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Levelwind or not

Old 08-16-2020, 10:31 AM
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Default Levelwind or not

I'm getting ready to upgrade my rods and reels. I've been using Penn 6500 Battle spinning combos and some older Shimano Tld conventionals. I just bought an Avet LX it's a pretty nice reel but I'm not sure I like the lever drag. We mostly bottom fish in 75-135' of water. Why aren't levelwind as popular as non Levelwind? Is there any wrong with using something like a Shimano Tekota on a shorter heavy action jigging rod for snapper? It seems like it would be easier to use.
Old 08-16-2020, 12:25 PM
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Level wind is another point of failure, plus they do not like fast strong fish. For trolling they are a big no no. But for bottom it is OK, Just know it likely some day will be a service issue.
Old 08-16-2020, 12:53 PM
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i have use daiwa saltist levelwinds 40 and 50 have had them for many years and they get a heavy work out every time we bottom fish i have them on a heavy shimano trevala jigging rod always wash and lube the gears after each use have caught everything from gags to cobia to big red snapper on them love them for chicken rigs
I also have a shimano tekota 800 that I have had for years has caught some very large fish on as well just got drag upgraded at Ricks reel service
I like them a lot when in deeper water
Old 08-16-2020, 01:52 PM
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We are mostly just snapper fishing with the occasional Cobia. I lithe Trevala jigging rods due to the light weight and smaller diameter. I have a Torium 30 and a extra heavy jigging rod on order by I thought I might pickup a couple Tekotas too. I was thinking it would be less trouble for guests than having to remind them about keeping the line level on the spool. Any experience with the Tekota?
Old 08-16-2020, 02:35 PM
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The Saltist LW series are nice bottom fishing reels . Worth the extra bucks over the Penn Squall LW . I have both , the Daiwa wins hands down .
Old 08-16-2020, 02:52 PM
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I'll check those out. I have a couple of the Penn levelwind combos that I bought at bass pro when I first got my boat a couple years ago. I'll hardly ever use them, they feel kinda cheaply made to me
Old 08-16-2020, 03:56 PM
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The key to non level wind reels is only spooling them to around 60-70% of capacity. This way you do not have to level the line on evenly and you don't have any issues when the line bunches up. I like them because it's one less thing that can break.

If you have an LX 6.0 that is not an ideal reel for bottom fishing. It has a high gear ratio intended to be used for fast swimming pelagics. The LX 4.6 would be a better bottom reel IMO. I like lever drags because you set them at the house and there's no way noobs can screw with the settings while your fishing. Strike is always strike and full is always full. I used to set my star drags tight with a scale then someone would grab it, try and pull the line to check the drag, they couldn't pull any line off, and they would loosen the drag up until it felt "right". Then they would hook a large fish and it would swim in the wreck and break off. The G2 models are much better than the original ones though because they have the ramp which stops the lever at strike and you have to push a button to get to full.

I don't think there's a big issue using levelwinds for bottom fishing though. Will come down to personal preference....

Last edited by mdees88; 08-16-2020 at 04:14 PM.
Old 08-16-2020, 04:57 PM
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My LX is the first generation 4.6 , It's a nice reel but it's my first lever drag and I guess I'm just not used to it
Old 08-16-2020, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Shane3203 View Post
My LX is the first generation 4.6 , It's a nice reel but it's my first lever drag and I guess I'm just not used to it
I would set it around 12-15lbs at full which should be 8-10lbs of drag at strike and fish it with 40lb line (or bigger) and only fill it up about 2/3rds to 3/4 of the way. If you don't have a scale set it at full drag where it's difficult to pull line against the drag but you can still pull it and that should be around 12-15lbs. The one thing i never liked about the originals is that it's super easy to push the lever past the strike setting straight to full. Because of this a lot of people set the drag they want to fish at the full position and just always fish it at full.
Old 08-17-2020, 04:42 PM
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I like level winds for bottom fishing. Especially for guests. One word of warning however. I’ve seen a finger get smashed between the level wind and the side plate of a reel. Seriously smashed finger. I know they use plastic gears and wouldn’t have thought it would do so much damage
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
I would set it around 12-15lbs at full which should be 8-10lbs of drag at strike and fish it with 40lb line (or bigger) and only fill it up about 2/3rds to 3/4 of the way. If you don't have a scale set it at full drag where it's difficult to pull line against the drag but you can still pull it and that should be around 12-15lbs. The one thing i never liked about the originals is that it's super easy to push the lever past the strike setting straight to full. Because of this a lot of people set the drag they want to fish at the full position and just always fish it at full.
Could you please suggest a scale for adjusting drag settings?
Old 08-17-2020, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
Could you please suggest a scale for adjusting drag settings?
I use one like this. It's also good too keep in your tackle bag or on the boat for weighing large fish. Sometimes I will use my bogagrip to set the drag....

Amazon Amazon
Old 08-17-2020, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
I use one like this. It's also good too keep in your tackle bag or on the boat for weighing large fish. Sometimes I will use my bogagrip to set the drag....

https://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Digital-Electronic-Weighing-Accurate/dp/B07P7Y6XF1/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=crane+scale&id= 1597711223&sr=8-3
Thanks I've got a Boga but will check out the scale. Up to now just pulled line off the reel by hand and guessed but I want to be able to set the drags on those new Avet's more precisely.
Old 08-17-2020, 06:57 PM
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My wife uses a Tekota 700, (perfect for her she would high spot the spool on a normal reel and it drove me nuts). It's a very nice reel.
Old 08-17-2020, 07:10 PM
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My Torium came in today, it's a nice reel but the Avet feels better to me. I guess I'll play with the Avet a little more and get used to the lever drag

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