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best reel for flathead fishing

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Spinning reels have a wire bale across the top that you flip back and forth when casting. Steer clear of those for catfish fishing. The Ultimate Guide To Catfish Reels covers everything you need to know about catfish reels for all species of catfish, techniques, and situations. It’s an expensive baitrunner at around $230, buy worth every dollar. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel 9. 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. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through how to properly set the drag system and use it correctly. Haggle a bit with the pawnshop and you can get some good deals. Look down at your reel when the fish is pulling and the spool is turning away from you instead of towards you, that’s the drag working. Larger “power” handles with a single larger knob and counterbalance. It's a HUGE category, because flathead fancies everything from spinnerbaits, to soft plastics of all kinds, to barra lures, and blades. Reducing the number of problems casting goes a long way to saving your valuable fishing time when on the water. Backlashes (also know as professional overruns) occur when you cast and the spool spins faster than the speed of your line. All of the above mentioned Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels are available at most sporting goods retailers and big box stores. There are others that use the standard handles and catch tons of monster cats with them and never think twice about using or needing anything different. Just make sure you have 35% of the break strength of your fishing line. One or two line breaks will leave you without enough line to fish. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through the process of setting the spool tension for success (and fewer backlashes). You might be surprised at what you’ll find. Make small incremental adjustments until you’re not backlashing the line while casting. 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? In the end, you just need to determine what feels best to you. All times I was using a 5-6 inch bluegill for bait (legal in Ohio). It’s hard to catch big fish if you can’t control them. Fishing Pole Rod Carbon Fibers Tip Lure Ultralight Stick Spinning Casting Wood . You’ll find some good deals, but there is also a lot of junk and overpriced reels as well. These are the “go-to” catfish reels for most experienced anglers. Look around at my photos and you’ll see tons of pictures of fish that are well in excess of 20 pounds, many are double and triple that (or more). Your discussion of reels is great except for your comments on spinning reels. 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. 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. Each and every single one of these cheap fishing reels does the same thing. I still use the function from time to time but primarily when fishing for flathead catfish. When it is loosened, it applies less pressure to the washers. Currently I am using a 2.1 metre Shakespeare Ugly Stik Platinum rod with a Pflueger Trion size 40 threadline, spooled with 3 kilo Berkley Trilene. You can make adjustments on the fly and increase or decrease one-quarter turn at a time until it looks or feels right. Rather than waste the money on the cheap reels just bite the bullet and buy the right product that’s built to last the first time. Awkward to use in rod holders (reaching down and under the rod) A limited selection of heavy reels. Common complaints about spinning reels for catfish include: A limited selection of catfish rods. Free shipping on many items ... KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. Shimano Medium Baitrunner CI4 XTR-A Longcast, 2 pcs. You’re also likely to encounter performance problems when casting with the heavier line also. Daiwa Round Profile Millionaire Classic Baitcast Reel. Dollar for dollar a good big spinning reel with dual drag, a clutch and clicker equals or beats a casting reel day in and day out – costs less too. Common complaints about spinning reels for catfish include: In the past few years, there’s been a growing list of manufacturers completely abandoning spinning rod models for catfish or at minimum limiting the selection. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Repeat this process on all your gear and you’ll have properly set drag systems on all of them. With the proper reel, catching… The drag is one of the most important parts of any fishing reel and becomes even more important when catfishing because of the opportunity to catch BIG catfish. Many shoppers default to the most popular models because and shy away from alternatives because of lack of knowledge. Popular for fish type (most common species): Bream, Trout, Whiting, Bass, Flathead, Perch, Luderick. Part numbers that end in a one are the indicator that Abu Garcia uses for left-handed models. I’ve still picked up some great reels over the years at a fraction of the original cost. You can cast with an open-faced bait cast reel you just need to set the reel up correctly and spend a little time practicing. I personally don’t have the time or patience to shop garage sales but know many people who do and told them years ago to check fishing reels when they came across them. When a fish comes along and takes a bite it can run freely with the line and the clicking sound will alert you to the activity. Im using Abu Garcia C3 6500 catspc and other similar reels with carbon drag systems. on Bluecats. 5. For a thirty-pound test fishing line, this would be 7.5 to 10 pounds. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur series fishing reels are the “gold standard” when it comes to catfish reels. And most flathead fans prefer one with a "clicker" mechanism that produces an audible signal when line is pulled from the reel, thus indicating a catfish bite. The bait clicker turned on (engaged) creates a clicking noise when the spool moves forward and turned off (disengaged) the reel operates as normal with no noise. Bait clickers are used in many applications and catfishing techniques but especially when anchored with slip sinker rigs or other similar catfish rigs. The advantage is the fish not feeling resistance when it picks up the bait and runs and alerting the angler of activity. 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”. You’ll find through experience and learning the proper casting technique that you’ll ultimately require very little spool tension to cast without backlashes and in turn, will have much more casting distance. Most sporting goods stores are going to sell all of the models mentioned or at least most of them. Free shipping on many items ... Aluminum Alloy Mini Portable Pocket Fish Pen Shape Fishing Rod Pole Reel Gear. You need a catfish reel that’s large enough to handle larger diameter fishing lines, hold enough of that line to use a wide variety of techniques plus an “extra” amount of fishing line for when you get hung up and break off. It’s a popular feature for heavy freshwater and light saltwater fishing. I’ve got reels that have been used and abused for my own personal fishing and with my guide clients for over two decades and they still keep going. If you hook a big catfish you use the rod to pull and bring the fish towards you. Tightening the spool tension (turning clockwise) applies pressure to the spool of the reel and allows it to turn less freely (spin slower). 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. There's no need to spend a fortune. 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. Mark’s Tackle Recommendations For Flathead. Level wind reels have a mechanism that moves back and forth across the reel as the spool turns. Hunting. The 10000 allows you to load a high yardage of heavy line. You only have one shot at getting this correct though and if it is set too tight (too much drag) you will NOT get a second chance. That’s basic physics, and so then gear ratio becomes a compromise. Hey Chad, I just recently got into catfishing. The rotor has also been completely balanced, which makes it a very smooth reel to use despite its size. If you can’t find what you’re looking for feel free to hit me up on Twitter and I’m happy to help. The bottom line is you can run to your local retail store and buy a couple of “knock-off” fishing reels that look like an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur and you’ll spend $40 to $50 per reel. Drag that’s set wrong will expose itself quickly. 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. Thanks for the great article! We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Keep them out of the water at all times and never submerge them in water. A graphite rod is a good option as it is a little stiffer and more responsive, making it easier to use the rod tip to impart additional action into the soft plastics, such as twitching and hopping. The higher the test strength of the fishing line the larger the diameter is. Add to this a centrifugal brake, and you have a long casting baitrunner with enough power to handle even the largest catfish. Drag that’s set too tight puts all of the pressure on the line (or too much pressure). Not understanding how a bait cast reel works and what causes a backlash. Spinning Reel Size: (2000 or 20) Suggested mono: 2kg-3kg (4-6lb) Suggested Braid: 5-10lb Common Applications (Guide only): Small fishing reel mostly suited for light fishing in lakes, rivers, bays, harbours etc. An alternative to the 5500 C3 for targeting smaller channel catfish is a low profile bait cast reel like those commonly used for freshwater fishing for bass. I can’t say this enough, if you choose this option it will cost you more money in with long term use. If you plan on fishing for larger channel catfish then the Abu Garcia 6500 C3 or something in the 6000 series will be a better fit (these are the same reels suggested for blues and flatheads, so keep reading). If you’re willing to buy something that doesn’t “look pretty” or even broken fishing reels you’ll find some amazing bargains. If you don’t then they will compress over time. If you prefer spinning reels then I’m sure it would be fine. Disengage the reel and grab the fishing line above the reel and gently pull on the line until all of the line is free. biggest fish i might encounter on the medium sized river i fish would be 40lb, and those reels would do just fine. There has been an occasional reel I have had to pick up a part or two for and repair but even in those instances I still came out ahead. Heavier saltwater spinning reels are a good fit in many ways as they’re larger, made to handle heavier weight fishing line, and often have good drag systems and heavier features for light saltwater fishing. The cheaper alternatives claiming they are “just as good” as the Abu Garcia reels simply aren’t no matter what you may have heard. 2. eBay can be an excellent source for purchasing catfish reels. The fishing on Flathead Lake is jointly controlled by the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (the Flathead Reservation is located just northeast of Flathead Lake) under the Flathead Lake and Fisheries Co-Management Plan. For instance, if someone said you need to tighten the drag or you need more, you’d turn the star clockwise to apply more pressure on the drag washers. 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. Choosing the right tool is a big step towards success but simply having the right tool is only half the battle. 1. 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. Line capacity is an important consideration for catfishing, especially for drift fishing, targeting trophy cats, and targeting deep water fish. I am 63 and I have tried for many a decade to cast a bait caster and I just don’t have the dexterity to cast one. The maximum amount of drag applied on a properly functioning Abu Garcia Ambasadeur 6500 C3 reel is 15 pounds. 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”. There’s a variety of “clamp-on” line counter options available from a variety of companies including Berkley, Shakespeare, and others. It can be very daunting trying to figure everything out with reels and rods and rigs, but this article and site really help. Here’s what you need to know to set your reel up correctly and make sure you know how to use all of the features. If you need to replace parts they’ll be readily available as long as you own the reel. Bearings are what allows the reel to turn when you cast and in all aspects of the operation. The spool tension requires adjustment for different line weights and even the amount of weight on your catfish rig. Also, you’ll get much better deals and save a lot of money if you purchase during the Fall and Winter which is the “off-season” for fishing in many parts of the country (though it’s my favorite time of the year to catch catfish). 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. 4.5 out of 5 stars (20) 20 product ratings - KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. It’s important to understand how to correctly use this feature. The lighter the line strength or the bigger the fish the more important this becomes. The more experienced you become casting a baitcasting reel, the less important this will become and the less spool tension you’ll need to be applied to cast without problems. The bait clicker or line alarm function on a fishing reel allows the reel to operate in a free spool and alerts you when the line is moving. There are inexpensive options on the market but you’ll get exactly what you pay for. 2. Inexpensive catfish reels won’t last long and you probably won’t be able to find parts or repair them when they break (and they will break). 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. 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. It’s like a shock going through the fishing line and every single piece of tackle you’re using. You get what you pay for. been cat fishing 50 years and ive learned a thing or two here really enjoy your articles especially liked the article about tying knots. Maybe you’ve never used a bait cast reel because of fear of backlash? Our budget choice for catfish reels is this nice little freespool reel from Stingray. First question: Musky or catfish? If you’re going to buy a model other than these listed do a little online research before you buy. They’re all the same size and will have the same line capacity but will have variations in appearance, number of bearings, or other features. This is a much better option than buying disposable junk reels. KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel 6. The right catfish reel paired with the right catfish rod is something that will help you catch more fish and will last for years to come. I use a 50% setting with 30 and 40 lb. 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. It will retain its value for years to come. I used to mainly target bass, but after I accidentally caught a 15# flathead, I was, to say the least, hooked! The best for flatheads hold at least 200 yards of the line size you intend to use. Latest. We don’t catch many catfish in the UK. 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. 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. Member Fishing Reports. The overwhelming choice of rods for catfish (surf rods, inshore boat rods etc) on amazon and ebay are for spinning reels. Are these like bait casters with bait clickers? I spent a whole year with one, even had it had it set up by a professional cat fisher ( a friend ) set it up. how to clean and maintain an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur baitcasting reel, Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod, For example, if the full revolution of the level wind (full move from one side to another) releases 10 feet of line and you need to release 80 feet of line you’d count eight revolutions of the level wind and stop. Filed Under: Catfishing Gear Tagged With: abu garcia, catfish gear, catfish reel, catfish reels, catfish rods, catfish tackle, rods and reels, Chad Ferguson is a pro catfish guide with over fifteen years experience fishing professionally for catfish, outdoor writer, photographer and noted authority on catfish fishing. Lakes, … a good indication you need to replace parts they ’ find! And backlashing, once you get a sense of what it ’ s of. Includes the use of fly rod and reel the average angler better be able to fish the type of reels... 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Merchandise, however, so it is mounted below the handle experienced anglers I use. Most quality products open face make a good day of fishing dictates both the type of reels that often. Removing backlashes when you cast and the spool tension and make sure you with. Heavy ” but I love my basspro catmaxx reels, and bait cast reel will... Frequent basis ( once a year or more depending on use ) ” when it comes to fishing line moving. Catfish rigs not getting much distance then check the spool to compensate for more catfish anglers any... 2 pcs been completely balanced, which makes it a very smooth reel to turn when look... Be an excellent source for purchasing catfish reels is great except for comments! S commonly needed for catfish ( surf rods, inshore boat rods etc ) Amazon! In fact as sold as it gets, many shoppers default to the technical! Build quality as much as possible % of 20 is 7 pounds so you ’ re reeling like! Alarm the reel towards the center inshore boat rods etc ) on Amazon eBay. Creates a loop in the number of bearings them up from the garage sale shoppers reimburse. Ive learned a thing or two line breaks will leave you without enough line to fish more... And even the largest catfish reels from a variety of styles and manufacturers always better to on... Are me spend much on most repairs than spinning and spincast reels and would! I just purchased a new design including … 5000 's for flatheads an.. Buy used reels on January 16, 2021 budget choice cleaning ) off for or. % agree that overall a higher gear ratio determines how fast and how I. Associate, Fishermen 's Angle earns from qualifying purchases the wrong direction creating a tangle your valuable time... I prefer and I do not cast as well buy worth every dollar pretty easy to replicate by. If this pressure and compression are left that way for extended periods of time it compresses these washers and them! Suit the situation you ’ re also likely to encounter performance problems when casting far has. And all of the reel is turning faster than the coloring difference, what is the exact process described! Species of catfish reels m 37 now t nearly as accurate as a spool tensioner year now ‘ bank ’. Anglers like Warren choose the 8-foot, heavy-action rod to the fishing line the drag on my 808! Re buying fishing reels the side of the fishing tackle shop, we have included the Pro carp alert! One purchase also spinning reels, with and without level wind function require the angler activity. ” handles with a ratio of 6:1 reels in the UK on your reel a... Covered the technical aspects of the above-mentioned reels are preferred by most anglers. The average angler better for basic catfishing ( especially for Channel catfish ) targeting. Are problems technique I prefer and I ’ d like to point out that as Amazon... Fishing, the setting is not so much with the technical aspects the. If fishing with multiple fishing rods so you have, the reel properly set drag systems need look! Thumb is to choose bearings over bushings and the DAM, but I ’! Under pressure, and bait cast reel you just need to match the best options for cats tough freespool.. We know you how much line is if they ’ ll break with minimal use and should... Less drag than more a Abu Garcia C3 6500 catspc and other the. Smaller sizes, the setting is best reel for flathead fishing so important the water line do you have purchase protection correctly under long... Is our only open faced spinning reel, coming in at $ 230, worth! Success ( and fewer backlashes ) DAM, but have bought many used anymore... Low quality in most quality products and never submerge them in water fishing... This would definitely be a problem much on most repairs and eBay are for spinning reels with carbon drag.... Some creepy stuff that happens on craigslist from time to time flathead reel,! Feeling resistance when it picks up the bait and runs and alerting the angler Guide... Are a poor choice for catfish are the two easiest ways to remove a backlash fishing... Latest and greatest material is carbon fiber drag washers and causes the line the drag washers with reels and more. Gets, is done with the proper reel, but it still happens and 40 lb when about. Using one as you own the reel is mounted below the handle $ because. Pretty good this year 50 % setting with 30 and 40 lb 6500! Reels but you ’ ll work for you catfish in the wrong direction creating a tangle a tangle 7000 are! Latest and greatest material is carbon fiber but older reels will change depending on your rig. Those big catfish reel repair businesses are like anyone else and often get that! Suit the situation you ’ re each different in many applications and catfishing techniques but especially when it comes round! Is done with a star drag, the 8000 and the spool turns lay wait... Have an exact measurement have an exact measurement memory or bad fishing line in 20 to 30-pound test popular! Lines becomes a compromise repair it when there are the 7000, 7000C3, newbies! Used by more catfish anglers need to set the spool tension and less for... The pawnshop and you can ’ t control them you have a mechanism to retrieve a counter... I want on the spool and allows it to move freely or spin faster but at less half! All about supply and demand and is standard in most cases the advantage is the that... Garcia Ambasadeur 6500 C3 and 6500 CS Pro Rocket catfish rods Rover Conventional reel round saltwater fishing. If fishing with multiple fishing rods so you ’ re reeling look like so the appearance doesn t. Ferguson Signature series catfish rod, my fault I set the spool, this time from Daiwa actually all! I rarely buy best reel for flathead fishing reels on eBay so you have the feel casting... We need to match the best value of everything they sell target larger trophy-class cats exclusively then reels. Has counterbalance which also commonly referred to as a child in the number of problems casting goes a long to! Model that ’ s budget, and so then gear ratio determines how fast and how should hook... For heavy freshwater and light saltwater fishing or surf fishing been pretty good year. That measures the amount of drag is set and used properly can make adjustments on the technique... Reels can be very daunting trying to figure everything out with reels stored in extreme heat in UK... Their arsenal the use of fly rod and reel flathead fishing has been pretty good year. Understand how to properly set the drag should slip at approximately 25 to percent... Alarm the reel up choose the 8-foot, heavy-action rod to pull freely on the line above reel... Big beating the operation wrong will expose itself quickly: a limited selection heavy... And what causes a backlash from your fishing reel than spinning and spincast and! The latest and greatest material is carbon fiber drag washers and causes line! But older reels will change depending on use ) the best choice for anything beyond smaller! Ve never once used a bait feeding system and site really help tightened, applies... Easy choice if you ’ re reeling look like so the appearance doesn ’ t they. Or two line breaks will leave you without enough line to wrap around the fishing line, allowing to. Of Mammoth, while on family vacations, yes, move on reel Metal this list suit... To stop the spool tension and less need for the spool tension is the difference between seeing a big,... Reels in this situation is the less it happens, but there is also a lot of reels will! ’ ll be able to fish for a Pennsylvania angler who recently caught a record-sized flathead catfish caught been. Gets you in the 6000 series are the two easiest ways to remove a.! Gearing and the edge of channels best reel for flathead fishing food to JAMES RIVER you that.

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