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Quarry Man

Are cheap bait casters reliable in tournaments?

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I recently found a great deal on two black max reels. I needed to find reels for two spare casting rods I had laying around. Now I have 8ish casting setups. Most of my rods are around 100-150$ and reels about 200+ with the exception of the black maxes. I fish a few small tournaments a year that are big bass and big pike. My question is whether or not I can rely on these reels during the tournament and also when im out on the water. I could also sell the two for a small profit and get a better reel. what would you do? Also what techniques should I use these 6.4:1 reels for?

 

edit* what I am really asking is whether or not I can rely on these reals during a tournament. Also, I have two Shimano casitas's that I am slightly afraid to use in tournaments because they feel cheapish.

Edited by Quarry Man
wanted to re-phrase my question/post

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That was the first reel I bought when I got back into fishing.  I don't use it anymore but it's a great reel, especially for the price.  FWIW I caught my PB largemouth on it and had no problems getting that big girl in.....

8-03., 

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Black Max reels aren't nearly as smooth or refined as higher end reels but I don't think they are going to fall apart on you during a tournament. I would much rather have that than nothing at all.

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Are your reels reliable enough to catch fish when not in a tournament? Yes? Then you can probably rely on them in a tournament too.

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I use several Kastking reels and my buddy uses Abu black max and orras and we hold our own.

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I have a couple black Max’s that have been in the rotation for a couple years, they work just fine for me. They’ll toss a spinnerbait a long way out there, and I’ve brought in some dandy northern smallies without any issues at all. 

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I used a blackmax for a long time and it never failed me. You can get reels with better drags, brake systems, etc. but the blackmax isn't going to cause you to lose a fish or anything in a tournament.

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One of my last tournaments of the year. Caught them all with one of my KastKings and blew everyone out of the water with almost 16lbs and a 5.80lb big bass in a 2.5 hour weeknight tournament.

Image may contain: Clayton Westgate, smiling, outdoor, water and nature

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I would rely on them as back ups. Maybe tie something on that's different and if it works use a better setup for that presentation. 

 

I've focused on buying better quality in recent years, and it definitely helps during tournaments. Although I still have an ugly stik or 2  with lower end reels I'll have something tied onto if I'm in a pinch or break off with just a few minutes to go in the tournament and dont have the time to retie. If I can help it, I never use that stuff or only use them as loaners to some of my friends who aren't as big on fishing as me. 

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If you’re worried about a cheap reel having a catastrophic failure, then I would say don’t be. I’ve fished pro qualifiers (one step up from black maxes) for years and haven’t had issues. I’ve see rods break during hooksets more than cheap reels self destructing 

 

The knock against cheap reels is they tend to not last as long. But even that is improving every year

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well it looks like I will probably be keeping the reels for now!

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I fished with a guy for years that used five of the BPS Tourney Special Rods and Reels.  He would win or place consistently in the tournaments he was in.  He never had any issues with these reels but he would trade them in at the beginning of the year at BPS spring sale and get a new set.  Some of the reels would be pretty beat up and usually he had one or two that were like new.  He was sort of semi retired and I believe he would fish about 30-50 hours a week all over the midwest from mid March to November.  I believe with the sale and trade in, he would spend about $40-$50 for each setup. 

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a blackmax is a very popular reel, especially at that price range and many people give it praise. If It wasn't reliable and a crappy reel, I don't think much people would be using it.

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Sure.

 

Just have backups ready to go if your lower cost baitcasters fail.

 

In fact, you always need to take a second baitcaster and spinning reel with you ready to put on your rods when you go fishing.

 

Just like bringing your needle nose pliers with you. It should be automatic.

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A inexpensive reel tuned in good working condition and good drag washers is better than a exspensive reel in poor working condition and poor drag washers.

Clean and maintain your reels if you want them to perform well.

I wouldn't put my money on the line and use marginal performing tackle when every strike counts.

Tom

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Just my opinion: You get what you pay for. If one fails, it won't be on a dink. But if you already have them, run what you brung.

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On 2/2/2019 at 1:19 PM, Quarry Man said:

I recently found a great deal on two black max reels. I needed to find reels for two spare casting rods I had laying around. Now I have 8ish casting setups. Most of my rods are around 100-150$ and reels about 200+ with the exception of the black maxes. I fish a few small tournaments a year that are big bass and big pike. My question is whether or not I can rely on these reels during the tournament and also when im out on the water. I could also sell the two for a small profit and get a better reel. what would you do? Also what techniques should I use these 6.4:1 reels for?

 

edit* what I am really asking is whether or not I can rely on these reals during a tournament. Also, I have two Shimano casitas's that I am slightly afraid to use in tournaments because they feel cheapish.

I don’t think you need to worry about them failing. I have used two Black Max’s for the last four years and never had one fail. They do wear out and I upgraded one this winter but it was just the gears getting a little rough and the drag getting sticky, but it was a gradual process. 

 

Once, I was palming the reel and set the hook with too strong a grip and the heel of my thumb hit the spool release bar, lost the fish. This only happened once though and I chalk it up to user error. 

 

Also, I have winched in bass with tons of weeds on them and the gears held up fine. 

 

Edit: in the long run, I think it is worth buying better reels, they will last longer and cast better. I just picked up a Tatula CT and love it. 

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3 hours ago, FCPhil said:

I don’t think you need to worry about them failing. I have used two Black Max’s for the last four years and never had one fail. They do wear out and I upgraded one this winter but it was just the gears getting a little rough and the drag getting sticky, but it was a gradual process. 

 

Once, I was palming the reel and set the hook with too strong a grip and the heel of my thumb hit the spool release bar, lost the fish. This only happened once 

Edit: in the long run, I think it is worth buying better reels, they will last longer and cast better. I just picked up a Tatula CT and love it. 

Love my tatula, I have 3!

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I don't see anything wrong with Black Max'es.  Fine, inexpensive reels.  The question is "what do you mean by tournament fishing?"  A Saturday tournament 4 - 6 times a year, maybe a practice day or two.  Or you talking whole hawg BASS or FLW, every day, long day, all day.  I doubt the Black Max'es would hold up to the work load Elite, or FLW Tour boys throw at them.  For the average week end tournament fisherman, probably just fine, particularly if you have a spare or two.

 

As for the KastKings, I'm curious.  Read lots of good, lots of bad.  Intriguing.  We'll see how Brent does this year. 

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