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WaterDawg

Best sub $100 baitcaster...

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I've worn out the search feature and google on this topic and decided to start a new thread before my next purchase.

Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death. I'm sure it has.

I'm recently back into bass fishing after a 15 yr hiatus due to college, marriage, kiddos, building a business etc. My kiddos are now teens and I'm having to start over on my gear (and gear for them) and I'm unfamiliar with many of the current offerings/features/technologies in today's baitcasters.

I believe in good rods, so I've invested my first chunk into a selection of mid-priced falcons and all-stars $49-$89 each to get us going. Mainly 6'6's and 7' meds to med/hvys. Figured I'm setting up 4 of us to fish and teaching 3 noobs. Didn't need to go all out on rods for beginners not knowing if they're going to stick with it.

I've been down the $39 Wal Mart disposable rod/reel combo route plenty before. This time, I'm just not going to waste my money. I figure if I at least buy them decent gear and they don't enjoy fishing, I've still got good gear to use.

I'm starting my younger boys out on spinning gear (6'6" all star classic or falcon w/ Shimano Sedona reels). I've found the Sedona to be a great, durable reel for the money @ $59 FWIW. So I was able to set these two up for around $100 +/-.

My older boy (14 yo) is my most promising candidate and a very quick learn. He's already into baitcasters and insisted on the 7' Skeet Reese med/fast tip rod, which I think is actually a great rod for $89. He just thinks the color is cool and he likes the tip action. Works for me.

I'm set up with $89 falcon 7' med hvy/fast which I'm quite happy with.

Now to my question, I need to step up the baitcasters from the original Shimano Callisto's I bought (I know I shouldn't have, but I figured I'd take a chance $49). Not at all crazy with these reels.

I would like to step up to better casters. Can't quite afford Curado's, which would be my choice, so I'd like to stay in the sub $100 if possible. I DO NOT want to buy junk however and I'm very open to different brands including the house brands @ Cabelas and BPS.

In this price range ($70-$100), are there some decent options or do I need to step up to the $120 range and look at the Shimano Citica/Daiwa Tierra type stuff.

We will be using this gear for weekend use, not tourney type stuff. I'm looking for good quality, dependable reels with reliable braking systems that I'm not going to have to fight. These Callisto's blow.

Can you help a brother out??

Thanks in advance.

Donnie

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I just recently bought the Daiwa Procaster navy from TW. It is originally 60 bucks, but there was a sale and a 20 percent off so i got it for 32 bucks. It is a really nice reel for the money. You should consider looking into these.

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Look for a used reel, you can get some quality for a decent price

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BPS Pro Qualifier. $100 regular price, now on sale for $80 (but nearly sold out). Available in right-and left-hand in 4 different ratios. Nice smooth reel with dual braking. Best reel and best deal for $100 or under. (Disclosure - I own 5 PQs!)

Search this forum on "Pro Qualifier" and "PQ" and you will get LOTS of hits - there's been quite a few discussions on this reel...

Good luck with your decision!

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Thanks buzz, I read your previous post about the Procasters along with a few reviews and I'm definitely going to check them out.

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Well, I use the Bill Dance Select Baitcasting combo and it's been working great for years. I really like Quantums and I think this is a great entry level product.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_104129_100003001_100000000_100003000_100-3-1

Another option is the Daiwa StrikeForce Combo. I had that one until it got smashed in a car door ;)

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10205081_100003001_100000000_100003000_100-3-1

The Bass Pro Shops combos are great too. Although I have never owned one, I know a few people that have them and they perform great.

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Goose, I played around with that reel last weekend @ BPS in San Antonio.  Liked it, but didn't know a thing about it and the salesman was a weirdo. 

I'll take the field-tested opinion of an angler over a salesman any day of the week...and it's not even close.

Thanks

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Watch the flea market section of this site.  I have bought a couple of good used reels and rods that I think are excellent values. 

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The Daiwa Exceler has gotten some pretty good reviews and even a node in a recent issue of BassMasters. I just picked up one myself but haven't had a chance to hit the water with it just yet.

Another good choice would be the Cabelas Prodigy (made by Daiwa) I've had one for a couple of seasons and it's a smooth solid reel and on sale now for $80 and normally $100

Good luck with whatever you decide on

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Look into the Quantum Burst or Quantum Code from Tackle Warehouse.  I have three of the Quantum Bursts and one of the Codes and they are all great reels.

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So: Best sub $100 baitcaster...

This one

DP100HN.JPG

Daiwa Procaster PR100H

My arsenal is filled with TDZs, Alphas, Chronarchs, etc, lots of mid high-high end reels and I tell you that reel at clearance for 40 dollars @ TW is not only a killer deal but also that reel is very far from being junk.

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I have to sugest the Pro Qualifier if you can find some in stock. My fishing bud bought 3 of them this season. They have the dual brake system which drastically reduces backlash problems. He loves the reels. They cast great. The fit is much better than low end BPS reels. This last weekend he brought his reels to my shop for a mid season clean and re lube. I pulled one of my 2010 revo stx reels apart for comparison. With the exception of the spool shaft, they are very nearly identical inside. The revo has a better drag, but the PQ could be upgraded for less than 10 bucks. The revo has a few higher quality parts such as the plating on the worm gear and pawl, but the PQ parts look like they should hold up just fine. After looking at the insides of both these reels, I would have to say that the only good reason to buy an STX instead of the PQ is the free pair of wiley X glasses and the better drag. PS, my friend is trying to find some more now. the online bps is currently sold out.

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X2 ON THE PRO QUALIFIER I NOW OWN SIX OF THESE GREAT REELS AND RODS! COMBOS ON SALE AT BP FOR 139 BUCKS. YOU REALLY CAN'T BEAT THIS DEAL AS THE ROD IS JUST AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN THE REEL. STARTED OUT WITH ONE AND WAS IMPRESSED. THEN JUST STARTED BUYING THEM IN DIFFERENT ACTIONS WHEN THEY WENT ON SALE. MIKE 8-)

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My vote goes to the Quantum Accurist PT "new" reels (the gunmetal color ones).  They are a nice small profile, cast a MILE, have external braking adjustment, a good drag, and they are in Quantum's "PT" (performance tuned) series, which uses higher quality components and has aluminum frames (stronger) as opposed to their Code and Burst and all non-PT Quantum reels.

Now, I like my Pfleuger President (lefty), and my Curado 201DHSV better, but the Accurist, especially for the price, is right up there in terms of performance and feel.  It's great!

Available in Left or right handed, and in 6.2:1 and 7:1 (Burner) gear ratios. They're small and light and perform very well for <$100.

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no doubt...

Pflueger Trion!!

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One more vote for the BPS Pro Qualifier. I have three, one bought this spring and two early last year. They are excellent reels.

I think you get good bang for your buck buying reels in this price range. There are many quality choices available. Just my opinion. Good luck.

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BPS Pro Qualifier. $100 regular price, now on sale for $80 (but nearly sold out). Available in right-and left-hand in 4 different ratios. Nice smooth reel with dual braking. Best reel and best deal for $100 or under. (Disclosure - I own 5 PQs!)

Search this forum on "Pro Qualifier" and "PQ" and you will get LOTS of hits - there's been quite a few discussions on this reel...

Good luck with your decision!

x2

I've got four of them.  Great reels, especially for the price paid.

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BPS Pro Qualifier. $100 regular price, now on sale for $80 (but nearly sold out). Available in right-and left-hand in 4 different ratios. Nice smooth reel with dual braking. Best reel and best deal for $100 or under. (Disclosure - I own 5 PQs!)

Search this forum on "Pro Qualifier" and "PQ" and you will get LOTS of hits - there's been quite a few discussions on this reel...

Good luck with your decision!

x2

I've got four of them. Great reels, especially for the price paid.

X3 I love mine!

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Hard to beat the Pro Qualifier, especially when they are on-sale.

Later, ;)

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I think I'd be looking at THREE (3) different reels.

One being the Catalyst PT by Quantum, 2nd one being the Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier, and the last being the Shimano Citica.

The Catalyst PT is a $150 reel which is on-sale at Cabela's for $90. The Citica is regularly $120 but can be found on eBay easily for $95. The Pro Qualifiers are regularly $100 but are on-sale for $80.

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My first bait caster was a Quantum something or another (20 years ago) then I bought a few Pflueger Trions and was happy. One day I lost my Quantum in the river so I went out and purchased a new Quantum Code to replace it. I used the code for a week or two and did not like it, so after spending a ton of time reading here I went out and purchased a Citica. All I can say is wow! The Citica is a GREAT real for the money, I now have two. I since purchased a Curado and a Chronarch and still think the Citica is the best buy, but my next reel will be another Curado.

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