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Abu Garcia Cardinal

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has anyone used this reel? i need a new spinning reel and this looks pretty good i was thinking either a 300 series or a 500 series any suggestions? any other good reels in the $30-$50 range?

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I had an Abu Garcia Cardinal 503 ALB and i liked it alot. I love the extra thick bail on it. For 49.99$ you can get a Shimano Sahara on sale which is an excellent deal IMO. Either way i think you will be happy.

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All of the Cardinals look good to me, even the 100 series. But I'm afraid to try one again cause I've had 4 Garcia reels in the past that all had weak gears, 2 casters and 2 spinners. Then the guy at the tackle shop here tells me they're known for having weak gearing. So I went with Pflueger when I needed new reels this last time. The Pflueger Trion for $40 is an absolute steal, feels like it should be twice that much when I fish with it. You can get the whole combo for $60 through Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops.  Nice reels alone though to put on a rod you already own.  I bought 2 Pfluegers and I love them, they're solid as a rock!

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I have a Cardinal 101 ultra-light spinning reel that I use for brim. I have had it for a while now and am very impressed with it (for the money). The drag handled 43 bluegills and 8 bass today very well. It's a really good deal for $30 IMO.

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There isn't much difference between the 300 and the 500.  The 300 may be a better value.  I have a 502 ALB and it's the reel I use the most.  I've had it a long time and have had no problems with it.   It's a very good reel.

For a relatively inexpensive reel, Tackle Tour seemed to rate it rather highly....

http://www.tackletour.com/reviewabugarciacardinal502alb.html

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There isn't much difference between the 300 and the 500...

The biggest difference is that the 500ALB reels have aluminum bodies, the 300s are graphite.

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I've owned a Garcia Cardinal for 4-5 years.  A good reel for the money, it has developed a slight wobble in the spool, but I probably can get another year or two out of it. I own two Pflueger Trion's one ultralight and one medium. They are good reels, as well--a little smoother than the the Abu, but then they cost a little more as well.

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