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Guide series reels


squeedunk

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I just went to the Gander Mountain in Fridley, which has a moving sale going on, and bought 2 guide series reels, 1 for $16 and the other for $23. The $23 reel has 11 ball bearings and both reels seem very nice. Does anyone have experience with these reels, and if so, are they any good?

Thanks for the input. ~Squeedunk

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I've had good success with a couple of the spinning reels. The spinning reels are quality built, and that's a great price and an excellent buy.

I didn't really get a good feel on the bait casting reels when I looked them over at the store. But for that price, if that's what you got, I don't think you can really go wrong.

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I also have a couple of these reels. I was told that okuma makes their reels for them, I also have a couple of okuma reels. they are a very smooth reel and well priced for the quality and for all the ball bearings that come with them.

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I worked at gander last year, and can tell you for a fact that the gander reels are made by pfleuger. As for the bearings, you can always tell when people don't have a clue when they start yacking about having "X" amount of bearings. Both My $229 shimano sustains have 7 bearings each, compared to 90% of the reels out there that claim 8-9-10+ bearings nothing can top quality over quanity. Gander had 10 bearing eagle claws reels for $19.99, people loved them, even when I tried to talk them out of the reels, but they always said, "But it's 10 bearings!" Remember, You get what you pay for.

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Radke22, It seems like you know your reels, tell me what you get performance wise out of your $229 reel that I may not get out of a Pfleuger Medalist or a Shimano Symetre for less half the price. I fish numerous species and was curious.

Thanks, Mike

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The biggest thing I've noticed between decent quality Pfluegers and even the mid-range quality Shimanos are the drag systems. Shimano drags (at least in their bait casters) are a good bit smoother at all speeds than the Pflueger counterparts. It's not something that comes into play for most fishing, but get a good northern, muskie, or catfish on the end of your line and I think you start to notice right away that Shimano builds a better drag system. At least that has been my experience.

Note the comparison here is between Pfluegger reels in the $60 to $90 range, and the old Citca and late model Curados. I haven't tried their upper-end baitcasters, so maybe comparing the President to the Curado will elicit different results.

It's hard to argue with Radke22 above, though. You do get what you pay for in a reel.

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I purchased a Guide Series spinning rod at the beginning of last summer and mated it with a Guide Series reel. This combo worked flawlessly throughout the summer, and I caught many fish with this system. The rod is very sensitive and the whole system is balanced well with the reel. The reel also worked flawlessly and I was impressed all season how well this rig worked. 50 bucks for the rod and 15 for the reel(both on sale). I am looking forward to another season with this pair, and I will let anyone know if I start to have problems with it, but as of right now this rig as been great for performance and value.

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I also have purchased several Guide Series Rods and matched them with Guide Series spinning reels.(from 7' altra-lites to 6'6" heavy) My experience with such setups is very good. The rods are sensitive and the reels are durable. Many fish, from crappie to very large pike have been caught on these rods. The reels are one of the best buys on the market in my opinion.

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I work at gander and use several of the reels. I have used these reels three years. All are still working flawlessly. If you can find a better deal, please let us know. But I know you won't. Cabela's are not even close to these reels dollar for dollar.

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I do believe you get what you pay for.

Having said that. I think the gap between the starter reels and the midpriced is MUCH greater than the gap from the midprice to top end.

No matter what, you can get the same enjoyment no matter what you spend. I enjoy fishing from shore as much as I do a $30,000 boat. There is no end to how much you can spend. I saw a $2500 depth finder/gps unit with a screen the size of my laptop. That's more than I spent on my boat. crazy.gif

The guide series is good as well as Cabelas, it's basically Pflueger vs Okuma.

For the price you mentioned.......buy a bag full grin.gif

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I was going to replace some of my older ice reels with new models this year. I wasn't quite ready to shell out $40-50 for tica reels so I went with a 7 ball bearing model from gander which cost about 17 bucks. While the reel is warm it feels good but if it is cold it gets very stiff just like my cruddy reels I was trying to replace. It might work fine for open water but it's Junk on the ice. I ended up spending the money on good reels and I am happy now. I consider it a $17 lesson learned. My tica and shimano reels have never gotten stiff in the cold. This probably doesn't have much bearing on your decision unless you plan to run the same reels both winter and summer. Others have pretty much covered drag quality and bearing quality. Just putting in my .02.

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Quote:

While the reel is warm it feels good but if it is cold it gets very stiff just like my cruddy reels I was trying to replace.


I too enjoy the ticas... However, if you were looking for a good ice fishing reel from Gander Mtn., you should have looked past the 7BB reel that was $17 and went for a $25 Microlite. I have used these reels for several seasons now, and they work great, and haven't frozen up on me yet. I do think the drag on my tica reels work better, however there is a $20-25 difference between the two reels. IMO, the microlite reels are a good value for the buck, plus you can use them in the summer on an ultralight.

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I have used and had every rod up to the $350 legend elite, and used every reel up to the $500 Shimano Stella. From experience, I can say that the absolute best reel for the money is the Shimano Stradic. Other than getting discounts that make the sustain cost me as much as the stradic, I wouldn't have purchased the sustains. Having been around the fishing gear block, yes you can catch fish with a $30 rod/reel combo, but don't come crying to me (happened many times) when your gear fails on your fish of a lifetime.

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And for the record, I can tell you that the gander rods are top notch, great purchase for the price, but you need to look at how much time/money you invest in the sport and what you expect in return. I fish every species in every conceivable condition (where reels fail) and trust the reels I forked up the money for. Those gander reels get returned on a daily basis: slipping drag, handle gears stripped, spool falling off, and everything else you could expect. Shimano is not worth it until you get in the symmetry + category. You pay for: Smoothest drag on the market, smoothest retrieve, and most importantly decades of proven reliability. (No I don’t work for shimano) Just telling it like it is.

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You will get a wide array of opinions anytime you talk about brand loyalty, so take it for what it's worth. To your question, I believe the Guide Series Reels are a great buy. They are great quality...FOR THE MONEY. The prices you quoted are just slightly more than the Batman Rod and Reel outfit I purchased for my 5yr old. Will it last a lifetime, probably not if you fish a lot. But it COULD give you several years of use or more depending on how well you maintain it. I have one Guide Series reel that is two years old and it's still like new. I like it better than the $80 quantum I have.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that their Shimano's will last forever, because both of my $170 Shimano's broke in less than 4 months. It took another 2-3 months to get it back from the Shimano Service Center because, according to them, they are at a 2 month backup. Now if they don't break, why is the service center so backed up? I had 3 Pflueger Presidents for 2 years also. One of them broke after a full summer of fishing and their service center sent a brand new one in 10 days. I just picked up some Daiwa's for Christmas. Hopefully I'll have better luck with them.

So with all that said, sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you'll run into problems no matter what. It all depends on your budget and preferences. I'm not in any way trying to say that a $30 reel might be better than a $150, but it is possible that a $100 reel might be better. There is a diminishing returns principle the more it cost. (Less difference between a $200 and $300 reel, than there is between $30 and $130.)

And, IMO, the Guide Series rods are the best deal in all of fishing! Great rods for the Money.

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Thanks for all the opinions everyone! About 6 of my spinning reels (all Shimano's) are between 6-8 years old and are beginning to show signs of wear and tear. They have all been great reels and none of them cost more than $70 and some were $30, but I decided it is time for new stuff. In the summer I fish about 4 or 5 days per week, so the reels get their use. I don't have the budget for a $200 reel, or even 6 reels for $50 a piece for that matter, so I'm hoping that these Gander reels work out. I am now debating about picking up a few more before the sale is over. Either that or get a couple more Shimano's which are on sale too! The ice fishing bit does not concern me too much, I live for the open water season! I also don't need a flawless drag since I backreel 90% of the time anyway. It sounds like they were worth what I payed. Thanks again to everyone.

Is the ice off yet???

~Squeedunk

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I now have 5 gander reels. Every spring I buy a new one expecting one of the old ones to go but I still use the one I bought 5 years ago. I have used may reels and thing they have one of the best drags and total anti reverse. For the money theres nothing else that comes close. I also use them on two of my ice rod and will agree if you are in pretty cold temps (0-5 degrees and below) they get stiff. In the portable they have never had a problem and you wont find me hole hopping outside in below 0 temps. Just my 2 cents but your getting a great deal with them reels. I have two of there rods with the IM-8 shaft and so far they have been great. I love my Croix's but for the $$$$$ the gander rods are a close option and alot cheaper.

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I have acouple of gander reels myself. I was doing a canoe in trip in canada four years ago and didn't want to bring the shimano/st. croix combos in. I found some of the $20 gander guide series reels and figured what the heck for twenty bucks its worth it to make it through the week. It turns out I got a pretty good deal because now the gander reels are on some of my walleye rods and they still work fine.

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