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Opinions on two reels needed, please

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1)  Bass Pro Shops David Fritts Signature Series Baitcast Reel

I've heard nothing but good things about them like "good value" and "casts great."  But can someone give a little more info?  What's it made of?  What sort of brake does it have?  How is is accessed?   How do you adjust the brake when you access it?   Long term durability/reliability?  it looks like a great cranking reel.  I know Muddy just ordered one (don't know if he's received it).  And someone else on here had one.  Any tidbits ont hsi reel would be apreciated.

2)  Shimano Castaic

Anyone have one?  Pros and cons on this reel?   Is that thumb bar as good and convenient as Shimano says?  Is it the best choice for a flippin' rod?

Thanks.

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The thumb bar on the Castaic is better than any flipping switch on the market. Convienent to use with either hand.

Oh, and when they say super free, they mean it.  ;)

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This is straight from the BPS website....it will answer a few of your questions

"The first word out of our Product Development Manager's mouth: ''This reel casts a honkin' mile!'' The pros, customers, everybody -- they can't get over how far they can put their lure; it'll outcast any other reel! The reason? This reel has a taller, slightly heavier spool and a consistently narrower line angle, which generates incredible inertia on the cast -- so not only can you cast big cranks all day without undue arm strain, you can also position your boat farther from the target. The extra-long aluminum handle adds power to your crankin' stroke, giving you the leverage to horse that lunker in from a distance. And we've designed a powerful new drag system which produces up to 10 lbs. of drag pressure. Machined-aluminum frame and spool; graphite side-plates; 4-bearing system with double-shielded premium stainless steel ball bearings; 6-pin centrifugal cast control. DF10HC has PowerLock instant anti-reverse; other models have dual-pawl anti-reverse."

As far as durability, I still use one of the first ones they put out (beige/gold color) for deep cranks (4.7:1) and believe me, it has been put to the test....big time.

I bought a new (black) one last season when they went on sale in case something happened to my old one but the new one is still in its box. I had the older one cleaned and lubed this winter and it's still silky smooth. Very good reel in my opinion.

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Thanks, both of you.

BTW, the BPS Fritts reel, which is better for cranks - 5.2:1 or 4.7:1?  Probably not a lot of difference - 23" versus 21" respectively.

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If you're planning to dedicate one whole set-up for deep crankin', I'd get the 4.7:1. Thats just my personal preference though....the lower gear ratio has more power and takes away some of the resistance created by the deep cranks. For mid depth cranks, I use a 5.4:1 and for shallow cranks I use 5.4 and 6.2.

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Can you really tell the difference between a 5.2:1 and 4.7:1?

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Can you really tell the difference between a 5.2:1 and 4.7:1?

I can. Its sorta like a mountain bike, when going up a hill, you put it in the gear that won't tire you out as fast, but will still climb the hill. The lower gear ratio makes the deep cranks easier to fish.......in my opinion, of course. Try one, if you don't like it, sell it and get the 5.2:1.  

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Actually, I was thinking about getting both.  I don't have any REAL cranking set ups.  I have some spinning set ups good for it, but I like baitcasters.  My only medium baitcast rods are fast or xtrafast action with 6.2:1 reels.  These will do, but they are not optimal.

I was thinking about getting the 5.2:1 reel and a 7' medium Crankin' Stik for shallow and medium divers, and a 4.7:1 and a 7' MH Crankin' Stick for deep divers and bigger jerk baits.

I don't want to spend a fortune and both these reels and rods have great reputations.  

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If you want to save a little money in case you don't "take" to crankbaitin' like some of us, take a look at the Browning Silaflex fiberglass rods at BPS. They are great crankin' rods in my opinion (I'm a big fiberglass fan) and are only $35 bucks a pop.

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I have 3 Castaics.  2 are originals, one I just bought.  I gave my son the choice of the new or old and he chose one of my old ones (that I just had Reel Mech service)  Since I can't comment on how good the new one is yet, I won't.  But, my old ones are my favorite reels of all.  The thumbar is addictive.  After I've been using the Castaic awhile and switch to a Curado, TD-A, Revo or whatever, I find myself flicking my thumb looking for that bar.  It is the ultimate reel for pitching for me.

Before I bought this new one, my Revo SX had the easiest spinning spool of the lot I own, but the new Castaic just swept that honor out from under the SX.  A great reel!!  Tighten the tension cap down so it just takes all the lateral play out of the spool and give that sucker a good spin and you'll be there awhile waiting for it to stop.  

I may buy a couple more and put them away.  If Shimano ever quits making these I'll still have some to get me through my lifetime.

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Shimano Castic.

I have one and love it.

Great for any techniques you decide to use.

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I forgot about Browning Silaflex.  Those have good reputations, too.  

Thanks for the feedback on the Castaic, all.

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I've used a couple Castaics that I had up for sale.  The Insta-gage switch was interesting.  Of the few reels with flippin switches that are left on the market, the Castaic is probably the best of the lot.  

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Had mine for about 15 months and will never give it up. Use it texas rig with 1/16 or 1/8 weight and it gets all the distance I need pitching or flippin. Need to pickup a couple more for jigs and shakyheads. It will take a trip or so to remember to use the switch.

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