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The Rooster

Is there a difference in some spinning reels made the same but diff. brand??

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In shopping around for a spinning reel I've noticed some companies have spinning reels made on the identical same body/frame as others, just the colors, trim, number of bearings, handle crank, and other minor details are all that's different.

These reels would include Shakespeare spinning reels and Pflueger spinning reels, some Cabela's brand reels, and even one Penn reel. There may be more that I just haven't seen yet too.

A couple of years ago I bought 2 Shakespeare reels on clearance at Wal-Mart. I took one back cause it had issues straight out of the package, but kept the other one. I didn't use it for over 3 months though cause of cold weather, and by time I did use it and found problems with it too, it was too late to return it. So I kept it and used it. In doing so I have come to like very much the way it fishes and would like to have another one but I want one that won't have the issues this one did, such as developing gear grind over a period of time even though I oiled and greased it yearly as recommended. Also it makes noises, pops and cracks as you crank it, and I cannot find any reason why, it just does. It's annoying as it can be.

Over the passed couple years I've shopped around looking at them and every single Shakespeare I've seen, without exception, has made noises and even had some problems you could physically feel while you crank it. Like something inside the bail housing was dragging against something else as it went around, or hitting it slightly as it passed a certain point in the rotation. Sort of making a tick tick tick sound as it went round. It seems this company cannot make a reel that doesn't do this.

I've looked at dozens of different ones in the $20 to $35 range by Shakespeare and they ALL do this. Tonight I actually bought 2 of the Tempest models from K-mart, and one of them straight out of the package was doing this exact same thing......tick tick tick tick as you crank it, and you could feel it too.....so I immediately returned both of them, the other one unopened still. I just do not want another reel that is going to start grinding again over time, or make constant noises and pecking feelings in my hand as I crank it to distract me from fishing. Even the handle crank grip on the one I already have has loosened up and has some slap in it now. It's like the more you use it, the worse it gets.  Last weekend it started making a whole new noise that was never there before.  

Now I'm looking to buy the Pflueger Trion, which is made identically to the Shakespeare reel, built on the exact same frame (which is a design I like), but just has more bearings, a rosewood handle grip, and a very slight body shape difference along the bottom side of it. But otherwise, it's the same bail and internal mechanics design and all.

I'm wondering if I can expect a similar performance to the Shakespeare reels from the Trion though. I was thinking cause it comes from a more reputable company, and costs more also, that it might be better made. All I know is I'M DONE WITH SHAKESPEARE REELS of any kind from now on. I just cannot believe this company cannot make a reel any better than that. I know they are cheap though, so I should have known.  Hopefully paying a bit more will help that.  I'm trying to hold it down to $50 or less though.  Not a lot, but it'll have to do.  

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Many brands have reels in their line-ups that are produced by OEM houses that produce reels for other brands.  Some of them are the exact same reel with only the name differing.  One that comes immediately to mind is the Penn Captiva reel.  That reel also carries the Pinnacle and Shakespeare brand name.  That was a HIGH end reel for the Shakespeare name, but one of Penn's lower end reels.  

Shakespeare, Pflueger and Penn were all once owned by Shakespeare.  Now they are owned by Pure Fishing, the same company that owns Abu Garcia.  Pflueger seems to have always offered a much better product than Shakespeare, even though Shakespeare owned them.  I think the reels were targeted at different audiences.  Shakepeare to the very occassional fisherman who didn't want to spend a lot on equipment.  Pflueger to the more serious angler who wanted a good quality product at a reasonable price.

I don't think you can go wrong with Pflueger.  

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Thank you so much for that information.  I've also been looking at a couple of Mitchell reels, and noticed that they too are owned by Pure Fishing.  I have a couple of Mitchell Avocets already and they're fairly nice.  Got one as a gift and got the other from Ebay for $10 total shipping and all, brand new. They're not bad for what they are, but Wal-Mart sells them for $20 so I'm wondering just how well they're built inside.  Bass Pro Shops has the new Avocet II Gold for $30 and it has double the number of bearings, 8 compared to 4, so it's one I'm looking at.

Not sure about Abu Garcia anymore.  Years ago I bought a couple of the Cardinals, a C3R and a 303R.  Both turned out to be good reels.  I wore them both out actually over a number of years.  The 303R actually developed gear grind issues after a while, but I caught a lot of fish on it so I figured it just gave up finally.  

Last year I got a Cardinal 303R reel, one of the mid 90's models that the shop owner just happened to have still laying around cause he'd never sold it.  It was brand new, still in the box, and was a model I had previously owned so I thought this one would last just as long as the other one did so I bought it.  It took it exactly 3 fish reeled in to start having gear grind issues also.   I also had two of their round baitcasters that did this too, the 5600C4 and the 5600HPSS (Hank Parker Sig Series).  4 Abu Garcia reels that all did this to me, all developed gear grind anywhere from immediately out of the box to a few years later.  I know I got a few years out of the 5600C4 and one of the 303R reels, but the other two were brand new, hardly ever caught a fish and done that.  Then I heard they had weak gears in them from a local tackle shop, so I switched brands from them permanently.  Otherwise, I'd be seriously interested in the new Cardinal C102 reel for under $40.  

I'm interested in the Pflueger Trions and the Mitchell Avocets though, so I'll check them out further.

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Well, the search is over.  Today I decided to move up just a bit in the quality of spinning reels I was purchasing in the past.  Went into the local tackle shop here and looked at the Mitchell Avocet which I already have 2 of but was looking at maybe getting a third one.  Then I compared it to the Pflueger Trion and Pflueger President.  After feeling those two I was no longer interested in the Avocet anymore.

I ended up leaving with a Pflueger Trion 4730GX......AND......a Pflueger President 6735.  I originally only needed one more reel for a rod I already had, but after seeing how much better these are I decided to go ahead and get one more to replace one of the Avocets I already have, and later I'll get another one to replace the other Avocet I still have left.  I had them spooled with line while there too, I use Stren clear/blue mono, 8 pound test line.  I wanted fluorocarbon line actually but since I spent so much money on two reels at one time, I thought I'd just wait a while before laying down that much more again.  They spooled the regular line cheaply but the fluorocarbon was gonna be a bit more expensive so I'll get it next time.  

Also as it turns out they can spool my reels cheaper than I can buy line and do it myself for.  So from now on I'm gonna take my reels to them to get spooled up each time I need new line.  I only live about 10 minutes from the store where I got them from.  

I'm going fishing tomorrow to try out these new reels but so far they feel as smooooooth as silk.  

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Yeah they really seem like it. You're probably going to laugh when you read this, but the reason I got one of each instead of two of the same was purely cause of color. I thought the President would look better on a rod I have that is the same color as it, an older Quantum Dance Class rod with Bill Dance's signature on it, but the other rod I have would look better with the Trion instead so it got that one. I'm funny that way, my equipment has to look good together. Can't just put a color of a reel on a rod that it won't match well. Anybody else that way??

Only differences I could see between the two I got were 7 bearings vs. 10. I could actually feel a very slight difference when looking at the displays, or so I thought, but not enough to worry about it. Both are very nice and were only $20 apart in price.  

I think I unleashed a baitmonkey today though cause now I'm RUINED.  From here on it I'll have to have reels that are as nice as these or better.  Can't go back to $25 spinning reels anymore.  I'm really amazed at the quality difference I got when I paid a little more.  I'd say the Trion is underpriced at $40.  I gave $50 for a Shimano last year, the Sedona, and HATED IT after a little while of using it.  I then thought paying that much money was pointless.  I got it at a store where I couldn't see a display of the reel before purchasing it.  Had to buy it in the package and open it after I bought it.  Should have took it back, but I bought it during cold weather and didn't get to use it before a couple months had gone by.  I'm gonna have to stop doing that and buy reels when I can use them the next day to see if it's really what I wanted. ;D

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The major brands are usually your best options.

I go with Shimano now.

100% Shimano and so far, so good.

As long as you stay with one of the major brands, like the Pfluegers, you will have less problems with your baitcasters and spinning reels.

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Now I'm looking to buy the Pflueger Trion, which is made identically to the Shakespeare reel, built on the exact same frame (which is a design I like), but just has more bearings, a rosewood handle grip, and a very slight body shape difference along the bottom side of it. But otherwise, it's the same bail and internal mechanics design and all.

I personally feel that even though two items may look similar and have the same mechanical design, it can work completely different with just a few tweaks. Like you said a few bearings more can make a big difference. Using different materials can make a big difference. Same bale but is it the same quality metal? Quality control is also a big difference. Parts may have a lower tollerance of error in one line over another etc.

I can two identical mechanical pencils that are designed the same but one works much better than the other. Why? and not suprisingly, the more expensive one works 10X better.

Basically what I feel is that, just because it looks/ designed the same it doesn't mean its made the same.

I have a president myself and love it ;)

Vic

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I fished with my reels today and they did well. I noticed the President has a very very slight roughness to it though. I thought I felt it even in the store while I was buying it and they were putting line on it, but didn't look too closely, and today I can feel it ever so slightly while I fished with it. Seems the Trion is just a bit slicker feeling but by rights it shouldn't be cause it has less bearings and is the cheaper one of the two. Still feels like a very solid reel though. I just wish it was COMPLETELY slick feeling though. Wonder why it's like that?? Am I being too picky maybe??

EDIT--I think I figured it out.  I feel it in both reels but the President is moreso.  It's the oscillation gearing in it.  I feel the roughness at the top and at the bottom of the spool oscillation, as it begins the movement back in the opposite direction again.  The Trion does this too, but not as much.  Wonder if the size difference would explain the reason why one does it more than the other??  The President is a larger size than the Trion is.  

I guess I can live with it, it's not bad at all.  Now that I know what it is anyway, just made me think something was wrong with them, cause I have a Shakespeare that does this same thing only much much more severely.    I don't want it to get worse over time is all.  I can't hardly feel the grind with no load on the reel, but cranking it against a lure's resistance in the water I can feel it a little moreso, and even if I have a lure on the line and am reeling it up and down here at home I can feel it some.  But if I remove the weight and then crank it, it's virtually gone.   I was wanting a reel where there was completely no feeling at all except slickness as you crank it.  Like it's rolling on glass.  Not glass with sandpaper on it.  

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