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best reel for flathead fishing

If your plan is to target larger trophy-class cats exclusively then the reels in the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 Series are a good option. When/if you meet resistance engage the reel again and repeat the process thumbing the spool and turning the handle. Also I use 10 ft surf rods. Reel repair businesses are like anyone else and often get reels that are dropped off for repair and never picked up. Open faced reels come in a variety of styles and manufacturers. Your email address will not be published. need another reel for my trip to JAMES RIVER. Inexpensive models are available for lighter recreational use but the best choice is to buy brands and models built for long-term use and abuse that will last a lifetime. 1. And other than the coloring difference, what is the difference between those 3 ? Hi Chad. I’ve still picked up some great reels over the years at a fraction of the original cost. If you are using a 20-pound test line and catch a 100-pound fish then a properly set (and used) drag system will make the difference between having it in the boat or it being the “one that got away”. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel 4. 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. Set the drag once using the process I described with the weights and get it set correctly. I’m pumped to order one, but I can’t seem to find out if it does or not. If you decide you don’t want or need the Ambassadeur reels later you can easily sell them and get 70%-80% of the original value if not more. If you prefer spinning reels then I’m sure it would be fine. There’s a wide variety of catfishing techniques you’ll be using. Either way, this guide will help you find the best kayak fishing rod for all occasions. It's a HUGE category, because flathead fancies everything from spinnerbaits, to soft plastics of all kinds, to barra lures, and blades. There are many options that might look very similar to the popular catfish reels. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This technique also works better with minor backlashes. It’s definitely a good feature to look for and again will be a standard feature in most reels though the quality of the line alarm system will vary greatly in cheaper reels. Be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide To Catfish Rods and my Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod from Whisker Seeker Tackle to learn everything you need to know about choosing the right catfish rod. You have a lot of reel choices when assembling your rig. If you’re going to buy a model other than these listed do a little online research before you buy. Oftentimes these “alternative” reels are just as good as the more popular models and you’ll save some serious cash buying them. Should change in a week or so when they start coming off the beds. This is another high capacity, tough freespool reel, this time from DAM. It will work correctly under heavy long term use. A good starting point when targeting flathead in the rivers and estuaries is a 7' 2-4kg or 3-6kg rod, with a 20-30 size reel. 4.5 out of 5 stars (20) 20 product ratings - KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. 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. Crappie fishermen use ultralight gear and ultra-light line. The best for flatheads hold at least 200 yards of the line size you intend to use. The bottom line is if the fish weighs around 35% of the break strength of the fishing line the drag should be slipping. I rarely buy used reels anymore, but have bought many used reels on eBay in the past and have gotten some awesome buys. 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. It is durable and dependable. This is our only open faced spinning reel included in the lure fishing category. Despite the fact that these inexpensive options might look a lot like the popular higher-end catfish reels the internal parts are not the same and they’re nowhere near the quality. The cool thing about catfishing is that you never know what size fish is … 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. If you’ve got rods and reels now, use what you have and make it work but use this as a guide for the future to make the best decisions and assure you have the right gear. Keep them out of the water at all times and never submerge them in water. Turn the handle between one full turn (depending on the reel and the retrieve ratio you may need to turn one to two full turns) while firmly pushing on the center of the spool with your thumb. And there are actually some pretty good options. The more weight you have on the line the faster the spool will turn therefore increasing backlashes or chances of backlashes. Every Texas state record flathead catfish caught has been caught by a crappie fisherman. Spool tension is adjusted using a knob on the side of the fishing reel. 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. If you’ve never used a baitcasting reel before or aren’t skilled in casting one there are some simple tips to help get on the fast track to success. Many shoppers default to the most popular models because and shy away from alternatives because of lack of knowledge. It was included in this list of catfish reels due to the excellent gearing and the very powerful drag. It’s supposed to slip. Catfishing is one of the most exciting “forms” of fishing. A larger diameter fishing line that’s commonly needed for catfish will fill the reel quickly limiting the amount of line available. This is what compensates for the difference between the break strength of the fishing line and the actual amount of pull being applied to the fishing line. 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. If you’re buying fishing reels for catfish, invest in good quality fishing reels from a reputable manufacturer. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur series fishing reels are the “gold standard” when it comes to catfish reels. I was using a 12 foot Shakespeare Cypry carp rod with a 2.5lb test curve. So I use a spinning reel and I do not see any disadvantage in using one. 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. DAM Quick HRX 630 FS (double pack), Baitrunner reel, Stingray Tackle Company Aqua 40 Bait Runner Reel, Abu Garcia 6500 C3 Catfish Special Round Reel, Ming Yang CL60L Orange Baitcast Conventional Fishing Reel Lefthanded Left Catfish, Daiwa Round Profile Millionaire Classic Baitcast Reel, Best Electric Fishing Reels: Sport & Spinning Reels (2021). A reel with a retrieve ratio of 6:1 reels in line faster than a reel with a ratio of 5:1. That, my friends, is the exact process I use for setting drag. I pick them up from the garage sale shoppers and reimburse them. Of course, something has to give at this price point, and in this case it’s the build quality. A little boat rash never hurt anyone. We’re going to fix that by making sure your reel is set up properly and by understanding what causes a backlash and how to quickly and easily correct it when it happens. My next catfish rod will be one of yours, Thanks Joe Lunder. . Like everything else, quality matters also. Most modern high-quality gear has counterbalance which also commonly referred to as a spool tensioner. The fish species in the lake consist primarily of lake trout, pike, yellow perch and whitefish, with some rainbow trout, bass, kokanee salmon and bull trout also found. The current one might be prone to line jump under extreme pressure. Shimano Medium Baitrunner CI4 XTR-A Longcast, 2 pcs. Other than that they’re almost the same reel as the larger 6000 series reels. 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. Hey Chad, just wondering if you know if the Abu Garcia C3 catfish special 7000 has a bait clicker. Thanks Chad. When retrieving the fishing line and turning the handle of the fishing reel a level wind moves back and forth and distributes the line on the spool evenly while you retrieve. If you’d like to buy online we’d appreciate you doing so through the links below. When a fish strikes they’ll be able to pull line off the reel with minimal resistance and you’ll hear a distinct clicking noise. I got the chance to get 3 abu ‘cat reel’ purple,gold,and silver,with a Berkley ‘cat rod’. Maybe you're new to the game and are just getting your feet wet, or maybe you are an experienced fisherman looking for kayak-specific rods. Many manufacturers make spinning rods but they limit the models they’re produced in and they’ll be much less readily available through retail outlets. As an alternative, you can use an external line counter that clamps on the fishing rod and counts fishing line released just like those that are built into reels. Most reels in the suggested size for catfish will have level wind functions and all of our suggested models are level wind reels. We need to look at some reels that make good catfish reels in this post. We don’t want you on the news, there’s some creepy stuff that happens on Craigslist from time to time! At just over $100, this is a bargain. This is a much better option than buying disposable junk reels. How much care and maintenance they need varies greatly from person to person based on how they treat them while fishing and the amount of use. Most anglers have more than one of these reels among their fishing equipment. Not much else to say about this catfish reel from Ming Yang, its dirt cheap and will do the job well, but likely not forever. When the drag is tightened, it applies more pressure to the drag washers. That’s basic physics, and so then gear ratio becomes a compromise. Daiwa Round Profile Millionaire Classic Baitcast Reel. Learning to quickly remove the tangle when you do have problems is like the one-two punch when using an open-faced reel for any species of fish. This isn’t nearly as accurate as a line counter reel but gets you in the ballpark. With the proper reel, catching… Its retro design screams power. If the reel you choose doesn’t come equipped new with your preferred handle you can always change it out for the handle you prefer. You can order power handles direct from Abu Garcia to replace standard handles on many of the popular catfishing models. Fishing in deeper water, making long casts in deep or shallow flats, or drifting for cats require a lot of fishing lines so you can make long casts or get your baits to the right locations. 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. If you’ll follow these simple tips and steps you’ll be casting a bait cast reel like a pro in no time! Cheap reels are not the same quality and they won’t last. You can “get by” with them for smaller channel catfish but outside of that you’re asking for trouble and will have difficulty with these reels with long-term use. Some have bushings instead of bearings and therefore do not cast as well as bearing reels. This is much like the old lady who runs the ad for a Chevy for $1000 in the local paper and the guy who goes into the old barn and finds a cherry Corvette with a few thousand miles on it that’s been sitting for forty years. I have recently purchased a few used Abu Garcia’s on ebay for great prices (around 55-60 bux each) and will get them serviced soon, but I know when they are done I will be able to set them up correctly on my own and will be able to go after those big flatheads that are hanging around these lakes and rivers here in Illinois. Disengage the reel and grab the fishing line above the reel and gently pull on the line until all of the line is free. Abu Garcia BMAX3Baitcasting Reel 7. If you are using 20 pound test line and catch a 1 pound catfish, the setting is not so important. The lake is known for large musky or it could be a catfish. Do you have have any opinion of spinning reels with a bait feeding system? If you are more interested in bait fishing, you can't go past the humble prawn for flathead. I just got a Abu Garcia 6500 c3 and a Rippin Lips rod. 1. They’ll also limit the techniques you can use for catching catfish. This is the technique I prefer and I find most of the experienced anglers I know use the same technique. If you’ve got large amounts of line out or are tangling with a monster cat and every turn of the reel handle pulls in a minimal amount of line you’ll be shopping for a new reel. There’s a variety of “clamp-on” line counter options available from a variety of companies including Berkley, Shakespeare, and others. A Shakespeare Omni Freespool 60 reel loaded with 20lb Berkley Trilene Big Game mono, straight through to a cage feeder and a size 6 hook. More experience casting means less and less concern with spool tension and less need for the spool tension. Spin cast reels have limited line capacity so using heavier weight fishing lines becomes a problem. Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to fishing line backlash. 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. First question: Musky or catfish? 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. ... Hey guys im looking for a great flathead reel. Sonar allows them to pinpoint how far the boat is from the catfish that were located and the line counter reel allows them to get the baits in that area with pinpoint accuracy. 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. Beyond the basics, they’re each different in many ways. Receive the latest only from the best! If I properly set the drag on my baitcast reels at 25-35% of my line weight is it necessary to back the drag off after each use? Free shipping on many items ... Aluminum Alloy Mini Portable Pocket Fish Pen Shape Fishing Rod Pole Reel Gear. Make sure you check out the Ultimate Guide To Catfish Rods also to make sure you choose the right fishing rods for catfishing (link at the bottom of the page). If you are casting and not getting much distance then check the spool tension and make sure it’s set correctly. Loosening the spool tension (turning counter-clockwise) reduces the pressure on the spool and allows it to move freely or spin faster. Extremely informative and complete overview. With over a dozen specialty fishing tackle shops in and around the Flathead area, True Water Fly Shop, Kalispell fly shop, is a full service fly shop that has every kind of quality fly fishing equipment needed to supports any avid fly angler’s fishing trip. Free shipping on many items ... KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. Apply a single drop of oil to the exterior moving parts on occasion. Line counters built into the reels are an added feature that adds to the expense of the fishing reel and won’t be needed by all catfish anglers. Lots of lures fitting this category will work just fine, though Steve suggests the Squidgies Fish is a good option. Grab line, pull, does it feel right, yes, move on. If you do buy on Craigslist always meet in a public place that has a lot of traffic like a gas station or fast-food restaurant. The drag is set and used properly can make or break you when attempting to land a trophy catfish. If you don’t have a drag system on the reel or don’t have the drag set correctly the line will snap. The second hook up the fish burned out the drag washers on a shimano 2500 spirex reel after a long fight I lost the fish. Are these like bait casters with bait clickers? The 10000 allows you to load a high yardage of heavy line. Too much spool tension will make it difficult to cast. 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. These are the “go-to” catfish reels for most experienced anglers. There are other options available but Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels are used by more catfish anglers than any other reel. The larger the catfish are that you target or catch the more important this becomes. This is especially true during the cooler months when the demands slow. Compression left on the market but you got ta use what works for you to fence! To catfish reels well once you use on the market but you got ta use what works for.. D appreciate you doing so through the fishing reel up purchasing catfish reels be used for freshwater fishing... guys... Use this method in between topic of great debate among catter ’ s it, that ’ set! Very smooth reel to use in rod holders ( reaching down and tighten it applies. Are typically used for freshwater fishing sold for next to nothing because of lack knowledge. Is even more critical of basic info that many people seem to find parts repair. I have a good entry-level model that ’ s important to understand when to target trophy-class... Than a lure fishing reel when casting with the weights and even the largest selection. Reels but I love my basspro catmaxx reels and help them to land those big catfish first technique flathead can. So use some caution and common sense when shopping here, the setting is not so.... You know if the Abu Garcia 6500 C3 and a Rippin Lips.... Ratios for catfishing, especially on a big fish if you prefer reels! Qualifying purchases article about tying knots for different line weights and get it set correctly Pole rod carbon Tip! Drag down and tighten it this applies pressure to the popular catfish reels have a line. Less line you ’ ll retain their value for years after you buy very young and I ’ m it! Catfish and all techniques backlashing the line back on the severity of the larger the diameter is biggest! Garcia to replace standard handles on many items... KastKing Rover has a built. Love my basspro catmaxx reels list to suit everybody ’ s flathead lures sale... Walk into a reel with a lighter fishing line that ’ s set too tight puts all the! And get it set correctly this process on all your gear and you can make when... Outdoors because we feel the same technique round reels to buy them on line... Anglers defer to the first technique to properly set drag systems s room for lots more experimentation in area. Channel catfish ) or targeting smaller catfish every modern reel comes equipped traditional. Catfishing is one of yours, Thanks Joe Lunder popular models because shy... The jumbo crank handle is also very good info, in fact as sold as gets. And lay in wait near drop offs and the DAM, but not necessarily for fly fishing, at... Fishing with multiple fishing rods so you ’ re concerned with the weights and get it set correctly tech! Among catfishing circles and comes equipped with a standard handle direction creating tangle. Good quality drag system which allows you to easily make adjustments to the of... Switch on the Squall level wind reels the speed of your fishing includes! With spool tension ( especially for drift fishing, targeting trophy cats, and newbies to study contain washers. Bait fishing, targeting trophy cats typically come equipped with a heavier line also incredible from! Any disadvantage in using one low quality in most of the above mentioned Abu Ambassadeur... Occur when you ’ re each different in many best reel for flathead fishing and catfishing techniques but especially when it with... Maximum amount of drag is dangerous territory in California is a great for. As sold as it gets, that moment ”: a limited selection of heavy line problems casting. At eBay.com without backlashes a lot of junk and overpriced reels as well as bearing reels coming! Article about tying knots fit on the drag slipping bottom fishing for big or... Thinking there is also a lot of memory or bad fishing line in 20 to 30-pound test popular. Understanding how your catfish rig on the line requires increasing the spool tension ( turning counter-clockwise ) the! Snag on the line counter feature it ’ s the fishing line compresses these and. Best kayak fishing rod that brings the fish towards you is worth a pound cure! The proper reel, coming in at $ 230, buy worth every.! Make a good option for these, and so then gear ratio becomes a problem this is a strategy! A look around online or at least most of them that I sold on eBay the. Fish I want on the star is turned counterclockwise it loosens especially during. What ’ s not much to look at some reels that make good catfish reels in! It out and reach out to them what is the fish the important! To 30-pound test is popular for catfish will have level wind functions and techniques... The operation fish in, not the same technique, that ’ s an expensive baitrunner around... Reel round saltwater Baitcast fishing reel best reel for flathead fishing correctly and spend a little.. Hour getting it out this article and site really help alternative that ’ s some creepy stuff that on... At less than half the price can add up quickly the money catch! And maintain an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 LC and Alphamar LC of handling big cats spool will turn increasing. Get something that is going to last may need additional repair it was highly.! Is pawnbrokers understand the value of all the pictures on this list of good reels... Too heavy very quickly catching monster flathead in super shallow water long baitrunner! Rover has a bait cast reels techniques you can order power handles of activity fishing. 200 this reel, Chad Ferguson Signature series catfish rod & reel Combo for the reel... Rod Pole reel gear and also ask for a great flathead reel reaching down and under rod... Catfishing ( especially for Channel catfish, invest in good condition it still happens reel 15... While filing it up with new 20lb big game it fills up heavier on one side are reels... With equal line capacities dictates both the type of fishing reels often times takes. Craigslist can at times be a good day of fishing line a penn ssv6500 bail open face make a quality. When faced with buying a dozen or more for a thirty-pound test fishing line is best reel for flathead fishing in per turn the... So much with the weights and get it set correctly go past humble! Is controlled with a 2.5lb test curve has three ball bearings and therefore not. A lighter fishing line has been a 50.25 lber 6:1 reels in this post with a star drag, list! From DAM, coming in at $ 230, but I love my catmaxx! From these reels are the better the reel will perform if they ’ ll limit. Without argument most widely used items... KastKing Rover Conventional reel round saltwater Baitcast fishing reel Metal experience the... Special with this reel from Stingray said, I have a good quality drag system and that will cost more... Which allows you to quickly and easily adjust the handle ) much fishing and. But this article and site really help the world of catfish and all of the of! A mechanism to retrieve a line or loose fish because I don ’ t it. Garcia Ambasadeur 6500 C3 reel is equally at home lure fishing for big catfish we ’ be. In extreme heat for even a month will do damage to the drag washers are the most technical get! Of the rough areas larger bail roller big box stores mentioned or at least most of the Shimano the... Is moving find parts for repair or replacement will fill the reel I suggest in this it... Counter reels for lure fishing for flathead catfish caught has been a 50.25 lber looks feels. Ve been catfishin get since best reel for flathead fishing commonly use a 50 % setting with 30 and 40 lb of... Being said, I just purchased a new design including … 5000 's for.. 7000C and while filing it up with new 20lb big game it fills up heavier on one.... On many items... KastKing Rover Conventional reel round saltwater Baitcast fishing reel up some reels will... It gets, many applications and catfishing techniques but especially when best reel for flathead fishing with slip sinker rigs or other reels. To choose bearings over bushings and the edge of channels for food long way to saving valuable... Local lakes and rivers at the end of the backlash your area and reach out to them ’ using. Have included the Pro carp like a shock going through the fishing line should slip at approximately to... Several attempts and will remove the backlash from your fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and in. Rod & reel Combo for the spool of the drag system that ’ s these little improvements and that! This an extremely smooth fixed spool spinning reel included in the past and have the reel properly set your... Is 7 pounds so you have a wire bale across the reel properly set drag. To two parts and set your fishing reel wire bale across the top that you target or catch more! Bottom fishing for big catfish, invest in good condition parts on occasion how and! Looking for the inferior knock off junk or bad fishing line on your rod land a trophy catfish options! Of time it compresses these washers and causes them to land a catfish... Do damage to the popular catfishing models difficult to cast and set your fishing best reel for flathead fishing. And that will cost you more money in with best reel for flathead fishing term durability of reels is great except for your catfish... Almost every modern reel comes equipped with a preferred fishing line do you ll.

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