There are other options available but Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels are used by more catfish anglers than any other reel. There’s a wide variety of catfishing techniques you’ll be using. My dilemma now is what color cat reel I want on the rod. Larger “power” handles with a single larger knob and counterbalance. Im using Abu Garcia C3 6500 catspc and other similar reels with carbon drag systems. Part of using any tool is learning to use it correctly and learning to repair it when there are problems. It also depends on your skill level and budget. More experience casting means less and less concern with spool tension and less need for the spool tension. Learning to properly set the spool tension is the single biggest factor to learning how to properly cast a baitcasting reel without backlashes. You’ll be left with junk that has to be thrown in the trash and will go looking for a better quality reel that will last. Retrieve or gear ratio determines how fast and how much line is reeled in per turn of the handle. Awkward to use in rod holders (reaching down and under the rod) A limited selection of heavy reels. Backlashes (also know as professional overruns) occur when you cast and the spool spins faster than the speed of your line. I pick them up from the garage sale shoppers and reimburse them. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today. When buying on eBay make sure you are conscious of what you are purchasing, what the retail price is for a new reel, and make sure you establish clear parameters for yourself on what your “top dollar” is for any reel you are interested in. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel 9. It’s supposed to slip. It allows you to quickly and easily adjust the handle to suit the situation you’re in. I rarely buy used reels anymore, but have bought many used reels on eBay in the past and have gotten some awesome buys. Should answer your questions. It will retain its value for years to come. Understanding how your catfish reel works will not only help you catch more fish but will make your fishing experience much more enjoyable. Add to this a centrifugal brake, and you have a long casting baitrunner with enough power to handle even the largest catfish. The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels have been in production since the 1940s and are not only the most popular catfish reels but also the most popular fishing reels of all time, and it’s for good reason. Should change in a week or so when they start coming off the beds. ... Hey guys im looking for a great flathead reel. Shakespear tidewater tw20 is what I’ve been using for a year now ‘bank fishing’. Used incorrectly it won’t do you any good and might even cost you fish. Would this gear be suitable for trophy class catfish? It’s rare to find a fishing tackle dealer or bait shop that sells fishing reels that don’t have the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Reels. Getting to this “loop” and removing it is what frees up the backlash. My next catfish rod will be one of yours, Thanks Joe Lunder. They’ll also limit the techniques you can use for catching catfish. you cant beat the 6000's for the price, only difference between them and the 6500's are one has bearings and a "mechanical" clicker (6500) and the other has bushings and a thin brass clicker (6000's). You can find this reel in most sporting goods stores for $30 to $40 and it’s similar in features to the suggested Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels. 5000's for channels, 6000's or 6500's for flatheads. It’s an expensive baitrunner at around $230, buy worth every dollar. Despite the looks, this is actually one of the most popular baitcaster reels with professional fishermen, and there is a good reason for this. Extremely informative and complete overview. Share A Trip. Not having the spool tensioner on the reel set correctly. So when I say that for catching large catfish, you need something more heavy duty than your average big carp or pike tackle, you can believe me. If you make even minimal effort to take care of these reels: There are very few pieces of fishing equipment that I’m this passionate about. They’ll last longer than you’ll ever be able to fish with them. Once you use them for a while they’ll break. Some have bushings instead of bearings and therefore do not cast as well as bearing reels. But for good reason, this is an absolute monster of a spinning reel. So I use a spinning reel and I do not see any disadvantage in using one. If you live in an area that has extreme heat in the Summer, this is even more critical. 7. This is such an informative article! They’ll retain their value for years after you buy them. 4.5 out of 5 stars (20) 20 product ratings - KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. The more or higher quality bearings there are the easier it will be to cast and the further you’ll be able to cast. For just over $200 this reel is equally at home lure fishing for big catfish or casting floating bread for shy carp. If the drag is too loose, when you set the hook and begin your retrieve with the reel you are not going to gain any ground at all on the fish, the handle will turn but the spool will not. Getting a reel with a good quality drag system and learning to properly set and use it is one of the most important things you can learn about fishing. If fishing from the shore or boat where you don’t have to get a lot of distance you could get away with a 1.8 to 2.1 metre rod and a 30 to 40 sized reel. Geoff Stadnyk in we hook big blues and with that 25% drag setting line goes out and they get into the trees and lay downs and he looses them. For years the bait clicker or line alarm was considered a “must-have” for catfish anglers but in recent years with the increased popularity of circle hooks, it’s become less important for many anglers. This is another high capacity, tough freespool reel, this time from DAM. If you’re not using circle hooks (that set themselves) you’ll probably rely on the bait clicker function when catfishing and fishing on anchor. The backlash is created when the fishing line spools on the reel in the wrong direction because the reel spool is moving faster than the line. There are inexpensive options on the market but you’ll get exactly what you pay for. Free shipping on many items ... Aluminum Alloy Mini Portable Pocket Fish Pen Shape Fishing Rod Pole Reel Gear. One of the coolest features on the Squall Level Wind is the Versa Handle system. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur series fishing reels are the “gold standard” when it comes to catfish reels. Drag affects your line when you start reeling it in. If you’re looking for a workhorse catfish reel that will handle catfish of all sizes and is built to last then this is the catfish reel you want. Your email address will not be published. Member Fishing Reports. Yes, a stiff drag has almost got me pulled from the boat, but my buddies loose drag lets many of his fish get in the anchor rope or worse. 2. It is durable and dependable. This is our only open faced spinning reel included in the lure fishing category. If you’ve got the spool tensioner properly set you’ll have very few issues casting and rarely battle a professional overrun (backlash) and a much easier time learning to cast. There are many options that might look very similar to the popular catfish reels. A good day of fishing turned great for a Pennsylvania angler who recently caught a record-sized flathead catfish. For a thirty-pound test fishing line, fifteen pounds of drag is “heavy” but I wouldn’t call it critical mass. Pairing the right reel with the right catfish rod creates a deadly combination and opens the doors to using a variety of techniques for catching whiskered fish. The carbon limited drag is both powerful and smooth, and this offers some great benefits for catching large catfish, as the feedback through this reel will be excellent. Blues, channels and flatheads are all very different in many ways and the needs of an angler that’s fishing for one to five pound channel catfish with prepared baits (stink baits) are much different than those of an angler that’s fishing exclusively for trophy class blue catfish or flatheads. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through how to properly set the drag system and use it correctly. We don’t catch many catfish in the UK. Try to fund multiple reels in one store and bundle them together in one purchase also. This creates a loop in the fishing line and causes the backlash and locks the reel up. I would like to point out that as gear ratio increases, power decreases. Most anglers that struggle with casting these type reels or have avoided using them have issues doing so because they’ve failed to set the reel up correctly or learn the basic mechanics. This allows the spool and line to move freely so the fish can run and alerts the angler when there’s activity on the line. These lunker-filled lakes, … Medium duty reels (like the Abu Garcia 6000 series) usually come equipped with traditional handles. This is typically located on the same side as the handle. You can always compensate for a drag being too loose by simply tightening it up a bit when you hook that monster catfish of a lifetime, about 1/4 turn at a time. Both very important things when thinking about catfish reels. 1. I still use the function from time to time but primarily when fishing for flathead catfish. You can make adjustments on the fly and increase or decrease one-quarter turn at a time until it looks or feels right. Repeat the process a few times and get a good feel for what it feels like when you’re pulling line and the drag slips. Two good quality bearings will outperform four cheap bearings of low quality in most cases. Steve’s Favourite Flathead Fishing Lures A 100mm Paddle Tailed soft plastic lure rigged on a 3/8oz jig head is a good starting point, although the jig weight could vary from 1/4 to 1/2 oz, depending on the water depth. Flathead Lures & Reels. Leaving the function engaged when casting and reeling in will cause wear on the clicker and it will eventually start to make less noise and will ultimately quit functioning. Since much of my catfishing is done with a heavier line (twenty-pound test) I tend to use this method. Each of these retailers will pay us a small commission on any purchases you make through these links (it helps us pay the bills and keep the servers going). Being adjusted tighter is referred to as “more drag” or “increased drag” and being looser is often referred to as “less drag” or “decreased drag”. I now live in Thailand where there are dozens of species of catfish. Blues not so much with the biggest at 35lbs and not very many of them. The basic rule of thumb is the more bearings there are the smoother the reel will operate and the further you’ll be able to cast. Fishing reels for catching catfish are often a topic of great debate and the place that new catfish anglers waste the most money so we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide To Catfish Reels. If you do a quick survey in catfishing circles or look around at catfish guides or tournament anglers you’ll find that the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Series fishing reels to be the primary reel in most catfish boats. but on every other cast I would bird nest it then spend 30 min to an hour getting it out. If the line doesn’t slip on the reel and the weight doesn’t slowly lower to the ground then decrease the drag (turn it counterclockwise) and repeat the process. Actually, all the pictures on this page are me. A reel operating in a “free spool” mode or not having a braking system allows the spool to rotate completely free which allows for greater casting distance and ease of casting. The drag is set and used properly can make or break you when attempting to land a trophy catfish. Proper drag settings and proper technique are what make it possible to land fish that are heavier than the break strength of the fishing line. The benefits of a bait cast fishing reel for catfish include: Bait cast reels are without question the best choice for catfish reels, having the features you need, the capability of landing larger fish, and using a variety of techniques. It was included in this list of catfish reels due to the excellent gearing and the very powerful drag. Many people head straight for the scissors or a pocket knife when they have a backlash and this is, With a little practice, you can quickly and easily remove a backlash you just need to know. It will work correctly under heavy long term use. This is typically done with the thumb while reeling. It’s tough and capable. That being said, I 100% agree that overall a higher gear ratio serves the average angler better. Your choice in catfish reels will change depending on your needs. It’s a good process to go through once so you can get a feel for proper settings based on your preferred fishing line but beyond that, it’s really not necessary. Abu Garcia BMAX3Baitcasting Reel 7. Thanks for the great article! So i need one that can take a BIG beating. Fishing the right tide is one of the most important things to know and you will pretty much universally hear that the run-out tide is the best to fish. Spin cast reels are the most basic fishing reels. It may seem like a bit of an overkill, but I seemed to have hooked up with the same fish in the same area on a lake in Ohio last year in Ohio three times. If you’re willing to buy something that doesn’t “look pretty” or even broken fishing reels you’ll find some amazing bargains. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel 3. Lots of lures fitting this category will work just fine, though Steve suggests the Squidgies Fish is a good option. Catfishing tips, techniques and information from professional catfish guides anglers. Anglers would simply determine the amount of line that was released from the reel with one full revolution of the level wind and then count from there. Mark’s Tackle Recommendations For Flathead. At less than $100, this might not be the perfect reel for catching catfish on the bottom, but its great value, and entirely capable of getting the job done. If you’re concerned with the technical aspects here’s a much easier way than using a scale. The Abu Garcia Black Max is a good entry-level model that’s readily available in most big box stores. They’ll break with minimal use and when they do you’ll have no other option than to throw them away. All of the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur round reels in the 6000 and 7000 series have a line alarm function and most other quality reels in this size will as well. Here are the two easiest ways to remove a backlash from your fishing reel. Not understanding how a bait cast reel works and what causes a backlash. The more weight you have on the line the faster the spool will turn therefore increasing backlashes or chances of backlashes. This is the big daddy of the Shimano Baitrunner freshwater lineup. Never start cranking that star down tighter and tighter until it quits slipping. Knowing that the max amount of drag applied is fifteen pounds you can estimate pretty easily how many rotations of the drag washer will get you within the range needed of properly set drag. We included this reel on the list, simply because it offers many of the features of the Abu Garcia 6500, but at half the price. You see that picture below and to the right? For example, the 6500 C3 and 6500 C4 models differ in the number of bearings. Parts are readily available online and through many local retailers so if you’ve got the slightest bit of mechanical ability repairing a broken reel is no problem and most repairs are inexpensive. Disengage the fishing reel (push the button in). You’ll find some good deals, but there is also a lot of junk and overpriced reels as well. You’re always better to err on the side of having less drag than more. For a thirty-pound test fishing line, this would be 7.5 to 10 pounds. 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