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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to pick up a new baitcaster and it's pretty overwhelming the options out there. I have an old BPS/johnny morris 6.4:1 that's spent the better part of a decade in the garage.

It's primary use right out of the box will be burning buzzbaits for spring bass but it'd likely find other uses like jigging and texas rigging. I'm thinking something in the 7.1:1 ball park, not wanting to build an arsenal of reels so would want it to be highly durable - this is probably #1 most important quality, value being #2.

In researching and reading reviews, it seems a lot of people have a lot of favorite brands. It's unclear "who's the best" or which brands are even the top 3. I'd rather put the money into something that is high quality than have to buy a new reel every season or two, or have trouble with that reel every time I use it that it's more frustration than anything. That said, I'd also be looking for good value and maybe a sale - don't really want to spend a fortune BUT this is something I am willing to shell out a few extra bucks for if the quality is top notch.

There's this KastKing brand that seems to get good reviews (great prices) but they're fairly new and I'm concerned about the longevity. I'm actually tempted to pull the trigger on it but figured I'd stop myself and ask what you guys think. Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Thanks, Adam
 

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This is like asking if Ford is better than Chevy.... Everyone has brands that they prefer for one reason or another. I have a Shimano I really like that has lasted a long time... But I also have a BPS brand reel that can cast half a mile and has also lasted a long time. Both are great reels.

Never heard if kastking but if the price is right it might be worth the risk! I've been wanting to try out a Lews
 

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I have a BPS reel and I love it, I have heard kastking is really good especially for the price but only have heard about their spinning setups. The BPS I have is a cheaper one and I have only had it a couple months but it is extremely smooth and I have not had problems at all.
 

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X2 on Ricky's post...Ford vs Chevy! I am a big fan of the ABU GARCIA REVO PREMIER BAITCAST REEL. I have one of the 1st generation reels and it still working like a clock. I also now have 5 of the 2nd generation Revo Premiers that have now been discontinued for the 3rd gen! If you use a right handed reel here is a great deal on a new in box gen 2 Revo...half the retail price they sold for!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RIGHT-HANDED-ABU-GARCIA-REVO-PREMIER-BAITCAST-REEL-NEW-IN-BOX/202279480811?epid=99497420&hash=item2f18cbedeb:g:OHUAAOSwywFahmLu
 

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Try not to spend less than $150 on the reel. IMO, reels at the $200 price point is where to start. If you shop around, you can find reels that retail at $200 on sale for less than $150
 

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For once, I kinda disagree with LD!!! lol.. The new shimano Curado K series can be had for about $130 and is as nice of a reel you could want, given your situation. They are like $160 retail, but you can find 15-20% off if you look around for a week or two.. I think ebay has 15% off every couple weeks.

I also suggest looking into Lews reels in the $150 range...again, using the coupon can get that down to about $120. Frankly, as a beginner, you will need to really practice before you really take advantage of the stuff a higher end reel provides. Good luck
 

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I picked up an Abu Garcia Black Max combo at Dicks on Columbus Day years ago for ~$40. I picked up a Lew's Laser MG combo at Dicks on clearance for ~$30. I picked up a $200 Daiwa thinking a more expensive reel had to be better. The Abu and Lew's are MUCH better in my opinion.

The Daiwa has 3x as many settings as the other two but I really only use a handful. The Daiwa casts a bit further but also backlashes with no rhyme or reason.

As Oyey said, I guess you need to be really experienced to take advantage of the stuff the higher end reel provides.

BTW if you are learning to use the baitcaster, best tip I learned was let out ~100-150 ft of line then put scotch tape around the spool. This will limit the backlashes and allow you to pull them out more easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cast right handed (dominant) and I find the left handed retrieve is best. All the action I'm putting on the bait through the rod is coming from my dominant right arm so I think left handed retrieve is best for me. How do you guys look at this? Do have exclusive retrieve sides on all your baitcasters?

I mean, I have a 6.4:1 johnny morris BPS (JMX10HFA) reel right now. It's pretty old, has never been cleaned and sat dormant for many years in an uninsulated garage (until last year). At some point I'll get in there and clean it up/lube it.

But mostly right now I'm quite drawn to the quicker retrieve of like a 7.1 (seems to be the sweet spot) to pick up the slack a bit quicker and also possibly a lighter reel. I weighed in the old johnny morris reel yesteday @ 10 oz. That probably isn't too bad and I'll use this reel for cranks probably - but the focus on a quicker retrieve and perhaps slightly lighter reel is where I'm at the moment. Last year I felt like I had to pick up a good bit of slack before I could get the buzzbaits up to the surface and covering water post-cast.

Yea I hear a lot about Lews. Dick's pushes em. And I agree that I don't have a ton of experience with baitcasters though I'm not a beginner. I can set the tension and brakes and thumb it well enough that I'm not backlashing. With cranks, spinnerbaits, and topwater stuff that is. Jigging and other bottom techniques on a baitcaster will be new to me.

I'm gonna be on the hunt for a $100-$150 (hopefully that's the sale/coupon price), 7.1, mid-range quality brand name reel. When I get more acquainted with that maybe I'll look into something higher end. But life is short and Spring only comes once a year! So I'm looking forward to higher speed baitcaster quickly. I've missed far too much time away from fishing to sit on the sidelines now.
 

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Pay attention to this thread in the next week or two.. as soon as I see an ebay sale, I will post up.

I can't lie, the Shimano Curado K has become my favorite reel, and I paid $125 for them... absolutely sweet reel. If my best buddy was asking what to do, I'd push him that direction, using the ebay discount.
 

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I suggest, if you haven't already, busting out that old Johnny Morris. Clean and lube it, fresh line, and use it until you are proficient with it. Casting reels aren't for everyone. When you master that then spend the coin for an upgrade.
 

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Instead of waiting for a discount or sale you could always buy a gift card from one of those gift card sites. I use Cardpool.com quite a bit when I know I'm going to make a purchase.

If they have the gift card codes (not the physical card) you get the codes within an hour or two.
 

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Instead of waiting for a discount or sale you could always buy a gift card from one of those gift card sites. I use Cardpool.com quite a bit when I know I'm going to make a purchase.

If they have the gift card codes (not the physical card) you get the codes within an hour or two.
Hmmmm.... Interesting! Never thought about doing something like that.... I assume you are getting the gift cards under face value?
 

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I use Abu Garcia, I personally like them but that's my opinion. I have used shimanos, bps reels, quantum, okuma but the Revo has stuck and become a personal favorite of mine. You can pick up an x for $99. My favorite Revo is the stx, I've owned every single stx that Abu has released and the gen 1 is still silky smooth after 9 years and countless big fish. Can’t tell you what the best is but I’ll tell you the revo is a reel I’ll never put down
 

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I have two Lews, two Shimanos, and one Abu. I reach for the Lews more than any of the others, then the Shimanos, then the Abu. It's all just preference and what I am going to toss in the lake.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For once, I kinda disagree with LD!!! lol.. The new shimano Curado K series can be had for about $130 and is as nice of a reel you could want, given your situation. They are like $160 retail, but you can find 15-20% off if you look around for a week or two.. I think ebay has 15% off every couple weeks.

I also suggest looking into Lews reels in the $150 range...again, using the coupon can get that down to about $120. Frankly, as a beginner, you will need to really practice before you really take advantage of the stuff a higher end reel provides. Good luck
Is this the reel you're talking about?

Shimano Curado 200 HG K

BPS has a JM CarbonLite 2.0 on sale right now for $99 (from $119) - I actually have a $50 BPS gift card from my bday so that makes this quite tempting but..

I only intend to pick up one baitcaster right now. Not having mastered every detail of a baitcaster I feel like once I get one dialed in I'll want to stick with it as I get to know it. As a result I'll be looking for quality and longevity out of a baitcaster.

I don't have proof of this but it just seems like the BPS vs Shimano would favor Shimano in durability. I read a couple reviews on the BPS reel where some paint was already chipping off basically right out of the box/minimal usage.

On that Shimano ebay link, it shows a 10% off code to enter @ checkout, bringing it down to $139 w free shipping (from $155 listed, shows retail as $179). Says that code expires tomorrow (Sat) @ 9am our time.

I'm probably gonna jump on this, the online reviews look good (that's always subjective at best but...), I like the 7.4 GR and small profile... I'll just have to get used to right handed retrieve, and finally the price seems good. Is this a reel you have and have found to be durable?

One other thought, I've bought some random things off ebay before but never a new item like this. We use amazon prime quite a bit but the ebay savings are definitely there on this. This seller seems clearly legit (in terms of reviews) but would there be anything to look out for on such a discounted (new in box) reel from ebay? I'm sure it's nothing but they do have the lettering in the model # in the listing not quite right but the UPC # they have matches up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Instead of waiting for a discount or sale you could always buy a gift card from one of those gift card sites. I use Cardpool.com quite a bit when I know I'm going to make a purchase.

If they have the gift card codes (not the physical card) you get the codes within an hour or two.
Currently Cabela's cards are 13% off and Bass Pro are 15.5% off the value on the card.
Good to know
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looked @ the 1st link, felt a little sick initially ha. Then I saw the feedback (0) and shipping time .. easy pass.

2nd one looks good. Were you able to grab the coupon discount? I did pull the trigger on the link in my post above. 10% off took it to $139 and change, usps retail ground. Hopefully have it by next friday.

I feel okay with the right handed .. I don't have enough experience with baitcasters to be stuck either way at this point.
 

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Both of those links were for left handed retrieve 201 HG K reels at 7.4:1 rate. I'm right handed and prefer to reel with my left hand. All of my spinning and fly reels are set up this way so I want to stay consistent. I don't care to switch hands after the cast.

Found no coupon but the price was $30 less than retail at Cabelas, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct, etc with free shipping. Might have found a better deal if I'd waited but am OK with the price rather than obsessing about it and wanted it now. 30 lb suffix 832 and 25 lb Seagar Blue Label fluoro leader material coming with it. Wiper medicine.
 
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