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Old 09-07-2004, 11:01 AM
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Default Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

How come some of the smaller conventional reels (like Penn GT, Shimano TR) have levelwinds and other similar sized reels don't? I have always used levelwinds for inshore saltwater and large catfishing but trying to decide upon a new trolling-class reel that is still functional for my other fishing (30 lb. class tackle) like the Shimano TLD's. Why would you not want the levelwind feature?

Thanks in advance for the education!
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:20 AM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

You wouldn't want a levelwind with anything over 50lb tackle. For example, if you were cod fishing, you wouldn't use the levelwind, because it would snap it right off. I like to use my 320GTI for striper and blue fishing. Thats my two cents
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

agree with above
i use an amb 7000 for shallow (60 ft) snapper/grouper/cobia, it has a levelwind; 30 lb gear
anything bigger than that you're better off with no levelwind; too much pressure with a big fish, it can snap off or cut your line
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

The way I understand it, is if you hook into a tuna, wahoo, king, etc, that will take out a great deal of line against heavy drag, the leveler may not keep up, the line will bind, and maybe break. You can get big reels with levelers on them. Take a look at the Penn GTi series 310, 320, 330, 340, and 345. Nice reels for less than $200.
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

Good answers but the main reason (IMHO) is that if you plan to cast with the reel greater distance can be achieved without the level wind since it "rides along" with the spool and is just one more thing to rob distance. When I fish beaches or piers I go without the LW so I can cast farther. Now, I don't know why on the larger reels (50's, 80"s, etc.) so I'll go with the above answers on them........
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Old 09-07-2004, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

The level winds can also mess up a finger if you get it in the way during a fast run of a large fish.
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Old 09-07-2004, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

Level winds come in handy if you are using the reel primarily for casting and retrieving -- say small to medium lures. Without the level wind mechanism, it would be come tedious trying to constantly thread the line back on evenly.

When using live bait, you don't get into the constant "cast/retrieve" scenario, as you're leaving the bait in the strike zone for a longer period of time. As already pointed out, the level wind mechanism can cut your casting distance.

For a larger reel, try Penns 330 or 340 GTIs, which have level winds.

Good Luck,

Tom
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

Ever hear of fishermen counting "bars" ? We use the big Level lines as you would a line counter reel when trolling. On the Penn 330 it's just about 10' per cross of the level wind mechanism so the expression you had your baits “back 17 bars” would imply the lines where 170’ behind the boat.
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?

Big reels have deep spools that would require a very tall line guide to function from full spool to empty. Too much pressure with to much leverage to work for long.
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Levelwind vs non-levelwind on conventional reels?


1. Better free spool, means greater casting distance.
2. Line snaping for fast running fish if the levelwind is out of synchronization.
3. Simplier mechanism / less gears which lasts and performs better on heavy usage for tough fishes like tuna.
4. Some of them don't have cross bar, for better handling on live bait fishing.
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