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I am looking at getting my first casting combo, and have put a few hours into reasearching what’s been recommended in the past (bunch of stickied posts and threads), and have boiled it all down to a few questions. My budget is $100, and not a penny more, as that’s all I can set aside pretty much till at least June (end of this semester) as I’ve got way too many expenses to afford much else, and even then I’ll probably not be able to have anything more. Also, I really cannot afford anything at the moment, but I have decided that I need to get out and fish more, and learn how to use a casting reel, and I can’t let school take away the fun in life! But I do know I cannot go over $100 as I need to be responsible haha! Part of the budget is $20 in Cabelas gift cards so that’s the main reason why I’m trying to find something that they’ve got. So all in all, I’ve got $94 to spend because of taxes, unless I fall into some more or a hand me down from someone I know to throw at my first casting outfit!

 

After all of my reading, the main recommendation that I found was to absolutely not go cheap because it’s harder to learn on budget equipment. I guess that’s not something I can follow haha! So, what I’m left with is to buy used, or go with budget new. And I have kind of decided to go new because I absolutely do not want to get burned buying used, and it makes me nervous that I’ll buy someone else’s problem!

 

Looking at what Cabela’s has, I have somewhat thought the Abu black maxx and Cabelas pro qualifier combo is what I should go with. I like the idea of the Cabelas rod warranty if I have any problems, and the reels I have read are tolerable, depending on if you can get used to it. I won’t be able to upgrade anytime soon in the next couple years till I’m out of school and have a stable income, so I need something that will last! So, do you guys/gals think this combo could be trouble free for a couple years? Will it be good enough to learn on without encountering too many problems to push me away from a baitcasting setup? Will this cheaper reel be more prone to the awful backlash that I’ve read all to much on? I’ve got some 10lb pline floroclear to put on it, and I hope that it’ll work otherwise ive gotta work line into the budget as well. I don’t want to waste what little I can put into something, but I also really want to try the bait casting setup as I read everywhere that’s the way to go! (Yes, I am pretty new to bass fishing with the past summer being my first getting into it). Overall I guess the question is, would it be worth it or would it be a disappointment and scare me away? I really do not want to be pushed away from casting setups, as they are what I would like to start using.

 

Otherwise, I know there’s an unlimited about of knowledge here, and there very well may be another option! If there’s any input or recommendations that you’ve got, I’ll be glad to try anything out, thanks!

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I read your entire write up several times. so I am not ignoring your budget.  That black max will catch you some fish. Lots of guys start with that reel but usually it is matched up with the Black max rod. I have never touched one of those Cabelas rods.

Well I did a whole lot of looking online and the best thing I can find  would be a Lews Laser Pro Speed Spool combo from Cabelas.  That is a combo featuring a Lews reel that retails at Cabelas for $119 alone. The combo normally sells for $170. It features an IM7 graphite 6'10 MH rod and their 7.5-1 reel with dual braking and 10 bearings.  The right handed version is on sale for $99.88 and if you order online you can use the promo code "freeship" when ordering and get it with free shipping. I am not sure that you would pay tax on an online order either. If you do pay the tax that would make you go over your budget by only $5 to $10 and for that you are getting a $170 combo that I do not think you would be upgrading from anytime soon.   As for your line I fish that P Line frequently.  It would make you a great setup.

The reviews on that reel are very positive as most Lews product reviews are.

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What you will find with most combos is the reels are good but the rods are less than desirably. Companies do this to keep the cost down.

 

Lew's on the other hand offer combos with fairly evenly matched rod-n-reel.

 

I purchased my youngest son Lew's American Hero combo last year & my grandson recently purchased Lew's Lazer TXS combo, both are quality rods-n-reels.

 

Both can be purchased at Academy for $80 😉

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In my experience you will find the best deal on a Cabela's combo (if that is your retailer of choice) that either is a combined manufacturer combo, like Lews as mentioned by finshncamp or a straight Cabela's combo.  Just check the stats on the reel and get the action in the rod you want.  They usually have multiple actions available.  You also might want to wait for their Spring event which is coming up next month.  There will be some additional sales or discounts.  

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Wait until next month when Bass Pro has their spring sale (you can use a Cabela’s card at bass Pro).

 

I would suggest getting a Pro Qualifier reel, which in the past would go for $50 during the sale and then use the rest to buy a rod. (Bass Pro came out with a new model of this reel called the Pro Qualifier 2 so I’m not 100% sure what the sale price will be.) 

 

If you can’t wait there is a Pro Qualifier Reel in the Flea Market 

 

 

A Daiwa Aird is a good low budget casting rod.

 

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Thanks for the options! With the lews, I really wish I could bump up a little, but the top of my budget in itself is a bit much, the only way is if I can get a little extra from somewhere or if there’s say a coupon code of some sorts I can use to bring it down. It’s lookimg like if I stick with Cabelas and bass pro that I should maybe wait until the spring sales next month. But then again, if something out there now would work well for me I’ll jump on it! Still open to any suggestions or ideas.

 

I did see that used reel yesterday, but then again when it comes to buying used, I’m not exactly sure with what I’m getting and I don’t have the initial warranty or return period if I have problems. 

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Get a Kastking Spartacus for $40.  It has a 6 pin centrifugal brake unlike the linear magnetic brake of the Abu Max reels.  The centrifugal brake is much more forgiving and provides good casting distance.  That leaves you with $54 for a rod.  I recommend the new 2017 Lightning rods.  A Lightning rod and Spartacus will run you around $80 total.

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Most of the people who complain about the Black Max haven't used them. They're perfectly serviceable. 

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You may want to practice with a cheap 12lb or higher mono.  Flouroclear is nice line, but awfully thin to untangle when you have a tight birdsnest.

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@Kayakfish107, i sent you a PM.

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The kastking definitely looks interesting! The dual braking system also looks beneficial for a beginner to help reduce backlash. However if I go that route I’ll have to definitely get the rod from Cabelas. Interesting ideas, and it still looks like the Cabelas combo wouldn’t be too bad either

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Try looking for quality used equipment and negotiate. You may be very surprised what bargains you can find. Spend the $20 gift card on line, lures, or plastics. 

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Instead of going to major retailers, try to use amazon or ebay. Thats where i got my first Baitcatser which is an Daiwa aird and a Lauguna casting rod which was like 90 bucks. And alsso you can get some other brands like Abu quatum lews for a slightly cheaper price from the retail. The daiwa aird is an good reliable reel and thanks to its Magforce Z braking system it should be slightly easier and faster to adjust your brakes. Also i tested the aird on saltwater and even took it for a swim at the michigan streams and still its perfect with no maintenance. They are many options out there so choose wisely and good luck.

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Young man if you would message me your name,address,etc. i will send you a perfectly good reel with no issues with it,along with some 12pd line, new in the box.:ok-wink:

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If you happen to use a lefty reel, I have a spare Daiwa excellor in 7 ratio I never use. Has box and papers. It's yours free that way you can spend more on the rod and have a better combo. I also have bunches of line if you need it spooled too. 

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Thank you for the added input! I have read up a lot on the Diawas and have seen that their mag breaks are very forgiving, so maybe one of those would be a good thing to try as well. 

 

Honestly I haven’t had a definitive idea on whether to try lefty or righty. I’ve heard if you reel with your left with a spinning, then you should reel a baitcaster with your right. But then again with the playing of different reels in stores in the past, I really haven’t been able to pinpoint which way to go without actually using them and seeing which I like better! I’ll shoot you both a pm, and maybe I’ll only need a rod! That would help immensely, and I cannot thank you both enough!!

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First sign up at Basspro.com, a lot of times they give out coupons like $20 off $100. Their spring classic starts I think Feb15th, and all their house brand stuff will be on sale. They also have a rod/reel trade in at that time to receive even further discount.

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Keep an eye on your PM tomorrow. Got you all spooled up with fresh 15lb big game. Enjoy it man. 

IMG_20180201_190227_zpst0yjtmdu.jpg

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I will give it a try as soon as I can get a rod, can’t thank you enough!!

Now to find a rod!

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4 hours ago, DINK WHISPERER said:

Keep an eye on your PM tomorrow. Got you all spooled up with fresh 15lb big game. Enjoy it man. 

IMG_20180201_190227_zpst0yjtmdu.jpg

Nice to pay it forward ....

 

 

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Right now you could go to Cabelas and choose between a Lews Mach 1 Speed Stick, a Fenwick HMG, or an Abu Garcia Vendetta rod, all of which cost $79. All of them would pair up nicely with that Diawa. Their Cabelas  Fish Eagle is a bit cheaper in price and their Cabelas Tournament Z is $99.00  So you could easily find something there to fit your needs.

If you have a Dicks Sporting Goods near you, they have rod called a Quantum Escalade. It is a Quantum rod built and sold only by Dicks. I fish one and they fish very well. You can get a 7 foot medium heavy that regularly lists for $99, but is almost always on sale for $49.00. That rod will fit your needs and budget. It specs as an IM8 rod blank and list 1/4 to 1 1/2 oz lures.  It fishes as well as many of my much more expensive rods. Check it out online or in your store.

 

Dink Whisperer has hooked you up. I love those reels. I fish several of them along with my fleet of Tatulas.  That was a $100 reel just a couple of years ago.  Mine fishes just as good as my Tatulas. I use it for bass and stripers.

 

With that reel and a Quantum EScalade you could use the rest of your budget and gift certificate to get some tackle.  Go catch some fish and relax.  Good luck in school. I just returned to college after 35 years so I understand the demands.

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i rarely buy a new reel unless it is on sale.  I search craigslist and once i find a good deal i will lowball them and sometimes they will take it but the worst they can say is no.  I've gotten $300 combos for $75 in almost new condition but you have to search.

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I agree with @fishnkamp about the escalade. I've never owned one but playing with them in store they feel really light and crisp. And looks like they are on sale online for $49.99. MH/F imo, is a great all around rod to use. 

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7 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Right now you could go to Cabelas and choose between a Lews Mach 1 Speed Stick, a Fenwick HMG, or an Abu Garcia Vendetta rod, all of which cost $79. All of them would pair up nicely with that Diawa. Their Cabelas  Fish Eagle is a bit cheaper in price and their Cabelas Tournament Z is $99.00  So you could easily find something there to fit your needs.

If you have a Dicks Sporting Goods near you, they have rod called a Quantum Escalade. It is a Quantum rod built and sold only by Dicks. I fish one and they fish very well. You can get a 7 foot medium heavy that regularly lists for $99, but is almost always on sale for $49.00. That rod will fit your needs and budget. It specs as an IM8 rod blank and list 1/4 to 1 1/2 oz lures.  It fishes as well as many of my much more expensive rods. Check it out online or in your store.

 

Dink Whisperer has hooked you up. I love those reels. I fish several of them along with my fleet of Tatulas.  That was a $100 reel just a couple of years ago.  Mine fishes just as good as my Tatulas. I use it for bass and stripers.

 

With that reel and a Quantum EScalade you could use the rest of your budget and gift certificate to get some tackle.  Go catch some fish and relax.  Good luck in school. I just returned to college after 35 years so I understand the demands.

 That Quantum rod definitely looks intriguing, I’ll check into it! Also, I originally was thinking of the Cabelas tournament ZX before I set my budget because I have read that they are very nice rods for the money. Even better if you can catch them on sale for $69. Maybe they will go on sale for that price sometime this spring and I can ****** one up! Hopefully they would sooner rather than later before late March and April so it wouldn’t be too late. Maybe their spring fishing sale?

 

Thank you! So far all is well, and in a couple years I’ll be working with our water resources. My passion is with water, and you need good water quality to support the wonderful fisheries out there, so that’s exactly where I want to be, on the forefront of keeping our water clean and unpolluted so we all can enjoy it! Good luck to you too!

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