Jump to content

Anyone else using Kastking Sharkey III reels?

Recommended Posts

When it came time three and half years ago to give my two sons the ages of 14 and 16 several each of their own spinning and casting reel and rod set ups, understandably I was trying to do so as affordably as I could and strike the best balance between quality and cost. I was looking at buying a minimum of six spinning rod and reel set ups and four casting rod and reel set ups. It quickly dawned on me I hadn't researched fishing reels in quite some time so I had little knowledge of what if any new reel types or technologies were available in 2019-2020. And I certainly had little experience with reels costing below $100-$200 like my older MIJ Shimano's, Penns, Daiwa bait catering reels and Swedish made Abu-Garcia's casting reels


Like EVERY equipment purchase I make I set about researching what is best ALL AROUND deal was for my $$$ in this case it was for the best reels under $60-$65 and best rods in the $50-$100 price range. Reel wise I kept coming back to Pflueger and  a name I had not heard before. Kastking. I will admit Kastking absolutely marketed their products very well but more importantly to ME, highlighted the reels construction and features like a O ring sealed front drag a sealed main body numbers of salt water rated stainless steel sealed bearings (10) impressive 33-39lb multi-carbon disk drag system oversized SS main shaft and using many all metal for critical internal components and marketed these features more effectively and often much more effectively than other competing reel makers whom I was was familiar with like Shimano (last 5 Shimano reels I bought were still made in Japan, WOW I am getting older) Daiwa and Pflueger. I'm not saying Pflueger and Daiwa don't they just didn't make reels with as many features as the KK just they didn't made it a point to advertise doing do, at least not that I found back in 2020. And in MY experienced based opinion if a feature you're looking for is not listed among the items specifications, odds are it doesn't have it or at least you have to assume it doesn't have it.


So I bought two Kastking Sharkey III's and two Pflueger Presidents both on sale for around IIRC $50-$60 each in March of 2020. I let my sons interchangeably use one each of the Presidents and Sharkey III's and my (GASP) made in Japan Shimano Spirex Symmetry reels and I set about beating the living bejesus out of both the other two. They both held up well and I did catch some channel cats over 8lbs a lot of sheepshead in the 3-8lb range and a even a few Northern Pike (yeah shocked the Bleeep out of me fishing off a beaver house in a local lake) over 6lbs that gave me a good evaluation of both the reels drags and over all performance.


I as a rule do not use drag much as I prefer to back reel to fight a big fish but as a test when I got a big cat, pike or sheepshead on I quickly reset the drag purposely lite to test it for long runs to see how smoothly they worked. Neither reels drag disappointed me. I never had a fish brake me off a single time. I did catch and release a 6lb 4oz LM bass on a KK Sharkey III but got no bass over 4lbs on a President. Both advertised corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings and the Kastking advertised a O ring sealed front drag and sealed main body (VS the Pflueger president advertised only a sealed drag but not sealed reel body) I made it a point to submerge both a few times while fishing and neither showed any affects that day but I discovered a VERY small amount of water had gotten into the body of the Phlueger President but none got into the Kastking Sharkey III.


As an added note my son took four of the KK Sharkey III's on a recent (in June) week long fishing trip to Lake Monroe with a family we know well. Prior to him leaving I installed some DIY rod floats on all the set ups he was taking with made from pool noodles. as he said he would be doing a fair amount of fishing from kayaks and possibly canoes. My son complained at how unattractive they made his set ups look but I said my equipment my money my rules or dig out the old Zebco 33 reel/rod combos and take those. He came home and told me good thing I did so as second day of the trip while he was fishing in a 17' canoe with his buddy and sure as bleeep they flipped the canoe.

Much to my sons delight both his set ups instantly floated up but unfortunately his buddy's set ups all became permanent lake residents. As the KK reels were advertised as being sealed I decided against opening them up to see if any water found its way in as a test of sorts and will leave that for when I disassemble, clean and lube my reels in January and see if either reel starts to have issues that would indicate the advertised sealed body had failed and water might have made it into the reels inner workings. 


In total I have bought seven Kastking Sharky III's (three for my self two each for my sons last ones in 2021) and all have held up very very well and have seen A LOT of use as I fish at least 3x a week March till December (started a new job in 2020 in a new department where work and I now get 14 days off a month and all my vacations are two weeks long) and my sons each fish with me or their friends as often. Both the Phlueger Presidents also also used 95% by my sons. I have spooled them with everything from Yo-Zuri and P-Line Copolymer, P-line, Gouken and Berkley Fluorocarbon, Power Pro braid and Trilene XL and XT mono and all worked and casted well. Neither reel exhibited a propensity to induce excessive line twist or create rats nests more often than I was use to.


Between the Kastking Sharkey III or the Pfluger President, I honestly feel as both reels are essentially the same price, and share essentially the same synthetic external construction the Kastking offered equal function but should have better durability due to its advertised sealed body VS the un-sealed body of the Phlueger so based on these facts and again in MY opinion the Kastking Sharkey III also advertises more and better features and should have better potential longevity and durability for your money than the Phlueger President and that's why I choose to buy more of the Kastking Sharkey III and not the Phluger President. Now all that remains to be seen is how the KK Sharkey III's hold up over the long run.


Lastly this is the experience based opinion of a very serious but still armature fisherman who has never competed in any tournaments but has over 50 years of fishing experience and seen more than my fair share of reels fail especially so called "bargain price" or "budget price" reels and I have no hesitations to say a piece of equipment I've purchased is of substandard quality or just outright junk and long decades ago ceased the practice of allowing my liking or fondness for a piece of equipment or particular company prejudice my opinion of them. If it's junk I'm gonna say it's junk.


I feel for the sub $65 price point the Kastking Sharkey III spinning reel is worth a non competitive freshwater species fisherman's consideration. Is it the best in it's price point? No I can not possibly even begin to say that nor was that ever the point of my post because I only tested two among many many reels in that category of price point, but I can say it's definitely worth considering and I in MY PERSONAL opinion felt it was a better all around reel than the Pflueger President.

If anyone has a reel at the same $65 cost or less and they are confident it is the superior of the Kastking Sharkey III please by all means share it with me as I'm sure I haven't bought my last spinning reel.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although not a popular choice the Piscifun Carbon X spinning reels have served me well for a handful of years so far. Although I’m unsure of parts availability/servicing I’ve really enjoyed my 3 for exactly what you’re describing as an amateur fisherman. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/7/2023 at 7:06 AM, Eric 26 said:

Although not a popular choice the Piscifun Carbon X spinning reels have served me well for a handful of years so far. Although I’m unsure of parts availability/servicing I’ve really enjoyed my 3 for exactly what you’re describing as an amateur fisherman. 

I forgot I recently put my oldest Kastking Sharkey III reel through quite a work out while on vacation in Ohio and three other newer ones although not as tough a day still pretty good work out,

I went fishing for smallmouth in lake Erie at a larger public boat launch with quite a few unused public docks in Sandusky while my boys spent the day at Cedar Point. I fished for over 10 hours straight save for bathroom brakes. First fish was a 3lb+ 22" smallmouth. Then I got IIRC 32 or 33 sheepshead on and 27 or 28 in. Biggest two were over 28" long. Was using my 30 year old 6'6" long Berkeley MH/FA Lightning rod and 8lb Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon a #4 Eagle claw laser sharp hook a #5 split shot and softshell crayfish.

Day before that my walleye charter cancelled due to a rough lake so we went to a public lake and started chasing bass using both luers and nightcrawlers, caught quite a few 1.5-2.5lb bass but ended up slaying the channel cats. Biggest one of the day was over 8Lbs and hit a WT/Char 1/2oz chatter bait. Was he fought I was thought I had a new PB LM on. My youngest had one heck of a day. Couldn't keep the bass and cats off his line. He caught both biggest bass at about 2.75lbs and a slightly larger channel cat than mine at 8.75lbs. He even caught a 2lb crappie. And the Sharkey III's performed very well. Ended up kinda PO at myself as I didn't bring any panfish gear at all and a guy there we watched as he and his son and daughter slayed the gills and sunfish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing reel

    Outboard Engine

    fishing tackle


    fishing reels



    bass fish

    fish for bass

  • Create New...