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Luke at Gouldsboro

type of reel for a 9 year old

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My niece loves fishing with me and I want to upgrade her rod and reel. She is using a kid's rod and reel ( 3 ft rod and zebco reel). Should I get her a spincast or just a better rod with the same zebco reel? I know she's not good enough for a spinning or baitcasting reel yet. Any suggestions would be great.

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If the reel performs adequately and does what a reel's supposed to do, then I'd just get her a longer rod. I think the important thing is that the kids have equipment that works, not just a toy.

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I would get her a longer rod. Preferably fiberglass and not graphite. Some nine year olds are rough on rods. ::)

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I too would stick with the spincast for now. My 10 year old granddaughter can cast her Zebco a country mile. Maybe next year I'll get her a spinning rig.

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Zebco Omega or a Shimano Sonora mated with a 5-6' pole.

X2.

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Zebco Omega or a Shimano Sonora mated with a 5-6' pole.

X2.

x3

I bought Sonora 2500s for my two oldest boys last year (10 and 6 at the time) along with 6' Abu Garcia Conolon Supreme rods and they both handle them just fine.

The Omega is a great little reel as well, but it's rather heavy and makes the combo a little top-heavy.

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I would try a spinning outfit, but keep the length of the rod manageable for her size. If she enjoys fishing, she will appreciate the fact you think she's ready to advance. Kids learn quick.  :)

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She is definitely ready for a spinning outfit. I agree with the given recommendations for rod length and reel models.

I have seen decent spinning rods (like the Daiwa strike force) for kids her age for about $12 or something like a berkley cherrywood for about $20.  Combine that with a $30 Abu G Cardinal reel and you're both in business.  There is a cardinal 101a that is only 6.95 oz that I think is perfect. My daughter is 10 and she loves this reel so much that she stopped using casting reels.  ::). Well, for drop shotting, anyway.  ;D

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My 9 year old grandson uses my Calcutta 50A on a 5' 6" Crucial; the reels small profile fits his hands.  :)

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My 9 year old grandson uses my Calcutta 50A on a 5' 6" Crucial; the reels small profile fits his hands. :)

That must be a sweet combo! My daughter has been using my 101D Curado with a 6' daiwa rod but lately has been on a drop shot fix. She told me I could have the Curado back.  ::)

I think it's amazing how fast they can learn to use either casting or spinning reels.

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  I have boys 7 and 9 that love to fish with me.  Of course I'm trying to teach them Bass fishing so I don't have to go out pan fishing every outing with them.

  This year I got them both spinning set-ups.  With a little time they both have adapted pretty well.  The 7 year old,  however,  manages to reel snarled or slack line up in his spool.  I attempted to put him back in a closed face,  but he refuses because he has gotten so good at casting the spinning reel. 

  I believe the spinning reels with a "trigger cast" work well for the young ones.  Be prepared to be patient.  It was hard for me.  Also like I said they'll never want to pick up a closed face again.

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For ease of handling, spincast is the way to go. You have to keep tabs on line twist building up, and keep the spool topped off properly. But, the big disadvantage with spincast is retrieve speed. Most spin-cast reels are too slow to fish many artificials well. The child has to retrieve like mad to get a bait moving, or keep one from dredging weeds and rocks. Ever spent an afternoon burning a crank? It'll wear you out. That's what spin-cast does with every lure. If they are fishing live bait, soft plastics, and some topwaters, spincast is fine, which is where most youngsters are at.

If a child can handle spinning or casting gear -go for it. It also depends on the child's maturity -dexterity and focus. My son is simply a late bloomer, esp in the focus department. He's 8 and using spincast gear. He has a Zebco 11 (4lb), Zebco 22 (8lb), and I just got him an ABU 170i (12lb) which has promise for a good summer LM rig. It has a retrieve speed of 23ipt and appears to have a decent drag. Others I've looked at wimp out in the drag department, and so far no other has that retrieve speed. We'll see how it pans out this summer.

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