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I am putting together a nice frog combo, and am down to these reels. The Met would get a gear swap. Thoughts? I know guys have had trouble with the Met gears, especially for heavy duty techniques, but the gear swap should fix those issues. How do the size of these reels compare? I know the Bantum is really small but I have concerns about the weight. The steez A is intriguing to me, but I don’t really see why an aluminum reel has to be 500 bucks at retail, and the knobs on the reel suck. Thoughts? 

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I chose Met MGL at the time over all those other reels.  No regrets, amazing reels.*

I handled a lot of reels, I preferred the Met, but I have not fished the others, so they may be amazing too for all I know.

 

You could use TW demo reel program..you can get 3-4 reels and settle your mind.

 

However, I just got some Met DCs and wow, they are impressive.  For experienced users that are as one with their reels, who always adjust external brakes based on lure/conditions, can control the spool but still get very long casting...DC doesn't offer much beyond "trouble-free".  It may actually hurt some peoples casting distance.  For new to average users, I suspect they will be overall casting farther with less difficulty even in the wind.  Something to consider.

 

Both can bomb a half ounce frog.

 

I would not worry about gears unless you have problems, then fork out the money or warranty it then get the new brass.

*edit: based on below, I suppose I will try a bantam out too :)

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I have two Bantams (HG and XG) and love them for all techniques. They are ultra smooth and rigid. The weight is not an issue to me as they balance out my slightly tip heavy Helium3s but not completely. A lighter reel would make them more unbalanced. That being said, I bought a Chronarch MGL to try and while it can really bomb baits, the construction makes it feel less premium than a Bantam, and I was able to feel the "geary" feeling after only an hour of time on it. It is smooth but the geary feeling really cheapens it IMO. As nice of a reel as it is, I'm returning it. I bought the XG Bantam after deciding to return the Chronarch and I'm not upset at all about having two Bantams. They palm so nicely, feel premium, and fish premium. I can still cast quite far with them. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to try a Bantam. A Metanium MGL might be nice too but you shouldn't have to replace parts on a brand new premium reel just to bring it to the level you'd expect for the money you're paying for it. And, it depends if your rods are tip heavy or not. An unbalanced rod with a light reel might be more fatiguing than a balanced rod with a heavy (relatively) reel.

 

Bantam gets my vote, but I'm biased. :)

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1 hour ago, bwjay said:

I have two Bantams (HG and XG) and love them for all techniques. They are ultra smooth and rigid. The weight is not an issue to me as they balance out my slightly tip heavy Helium3s but not completely. A lighter reel would make them more unbalanced. That being said, I bought a Chronarch MGL to try and while it can really bomb baits, the construction makes it feel less premium than a Bantam, and I was able to feel the "geary" feeling after only an hour of time on it. It is smooth but the geary feeling really cheapens it IMO. As nice of a reel as it is, I'm returning it. I bought the XG Bantam after deciding to return the Chronarch and I'm not upset at all about having two Bantams. They palm so nicely, feel premium, and fish premium. I can still cast quite far with them. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to try a Bantam. A Metanium MGL might be nice too but you shouldn't have to replace parts on a brand new premium reel just to bring it to the level you'd expect for the money you're paying for it. And, it depends if your rods are tip heavy or not. An unbalanced rod with a light reel might be more fatiguing than a balanced rod with a heavy (relatively) reel.

 

Bantam gets my vote, but I'm biased. :)

Have you had any of that "geary" feeling with the Bantams? I've heard some reviews that they have. When I was checking out at BPS, it seemed like a nice solid reel and considered buying one for myself. 

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39 minutes ago, FrankN209 said:

Have you had any of that "geary" feeling with the Bantams? I've heard some reviews that they have. When I was checking out at BPS, it seemed like a nice solid reel and considered buying one for myself. 

None - basically. After I felt it in the Chronarch I went back to the Bantam and tried to feel it. I can feel the absolute slightest amount when reeling very very slow, but even the slowest retrieve I'd ever do it's basically not there. Just a silky smooth crank, and anything faster than the slowest retrieve it's definitely not there. Even at a moderate-slow crank for a spinnerbait or something (on the HG) it's not there. It's only there if you go super slow and you're paying close attention. If you're actually fishing it's straight up indistinguishable. On the Chronarch however, I noticed vibration in the reel no matter how fast I turned the handle, unless I was burning it for a chatterbait or pulling in the bait for another cast. There is a big difference IMO with the Bantam having practically no gear feeling whatsoever.

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Daiwa  2019 Morethan in 8.6 would be my choice for a frog reel over the steez A.

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36 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

Daiwa  2019 Morethan in 8.6 would be my choice for a frog reel over the steez A.

Why do you prefer it to the steez? 

2 hours ago, bwjay said:

I have two Bantams (HG and XG) and love them for all techniques. They are ultra smooth and rigid. The weight is not an issue to me as they balance out my slightly tip heavy Helium3s but not completely. A lighter reel would make them more unbalanced. That being said, I bought a Chronarch MGL to try and while it can really bomb baits, the construction makes it feel less premium than a Bantam, and I was able to feel the "geary" feeling after only an hour of time on it. It is smooth but the geary feeling really cheapens it IMO. As nice of a reel as it is, I'm returning it. I bought the XG Bantam after deciding to return the Chronarch and I'm not upset at all about having two Bantams. They palm so nicely, feel premium, and fish premium. I can still cast quite far with them. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to try a Bantam. A Metanium MGL might be nice too but you shouldn't have to replace parts on a brand new premium reel just to bring it to the level you'd expect for the money you're paying for it. And, it depends if your rods are tip heavy or not. An unbalanced rod with a light reel might be more fatiguing than a balanced rod with a heavy (relatively) reel.

 

Bantam gets my vote, but I'm biased. :)

I too have the ChMGL XG and I prefer metal reels. 

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49 minutes ago, newyorktoiowa57 said:

Why do you prefer it to the steez? 

I too have the ChMGL XG and I prefer metal reels. 

The 8.6 specifically has a different gear material that is more conducive to frogging. 

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Just now, iabass8 said:

The 8.6 specifically has a different gear material that is more conducive to frogging. 

What do you mean? Is it different than aluminum or brass? And what would make gears more conducive to frogging? By frogging would you abstract that to anything involving high torque requirements (pulling fish through lots of heavy vegetation)?

 

I haven't heard of any special gear material requirements for high torque. People are using XG reels with both aluminum and brass gears for this application with no issues AFAIK. So to hear someone say "there is special gear material that is more conducive to frogging" all I can think of is snake oil BS.

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I own them all and the Bantam is on the frog rod.  Easy decision!

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Such a tough decision. Part of me wants the Met DC for the casting distance. Most people seem to be leaning Bantum though. The Bantum does have brass gears and a smaller profile, and at a lower price. 

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I use a Shimano Exsence DC for froggin, and have a couple steez A's, I think the A's would do the job just fine, I do like the frame on the steez, I think it would be more comfortable throughout the day over the newer shimano style of the Mets, the bantam is a nicer palming reel too but I have yet to use one...

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35 minutes ago, bwjay said:

What do you mean? Is it different than aluminum or brass? And what would make gears more conducive to frogging? By frogging would you abstract that to anything involving high torque requirements (pulling fish through lots of heavy vegetation)?

 

I haven't heard of any special gear material requirements for high torque. People are using XG reels with both aluminum and brass gears for this application with no issues AFAIK. So to hear someone say "there is special gear material that is more conducive to frogging" all I can think of is snake oil BS.

Gear speed has nothing do to with the point. People using or not using XG reels for specific applications has nothing to do with what I said. Not sure why you jumped to that point or even concluded that from my statement but whatever. I'm referring to gear material. In that, yes, there is a difference.

 

The Steez SV TW and Steez A use a duralumnium. Durable? Yes. I own multiples of both variants. Specifically, I've had to replace the gear set in my Steez SV TW for heavy cover pitching / flipping. I bought the reel specifically for this and will have to replace the gears every 2-3 years and I'm fine /w that. duralumnium gears aren't meant for this but I'm fine /w it. I love the reel. 

 

the morenthan , which is just a JDM variant of the steez A, in lower gear ratios also uses duralumnium. The 8.6 specifically, and only the 8.6,  uses a bronze coated gear to help aid in wear from heavy cover use/heavy salt use. 

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I have the Bantam and it is a tank.  It would be perfect for frog fishing.  I have looked at the Steez A and it don't see it as a frog reel. 

 

Another suggestion is the Revo Toro Beast.  This reel is not as refined as the Bantam but it is made to muscle out some fish, plenty of line capacity and there are many different ratios to chose from. 

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8 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

Gear speed has nothing do to with the point. People using or not using XG reels for specific applications has nothing to do with what I said. Not sure why you jumped to that point or even concluded that from my statement but whatever. I'm referring to gear material. In that, yes, there is a difference.

 

The Steez SV TW and Steez A use a duralumnium. Durable? Yes. I own multiples of both variants. Specifically, I've had to replace the gear set in my Steez SV TW for heavy cover pitching / flipping. I bought the reel specifically for this and will have to replace the gears every 2-3 years and I'm fine /w that. duralumnium gears aren't meant for this but I'm fine /w it. I love the reel. 

 

the morenthan , which is just a JDM variant of the steez A, in lower gear ratios also uses duralumnium. The 8.6 specifically, and only the 8.6,  uses a bronze coated gear to help aid in wear from heavy cover use/heavy salt use. 

I mentioned gear ratio because a lower ratio means more torque which people like for dragging fish through weeds. I mentioned it because it is the only consideration for gearing that I have read for frogging or heavy cover applications, not actual gear material itself.

 

I had not heard of "duraluminum" (sounds like a brand name to me) before but now I have. Thanks for the explanation.

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24 minutes ago, FishTank said:

I have the Bantam and it is a tank.  It would be perfect for frog fishing.  I have looked at the Steez A and it don't see it as a frog reel. 

 

Another suggestion is the Revo Toro Beast.  This reel is not as refined as the Bantam but it is made to muscle out some fish, plenty of line capacity and there are many different ratios to chose from. 

I’m not a fan of the refinement offered by abu reels. It’s not better then an SLX even at the higher end. 

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2 hours ago, bwjay said:

I mentioned gear ratio because a lower ratio means more torque which people like for dragging fish through weeds. I mentioned it because it is the only consideration for gearing that I have read for frogging or heavy cover applications, not actual gear material itself.

 

I had not heard of "duraluminum" (sounds like a brand name to me) before but now I have. Thanks for the explanation.

Maybe read this, it's interesting. 

 

Duralumin

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9 hours ago, bwjay said:

I have two Bantams (HG and XG) and love them for all techniques. They are ultra smooth and rigid. The weight is not an issue to me as they balance out my slightly tip heavy Helium3s but not completely. A lighter reel would make them more unbalanced. That being said, I bought a Chronarch MGL to try and while it can really bomb baits, the construction makes it feel less premium than a Bantam, and I was able to feel the "geary" feeling after only an hour of time on it. It is smooth but the geary feeling really cheapens it IMO. As nice of a reel as it is, I'm returning it. I bought the XG Bantam after deciding to return the Chronarch and I'm not upset at all about having two Bantams. They palm so nicely, feel premium, and fish premium. I can still cast quite far with them. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to try a Bantam. A Metanium MGL might be nice too but you shouldn't have to replace parts on a brand new premium reel just to bring it to the level you'd expect for the money you're paying for it. And, it depends if your rods are tip heavy or not. An unbalanced rod with a light reel might be more fatiguing than a balanced rod with a heavy (relatively) reel.

 

Bantam gets my vote, but I'm biased. :)

How does the casting performance of the Bantum compare to that of the Chronarch?

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I've read good things about the Morethan but never used one...I have 4 Bantams, 3 Mets one of which I swapped out gear set with brass because the duralumin gears chipped out and it was a dedicated froggin reel I was testing to see how it'd hold up for what i put some gear through, well it didnt hold up for long...so far with the brass this season its been good and still one of my dedicated froggers...my other 2 Mets arent used for heavy cover anything...

 

Bantams are way more solid hands down and meant/shine for workhorse duties...I'll never use duralumin for heavy cover again...

 

Mets cast better with less effort but almost too easy to spool it with a frog...i can spool a bantam but takes more and I dont have to be as mindful like when i bomb a frog with a Met...bottom line, heavy cover/workhorse = Bantam as far as Shimano goes...

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10 hours ago, newyorktoiowa57 said:

How does the casting performance of the Bantum compare to that of the Chronarch?

The Chronarch seems to cast a little more effortlessly, but the Bantam is no slouch either. I'm not a huge fan of THE REEL TEST on YouTube, but he did some casting comparisons and found that the Bantam is pretty close to the Chronarch and Metanium for distance.

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Yeah, lots of batnam love.  I feel I should try it out too.  MOving from a lews superduty and was going to just respool a Met MGL, but this gives me pause.

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10 hours ago, Frog Turds said:

I've read good things about the Morethan but never used one...I have 4 Bantams, 3 Mets one of which I swapped out gear set with brass because the duralumin gears chipped out and it was a dedicated froggin reel I was testing to see how it'd hold up for what i put some gear through, well it didnt hold up for long...so far with the brass this season its been good and still one of my dedicated froggers...my other 2 Mets arent used for heavy cover anything...

 

Bantams are way more solid hands down and meant/shine for workhorse duties...I'll never use duralumin for heavy cover again...

 

Mets cast better with less effort but almost too easy to spool it with a frog...i can spool a bantam but takes more and I dont have to be as mindful like when i bomb a frog with a Met...bottom line, heavy cover/workhorse = Bantam as far as Shimano goes...

This makes me want to just swap the gears in a Met, which was my original thinking. Bombing the frog makes the fishing way more fun. 

34 minutes ago, bwjay said:

The Chronarch seems to cast a little more effortlessly, but the Bantam is no slouch either. I'm not a huge fan of THE REEL TEST on YouTube, but he did some casting comparisons and found that the Bantam is pretty close to the Chronarch and Metanium for distance.

The Met Dc outcasted them all by about 25 feet with a half ounce lipless. 

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