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Gorris317

Looking for a new baitcaster $300 budget

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As the title states I'm in the market for a new bait caster. Had some issues with drag and casting distance on two different new Tatula 100s. Sent both in to Daiwa and they said that they were both "in spec". I can out cast either by a good distance with my Tatula CT and the drag doesn't slip on hookset. Long story short I'm looking to browse other avenues for baitcasting reels. I have a budget of $300 for a single reel. What would you guys recommend?

 

Braking systems don't matter

Nice drag system

Mainly throw T-rigs and jigs on fluoro. (Not sure if this matters)

 

On my radar currently is:

Curado K

Lews Custom (White one)

Revo STX

 

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Curado DC.

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31 minutes ago, Junger said:

Curado DC.

I was thinking about that as well. How is it in the wind? 

 

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1 hour ago, Gorris317 said:

I was thinking about that as well. How is it in the wind? 

 

Excellent, the only adjustment I make is the tension knob when using lighter/heavier lures.

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I've been loving my Bantam. It is a little above your budget, but would come under it if you bought JDM. The unibody construction makes for a very rigid feel in the hand and the retrieve is quite smooth. I can't compare it to anything other than my SLX, and the difference between both is obvious. The SLX flexes a little (only a little), rocks back and forth a bit on fast retrieves, and has only the 4 pin brakes. Still a good reel. But the Bantam oozes quality comparatively.

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I have a Curado DC and I like it for throwing reaction baits, especially where casting distance matters.  For pitching t-rigs & jigs ( normal weights 3/16 - 3/8 or so) I think the reel is overkill.  I like a lighter reel for this, most of the time that is a Curado or Chronarch 50.   That being said, that's my opinion right now, I only own one Curado DC and reaction baits is how I'm choosing to use it.   I think that should you get a Curado DC and use it just for pitching, I think you'd like it.   I'm using 15 lb mono right now, but I think it would handle any lb test of fluorocarbon you wanted to use.

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The Bantam would be my pick of the litter for shimano offerings.  And a second vote for buying JDM Bantam.  I got mine 35% off the TW price.

 

But, I see your intended usage would be jigs/t-rigs.  You can find Zillion SV TWS for <$200 new.  

 

I have tried every adjustment under the sun it feels like for skipping the Bantam and I can't control the spool half as well as the Zillion SV.  I would highly recommend the Daiwa for short to mid-range applications that might also require some skipping.  The Bantam can definitely bomb baits and has a silky smooth retrieve.

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For $300 I'd buy a Chronarch MGL. Comes in cheaper than the Bantam, and it's way lighter. Plus, unless you're throwing big baits or in thick slop the Bantam doesn't really have much over the Chronarch. 

 

Curado DC is a good bet too. 

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I ended up going with the Curado K. I felt like the DC was a little overkill. Going to keep my eye out for a JDM Bantam which I might pick up in the near future. 

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You will be happy with the K. I had a defective DC and exchanged for the K. No cool sound while casting but smooth as butter and casts very well. 

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I have a couple of the reels listed above (Curado K, Curado DC, Abu Garcia STX Gen4, and the Bantam).   Depending on what you want to use it for.....  I like the Curado DC for an all purpose reel but the Bantam is a super smooth casting and retrieving reel.  It is also built like a tank.  The only down side to the Bantam is that it does not have the DC casting control and its just a fuzz heavy.  

 

 

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JDM Bantam MGL uber alles at that budget.  Love it better than Curado MGL, Curado K, Curado DC, Curado 70, and almost as much as my Antares MGL.  

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15 hours ago, Gorris317 said:

I ended up going with the Curado K. I felt like the DC was a little overkill. Going to keep my eye out for a JDM Bantam which I might pick up in the near future. 

 

You will love it! I had the same issue with my tatula Sv. One of the most finicky reels I own. I picked up a K and it’s what got me hooked on shimano. The K is a wicked reel at a good price. Buttery smooth, solid, casts a mile. Only a small while after fishing the K I was so pleased I purchased 3 chronarch mgls, a bantam mgl, and looking for another currently. Love the shimano reels.

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3 hours ago, microotter said:

What is the difference between the JDM Bantam and the US model?

They have a 5:1 ratio version, but other than that I think it's just $50 cheaper (hitting the $300 price point stated by OP).

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At that price, you should check them all out in person. You’re basically looking at all the best the market has to offer, if you know how to shop around. 

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At that price, used top shelf Shimano's become available..Cronarch MGL and Met MGL would be on my short list.  I love my Bantam, but it shines with heavier presentations.

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I love my Daiwa’s but man if you haven’t fished the Bantam MGL do it and you won’t regret it. I’ve got two zillions, two Steez and still the bantam is the smoothest reel I own. Had a Chronarch MGL and didn’t care for it, the size bothered me. 

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Love the looks of that Pro-Ti.  :teeth:

 

OP.  Congrats on the new reel.  Never used a Curado K.  I have a Gen 1 STX.  Have made some of my longest casts with that reel.  I keep 40# braid on it and use it for casting into the slop when visiting Florida.  Been a good reel for me.  The long casts were when fishing open brackish water with a 3/4 oz. gold colored salt water spoon.  Got a few flounder on it.  :)  A few hours of fishing that spoon tied directly to the line resulted in the need for new line. :(  Lesson learned.

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On 6/15/2019 at 8:00 AM, NathanDLTH said:

I love my Daiwa’s but man if you haven’t fished the Bantam MGL do it and you won’t regret it. I’ve got two zillions, two Steez and still the bantam is the smoothest reel I own. Had a Chronarch MGL and didn’t care for it, the size bothered me. 

so it was big compared to the bantum?

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Congrats on the new reel. Sure a lot of Shimano love with the posts (and probably rightfully so), but I sure love my Daiwa Zillion SV TWS

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On the auction site you can get a:

bantam Mgl for $269

metanium mgl $308

both are phenomenal

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On 6/12/2019 at 7:55 PM, Gorris317 said:

As the title states I'm in the market for a new bait caster. Had some issues with drag and casting distance on two different new Tatula 100s. Sent both in to Daiwa and they said that they were both "in spec". I can out cast either by a good distance with my Tatula CT and the drag doesn't slip on hookset. Long story short I'm looking to browse other avenues for baitcasting reels. I have a budget of $300 for a single reel. What would you guys recommend?

 

Braking systems don't matter

Nice drag system

Mainly throw T-rigs and jigs on fluoro. (Not sure if this matters)

 

On my radar currently is:

Curado K

Lews Custom (White one)

Revo STX

 

If you want a light reel for a lighter rod the chronarch mgl or for a longer/heavier rod the bantam mgl 

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