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Thread: Best spinning saltwater reel for $40 or less

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default Best spinning saltwater reel for $40 or less

    Digging through the old threads, I've found several "best reel" threads, but no "best cheap reels".

    My guests, many who've never been saltwater fishing have been beating up my good Quantum Boca reels. I just found a dent in the spool of one.
    I want to replace them with "best value" reels, there's a lot of cheap garbage out there, but I'm sure there are some real bargains; good reels at a less then $40.00 pricepoint.

    I went to Wallyworld yesterday and got 4 inexpensive trolling rods; two 8 foot glass Shimano FXS rods for $21 each and two 7 foot glass Okuma Tundras for $33 each. The Okuma's came with TU-50 reels but they're garbage. Both types of rods are surprisingly good quality for the price.

    The Shimano's are for trolling with downplaners and are medium/heavy rods, the Okuma's (medium/medium) are for using with the downriggers, I'd have gotten shorter poles for downrigger use, but they didnt have any worth a darn.

    At any rate, I need best value saltwater spinning reels for under $40.00 that'll hold about 150-200 yards of 20lb mono.

    Any ideas? I've heard Daiwa's are great reels for the money but I've no actual experience with them.

    Oh, and I need them before this Friday night.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    PS, before somebody asks "Why are you using spinning reels at all?" The answer is because EVERYBODY can use a spinning reel, even people who've never even seen a fishing reel before.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Unfortunately you get what you pay for in the reel arena. I hate it when I get a ding in my Presidents as well but that`s the price you pay when others use `em. I haven`t had any hold together like the Pfluegers...but then they are 60 series and expensive. Okumas bottom-end reels are lackluster at best...the first halibut on a 40 or 50 series will have the gears talking to you. Hit B&Js and ask...they will steer you straight towards the best for the $$.

    I love Okuma rods and actually run at least 5 of them on the boat at all times...spinning and bottom rigs. Heck, I enjoy the action on the medium/heavy spinner so much that I bought 2 for the closet so if the others get broken I have fresh spares.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    PS, before somebody asks "Why are you using spinning reels at all?" The answer is because EVERYBODY can use a spinning reel, even people who've never even seen a fishing reel before.
    Even the folks that hold them upsidedown and reel them backwards !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    At any rate, I need best value saltwater spinning reels for under $40.00 that'll hold about 150-200 yards of 20lb mono.|
    Geez, I'd have to say if you can find a GOOD saltwater spinning reel that will hold 200 yds. of mono for under $40 please let us all know. I'd personally say it doesn't exist. I use the Okuma Avengers (20's) for light duty salt and fresh and I like them a lot. I don't find them "lackluster" in the least.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    I picked up 3 Mitchell Avocet II 4000F reels from the BX for $25 each, while not rated as a saltwater reel, its not going to be corrosion that kill them; it'll be mechanical damage from being dropped, banged against the gunnels, whacked together, etc. If they last the rest of the season I'll have gotten my moneys worth.

    A couple shots each of PBlaster should keep them lubricated, and I'm pretty good about rinsing out my reels with freshwater after each use.

    I figure there're two ways to go about it: Get the cheapest reels that arent two-use POS's or go really high end and get indestructable ones.

    I spooled the downplaner reels with 40lb braid and the downrigger reels with 30lb mono. Used mono because my downrigger clips can't get a grip on braid.
    Over-rigged them because there's the possibility (however remote) that one of my guests could hit a 50 lb king and it'd be a crying shame for somebody who's hardly or never been fishing to lose a fish like that.

    Also, because so many are novices, I can see snagging the bottom being a common occurance.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Okuma Corrida baitrunner.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    I picked up 3 Mitchell Avocet II 4000F reels from the BX for $25 each, while not rated as a saltwater reel, its not going to be corrosion that kill them; it'll be mechanical damage from being dropped, banged against the gunnels, whacked together, etc. If they last the rest of the season I'll have gotten my moneys worth.

    A couple shots each of PBlaster should keep them lubricated, and I'm pretty good about rinsing out my reels with freshwater after each use.

    I figure there're two ways to go about it: Get the cheapest reels that arent two-use POS's or go really high end and get indestructable ones.

    I spooled the downplaner reels with 40lb braid and the downrigger reels with 30lb mono. Used mono because my downrigger clips can't get a grip on braid.
    Over-rigged them because there's the possibility (however remote) that one of my guests could hit a 50 lb king and it'd be a crying shame for somebody who's hardly or never been fishing to lose a fish like that.

    Also, because so many are novices, I can see snagging the bottom being a common occurance.
    Have you opened the reels up and looked at the gears? I'll bet you anything for that price they're plastic. Plastic gears, when put to the "saltwater test" if they aren't rated for saltwater, will probably strip out in no time. If I were you I'd buy 3 or 4 of them at a time so when one fails you have a replacement.

    And spooling them with "overweight" braid isn't going to mitigate the damage a 50 lb. king will do to the inner workings. A king like that stripping 50 yards of line off a reel in 5 seconds will either break every tooth in those plastic gears, or possibly even melt them. Don't you think you'll hate yourself for spending only $25 on a reel when that monster fish destroys your inner workings on its first spool burning run and you aren't able to reel it in?

    You gets what you pays for, as the saying goes. Good reels are expensive for a reason---they are made from quality materials that cost more than what the "bargain" reels are made of. You just can't buy "good" for "cheap" in my book.

    And, BTW, try some "Offshore" downrigger clips (and not the Cannon brand ones, but the one's just called "Offshore" that are available at Cabelas). I use braid in them all the time and never have premature line release unless I don't set the line deep enough in them. They are the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Have you opened the reels up and looked at the gears? I'll bet you anything for that price they're plastic.
    Actually, they're "heavy duty metal" which is the primary reason I bought them.
    http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...ductId=3063866

    Thanks for the tip on the Offshore clips, I'll order a few, the Cannon ones I have are getting a little worn anyway and is a good excuse to replace them.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    PS, before somebody asks "Why are you using spinning reels at all?" The answer is because EVERYBODY can use a spinning reel, even people who've never even seen a fishing reel before.

    Not true. Ever seen folks on TV holding them upside down? I love it. Funny shet

    For $40 reels, can't say man. I would take a look in the "Bargain Bin" at Cabelas as they have some good deals at times. I am a fan of Penns and Daiwas myself. However, I had a few of the graphite body Penns and they were crap. Otherwise, I am a big fan of Penn.


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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Even the folks that hold them upsidedown and reel them backwards !!!
    Ha ha... You beat me to it. Just love seeing them reels upside down on movies and TV shows. Seems atleast one person on the set would know better
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default The Avocet reels sucked donkey snot

    They sucked, they're geared WAY to high (5:1), they bound up, too small, and the reel stem flexes when a big load is put on them.

    They're trout reels, period.

    Heck with it, gonna go get so pflueger presidents and call it good.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    While not a spinning reel, you can get the old Penn 350 levelwinds off of flea bay for ~$25, and they are a pretty tough reel that works great w/ 20# mono for silvers and rockfish.

    I doubt you'll find any new reels under $100 that are going to be worth it in the salt.

  14. #14
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    I got one of the Ugly Stik rod/reel combos years back for $12 at the Sportsman's Show. I have caught over 300 fish on that rig, from herring to kings. You can get the same setup from B&J's still for around $60 I think. It's got a Penn Captiva spinning reel, that has worked flawlessly for me as long as I keep it clean and oiled. I've got 300+ yards of 40# Daiwa Dendoh Saltiga braided line on it and it casts a mile, too.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    They sucked
    That good, huh? That's a nice boat you have. If I could relate a story here, when my boat was new, and "gear money" was short, I bought some Okuma reels because they were less money. It's a personal rule I try not to violate, but I did, hoping to get by for a while. As you might have guessed, they were junk and failed pretty fast. I ended up spending the money for decent stuff anyway. That, plus the Okuma money, made it a lesson learned (again). Resist the junk. It never works. Just my opinion. Others' results may vary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    That good, huh? That's a nice boat you have. If I could relate a story here, when my boat was new, and "gear money" was short, I bought some Okuma reels because they were less money. It's a personal rule I try not to violate, but I did, hoping to get by for a while. As you might have guessed, they were junk and failed pretty fast. I ended up spending the money for decent stuff anyway. That, plus the Okuma money, made it a lesson learned (again). Resist the junk. It never works. Just my opinion. Others' results may vary.
    Pretty much exactly what I did when I finished my boat, and I've been upgrading each season, usually a couple a rods and reels, and have pretty much gotten ridden of the junk I started with, and just need to add a few more rod/reel combos. You don't have to spend a ton a money on each outfit, but the difference in quality is pretty stark and putting a $100-150 into an outfit that will last for years is money well spent vs. something you look at as throw away gear.

    Considering how much it costs to take a boat out for a day, and how much time you can waste with junk gear, not mention lost fish, it just isn't worth using stuff that won't hold up. Not to mention that sometimes when you're expecting a 10-15# silver you can hook a 50-100# halibut.

    One other note, the lighter jigging rods/reels can be put into double duty as trolling rods. Not ideal, but I'd rather put too heavy tackle into service for lighter fish, than vise versa.

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Thanks for the boat compliment, I'm pretty happy w/ her, lot of work upgrading her from bare boat though.

    Yeah, thats 75 bucks that I completely wasted, we didnt lose any fish because of them, but it was way too much work fighting the reels bringing them in, they way the stem was flexing I expected one to break. Definately NOT designed as a trolling reel.

    On the other hand, I couldnt be happier with the cheapie ($21 and $23) poles I got at wallyworld.

    From past experience I like the Pfluegers, I think they're the best bang/buck in the sub-$100 market, the President 6750's are $64 also at wallyworld - gonna go talk to B&Js first tho, they're the experts. If they're within a few bucks I'll buy from them (support a local business - and as a thanks for all the good advice)

    Man I got mad at those reels..... and then at myself.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Went to B&Js today and they turned me onto the Quantum Surge spinning reels, http://www.saltwaterspinningreel.net...spinning-reel/ says "This series of spinning reels are a super high quality spinning reel for saltwater fishing. "

    It sounds pretty good, they only cost $55 each, we'll see how it goes over the upcoming overnighter this weekend.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    Man I got mad at those reels..... and then at myself.
    That sums it all up perfectly. I think this lesson is always learned by everyone the hard way. We all want to save money, and we all want quality. From what I have seen the difference between a $35 and a $65 reel is almost always more than 2x the quality.

    Glad you did not lose fish, and good luck with the upgrades.
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