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Small $200ish Conventional Reels

Old 03-11-2019, 09:28 AM
  #21  
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x4 for the Shimano Torium.. great all-around reel at a competitive price point.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:36 PM
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Okuma Metaloid 5II and 5NII are both under $200. I am very happy with mine. They are good out of the box and even better with the addition of a spool sleeve, which costs about fifty cents and half an hour.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:06 AM
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I have a handful of Toriums, and really like them. However, with newbies, the line can often get stacked improperly. On a whim, I bought a Shimano Tekota, level-wind Reel, with Line Counter for my young grandson. Rick (shameless plug for a THT vendor and good guy) of Rick’s Reel Service upgraded the drag and handle, and that little reel has been great on all kinds of fish on the bottom and around rigs. The grandson is now away in college, and his Tekota just got back from Rick’s after its annual service. The Line Counter feature is amazingly useful on suspended fish, and the level wind keeps things neat. The upgraded drag can put a lot of pressure on fish without a problem.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to get some toriums.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:13 PM
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My Seigler (Truth) LGN’s get regular use on the Lower Keys wrecks. 85 lb suffix braid, a gimbal belt, and hang on. Once you get the reef donkey’s head turned, it’s all down to technique. No high sticking and no cranking against the drag.
Im usually targeting Snowey and end up catching AJ’s as by-catch....at least until the sharks arrive.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BST24351 View Post
I would go with a avet the new g2 models have plenty of drag. I'll agree the fathoms are very nice but after 2 years with very limited use needs a service. my 4 year old avers that see more service are still good to go. for the first year I had the fathom I thought man I might switch over to all fathoms for less money but now I'm gonna stick with avets
What seems to be the issues with the Fathoms?
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by djewell87 View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to get some toriums.
You will like them. I have the 16hg's on star 5'6" jigging rods and really like them.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by porcha View Post
you couldn't pay me to fish an Avet or a Seigler for amberjack. I've only seen a handful of people with the Seigler SG reel and twice the reel has broken internals an hour into the trip. Seigler was good and replaced my buddies reel but he sold it, got an accurate boss, and hasn't looked back.

I have a whole fleet of accurate DFS reels -- if jigging is your game, you'll want to invest. You truly get what you pay for while jigging.

Shimano Torium 16 HGA, Benn Baja or Dawia Saltist 20H are my only options in your price point

2 speeds are not for jig fishermen either, 2 speeds are for your parents, children and bottom fishermen
I think there is a new generation saltist. I played with one at the Rhode Island show last year. Decent little reel. Not sure but the price should be in the 200 range.
I still say that little bass pro ocean master lever drag reel is a very decent option in this price range.
I turned a tern today for the first time. Jury is still out but I was impressed at first glance.
I agree with release, truth, seigler. And avet. Neither will stand up to a serious reel killer. Yea, seigler lifetime warranty and good customer service, but I don’t want my reels in for service, because something broke .I want to fish them. And someday avet will put decent bearings in their reels and fix the the torque issues that toast them.
I own about a dozen high end, little conventional reels.
Trinidad, talica, saltiga, accurate valiant etc, not a single two speed in the bunch.


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Old 03-16-2019, 10:33 PM
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I use the newer daiwa saltist 15 for jigging and it’s a super fun little reel that is VERY smooth. Kinda lacks in the drag department, but it’s fine for snapper/smaller grouper.

I also own abunch of penn fathom lever drags, but the smallest I own is the 25n. Have caught grouper and jacks over 50lbs with them, and they keep on going. Nothing really bad to say about them.

Id also check out the new shimano torium pg and accurate terns. Small reels with big drag numbers and gear ratios that are designed for torque over speed. I will probably sell off a fathom or two and pick up one of these to play around with. I like the idea of being able to button down the drag and not worry about bearings.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:21 AM
  #30  
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The gearing on the more expensive shimanos is very good, but they are heavy and expensive.
The Maxels need a lot of service.
The Jigging worlds are good, but expensive
The Raptor is a winch, but again pretty expensive.
I am now using the Diawa SHA20 6.1:1 stardrags at $102 each and they are holding up as well or better employed in 3x per week jigging service. The are 5 oz lighter, they have smoother drags, and the adjustable spool tension lets you free fall or cast better than any of the above, and have not required more than oiling 2x per season over the last two 8 month seasons, and they never bind. I use my thumb if I want a little more oooff.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
If you want a lever drag the best bang for your buck will be Penn fathoms IMO. Single speeds are around $220. FTH25NLD
https://m.tackledirect.com/penn-fath...NVb0%253Z26kIh

2-speeds are around 250-300. I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend getting 2 speeds. FTH25NLD2
https://m.tackledirect.com/penn-fath...NVb0%253Z26kIh

If you really want a beast of a reel I would step up to a FTH40NLD2. https://m.tackledirect.com/penn-fath...NVb0%253Z26kIh

Get on YouTube and search the model numbers. J&H tackle has videos of them and you can get a feel for the size of the reels.


I agree that Avets are very nice reels but I wouldn't recommend the regular models for heavy duty bottom fishing. They have handle binding and are prone to bearing failures when fishing high drag. Also the non raptors do not put out enough drag to really be considered bottom fishing reels to me, especially for AJs. You would need to step up to Raptors which are $4-500 a pop. If I was deadset on buying a non raptor Avet for snapper, cobia, and AJs I would get a JX G2 4.6.
wouldnt the fathom 15 be closer to the SX in size ?? I could be wrong
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:34 AM
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I can't get the fathoms to last through 1 season. The dogs start to permit a lot of kick back after just a few trips.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:35 AM
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The OP is looking for multi-duty reels with bottom fishing one of the dutys. I don't see any real disadvatage to 2 speed reels other than cost. Penn Bajas are a little big and heavy but are bada##. If you can find an Okuma metaloid they are pretty bulletproof. I've got a little 5S that has probably caught a pile of AJ's up to about 50#.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:44 AM
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Plenty of great options already posted. Just read, re-read all those that suggested 2 speed reels for depths like that. We routinely fished 200-300' plus with 2 speed reels which was "well below" what for-hire boats fished. I like 100' of mono topshot (for abrasion qualities) backed up with 60-80 lb braid. You can use a smaller, "lighter," reel and have plenty of line to fight any big fish that comes along.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GulfC View Post
Plenty of great options already posted. Just read, re-read all those that suggested 2 speed reels for depths like that. We routinely fished 200-300' plus with 2 speed reels which was "well below" what for-hire boats fished. I like 100' of mono topshot (for abrasion qualities) backed up with 60-80 lb braid. You can use a smaller, "lighter," reel and have plenty of line to fight any big fish that comes along.
two speed reels kick back and he wants a jigging reel, right?
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bullshipper View Post
two speed reels kick back and he wants a jigging reel, right?
said he wanted a bottom fishing and jigging reel and said he wanted to catch AJ's with it.

I started out jigging with a tld15. How's that for kick back, lol. I jig with Avet raptors without issue. Never understood why a little handle play makes a reel "bad" for jigging. That being said I've never jigged with a conventional with a roller bearing so what do I know, maybe I'm missing out........ Well, I do know I one thing.... I won't trade 2 main gears for a roller bearing but that's just me.... if all I did was jig I would definitely want to try a torium or a trinidad

Last edited by mdees88; 03-17-2019 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sammythetuna View Post


wouldnt the fathom 15 be closer to the SX in size ?? I could be wrong
Yes.

But the Fathom 15 only puts out 20lbs of drag at full and you never want to fush a lever drsg at it'a maximum rating. AJ's would keep that reel in a bind.....

That's why I recommended a 25nld2. But I have no first hand experiences with fathoms myself, plenty of experience with 2 speed LD's though....
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
Yes.

But the Fathom 15 only puts out 20lbs of drag at full and you never want to fush a lever drsg at it'a maximum rating. AJ's would keep that reel in a bind.....

That's why I recommended a 25nld2. But I have no first hand experiences with fathoms myself, plenty of experience with 2 speed LD's though....
I hear this all the time, especially with avet discussions,
“ never fish the reel with full drag”
why on earth does a reel have a certain amount of throw/ drag if you cannot use it ?
This is a design flaw. I expect to be able to use ANY feature of a reel,any time without it breaking the reel
or crushing bearings. Why the hell would you build a reel that upon using it to its capacity will break it?

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Old 03-17-2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by north coast View Post
I hear this all the time, especially with avet discussions,
“ never fish the reel with full drag”
why on earth does a reel have a certain amount of throw/ drag if you cannot use it ?
This is a design flaw. I expect to be able to use ANY feature of a reel,any time without it breaking the reel
or crushing bearings. Why the hell would you build a reel that upon using it to its capacity will break it?

So.... what fishing line do you use? Because most mono isn't going to break at tested strength.... You fish a 30lb line at 30# of drag?

Numbers when it comes to fishing tackle are all over the board.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by north coast View Post
I hear this all the time, especially with avet discussions,
“ never fish the reel with full drag”
why on earth does a reel have a certain amount of throw/ drag if you cannot use it ?
This is a design flaw. I expect to be able to use ANY feature of a reel,any time without it breaking the reel
or crushing bearings. Why the hell would you build a reel that upon using it to its capacity will break it?
If you needed to pull a 5,000lb trailer every day... would you buy a truck with a max tow rating of 5,000lbs or 10,000lbs?

Stars and levers work in two very different ways. You can beat the lever on a senator with a hammer and you will not hurt the reel but you will only get up to the maximum drag rating of the reel. Maybe a tad more. On a lever drag you can very easily exceed the maximum "rated" drag of the reel simply by turning the knob. But you're going to tear stuff up. I agree posting a max drag that will tear your reel up is false advertising. Seigler is the worst I've seen. Their SG is rated for 28lbs of drag. You get serious handle binding over 12lbs and I completely destroyed my SG on it's very first trip using 20lbs of drag. That is false advertising.....
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