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I have to give the obvious warning here, You get what you pay for! Many swimbait guys go to the round reels like Abu Garcia has made for decades. Lots of the Musky guys go in that direction too. They hold a lot of line and work great for lots of big fish.  My catfish guide use them for flatheads up to 40 pounds in river current.

Take a look at the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4-6600 Round Baitcasting Reel.  It goes for around $140. You could also look for an older model used off eBay or another  used tackle sale site.

There is the Shimano Cardiff A Series Casting Reels for about the same money. If you read some of its reviews some guys love it others question its quality.  I would not go cheap on a reel that is responsible for throwing BIG swimbaits that cost upwards of $25 each ( some cost as much as you want to spend on the reel), if those are the type of baits you were going to be throwing.

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Shimano Cardiff 300 or 400 is probably your best bet in that price range. However, I'd seriously reconsider getting into swimbaits if you're on a tight budget. I've got swimbaits that cost quite a bit more than what you're wanting to spend on a reel, and that's just one bait. Even the "cheap" ones run about a quarter what you're wanting to spend. 

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I actually know that I need to put more money into into it and I already have a really nice rod and I need one that is cheaper for going around local ponds where i won’t be throwing $50+ swimbaits.

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@Jackhammer_05: I feel your pain. I had to compromise due to budget constraints so I have limited myself to swimbaits weighing two ounces or less, but that will still allow me to dabble with swimbaits like the Hudd 68, some of the MattLures products, and even big Kaitech flukes. There actually is a host of possibilities. Yeah, I know, it ain’t the big time, but I can use a low-profile reel for now and save for a more glamorous rig in the future. I guess that makes me a “fake” swimbait fisherman, but on the other hand, I can use this rig for big jigs, Whopper Plopper 130s, and even frog fishing. Sometimes I find that reality overrides the Bait Monkey’s antics; I just have to live with it. (Probably gonna get laughed out of the thread by the big guns here, but sometimes I just have to make do.) Good luck!!

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Im now seriously getting into swimbaits, esp bigger ones (over 6"). I have done tons of reading on here and other forums (check out swimbait underground). I think people tend to use the word cheap for different applications. Typically cheap does not equal quality. However, many may use the word cheap to mean not expensive. It is true, you get what you pay for. if you do your research, you can get quality stuff for great prices. and the smarter you buy (for example, buy discounted gift cards and pair them with vendor/store sales and you can get great deals). I myself grabbed an okuma guide select series a xh 8' sanother sitebait rod for $90 with free shipping. I am going to pair that with a shimano cardiff 300 reel for a great swimbait setup. Are there better out there? sure. But for the money i will be into it with (sub $200) it is a great setup. Like @BlueBasser86 said, just know what you are getting into. People tend to see the prices of some swimbaits and are scared away or think its an expensive technique. I would say...it can be. again, depends how smart you are with your money. Think about the money we all spend on various lures. A few of those $10-15 lures that werent really that great could have been a hudd or (insert quality swimbait here). I know i personally have spent quite a bit of money on $7-15 lures that i hoped would be better than they really are/were. Thankfully im just 3 years into serious bass fishing so my costs are still fairly low. Some of the best advice i came across was to save up and buy a few quality swimbaits. Maybe one for topwater/wake, a mid water column and a bottom bait. These quality baits will last for years and have been proven fish catchers (9" slammer, Hudds, mattlures, etc). Then take these and only these out and learn them. Perfect them. Then maybe add a lure here or there. I know, the baitmonkey is legit, and it sure is fun to buy new lures. But true swimbaiting is a serious committment. Like everything else in life that costs money, the smarter we are with it, the better we are and the further it goes. In case you cant tell,. im all in. My only concern is a pickerel biting off a hudd tail on the first (or 10th for that matter) cast. 

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Look at the Curados except the I, don’t like that reel at all. Braid to leader, mono or flourocarbon for material or you could go straight mono, copoly, or braid. I would be comfortable throwing big kietechs on my K. 

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Agree with Bluebasser86 with the Shimano Cardiff reels, good reels within your budget.

Tom

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