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Thread: Best all around baitcaster?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Best all around baitcaster?

    Is there a baitcaster that you consider the best all around? Is there one that will work for all 5 species of alaskan salmon? Which make and model?

  2. #2

    Default Interesting Question

    I don't recall that this topic has been chewed on here before. I'm looking forward to learing what some of the responses are from our local "fish-heads", I'll bet there's some divergent opinions...and good one's, too. At the same time, however, I'd like to hear what bait caster the fisho's are using in the gulf and east coast regions for fish of comparable size. I think those "outside" guys, could offer some opinions that might interest those of us still frozen-in up here ......... especially their opinions of the newest and most dependable gear.

    Let's hear it.... tell us what you like or don't like and why?

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Is there a baitcaster that you consider the best all around? Is there one that will work for all 5 species of alaskan salmon? Which make and model?
    Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3.

    That is a good all around do it all baitcaster. It's a little big for red and silvers but still works fine. IMO the 6500 is perfect for kings and the 5500 is perfect for reds and silvers.


    http://www.abugarcia.com/prod.php?k=...ec7e2c366b.jpg
    Last edited by northriver21; 04-12-2010 at 20:13. Reason: added link

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3.

    That is a good all around do it all baitcaster. It's a little big for red and silvers but still works fine. IMO the 6500 is perfect for kings and the 5500 is perfect for reds and silvers.


    http://www.abugarcia.com/prod.php?k=...ec7e2c366b.jpg
    He nailed it. Another plus is they are rebuildable and reasonably priced.
    Mike

  5. #5

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    I'd have to second, or third, or fourth that Ambassadeur recommendation, but I love the 5500 C3. I have caught some big kings on them and it's great for just about any type of fishing short of halibut. All 5 salmon? I don't think you can beat either a 6500 or 5500. WAY easy to rebuild yourself if you need to and wonderful reels.

    I also really like Shimano's TR 100-G. They are great "budget" reels, are pretty bullet proof and also very easy to rebuild. And you can't beat the composite frame they have. I use them pretty much exclusively for my charters because they have a more user friendly "paddle" handle that some people seem to prefer.

    The Penn 310 GTi is right in there, too, for the same reasons as the TR 100's.

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Wow, can't disagree...

    with the first 3 on the C6500, or the C5500 Ambassaduer's. Caught a 52 lb king on a C5500 in a river no less! Using 30lb powerpro spectra...the reel and drag seem to hold up fine with the stress of superbraid so far...and I use good GLoomis rods...

    Another nice reel in a bigger price range is the 650 or 750 Penn International Baitcast.

    Now, I have an Abu Garcia Revo x, and I am wondering about the Revo Offshore, it's a little bigger and stronger, seems like a fine salmon reel looking at it....anyone have any experience with this Revo Offshore??

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    Abu C4, I'm not a fan of the C3 because of the trigger. Another awesome one is the Shimano Curado
    Fish when you can, work when you have to.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Avet SX magnetic cast put some kind of braid on it.
    www.charkbait.com/specials.htm has non-magnetic ones right now for $159 and the magnetic cast for $199.

    Sobie2

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    The big deciding factor is the price range. A great reel in the lower price range is the Abu 6500 but one draw back with these reels is that the drag system is not the best. Don't get me wrong the drag is nice and smooth when a fish is taking line but it does not handle the tight set position that is needing in fighting a bigger king and you will find yourself using your thumb to help the drag do its job. This works for those that have been fishing for awhile with bait-casters and it also works for experienced fisherfolks but it does not work so well for all others. For example you will find very few guide services that have clients use Abu 6500 on the Kenai River and it all comes down to that drag system.

    Shimano TR200 is a reel in the lower price range that is bulletproof and one that I would recommend as it has a great drag system at a reasonable price.

    Having said all of that the reel that I use is the Penn 965. The price range is in the next level above the Abu 6500 & Shimano TR200 but to me it is worth it. It is small enough for silvers but still big enough to handle the line capacity even for Kenai Kings. The drag system is superior and they have held up well for me under the constant abuse that fishing from May into October for kings & silvers brings.
    Last edited by iceblue; 04-13-2010 at 09:36. Reason: spell check

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    ABU_Garica 5500, its cheap and very effective for all types of salmon. it's probably the percet size for all size salmon. I think they start at $89.00, not a bad price at all for what you are getting.

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    On the upper end of things is the Abu Garcia Revo and Shimano Curado 300... These reels have the line campacity for light duty kings, yet cast like dreams and have unbelievable drag systems... Steelhead fisherman luv the reels because of their light weight and cast very light lures.

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    Shimano Bantam 50. Never had one burn out on me. I own way too many of them, but they don't make them anymore.

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3.

    That is a good all around do it all baitcaster. It's a little big for red and silvers but still works fine. IMO the 6500 is perfect for kings and the 5500 is perfect for reds and silvers.


    http://www.abugarcia.com/prod.php?k=...ec7e2c366b.jpg
    Agreed, I have about 10 these reels for casting and trolling, catch all the salmon and steelhead with it. 6500C3
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
    Jedi Salmon Powers Activated!
    www.alaskansalmonslayers.com


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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtm9 View Post
    Shimano Bantam 50. Never had one burn out on me. I own way too many of them, but they don't make them anymore.
    I have a couple Bantams also, awesome reels. I'm gonna have to add a vote for the Abu Garcias also. Really tough reliable reels. I use the left handed models in the same series as everyone has already mentioned, 5501 and 6501. Outstanding reels in my book, great price too
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    I got my first Ambassadeur 6500 back in the 70's but unfortunately got fumble fingers and lost it overboard a few years ago. I've had several 6500 C3's since (one with a strange self tightening drag system I can't recommend), a 7000 and my latest a Record which is noticeably smoother though more expensive. I've caught every kind of salmon up here on the 6500's, and don't use the 7000 much since the 6500's and Record work fine for kings, even in fast water like the Karluk and Ayakulik. I've had them all apart several times and are easy to service with parts available here in town so highly recommend them.

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    Member ksaye's Avatar
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    I use shimano curado 300 for sockeye, silvers, chums and pinks...

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    I have used my Shimano Cardiff 300A for nearly all of my salmon action, whether it be while drifting my boat on local rivers or ripping the lips off the salmon out of PWS and Seward. I keep her mounted on my trusty 8.5 Lamiglas heavy-action rod, and the two together make quite the deadly tool.

    There are quite a few things I absolutely love about the Cardiff, but here are a few off the top of my head. First, the super-stopper Shimano bearings give no slack whatsoever when a fish strikes, improving the hookset dramatically. Second, the VBS (variable brake system) is the best I've ever used. It utilizes a magnetic brake via a small thumb wheel right next to the drag, and makes quick adjustments of the spool-rate super easy. This is very important when switching between jigging a quick-sinking crippled herring to pitching a light vibrax, all while getting the max distance or speed out of each cast or drop. I have found that using the VBS correctly has eliminated the chance of the dreaded "birds nest" that can easily suck 15-20 minutes out of a great fishing trip. The third and last note I will mention is the Cardiff's awesome performance in salt water. I have used mine for a couple seasons now, and with very minor maintenance, it is going to last me for many more. Only two things are necessary to keep her running smooth and strong. The thumb screws on the side provide easy access to apply the Shimano oil, and I give it a fresh water dunk after each trip out.

    Good luck with your choice, and if you have any further questions about the Cardiff, shoot me a PM!

  18. #18

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    One thing that the Cardiff has that the Ambassadeur doesn't have is a die-cast aluminum frame. I've never had any problems with the way the Ambassadeur is set up, but when you get into big fish, and a lot of big fish, the extra stability a die-cast frame gives you can be a blessing. Could stand up longer in the long run. Something to consider.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    One thing that the Cardiff has that the Ambassadeur doesn't have is a die-cast aluminum frame. I've never had any problems with the way the Ambassadeur is set up, but when you get into big fish, and a lot of big fish, the extra stability a die-cast frame gives you can be a blessing. Could stand up longer in the long run. Something to consider.
    Good point. Another thing that I forgot to mention is that the Cardiff only costs $90 to $110 depending on where you buy it. This, along with the points in my previous post, is why I'd rate this as the "best all around baitcaster" that you are seeking.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Gotta agree the Ambassador 6500 C-3 is hard to beat. I've got a few of them but I personally like the 7000 for myself.

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