MassBassin508 said:

6.4:1 is a good starting point.If your max is 100 I'd shop around online for a deal for at Tatula CT.If you can't find one you can't go wrong with something like a BPS Pro Qualifier.As far as the Vengeance goes,I have one.It ok,but I would cough up an extra 20 and pick up a Berkley Lightning Shock.

Cannot do the cork.  Hate the cork.  

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I won't argue against almost anything that anyone on here suggests because there are so many quality reels in that price range.  With that said, my first was a BPS Pro Qualifier.  I have several of them and other higher end reels now but that original PQ that I bought all those years ago is STILL my favorite reel in my whole arsenal.  Not only is it still kicking, it's actually better now that it's been beat up, loosened up, cleaned up, and correctly lubricated.  It's an amazing reel...especially when you consider that I paid around 70 bucks for it

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My recommendation is the Kastking Stealth. Great reel, great price. Light weight, awesome drag, and once you get the brakes set right it's almost backlash proof. It is my favorite reel hands down right now.

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For under $100, KastKing makes some pretty impressive looking reels. I have no idea how long they hold up, but they are comparable to much more expensive reels. Then of course if you're willing to spend a little more, you can't go wrong with a Daiwa Tatula, or perhaps a Lews Mach II which should run you around the same price and you will likely have either for a very long time. But seeing as this is your very first baitcaster, I would suggest an Abu Garcia Silver Max or Pro Max if you like the higher gear ratio, but I would choose the Silver Max because the 6.3:1 ratio is much more universal.

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Find an extra $50-100 and get a reel that will still work after you have finally mastered casting it.

 

I did like the looks of the Lews Speed Spool combo(esp the rod) a friend of mine got recently. It's his first BCer so he was picking backlashes out but in just a few weeks he has got pretty good at casting it. So I think this would be OK for beginners. Pretty sure the reel only is under $100.

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