I'm requesting information from experienced parties who've actually used (preferably extensively) the reels they might recommend.
My old Penn broke after nearly 20 years of infrequent, albeit annual use. I may get it repaired, but I know there've been some specific advancements in reel designs. With that in mind, I'm considering a new reel purchase for my halibut rod.
My halibut partner also broke his much newer reel this last season on the same day mine failed (though we still managed to limit out), so I may be buying two, and looking into whether or not that gets even a minor break in price.
All of that said, what's your opinion on the most reasonably-priced, rugged, long-lasting, utility-grade, well-made (preferably in the U.S.), level-wind reel that'll handle even large 'but, and keep on ticking for years to come, and which can hold upwards of 300-350 yds of 120 lb.-test Spider Wire or other fine, braided, reduced-diameter line?
I've been seriously considering the Penn 345gti2 or 345gti. Okuma also seems to have some nice stuff once you get above their skid-row reels.
Any thoughts? Complaints? Due to the forum rules re. bad-mouthing specific products and businesses, PMs are also appreciated re. what to avoid...
If someone makes a killer, heavy-duty halibut reel for $90 to $125 I'd love to hear about it!