SportFishing and Charters Forum - Best Inshore Baitcaster?

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View Full Version : Best Inshore Baitcaster?


spooled up
08-22-2006, 03:53 PM
What do you think is the best light inshore baitcaster in the 12lb class? I have used the calcutta 200 for several years but have had trouble with the clutch bar sticking recently, other than that its a workhorse. I realize the calcutta TE and DCs are probably great but cannot see paying that much for an inshore reel when there is so much competition out there. What are your thoughts?


HEDJUG
08-22-2006, 04:01 PM
My $80 ABU 6500.

rogerstg
08-22-2006, 04:11 PM
HEDJUG - 8/22/2006 4:01 PM

My $80 ABU 6500.

Same here. Make sure it has the carbon drags, grease them with shimano or Cal's drag grease and they are bulletproof.


spooled up
08-23-2006, 03:09 PM
I never really got into the Abu's. Perhaps I should...anybody else?

skipce
08-23-2006, 04:55 PM
Shimano 200 BSF on a Redbone 7' MH. Hands down the nicest setup I've ever used. It's a pleasure. :thumbsup:

doughnut
08-23-2006, 05:07 PM
Abu 5600 Mag X, sweet

HOTSPOT
08-23-2006, 05:21 PM
Abu Garcia is hard to beat for inshore bait casters.

Haifischjager
08-23-2006, 05:30 PM
Abu all the way. 5500s for light inshore, 7000s for light/medium offshore. I've had the best luck with the C3s (silver). The Red reels fail quickly for some reason.

I have nothing against Shimano. They are great reels just a bit too pricey for my tastes. Plus if a fish or some lowlife snatches your abu you can replace it for less than $100 (in most cases), a Calcutta is a different story.

ccat
08-23-2006, 05:41 PM
Shimano Calcutta 400's great for anything from flounder to Kings

Gmack
08-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Until about 7 years ago all I used were Abu Garcia bait casters. Almost everyone was broken in 2-3 years. I gave up on them and went with Quantum. I love the quantum bait casters. The very first one I every bought (Iron 410 cx) is still in use. I am also very pleased with their customer service. The 1420 classic MG is a nice reel for about $90 (basically the same as the Cabo CBC20). The saltwater accurist PTs are very nice too for more money.

Gary

rogerstg
08-23-2006, 08:09 PM
Gmack - 8/23/2006 6:07 PM

Almost everyone was broken in 2-3 years.

If you don't mind me asking, what regularly broke?

Gmack
08-23-2006, 08:20 PM
rogerstg.........

First thing to always go was the anti reverse. It ALWAYS quit working. Also had trouble with the level winds. They would lay more line on one side than the other. Sometimes the level wind would quit traveling all the way across the worm gear. We would use them for more than light duty inshore fishing so maybe they just aren't built for the heavy duty task of rig fishing.

I still have some of the old "broken" ones laying around. If any of you guys would like them let me now. You pay shipping and they are yours. Maybe just minor parts to get them working right again.

Gary

HullSlap
08-23-2006, 09:25 PM
Gmack - 8/23/2006 5:07 PM

Until about 7 years ago all I used were Abu Garcia bait casters. Almost everyone was broken in 2-3 years.
Gary

Same here! I gave up on light tackle bait casters about five years ago because of my Abu 6500's. They were good for a couple of seasons then would quickly crap out and need lots of replacement parts. The level-wind mechanisms are really flimsy on those reels. There was a level-wind gear made of plastic (on older models not sure about newer models) on the side opposite the handle that would always give out first. Loose sloppy sliding clicker button. Sticky free-spool button. Lots of binding, grinding and boat rash. I don't like fishing tackle that needs high maintenance. I did catch my largest snook ever (42") on a 6500 but the reel gave out about the time the snook did. I had to hand-line in the last 40-50 feet of line.

Not sure what I would recommend today, but I would probably start with Quantum and Okuma. I've had very good luck with the top end Okuma spinning reels but you never know until you try it out.

Good luck!

Haifischjager
08-24-2006, 01:08 AM
Same here! I gave up on light tackle bait casters about five years ago because of my Abu 6500's. They were good for a couple of seasons then would quickly crap out and need lots of replacement parts. The level-wind mechanisms are really flimsy on those reels. There was a level-wind gear made of plastic (on older models not sure about newer models) on the side opposite the handle that would always give out first. Loose sloppy sliding clicker button. Sticky free-spool button. Lots of binding, grinding and boat rash. I don't like fishing tackle that needs high maintenance. I did catch my largest snook ever (42") on a 6500 but the reel gave out about the time the snook did. I had to hand-line in the last 40-50 feet of line.

Not sure what I would recommend today, but I would probably start with Quantum and Okuma. I've had very good luck with the top end Okuma spinning reels but you never know until you try it out.

Good luck![/QUOTE]

I got this straight from Abu customer service. The plastic levelwind gear is made so due to safety reasons. The CS rep told me that the gear is plastic so it can be broken in case someone gets their finger jammed between the frame and the levelwind. You have to be a real knucklehead to let that happen in the first place. I mean, at the first feeling of pressure wouldn't you move your finger? Heck, I would.

BTW the levelwind gears and pawls are available at Academy stores for a small price.

spooled up
08-24-2006, 03:35 AM
I would be interested to hear if anyone has any experience with the daiwa coastal or the quantum accurist. That shimano curado salt water series looks pretty amazing, but its quite expensive. I guess it's hard to come by smaller baitcasters that are precise and have decent longevity without issues.

jwbryce
08-24-2006, 09:05 AM
Gmack, you got pm.

HEDJUG
08-24-2006, 09:08 AM
I am not happy to hear about the Abu's. Mine are 3 years old with no problems yet... i hope it stays that way. I have the C4 6501(lefty) with the blue side plates & the reels have been great. It's pulled in a bunch of 40lb+ stripers & big blues with no problems. I don't like dropping 3-400 bucks on a bait caster, or on big game reels for that matter & the $80 I paid for the ABU was right up my alley.

I had two shimano corsairs that didn't last the season, they were $80. Thats why I switched to the Abu's. So far, they have lasted 3x longer.

A guy that fishes with me brings out his Penn International bait casters. They are smooth as silk, look great, but seem to corrode badly on the insides. For $250, it's not worth it.

Gmack
08-24-2006, 11:14 AM
jwbryce - 8/24/2006 8:05 AM

Gmack, you got pm.

James......reels are yours.

Gary

originalsin
08-24-2006, 11:16 AM
I like my Penn 955's.

jwbryce
08-24-2006, 12:01 PM
I really like my abu's. I just now started using my Curados, and there is a big difference when it comes to hand fatigue from holding the abu all day vs the curado. Dont get me wrong, I am far from retiring the abu's, they go in the boat every trip. Now they just have a little competition. My oldest abu is 12 years and the newest is 4 years old. Only had to replace one pawl (just this year) and it wasnt even in the oldest reel. Seems like there are more and more quality reels on the market for a reasonable fee. Good luck, whatever your choice. Thanks Gary.

rogerstg
08-24-2006, 12:48 PM
Gmack - 8/23/2006 8:20 PM

rogerstg.........

First thing to always go was the anti reverse. It ALWAYS quit working. Also had trouble with the level winds. They would lay more line on one side than the other. Sometimes the level wind would quit traveling all the way across the worm gear. We would use them for more than light duty inshore fishing so maybe they just aren't built for the heavy duty task of rig fishing.
Gary

I can't argue with that, but the question was about "best light inshore baitcaster in the 12lb class?" Apples and oranges?

If I fished with you, I'd leave the Abus at the dock. :thumbsup:

dingbat
08-25-2006, 09:43 AM
I get a kick out of these discussions. You go out and buy Walmart version Abu then complain about the quality not understanding that Abu makes several diffrence versions of each size reel. The $69 Walmart version doesn't hold a candle compared to the the good Abu stuff. There are reasons why you can't pry old Abu's out of the hands of dead surf casters and it isn't becouse they only last 2 seasons.

For inshore stuff a 5500 CS Mag. Elite is pretty tough to beat.

ReelWork
08-25-2006, 10:18 AM
I always love the responses that say to go with the ABU's...

I have 2 ABU's (5500 and 6500) and I have 2 Calcuttas (150 and 250).

IMHO, the Calcuttas are FAR BETTER than the ABU's for actual casting and usability. I do like the ABU's, but not for repeated casting with topwaters or jigs. For drop jigging, the ABU's are fine..

Another thing, the Calcutta drags are loads better than that of the ABU's.. Again, just my opinion... ;)

the dog
08-25-2006, 01:48 PM
avet sx , i have one now that is three yrs old and going strong. calcutta's lasted 1-1/2yrs. penn 2yrs. accurrate 3 months. great reel for the bucks

dingbat
08-25-2006, 02:14 PM
ReelWork - 8/25/2006 9:18 AM


IMHO, the Calcuttas are FAR BETTER than the ABU's for actual casting and usability.

I'll be down your way in a few weeks for a tournment. Let s meet up for a little casting and usability contest. Your Calcutta against my Mag. Elte.

We'll take the average distance of three cast and winner takes the others reel. You game? ;?

ReelWork
08-25-2006, 05:34 PM
dingbat - 8/25/2006 1:14 PM

ReelWork - 8/25/2006 9:18 AM


IMHO, the Calcuttas are FAR BETTER than the ABU's for actual casting and usability.

I'll be down your way in a few weeks for a tournment. Let s meet up for a little casting and usability contest. Your Calcutta against my Mag. Elte.

We'll take the average distance of three cast and winner takes the others reel. You game? ;?

Well, I wouldn't quite go that far on the wager since my reels were all gifts from my wife. However, I will wager a case of beer with the aggreement that the winner has to share it... ;)

Gesh, now that you ask me that, it has probably been 3-4 years since I had my reels serviced... Not an excuse by any means, but I know they probably aren't what one would call "in perfect shape" :rofl:

If this is agreeable, YOU'RE ON! :thumbsup:

Kid Stuff
08-25-2006, 07:12 PM
Penn 955 or 965

btoups
08-26-2006, 02:28 PM
I grew up fishing with Abu's and still use them for live bait fishing under a cork or with carolina rigs, but I recently bought a new Curado 200DHSV, the Curado 300DSV, and a Citica 200. I can't speak for the durability of these reels as I haven't had them for very long, but so far I am completely satisfied with all of them. The Curados are a little pricey, but worth the money in my opinion. Very smooth reels, cast great, and strong drags. The Citica is more affordable and is also a very good reel. There is not much difference between the Citica and the Curados. I find the Curados are a little smoother but they both cast well and are relatively lightweight in comparison to the Abu's. One of the earlier posts asked about the Daiwa Coastal Inshore reel. I had one of these, and it was a decent reel for its price, but the Citica is about the same price and in my opinion is a much better reel. I normally fish for redfish, speckled trout, and flounders.

spooled up
08-26-2006, 11:23 PM
I have a shimano citica as well, but I do not believe that it is made for a harsh saltwater environment. It's a great reel though isn't it!? Mine has lasted 8 years and counting. I know the curado has a version for the salt and I assume it is the one that you're speaking of. I certainely have given that one alot of thought, however the calcutta was very smooth for me as well. It's the durability combined with the performance that I am looking for.

btoups
08-27-2006, 12:19 PM
If you like the older Citica, you would love the newer model. The new model Citica has more features than the older Curado had and it's in the same price range. I really like the Curados and the Citica because they are bass style low profile reels that you can cast all day. I have caught bull reds up to 30 lbs on the Citica with no problems. I don't target bull reds with the Citica, but if you happen to hook one, the reel can handle them. If you are looking for a reel with more line capacity, take a look at the Curado 300DSV model. It has a low profile, but holds as much line as the larger round reels. It also has 15lbs of drag and is designed for inshore and near offshore saltwater species.

gagme
08-27-2006, 04:05 PM
Bought my son an ABU 5500 on an Ugly Stick 3 years ago. Still casts precision and smooth. Great action for Reds in the 5 lb range and no problems at all. One of the better reels I have purchased.

ron_pennsylvania
08-27-2006, 04:23 PM
Abu 6500.

captainclayton
08-28-2006, 02:33 AM
Calcutta 400 ( toss a jig or catch a dolphin! and be done with it about $170 put them on Loomis or cape fear and both are warrantees! I bent my Calcutta and called (I was guiding) and had a new one before I sent it off, I have taken back maybe.....8 Loomises, gl2's,3's 2 glx fly rods...they are great!

captainclayton
08-28-2006, 02:38 AM
agree to disagreee, if there is going to be a night where you cant wash them forget it. there is a marriage with roud reelsand saltwater..old scool and when yo drop an 80 wide on it, you will know. jeard the drag heats a bit on curodoes ?

captainclayton
08-28-2006, 02:43 AM
calcuttas wont cast quite as far but DURABILITY< 1 piece crankcase...

cb3door
08-28-2006, 12:13 PM
I've owned Quantum Irons, Pinnacles, several Abu 5500 C3's, and 4600's. Calcutta's are better, but Curado's are the best I've used--period.

Frank007
08-29-2006, 09:04 PM
How about the Diawa Luna or Coastal? Has anyone tried them? I have been happy with my Diawa spinning reels.

I have a Calcutta 400 and would recommend it.

Halfswede
09-01-2006, 04:12 PM
Daiwa Luna 300 is the way to go. Machined from barstock, holds 320 yds 15#190 yds 20#. I used Shimano Calcutta until I tried the Luna. Cast control is much better. Even with the cast control knob backed off all the way it casts beautifully. Casts lighter lures into wind also with much more distance and control than the calcutta. All that for around 230.00.

rogerstg
09-04-2006, 02:09 PM
The problem with using a calcutta 400 is that the 12# line can and does slip between the spool and sideplate, causing the line to chafe on the sharp machined edge, so imo, it's no good for a 12# outfit. On my 400's the minimum line I use is 15#.

catch up
09-04-2006, 10:36 PM
Spooled Up, you should look at either the Shimano Curado dsv 3000 or the Quantum Accurist. The Shimano Curado might be a tad large for 12 lbs but it is a beefy baitcaster with a huge gear in it. Should have plenty of power. The Daiwa Lunas are also a very nice reel, probably the most rugged in terms of construction.

reefhunter2
09-05-2006, 03:44 PM
HEDJUG - 8/22/2006 1:01 PM

My $80 ABU 6500.

My $59.95 Amb 6000 (red);
My $69.95 Lew's Speed Spool;
My $49.95 Amb 5000 (red)

spooled up
09-05-2006, 04:09 PM
I've done alot of research on the Shimano Curado dsv 300 and I like it alot, but I wish they made it a size smaller. I really only need about 120-140yds of #12 line on this and usually any additional capacity leads to extra unecessary weight on the reel. I also have been looking at the Shimano Chronarch saltwater series, but can't find anyone that has owned one. Other than that, I like the quantum accurist and the daiwa coastal, but without much feed back on the two, I'm leaning towards shimano. Thanks for all of the replies!

33pounder
09-05-2006, 06:41 PM
I FISH THE CALCUTTA 400 AND LIKE IT VERY MUCH BUT I ALSO HAVE MANY 6500 abu'S AND THEY ARE VERY GOOD AS WELL AND THE PRICE IS REASONABLE

Fluka Brasi
09-05-2006, 11:10 PM
My favorite reels (I have 2)... Offshore Angler® Ocean Master® OM-4000 Casting Reel


http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=46386&hvarDept=151&hvarEvent=&hvarClassCode=1&hvarSubCode=1&hvarTarget=browse


Very versatile... may be a bit heavier than you want, though.

eddieg
09-09-2006, 07:56 PM
I have been using the new Ambassadeur 6600 C4 Series reel. I have landed many 12lb+ Blues by accident. Awesome Carbon Matrix Drag, SS bearings. Also, I love my Quantum Cabo PT20, It is smooooth!!!!!!!!!
Ed

okletsfish
09-15-2006, 03:28 PM
Without givin up my age my first reel was a Shakspeare direct drive[no drag]baitcaster and that is what I learned on.I have an assortment or BC reels Avet SX,Calcutta 400, Abu 56 C4 6500 C3.The Calcutta and the C4 have thumb bar spool release systems that I can`t stand,I guess that because of all them years of thumb control.I`m always trippin the damn things when settin hooks.So they sit at home most of the time.The C3 I have had for about 25 years and works flawlessly,with yearly maintence.The SX I like because of the lever drag when paying out line or dropping back on flatties.www.hatterasoutfitters.com has just about everyAbu they make and all the stuff to hotrod em,that is is anyone is interested.I am in no way connected with them but I do check em out every now and then.

spooled up
09-22-2006, 04:35 PM
Well I just figured I would post the finalists that I am down to for my inshore baitcast along with their specs. Remember, these are all built for a salt water environment. I am missing a few pieces of info, but for the most part it covers the basics. I am leaning towards the Curado at this point. Thanks for all of your input! Sorry to all of the Abu fans, but the list includes:

Quantum Accurist 500PTs 150/12 $140
Penn 955 210/12 (11.6oz) $210
Daiwa Coastal 140/12 (8.3oz) $130 (5+1 BB)
Shimano Calcutta GTB 110/14 (9.9oz) $220 (7+1 BB) Max Drag: 11lbs
Shimano Calcutta CTE-200GT 190/10 (10.2oz) $330 (10+1 BB) Max Drag: 11.4lbs
Shimano Curado 300DSV 240/12 (10.5oz) $250 (5+1 BB) Max Drag: 15lbs
Shimano Chronarch BSV 130/12 (9.5oz) $270 (6+1 BB) Max drag: 12lbs

kcarnesmd
09-22-2006, 11:44 PM
Although quite expensive, the shimano calais is the best baitcaster on the market period. The asv version is designed specifically for saltwater applications. As a tournament bass fisherman, I have owned about every brand of baitcaster out there (daiwa, abu, shimano, penn), including most of the high end reels. Hands down, the calais is the best of the best. You can pick one up on ebay for $250-275 if you shop carefully. If you don't want to spend that much money, then go with an older model curado - they are just about indestructable, and can be had for a little over a $100. Good luck shopping.

dingbat
09-23-2006, 09:41 AM
Where are you fishing “inshore” that you can tolerate a reel having a capacity of just 110 yd. of 14 lb. test?




[

spooled up
09-23-2006, 12:05 PM
I'm not familiar with the Calais, I might as well check it out. By the way I fish South Jersey, but this is not an "eeling" or live bait reel. This will be used for jigging and casting, most often in the back bays. I can't imagine using anything more than 15lb line for this application, but to each his own.

PROFINITY
09-25-2006, 06:17 AM
Spooled up - Not trying to be a wise a$$ but have you considered just cleaning and lubricating the clutch bar on your Calcutta? That is all it needs. :thumbsup:

spooled up
09-25-2006, 10:49 PM
Do you think that's all it needs? I would say about 85% of the time that I cast now, it will not go back into gear without fidgeting with it for a minute or two. The reel handle will just spin without turning the spool at all. I'm a little weary of opening up the reel, as I feel that I will do more harm than good. Could this really be caused by a little muck on the clutch bar or a lack of lubrication? I wasn't planning on throwing it out by any means, but it was going to get shipped to shimano. Is this cleaning process simple?

jbelow
09-26-2006, 12:25 PM
All the baitcasting reels mentioned here are good reels . All reels need cleaned and lubed no less than once a year . If you dunk and submerge your reel in sea water or cover it with dirt and sand , you will have to take it apart and clean and relube the dang thang . We want to blame the reel makers for our neglected and stupidity . Take care of your reel and your reel will take care of you . :thumbsup:

timothy11
09-26-2006, 12:43 PM
i have three abu 6500's that had had made for me that have five sets of balls bearing all new brakes and high speed reels on them for long casting in the canal. There is nothing better than these reels. Cost for all the upgrades and to have them installed was about 150 dollars but it makes it worth it in my mind when u need that extra distance or triing to get a sluggos off the bottom and need to reel rather quickly. not sure where u are from but if u are ever near the canal let me know and u can try these reels out

Fishfun
09-28-2006, 11:32 AM
i have cal TE 400 very nice reel but too much money,this year i bought an okuma gold reel not sure of the designation but same class line as TE and i love the okuma it only cost $99 its a sweet reel not sure about longevity only used this season but if i needed another reel thats the one i would get. it looks just like the TE i have to really look to tell them apart

Jerry-Rigged
09-28-2006, 02:30 PM
spooled up - 9/25/2006 9:49 PM

Do you think that's all it needs? I would say about 85% of the time that I cast now, it will not go back into gear without fidgeting with it for a minute or two. The reel handle will just spin without turning the spool at all. I'm a little weary of opening up the reel, as I feel that I will do more harm than good. Could this really be caused by a little muck on the clutch bar or a lack of lubrication? I wasn't planning on throwing it out by any means, but it was going to get shipped to shimano. Is this cleaning process simple?

The Calcuttas are about as bullett proof as a fishing reel can get, However, even they need occational cleanings. Cleaning them is not difficult, but you need a little bit of patcents, and the ability to put +-20 or so parts back together. Not to tough, but if you don't want to do it, head to your local tackle shop - they will know someone that will do it for $20-$30.

Now if you really don't fell like cleaning it, and would just rather have a new reel, feel free to pass me that "junked" reel. I'll gladly pay the shipping ;)

As for a new reel, what are you calling Inshore? Red drum, flounder and trout? Stripers? Mahi and ling? For a red/spec/founder reel, pick up a Curado 200 and spool it with 30lb spectra. I grew up on the Abu 5500's and 6500's, still have a 6600 and an old 1000. However the Curado is so much better, it was hard for me to believe. The newer Curados are a bit more than the Abu's but if you are willing to clean them once or twice a season, they will last nearly forever, and be a better reel.

Need me to PM you an address for that Calcutta? :Q

Jerry



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