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Looking for a new reel for cats/carp

Post By: FishingJunkie      Posted: 9/10/2020 1:57:38 PM     Points: 1816    
I got a 7ft Whoopin' Stick bait casting rod that has a crummy real on it and I'm looking to replace with something better.

Here are my rough criteria:
1) Left hand retrieve (I'm right handed and hold my rod with my dominant arm)
2) Clicker
3) Under $100

Just can't find the right mix... also, there are just too many options to look through. I though Shimano Cardiff was going to be it, until I read some of the reviews and many complained about it being cheaply made (for around $100 too)...

 Reply by: shiverfix      Posted: Sep. 10, 2:18:05 PM     Points: 3772    
Do you want a level wind or a basic conventional?

I've got a soft spot for Penn, and I think this would be a good reel for you. It is a level wind, which can lower the cast distance, but many people cast with them, and you don't have to manually move the line back and forth as you reel.

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If you want one without the level wind, the jigmaster could be a good choice.

[log in for link]

These are both going to be a little larger, so you shouldn't have to worry about being spooled if you get into something big, but that will also make them a little heavier. But honestly, I don't know a lot about new Penn, I buy old ones and refurb them.
 Reply by: phidoux      Posted: Sep. 10, 2:20:37 PM     Points: 6141    
I would highly suggest the Abu Garcia 6501 c3.
It's just a little over your $100.00 but it's worth the extra $19.00 +tax of course. It's a work horse that will handle anything you can throw at it.
I've caught everything from 1# to my personal best blue cat at 54# on one.
Clicker is nice and loud even for the hard of hearing like myself, smooth casting, 15# drag is enough for both fish. Granted if you get into a huge fish you may have to thumb the spool a little but it's no big deal, and will last you for years with a little maintenance.
The only down side to them in my opinion is its handle. But it will work for you. Save a few buck while you are using it as is and get a power handle when you can afford it $19.00 on Amazon.
Good luck in your search and tight lines.
 Reply by: shiverfix      Posted: Sep. 10, 3:30:34 PM     Points: 3772    
I'd refer to phidoux, he knows what he is doing when it comes to cats!
 Reply by: Salmon Slayer      Posted: Sep. 10, 7:14:45 PM     Points: 1560    
x2 what phidoux said. Hands down the top economy reel for big salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Plus you can buy reasonably priced replacement, or upgraded, bearings and drag washers easily online.
 Reply by: phidoux      Posted: Sep. 11, 7:06:59 AM     Points: 6141    
I forgot to mention if you go with the Abu Garcia round reels make sure it has made in Sweden on the side.
 Reply by: FishingJunkie      Posted: Sep. 11, 10:40:17 AM     Points: 1816    
Ok - good tip, thanks for that.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: Sep. 11, 9:06:26 PM     Points: 168    
any decent brand will work just get the one that you like the best. I lke flueger reels because they are a really good value for what you are paying for. there really isn't any reason to spend 200 hundred dollars on a reel. the quality of the rod is more important to me than the reel as long as your not buying some cheap garbage reel. with catfish and carp a good is important if you use the drag, but I just reel backwards so I can control the fish better and have a better feeling for what the fish is doing. just don't get a super cheap reel and you will be fine.
 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: Sep. 12, 11:36:09 AM     Points: 366    
Phidoux is right. Get the 6501 with clicker. Make sure it has the clicker. Some do not.The line guide(level wind) moves back and forth when you cast, helping to reduce backlashes when casting heavy sinkers. It helps a lot, believe me. A fixed line guide blows up easily on super long casts because of the rapidly changing angle of the line between the spool and line guide. I've used Tranx 300, Quantum E5, Curado K, Curado 300EJ, and Browning Midas. They are all touchy. A moderate cast is no problem if the reel is set up properly, but I'm foolishly always trying to launch it into the stratosphere. I just bought an Omoto (Abu clone) tournament distance casting reel with no line guide to overcome this problem. It has a mono mag to further reduce backlashes. The Abu is the one for the most trouble free casting. If you can find one with mag, even better. If you want to really frazzle your brain, check out how to customize Abu Garcias for tournament distances. Great reels.
 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: Sep. 12, 11:47:56 AM     Points: 366    
Shiverfix is also right about Penn.
I just rebuilt a narrow Jigmaster 501 last night. Great workhorse casters, but larger diameter and heavier.
The 309 he mentioned is also a pretty tough little reel.

 Reply by: FishingJunkie      Posted: Sep. 21, 11:11:07 AM     Points: 1816    
I wanted the older Penn, but it wasn't meant to be. I ordered the Abu Garcia 6501 C3 - should be here later today, along with some new line. Excited. Now, I'll have to find some good catfishing lakes - wanted to target Boulder Res, because it's close to me but it's closed.
 Reply by: Killerfihser      Posted: Sep. 21, 11:47:59 AM     Points: 653    
There's a hidden jem between hwy 287 and dillion rd, small pond call Sterns Lake that has some really nice channel cats. Please CNR here as it's pressure heavily. Use chicken or beef livers during the evening, the cats there will take your new reel for a spin ride for sure.
 Reply by: FishingJunkie      Posted: Sep. 21, 1:23:38 PM     Points: 1816    
Haha - I've fished there quite a bit... but never with chicken liver... I'll have to try it. It's very shallow everywhere I can go, but I'll give it a shot again. Problem is the Boulder cops will escort you out under 'interrogation lights' if you don't leave on time.... right when the bite is supposed to get good.
I've caught some really nice carp in there - excited to try for cats.
 Reply by: phidoux      Posted: Sep. 22, 8:06:23 AM     Points: 6141    
Great choice on a reel.
I answered your email.
 Reply by: FishingJunkie      Posted: Oct. 6, 10:46:10 AM     Points: 1816    
Abu Garcia 5601 C3 has been a great reel for me - it took me a while to dial in the right amount of weight (thanks Phidoux) and adjust the brake but now it casts like a dream.

Now, hopefully, on to some cats!

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