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Recommend a quality flathead baitcaster


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#1 JoeyBones

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

As the title states - Looking for a quality (preferably less than say, $150 or so in price) baitcast reel to pair with my 7'0" medium/heavy Ugly Stik (I prefer the softer action and forgiving nature of a fiberglass rod when using braid, as I do when catfishing).

Is there anything out there that will do the job better for the price point of the Abu 6500 C3? If it means a slight bump in price, I might consider, as I do sort of believe you get what you pay for in most cases. Disclaimer: I am an admitted Shimano fanboy, but I don't see anything in their lineup that fits the bill. I want at least 15 lb. of drag force, and neither the Calcutta nor Cardiff series offer anything above 11 lb. or so, IIRC.

50 or 60 pound Power Pro is what I mostly use (uni-to-uni holding the braid to a short mono backer, and a 40 lb mono or flouro leader). Usually throwing between a 2 to 4 ounce no-roll river sinker Carolina-rigged w/ live bluegill on a 4/0 to 7/0 or so circle hook.

Suggestions? Or should I just go ahead and buy the tried-and-true 6500 C3?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Bones

#2 ILoveFishing

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:27 PM

Plenty of options, Abu C3, Calcutta, Diawa Luna, Penn international, Abu 7000i. I just got a 6501 c3 and love it, just landed my first flathead ever with it, not one issue.
Itching for some fishing.

#3 JoeyBones

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

Plenty of options, Abu C3, Calcutta, Diawa Luna, Penn international, Abu 7000i. I just got a 6501 c3 and love it, just landed my first flathead ever with it, not one issue.


Does the 6500 size have a bait clicker? I checked out a 7000 at a local shop and it looked to be a tad "too much reel," but it's good to hear that you have positive things to say about it.

I checked Calcuttas, but the drag weight isn't there unless you get into the TE series (IIRC) which are about $330 (Don't get me wrong; I love my Calcutta 100 and 200 for bassing).

I had read online that newer Abus had dropped the ball w/ the quality of gears, bearings, etc. but I don't really have an old Abu to compare to... I'll probably end up going with the C3 or C4 in 6500 size....

Thanks for the reply.

Regards,

Bones

#4 Nick with a K

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:30 PM

There's been a lot of complaints about the Chinese made abu's, not so much the Swedish versions. Check out Akios. It's a newer company started by the former head engineer from Abu. The 656 series is basically a beefed up abu 6500, and they run about $150.

#5 JoeyBones

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:12 PM

Finally got my Calcutta 400B in the mail late last week. $175 off eBay, new in the box. I was pretty happy with that deal, as the only other new in box 400Bs were going for about $230 shipped.

The reel is a beast, but still casts pretty effortlessly. I was afraid that the non-disengaging levelwind might impact castability, but no problems at all (granted, with a 2 to 3 oz. sinker and a 4" bluegill adding all that mass to the end of the line, I guess it makes sense).

So I ultimately ended up sticking with my reel brand of choice, and the the 400B should satisfy just about any freshwater needs I would ever have, as well as quite a few saltwater techniques.

Highly recommended.

Regards,

Bones

#6 ILoveFishing

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:16 PM

Congrats on the new reel, i wish they made calcuttas in lefty retrieve. What line are you planning to spool it with?
Itching for some fishing.

#7 JoeyBones

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:42 PM

Congrats on the new reel, i wish they made calcuttas in lefty retrieve. What line are you planning to spool it with?


Thanks man!

Right now I have 25# Trilene Big Game mono spooled. I just didn't want to take an unfamiliar reel out for the first time and potentially compromise a $30 spool of Power Pro by backlashing it on my first couple casts, get it knotted or frayed, etc.

But once that mono gets low on the spool, I'll leave a bit on as backer and splice 65# Power Pro as the main line with a uni-to-uni knot...

I was talking to the guy who runs Sport Fishing Outlet on Germantown Pike near Norristown, and he echoed what you mention: Lots of guys lament the fact that only certain Calcuttas are available in LH retrieve...

Now to actually catch a fish or two on my shiny new gear :lol:

Regards,

Bones

#8 JoeyBones

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:46 PM

Congrats on the new reel, i wish they made calcuttas in lefty retrieve. What line are you planning to spool it with?


Hey man just thought I'd let you know - I am in the process of putting together a second flattie rig, and decided on the Luna 300 for this one... It comes in LH retrieve.

Man, what a smooth casting and retrieving reel! I love my Calcuttas for their workhorse role, but this Luna is almost too nice for just casting live bait! I did say "almost" ;)

Just wanted to follow-up and let you know that, so far in my limited experience with it, the Luna series is very much up to the task of matching the Calcutta in terms of refinement and quality (and I am a Shimano guy).

Regards,

Bones

PS - $250 shipped from eBay

#9 ILoveFishing

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:02 PM

Lunas are definitely on my list, Ill have to keep an eye out for a good deal. I am guessing you got the 300?
Itching for some fishing.




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