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Spinning Reels-Which to buy?

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Guest

I do a lot of walleye fishing and have 3 G Loomis rods and 1 st croix rod. I currently have a stradic and 2 spirex I want to purchase three new reels to replace the spirexes and get one new one because they are getting old and I want something better. I don't want to spend the 130 a piece to get more stradics. I am hoping to get something in the $60-80 range and it doesnt have to be a shimano brand. Does anyone have any ideas? Who makes a good reel for that kind of money?

------------------
Ryan Schuh
rcschuh@stthomas.edu

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Northlander

Try the Okuma Inspira. 11 ball bearings and very smooth. Get smoother as ya use them too. Im happy with all my Okuma spinning reels no matter ice or open water. Also look into Tica they have some nice reels.

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Surface Tension

Yep, The more ball bearings the better. A cheap reel will feel good when new. After some use bushings wear and the reel will get sloppy.

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Twitter

Take a look at the new Quantams with the funky looking titanium finish.
They're reviewed in this months F&S. I almost dropped dime on one a couple days ago. They feel pretty smooth......I THINK they have 10 bearings, Quantams "special" lube, they're really light, and they're around $75 or $80 I believe.

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Seabass77

The new shimano symetre's are sweet. Check em out. I think they are $79 a piece.

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ccarlson

Northlander,

I've heard good things about the Okuma and was looking at getting the Inspira you mentioned. My question though is what size do you use? They seem to use a little different number sizing system than I'm used to.
I don't like too large of a reel myself. Mostly lindy rigging so don't need a larger spool for casting but don't want too small either.
The stradics I was looking at have gone to the 2500 larger middle sized reel which I feel is too large and bulky to maintain the light feel I like and the 1000's are too small. I liked the 2000's which I don't think you can get anymore.

Can't find a local retailer that has the okuma to get a look for myself so your help is appreciated. Thanks.

ccarlson

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Deitz Dittrich

I'm with Seabass, the new ARB berrings in the new Shimanos are sweet.. give the Symetry a look

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gspman

ELW,
One thing to bear in mind is that not all ball bearings are the same. Just because a reel has 10 bearings doesn't mean they are 10 high quality bearings. And it doesn't mean they are located in the places that really matter.

Bearing quality is rated on a standard scale. ABEC-3, ABEC-5, etc... ABEC-7 bearings are generally regarded as the better quality bearings. Most reels don't come with ABEC-7 bearings though. I think the higher the number, the tighter the tolerances are.

In general, from what I've picked up is that the Korean reels (pflueger, cabelas, pinnacle, bps, etc...) use lower quality bearings than the Japanese reels (Shimano, Daiwa, etc...). I don't know about the quality of the bearings in the Chinese reels. Also you need to look at where the bearings are located. In some baitcasting reels they say the reel has 10 bearings. What they don't say is that 4 of them are in the handle (2 for each paddle). To me this is a bush league tactic to up the bearing count and is grossly misleading to the consumer because they automatically think that all those bearings are in the guts of the reel. I could/would argue that a reel like a 5 bearing Curado is better than the 8-10 bearing BPS reels (which are made in Korea).

I don't mean to be disrespectful and I am by no means an expert, but one needs to do some research on the bearing thing. Reel manufacturers know that bearing count matters to consumers and they take advantage of that. Don't just assume that more is better.

Educate yourself on the topic and then compare apples to apples. Go to Gander Mtn or Cabelas and pick out 2 reels you like and open the boxes and look at the parts explosion diagram and determine where each and every bearing is located. Then if possible ask to see the inside of the reel and compare the parts and workmanship. I've done this with a Curado vs. the Cabelas/Pfluegers/Pinnacles/BPS and there is a difference. I'm not saying Cabelas/Pfluegers/Pinnacles/BPS are bad reels, and I don't mean to disparage someones favorite brand of reel, but I do think there are differences in reels that are not plainly evident to the consumer.

All that being said, if you only fish a half dozen times a year then it probably really doesn't matter, get whatever reel you want. But if you're on the water alot then you owe it to yourself to get the best (smooth & durable) reel you can get at the price you are willing to pay.

There's alot of info on the internet regarding this and I'd encourage you to do some reasearch on the subject.

Again, I'm no expert and if I've misstated anything someone please correct me.

Good luck,

gspman

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Deitz Dittrich

Very well said Gspman, most often the smoothness of a reel is more felt in the gears than the berrings.

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Corey Bechtold

Another thing to take into consideration is the Drag system! You can have a reel with 40 bearings but if the drag system wears out after a few hard years fo catching countless big fish, the reel may be ready for the circular file. Just something to keep in mind. Good shopping smile.gif

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Guest

Dollar for dollar, the Okuma reels are the best value out there. I own quite a few and have been very impressed by them all.

As for sizing an Okuma, it is fairy easy.
15's and 20's are more for ultralight set-ups, although a 20 will work for a Walleye if you are going with a lighter action rod.

The 30's are more for Walleye and will work well for finesse Bass situations.

40's are more for heavier applications such as Bass and Pike.

Hope this helps.

------------------
>"////=<
GullGuide@fishingminnesota.com
N.P.A.A. # 841
www.marcumtech.com

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Northlander

I use the 20's. I think they are even a bit too big for my jigging preference but are great for trolling Lindy's or spinners. I would like a in between of the Shimano 1000 and 2000 series. But I jig a lot and after a 12-14 hour day your arm gets tired. Lighter the better.
I also like the Okuma Epixor with 10 ball bearings and a great drag.

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Guest

Thanks for the quick responses, wasn't expecting to get so much feedback so soon.

GSPMAN- you talked about the number of bearings and how more is not always better depending on their placement within the reel. How do the Okuma Inspira (11 bearings) and the Shimano Symetre (5 bearings) line up against each other.

What I am thinking about doing is purchasing one of each (or something else) and then seeing which I like better by the end of the season before I purchase the third. I just hate having a spirex on an IMX or Walleye series. WalleyeSnob (an FM poster) and I go fishing quite a bit together and he always brags about his equipment, too bad for him that I most often out fish him smile.gif

------------------
Ryan Schuh
rcschuh@stthomas.edu

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gspman

ELW,
I honestly don't know how the Okuma bearings stack up. I think Northlander gave a thumbs and he's on the FM pro staff so I'm sure they're a decent reel.

I'm think all the $60-$80 reels are probably pretty decent. It's just that some will be smoother longer, and some will just plain last longer than the others. You should check the drag system too. Some have more drag washers than others and some are unaffected by being wet from rain. For example, I know that the Curado is knocked sometimes because the drag system doesn't work as well when it's wet from rain. That's not a big deal to me, but it might be to you. I'll still take the Curado over anything in that price range tho'.

Personally, I'm a Shimano man. I love their reels. I have a few Curado's, and several of their "lower end" spinning reels like the Sedona, Sonora, Sienna. I use them for open water and ice fishing. I have never had a problem with any of them, but I don't fish 100+ days a year either (although I really like to ;^)). Currently I'm thinking of upping to the Symetre. I'm sure that's a really good reel for the price too.

You probably won't go wrong with any spinning reel for $70. Just be aware of the differences and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Good luck,
gspman

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huntnfish

I have a few Shimano Sahara's and think they are great. They are smooth and I thought they were probably as good as most others on the market until last weekend. I looked at an Okuma in the baitshop I was in and was very impressed. I can't remember which model I was looking at but it had 10 ball bearings and was as smooth as any reel I have ever held. The next reel I will get will be an Okuma.

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slick2526

Another vote for Okumas. been using them for 2-3yrs now and havent had a problem. I would take a look at the avenger and epixor. both very nice reels.

The only problem i have had is when i first bought my avenger. It was a minor bail spring adjustment but besides that never any problems. A very rock solid reel with a smooth drag that can be adjusted to just the tension that is need for your application.

I seen also they have came out with a fresh water line of bait casting reels this year. Might be worth giving them a try.

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Bushwacker

ELW,
I would go with the 20 size in the Okuma. I have the Inspira 20 and if anything, it is a little large for my liking. Just as Northlander says, the 20 size is just slightly bigger than the 2000 size Shimano. I just order a Okuma Metaloid MD20, an Okuma Epixor EX20, and an Okuma Avenger A15. So I guess I like the Okuma brand.

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Guest

How much better is the Inspira than the Epixor?
Does anyone sell these reels in the Cities, I live in St. Paul and go to Eden Prairie often. I would really like to hold them and feel how smooth it is before I buy. I guess I can trust all of you that currently own one though too.
Should I get the 30 or the 20 size? One guy said to go with the 20, but the majority suggest the 30. I am used to a Shimano Stradic or Spirex 2000.

Thanks

------------------
Ryan Schuh
rcschuh@stthomas.edu

[This message has been edited by ELW (edited 03-26-2004).]

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Guest

Thanks for all of your help.
I purchased two Okuma Inspira reels yesterday. It normally retails for 89.99 and I found them for 69.99 from a trout fishing website. If you are interested in buying from this site, send me an email and I can give you the web address. They have great discounts on all of their reels and other equipment, up to 35% off in some cases.

Ryan Schuh
rcschuh@stthomas.edu

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Fish Head

I purchased an Okuma Epixor 20 from Cabela's a couple of weeks ago. I was going to buy 2 or them, but they only had one left. I will probably pick up another before the opener.

Another nice reel in the same price range is the Pfluger President.

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Paul Waldowski

I had the chance to try out one of
JR's Tackle new reel models yesterday. The YS1000, 12 ball bearings and man that baby was smooth. Absolutely no slippage in the clutch. I'm hooked on that thing. Now just need to find the perfect rod to balance it with. smile.gif

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Paul
Drake Motel

PWaldowski@comcast.net
Marcum
Otter Outdoors
JR's Tackle

[This message has been edited by Paul Waldowski (edited 03-30-2004).]

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early007

After selling most of the reels available the best reel for the price I've found is the Daiwa Regal Z. I have yet to find a flaw in this model. I've used them personally for about 3 seasons. The price is unbeatable at $45-$55. I've converted from all of my $100 reels to the Regal Zs. I use the smaller 1500 series but most all around anglers prefer the 2500 series. Match a Regal Z on either a Loomis or a Rogue Rod. You will have a sweet combo you will be thrilled with.

Jason Erlandson

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Dave's Sportland Bait and Tackle
Sportland Guide Service Hwy 371 & Cty Rd 13
Nisswa MN

218-963-2401

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iland99

I picked up 3 Okuma reels this off-season. Hearing these good reports puts my mind at ease!! I only paid $30 shipped for 2 Avengers on Ebay, so that's a pretty good deal. I also bought an Okuma Metaloid at Cabela's. Too bad Gander Mountain doesn't carry this line of reels, woulda saved me some gas money.

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