Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fishing

Reels are the hottest topic for TackleTour. Everyone wants to know what the latest and greatest is and how they compare to the old guard. What's the best for light stuff, or what's your suggestion for heavy cover. Do we really need different retrieve ratios? It's all in here.
AKAweezywee6
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Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fishing

Postby AKAweezywee6 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:22 am

I have been interested in buying a pair of new bait-casting reels and have always enjoyed fishing both fresh and saltwater, particularly targeting large-mouth bass, speckled trout, and red-fish. I would like to buy reels that can withstand both fresh and saltwater well, while still providing great quality in other areas. I have been looking at the 13 fishing Concept A bait-casting reel and they seem to get great reviews from a lot of people. If anyone could give me a short list of 3-5 reels within the $100-$200 price range for the purposes I like to fish it would be greatly appreciated. Just for extra information I am looking to buy one reel for fishing crank baits and another for finesse fishing and soft plastics.

Jason Schexnayder

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby facelessnewsouth » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:33 am

Shimano curado I should definitely be on your short list.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby Crappielimits » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:11 am

Shimano Curado I. Have fished Shimano Calcuttas for trout/reds and bass/stripes really hard for over 15 years strong with one. The Shimano Stradic is the workhorse for both if looking for spinning.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby IlliniDawg01 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:55 am

The new Tatula HD should be a good option if you want extra line capacity. The Tatula Type R and BB1 Pro should make your short list to check out as well as the new Curado I.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby fishingman88 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:17 pm

Personally, I use a Shimano Exsence DC, Abu Garcia Revo Inshore, and a Calcutta Conquest.

However, for your price range, I'd personally consider a Revo Inshore or the Curado I. If you need more line capacity, try to find a Curado 300E for sale (they hold up really well in Saltwater fishing IMO).

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby vinnieb729 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:43 pm

Curado I for sure…Tatula if Daiwa's your flavor…T3's are $198 at tackle warehouse.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby mylobass » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:40 pm

Tried the Tatula. Fancy nancy line guide didn't work with leader knots. I use long leaders. Went back to old Ambassadeurs. Complete user ability to maintain and refurbish always brings me back. Wading and yak fishing turns me to simpler designs and more peace of mind.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby AKAweezywee6 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:12 pm

It seems like the Curado I gets a lot of great reviews. I've been seeing that a few of the Lew's baitcasters get great reviews too. Can anyone tell me about those?

Jason S.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby btoups » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:24 pm

This is the exact same type of fishing that I do and I've tried several brands of reels and always seem to come back to Shimano. In that price range, I would recommend the Curado I. I have one and use it often and it is holding up well and has a very smooth drag and enough power for what you are looking for.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby ezcue » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:23 am

I fish the much the same as btoups. A lot of folks down here use Shimnao stuff for a very good reason...it works and usually holds up very well. I have an issue with a little slop in the handle ( no big deal just a personal tick for a tackle junkie). I fish Quantum almost exclusively. Take a look at an Energy E100 6:3 or 7:1 retrieve, 11 bearings 6.5 ish ounces 150yds of 12lb. Oh, the best part when a red with some attitude gets on the other end 17lbs of drag pressure on ceramic washers...they work very well. My standad setup is a 7 Medium action rod with the above reel and 30lb Power pro or Super slick and a 2-3 foot Ohero Flouro leader. I crank the drag down and never give the fish a chance. I have yet to have one of these Quantums give up on me and I fish them hard. You can find the older E100 SPTS salt version on the weber tubes at various places for 90 ish bucks. It is a steal at that price point. I also fish 30 series spinning reels from the same manufacturer. Now, I do have my eye on the new Curado. I am a old Shimano guy from way back ....2005-2007 and plan to road test one of those ASAP. TIghtlines and I hope you find what you are looking for. ;)

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby ss30378 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:00 am

"Best" will end up being a buch of opinions so here you go.

Shimano is my pic of the litter. They have a rep for taking a beating and the new curado is an impressive reel. Much more refined than the e or g series, its almost daiwa refinement with shimano buttery smoothness, win win. Plus shimano is by far the easiest to get parts from.

Daiwa tatula would be # 2 if you find it comfy enough to fish. Very smooth and powerful even in the 8.1:1 ratio. Plus you can get em for 130-140 for the type r and 90-100 for the regular so its a steal. Daiwa customer service is making great strides lately to boot.

Lews #3, although made in the same factory as the revos, lews seem to hold up longer and are very nice reels but havent held up like shimanos or daiwas. Ill be replacing parts soon so ill let you know how CS is with this process.

Abu #4, gen 3 revos are made to be light and to do this they use light materials which don't hold up, the only revo to hold up for over a year for me has been the winch. Sx stx and mgx all got crunchy quickly and yes a rigorously maintain my stuff. One positive though is their drags are nice.

Also shimano calcutta's are tanks, you could find a zillion or luna used and they are awesome or try and find a gen 2 abu revo before they went on diets. Those hold up much better.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby Crappielimits » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:22 pm

ezcue wrote:I fish the much the same as btoups. A lot of folks down here use Shimnao stuff for a very good reason...it works and usually holds up very well. I have an issue with a little slop in the handle ( no big deal just a personal tick for a tackle junkie). I fish Quantum almost exclusively. Take a look at an Energy E100 6:3 or 7:1 retrieve, 11 bearings 6.5 ish ounces 150yds of 12lb. Oh, the best part when a red with some attitude gets on the other end 17lbs of drag pressure on ceramic washers...they work very well. My standad setup is a 7 Medium action rod with the above reel and 30lb Power pro or Super slick and a 2-3 foot Ohero Flouro leader. I crank the drag down and never give the fish a chance. I have yet to have one of these Quantums give up on me and I fish them hard. You can find the older E100 SPTS salt version on the weber tubes at various places for 90 ish bucks. It is a steal at that price point. I also fish 30 series spinning reels from the same manufacturer. Now, I do have my eye on the new Curado. I am a old Shimano guy from way back ....2005-2007 and plan to road test one of those ASAP. TIghtlines and I hope you find what you are looking for. ;)


There is no slop in the handle of Shimano Curado I or Calcuttas.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby Redfish » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:34 am

IMHO any baitcaster reel not made of magnesium will make a good saltwater reel. Proper care and maintenance is of course required. So, pick your favorite baitcaster and use it anywhere you want to!

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby dragon1 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:00 am

Crappielimits wrote:There is no slop in the handle of Shimano Curado I or Calcuttas.


Maybe not in the CU I, however I have owned and fished extensively, Gen 1 Calcutta As, TEs, TE GTs, Gen 1 CQs...they all have a little handle back-play (which is minimized by tightening down the drag).

For me, exclusively in SW (light SW action), I would choose a RR...CT/CQ, Luna/Millionaire, Morrum M series. I would consider a faster retrieve in a LP like a Zillion, Exsence DC, CU 200D/300D/300E or Daiwa HSTA. Old school Daiwa PT33 SH would also be a good reel with bearing and drag upgrade.

All but the CQs, some Zillions, and the Exsence DC can be found for around $200 or less.

Good luck.

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Re: Best Baitcasting Reels for both Salt- and Freshwater Fis

Postby TravHale » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:00 am

I can't speak for the new Curado I, but the E and G series have held up well for me over years of kayak fishing on the Gulf Coast, as well as the Chronarch E, which is essentially the Curado E. I also have a few of the Lews Team Pro reels that I use, they have held up pretty good so far, however, on all of mine, the level wind guide bars are corroded. Not a big deal, you just have to clean them more often.

For a no thrills fish and rinse reel, you can't beat the older curados for inshore fishing. I might pick up one of the new curados at some point, I just don't see the need to upgrade at this point from what I have.


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