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Shimano Castaic opinions?

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This reel has fascinated me for a long time.  I love the Instagage feature.  I'm thinking of getting one, or two, for my flipping and pitching/frog rod.  

Any opinions on these reels?  I know they are kinda dated but that doesn't bother me.  

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When I was selling reels more often I test drove a couple of the older style Castaics.  Very solid reel. I've used flippin switches before but the insta-gage took a little getting used to.  Nice reel, excellent reel for those applications.  

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It is really super free.  I had one for a season, never could get used to the Instagage bar.

They are tanks.

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I wasn't really sold on the Instagage until I started acquiring Daiwas.  They have the feature where you can flip the bar back up and reengage the spool without turning the handle.  I find myself using that feature a lot.  I really like it.  And I've been wishing my Revos that I use for frogging and flipping had that, too.  The Castaic's seems even better.  It's easy to find and manipulate with my fat, fumbling thumb without looking at the reel.

Other question:  can the drag be upgraded in the Castaic?  

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I have 3 of them.  2 older version with the full crossbar and one new one.  I like the older ones WAY better.  There might be better pitchin' reels out there but I have not looked because I REALLY like the Castaic.  I have not gotten used to the new one yet and would gladly trade it for a old one in good shape.  

I bought my old ones in 94 or 95???  They are the most solid reels I've owned.  I wish they had never changed the insta gage bar though.

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mine is excellent.  ;)

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the originals were tanks...a lotta folks (myself included) on a lotta boards seem to prefer the original over the newer model.

if you opt for the original, you may have to wax or muddy up the white plate on top...if the sun hits it just right, it's like a death-ray to the eyes.

other than that, perfect for pitching and flipping.

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I read a review on the original and it stated that the thumb bar was only connected on the right side. So that when you pressed it, the left side flexed down causing it to rub on the right side scratching the frame. Long term durability was questionable.

That was an old review. Those of you that have the old model, how has that worked out?

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I read a review on the original and it stated that the thumb bar was only connected on the right side. So that when you pressed it, the left side flexed down causing it to rub on the right side scratching the frame. Long term durability was questionable.

That was an old review. Those of you that have the old model, how has that worked out?

never had that problem with the ca200a...seems that would be more problematic with the ca200sf.

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I went to BPS today, cash in pocket.  I fiddled with that reel, gave it back, went back and looked at it again, then walked away.  I've got to think about it some more.  

The reel is big.  It feels bulkier than the Curado 200D.  Not as comfortable.  When the reel is mounted on the rod, there is a big gap between the rod and the front of the reel.   When I palm the reel, my index finger sinks into the gap and the pawl cap rubs on my finger as it goes back and forth.  Otherwise, the reel is, as Burley said, a tank.   Nevertheless, I go to ponder it for a little while longer.   :-/

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I pitched docks and cattails several hours straight today with my new one and I just can't get used to this new insta-gage lever setup.  I might as well be using any other reel.  I'll have to practice with it in the yard this week and focus on using that.  My thumb just doesn't lay right to use one side or the other.  I trip my old ones right about in the center and I've never had any problems with them at all.  

Yes. it sits a bit higher than other reels you are used to but it isn't as big as my Citica 200D (and weighs less).

At this point, I'd not buy another one. ;)

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