About the Author:
John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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October 01, 2008

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Merwin: Let's Take a Spin

Let’s talk spinning reels for a bit. My favorite is an old Alcedo Micron, one of the best ultralight reels ever made for which I scrimped and saved about 40 bucks to buy back in about 1959. These are no longer made unfortunately, but there are some newer standards.

For the past 10 years or so, Shimano Stradics [below] have been kind of the default “quality” spinning reel for those wanting a higher-end product at a price that wasn’t too outrageous. These used to retail at a little more than $100. New model changes and price increases have the 2009 Stradic models selling at about $160 for a 3000-size series, meaning a typical freshwater reel. Still a good reel, but I have to wince at the newer pricing.

Stradic

Another long-term standard is Daiwa’s Black Gold series [below], a good moderately priced reel that seems to keep on trucking no matter how hard I beat on mine. A BG15 model, which is a medium-heavy freshwater size, now sells for around $70. The design is getting somewhat dated, but it is still a good value.

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So I’m shopping a little and can’t decide. Maybe I’ll shoot for the moon and buy one of the new Shimano Stellas. At $650, my wife would kill me. Shimano also makes an IX model spinner that sells for 10 bucks at my local Wal-Mart, but I think I want a better reel than that.

Decisions, decisions….

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Blue Ox

Busted!
I am guilty as charged with owning not one, but two shimano IX reels.

JC

I totally agree with the Daiwa black/gold series. I've had one for a long time and I can't break it. However, I think reels like that, cheap but really well made are getting rare.

It's like you either buy cheap excepting to replace it in a few seasons or cough up the cash to buy the cream of the crop and be married to it for life. Which in many respects always made the most sense to me. Splurge and know that your gear can handle anything.

Eric

I too have been impressed with Shimano and Diawa, but I've recently started by Okuma spinning reels and have been very impressed. Seem to get more for the money with these, IMO.

Dr. Ralph

I spend more time fishing small streams and creeks than large bodies of water so I like really small spinning reels... The Daiwa Z was pretty good but could not perform well after a few submersion's. The best ultras are the Shimanos but they only make their Sedona in the 500 series which is nice but nothing like my Stradics which I use on the lake for small lures. I'm an ABU Garcia man so I keep trying these Cardinals and will probably buy the first C801 I can find.

Jack D

I'm fortunate to be semi-retired and a member of a private bass club, which allows me to fish nearly once a week. I've owned dozens of different spinning reels throughout the years, until I bought my first Stradic. I can't wear them out! I now own five 2500 and two 1000 models and give each a good workout. They've never let me down. Buy quality and you'll never regret it.

Joe G

I own a little Shimano that cost about 50.00, cant remember he model though. Hanst been a bad piece, dont like the Quick fire release though.

francis bento

The smoothest drags I have ever used are Fin-Nor. Unfortunately they are becoming harder to find.
It is difficult to compete with
third world slave labor.
F. bento

troutrageous1

Two words: Pflueger President. Perfect balance of performance and price for any type of fishing. Heck, I even like the Pflueger Trion GX for ultralight fishing, a great deal at $30-$40 (why spend more if you don't have to), plus I love those wooden handles.

Dr. Ralph

The Stradics are like any other quality product, the demand is there so why not increase the price? I bought mine at the $109 price they were so famous for, but when I bought one for my son it was $129... I guess $160 is probably right in a world full of $4 gas and milk per gallon prices. It's still the standard of the industry among my circle of friends.





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