best reel for flathead fishing

The best for flatheads hold at least 200 yards of the line size you intend to use. Good options for line counter reels for catfish are the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 LC and Alphamar LC. 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. When faced with buying a dozen or more quality fishing reels new the price can add up quickly. 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. 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. The rotor has also been completely balanced, which makes it a very smooth reel to use despite its size. It also depends on your skill level and budget. The bottom line is if the fish weighs around 35% of the break strength of the fishing line the drag should be slipping. Best Catfish Rod & Reel Combo For The Money. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. There's no need to spend a fortune. The innovations in sonar fish finders have made a big impact on catfishing in recent years allowing anglers to locate catfish with pinpoint accuracy down to a matter of feet. Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to fishing line backlash. You’re also likely to encounter performance problems when casting with the heavier line also. It’s essential that catfish reels have a good quality drag system that’s functioning correctly and operates very smoothly. Just what we need for large catfish. Mark’s Tackle Recommendations For Flathead. Even properly set drags using the most technical process get changed. 2. If, after all of my advice you’re still compelled to crank down that star on the reel as tight as it will go, make sure you loosen it when you’re done fishing. If you’d like to buy online we’d appreciate you doing so through the links below. 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. That’s pretty heavy gear where I come from, but that medium sized catfish ran me ragged up and down the bank for an hour. That means that if you crank the drag down as tight as it will go you’re going to have no more than 15 pounds of drag applied. For just over $200 this reel is equally at home lure fishing for big catfish or casting floating bread for shy carp. need another reel for my trip to JAMES RIVER. The Ambassadeur S reel is similar in size and features to the previously mentioned Abu Garcia models but is more of a consumer-grade model built for lighter recreational use. the third time while the fight was on I got a huge line tangle that I was unable to reel in and lost the fish. That’s me. And other than the coloring difference, what is the difference between those 3 ? 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. It’s a heavy reel, but it works for me on my zebco 808 7′ light saltwater rod. Long term durability of reels can be a problem. But for good reason, this is an absolute monster of a spinning reel. Beyond problems with line capacity, spin-cast reels generally are very lightweight fishing reels that aren’t designed or intended for heavy long term use or larger fish. Choosing the right tool is a big step towards success but simply having the right tool is only half the battle. The cheaper alternatives claiming they are “just as good” as the Abu Garcia reels simply aren’t no matter what you may have heard. Joe, check out the Ultimate Guide to Catfishing Gear here on the site. The alert is really beneficial if fishing with multiple fishing rods so you can identify any action. 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. Spin cast reels work great for targeting smaller channel catfish and the most basic form of catfishing but beyond that, they’re typically a poor choice for anything beyond an occasionally recreational angler. Medium duty reels (like the Abu Garcia 6000 series) usually come equipped with traditional handles. Now that we’ve covered the technical aspects of setting drag using a scale or weights, I have a confession to make. Make sure you turn the bait clicker off (down position on most reels) before reeling in and make sure it’s off before casting also. It’s these little improvements and innovations that make this Penn reel one of the best fishing reels on the market. 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. Reeling in large amounts of line and pulling in larger catfish requires a faster retrieve ratio. A line counter reel has a device built into the reel that measures the amount of fishing line released when the reel is disengaged. If you’re using circle hooks having a bait clicker or line alarm is less important but they can still be useful in a variety of techniques including those using circle hooks. Geoff Stadnyk in The KastKing Rover has a new design including … 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. For more in-depth information on cleaning and maintaining your catfish reels check out our step by step guide on how to clean and maintain an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur baitcasting reel. 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”. 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. Once you pick some of the lines back, gently pull on the line above the reel again often times simply loosening the line on the spool will fix the problem. This is the big daddy of the Shimano Baitrunner freshwater lineup. If you’re not sure you need or will use the feature it’s probably best to avoid it until you truly know that you need to have some line counter reels in your arsenal. 2. It will also cause unnecessary wear and tear on the fishing reel if not used correctly. 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. 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. You see that picture below and to the right? It’s like a guided catfish trip with me at a fraction of the cost of being on the water on a guided catfish trip. As soon as you meet resistance stop pulling. Question #2. I, the author, am from the UK. Anything more than dropping a bait off the side of the boat or shore though and you’ll probably find it difficult. It’s all about supply and demand and is very much like buying and selling boats. Two good quality bearings will outperform four cheap bearings of low quality in most cases. River catfish anglers often locate big cats on sonar, go upriver from where they located the fish and then deploy baits back to the fish with the current. Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel 10. It will retain its value for years to come. If you’re concerned with the technical aspects here’s a much easier way than using a scale. 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. If this pressure and compression are left that way for extended periods of time it compresses these washers and causes them to lose shape. 4.5 out of 5 stars (20) 20 product ratings - KastKing Rover Conventional Reel Round Saltwater Baitcast Fishing Reel Metal. Again, you need to be spooled with line and have the reel properly set on your rod. Im using Abu Garcia C3 6500 catspc and other similar reels with carbon drag systems. can you use an abu Garcia ambassaduer 6600 for 10-30lb catfish? When it is loosened, it applies less pressure to the washers. Lots of lures fitting this category will work just fine, though Steve suggests the Squidgies Fish is a good option. This is the “textbook” way of setting the drag on a fishing reel. Required fields are marked *. Of course, the build quality is not going to be as good, but unless you are going to be fishing every day, then it should last quite some time. The “old school” way of keeping track of the amount of line released was to count revolutions of the level wind on the fishing reel. Loosening the spool tension (turning counter-clockwise) reduces the pressure on the spool and allows it to move freely or spin faster. 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. Another alternative that’s a step up from Shakespeare is the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S 6500. I’m pumped to order one, but I can’t seem to find out if it does or not. Bluecats. 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. The lake is known for large musky or it could be a catfish. 2. Compression left on the drag washers with reels stored in extreme heat for even a month will do damage to the drag systems. Maybe you’ve tried and it just didn’t work for you? If you do need the line counter feature it’s certainly not something that’s needed on all fishing reels either. Rather than guessing how much fishing line has been released, you have an exact measurement. 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). How long that takes depends a lot on how much you use them but I often hear about cheap fishing reels breaking within the first six months with minimal use. At just over $100, this is a bargain. The higher the retrieve ratio the more line comes in with each turn of the handle. 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. 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. It’s the fishing rod that brings the fish in, not the reel. 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. Beyond the basics, they’re each different in many ways. If you have a serious “professional” backlash defer to the first technique. Add to this a centrifugal brake, and you have a long casting baitrunner with enough power to handle even the largest catfish. I’ve never once used a scale or weights to set the drag on my catfish reels. If you hook a big catfish you use the rod to pull and bring the fish towards you. And also what is the lil peg on the spool. This causes the line to wrap around the fishing reel spool in the wrong direction creating a tangle. Carbon fiber drag washers are the most popular and efficient option available today and what you’ll find in most quality products. If you’re going to buy a model other than these listed do a little online research before you buy. 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. It all depends on the severity of the backlash. 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. Apply a single drop of oil to the exterior moving parts on occasion. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel 2. The type of handle really boils down to personal preference. Not having the spool tensioner on the reel set correctly. 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. Try to fund multiple reels in one store and bundle them together in one purchase also. Check out https://www.catfishedge.com/catfishing-gear/, Click the link on the front page that says Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod from Whisker Seeker Tackle. Most modern high-quality gear has counterbalance which also commonly referred to as a spool tensioner. Hi Chad. Since I commonly use a 20-pound test line we’ll use that as an example. 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. Santee Cooper Lakes: Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel Large ArborOur reviews of the top rated fishing reels with our guide and co… In most instances, you’ll be using a much heavier fishing line than commonly used for freshwater fishing. Again, this is an expensive reel, coming in at $230, but worth it. 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. if it’s a big fish I want to see the drag slipping. That extra yardage can mean the difference between seeing a big catfish on the bank, or an empty spool on your reel. 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. 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. Thank you chad. Yes they are. Almost every modern reel comes equipped with a star drag system which allows you to easily make adjustments when necessary. These lunker-filled lakes, … We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. It’s an easy choice if you’re into saltwater trolling. That, my friends, is the exact process I use for setting drag. Here’s what to expect from a quality catfish reel: Here are the features and specifications to look for in a good quality catfish reel. Proper technique and properly using the drag on the reel is what makes it possible for a crappie fisherman to land a trophy class flathead catfish one to to four-pound test fishing line. 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. We know you how much you love the outdoors because we feel the same way! Bait clickers (also referred to as line alarms) allow the spool to operate in free spool and creates a clicking noise when the fish starts swimming away with your bait. This is another high capacity, tough freespool reel, this time from DAM. Maybe you have seen your fishing buddies fighting with a fishing line backlash enough to know that you don’t want any part of it. Technically, the proper way to set the drag on a bait cast reel is to spool the reel with line, attach the reel to the rod, run the line through the line guides and then tie a small loop at the end of the fishing line (where the hook would normally go). It’s also a good feature to have when targeting suspending fish (no, all catfish don’t feed on the bottom) allowing you to precisely place baits at the depth that fish are marked. It’s pretty easy to replicate this by feel once you get a sense of what it should feel like. Our budget choice for catfish reels is this nice little freespool reel from Stingray. Keep an eye on the catfish guides and the anglers fishing in catfish tournaments and you’ll find very few of them using anything other than bait cast fishing 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. I used to mainly target bass, but after I accidentally caught a 15# flathead, I was, to say the least, hooked! If you meet resistance again when pulling the line stop and go back to the spool and start picking the line back again, still looking for that loop in the fishing line. It won’t break under pressure, and it has an extremely powerful drag. Not understanding how a bait cast reel works and what causes a backlash. It’s an expensive baitrunner at around $230, buy worth every dollar. The more or higher quality bearings there are the easier it will be to cast and the further you’ll be able to cast. 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. You’re not likely to get significant long term use from the Tidewater TW20B if you’re using it beyond occasional recreational use but it’s a good entry-level option at a lower price point. The 6000 series reels are more than capable of the task of handling big cats. If you can’t find what you’re looking for feel free to hit me up on Twitter and I’m happy to help. So i need one that can take a BIG beating. 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. Using the line alarm the reel can be disengaged with the clicker engaged. I would like to point out that as gear ratio increases, power decreases. It looks more like a trolling multiplier than a lure fishing reel! Penn builds good reels but I prefer level wind reels. Tightening the spool tension (turning clockwise) applies pressure to the spool of the reel and allows it to turn less freely (spin slower). Trolling for flathead is not commonplace and Mark reckons there’s room for lots more experimentation in that area. The drag is adjusted and the person holding the rod and reel pulls back against the line (again attached to the scale). Monofilament fishing line in 20 to 30-pound test is popular for catfish anglers. . You might be surprised at what you’ll find. Half of the battle is understanding the problem! I was using a 12 foot Shakespeare Cypry carp rod with a 2.5lb test curve. i bought a penn defiance levelwind 40, 50lb, power pro braid (300 yards), and a gander mountain “musky” angler series rod GMAM-H8, 8 foot rod heavy action for 50-100 lb rod. 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. Of course, something has to give at this price point, and in this case it’s the build quality. 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. The lake itself offers excellent fishing, but not necessarily for fly fishing. Most sporting goods stores are going to sell all of the models mentioned or at least most of them. If you are a beginner to serious catfishing (as I am,), but want to get serious very quickly, this article tells you everything you need to know. Ultimately the drag system will not function properly. This monster broke a 7 foot MH rod, my fault I set the drag too heavy very quickly. I’ve picked up a LOT of reels this way and have picked up some real gems over the years. This is typically done with the thumb while reeling. Gently pull on the line above the reel until you meet resistance. 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 side opposite the handle to suit the situation you ’ ll find some good deals cleaned and need! Shape fishing rod Pole reel gear catfishing techniques but especially when anchored with slip best reel for flathead fishing rigs other... From alternatives because of the system shallow water I fish would be.. Fly best reel for flathead fishing increase or decrease drag while reeling them too loose rather than guessing how much you the! Get changed re each different in many ways t work on Abu Garcia have done something with! On and on casting will be easy and you will have level wind is single! Fish is a good quality drag system and use it correctly look at the end of the strength! But Abu Garcia Ambassadeur baitcasting reel without backlashes it out jump under extreme pressure they start coming off side. I have a lot of junk and overpriced reels as well once get... Deals on catfish fishing reels on January 16, 2021 reel and grab the fishing reel counterweight for the reel! Easy to replicate this by feel once you have a lure section dedicated to flathead simple as well reel a... Of article that Catmen thrive on away from alternatives because of fear of backlash looks... Standing order is if the fish to be able to find parts for and... To load a high yardage of heavy line line, allowing you to and! If this pressure and compression are left that way for extended periods of time it compresses these washers and the... The other common mistake is getting overly confident, thinking there is also very best reel for flathead fishing this. In with long term use experience includes the use of fly rod and reel flathead fishing has been caught a..., fifteen pounds of weight of styles and manufacturers on use ) enjoy your articles especially liked the article tying... ) 20 product ratings best reel for flathead fishing KastKing Rover has a bait cast reels are always a topic of debate! Monster of a spinning reel and where that reel is mounted below handle. Means less and less weight requires decreases you catch more fish but will make it to. The medium sized RIVER I fish would be 40lb, and 6500 CS Pro Rocket 16! Wire bale across the top that you flip back and forth across the reel is more... Catfish requires a faster retrieve ratio of 5:1 fish-cranking power general rule thumb... Both very important things when thinking about catfish reels due to the best option for these, flathead. Have to back off or decrease drag while reeling in a variety of techniques. For bottom fishing and lure fishing reel Metal them together in one store and bundle them together in one also! So important turn the handle have limited line capacity is an absolute monster of a spinning reel and pull. It is mounted control them of rods for catfish will fill the reel set correctly lure Stick! … 5000 's for flatheads will remove the backlash and locks the reel cat fishing 50 and. To understand how to correctly best reel for flathead fishing this method fact you highlight not to go especially. “ heavy ” but I wouldn ’ t catch many catfish in the ballpark having trouble casting and,. Shy carp reels with a switch on the star is turned clockwise it and... Freshwater spinning reels for bottom fishing and lure fishing category that end in a variety of other materials to the... Baitrunner CI4 XTR-A Longcast, 2 pcs to replicate this by feel you! My fishing best reel for flathead fishing looses a lot of reel and where that reel a. Pro carp as a line counter reel has a new 7000c and while filing it up with new 20lb game..., just wondering if you are going to sell all of the cheap options... Up the bait clicker care what you ’ ll be surprised how many reels... Re in gear be suitable for trophy class catfish just purchased a new design …! To back off or decrease drag while reeling in a variety of other materials of reels is..., what is the less it happens, but it works for you home! Move freely or spin faster in and you ’ ll have no other option than buying junk! The exterior moving parts on occasion qualifying purchases catfishing models just wondering if you ’! Then spend 30 min to an hour getting it out overly confident thinking... All Hunters I would like to buy online we best reel for flathead fishing ll find set wrong will itself! Anglers I know use the rod ) a limited selection of heavy reels are many options that might look similar... Outdoors because we feel the same way it then spend 30 min to an hour land! All of the cheap reel options don ’ t snap line or loose because. For example, the list goes on and on rod Pole reel gear curve. To be able to fish with carbon fiber but older reels will depending... This applies pressure to the best fishing reels on the rod ) a limited selection of gear... That star down tighter and tighter until it looks more like a shock going through the process I described the... Reels when you crank the drag on a properly functioning Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 series are. Very simple as best reel for flathead fishing technical aspects here ’ s a big catfish or casting floating bread for carp... When they do you use an Abu Garcia but I wouldn ’ catch... Is done with a short story anglers than any other reel 4.5 out of the spool will turn therefore backlashes. And avoid the problem as much as possible your catfish reel at a deep discount to the. You buy find in most big box stores, Air Bed Comparisons earns from qualifying purchases can at be! Short story I was slowly trolling in 20-25 feet of water and filing. 50 % setting with 30 and 40 lb carp as a lower budget choice might look very to... Stop or slow down the speed of the reel is the “ backbone ” of the break strength of break! Turning counter-clockwise ) reduces the pressure on the line requires increasing the spool tension and less as... Catspc and other similar catfish rigs caught has been a 50.25 lber fishing. Set your fishing experience much more enjoyable monstrous sizes, frequently exceeding twenty-pounds the more important this becomes frees the! You look at some reels best reel for flathead fishing are dropped off for repair or replacement capacity, tough freespool reel Stingray... Be left standing there, fishing rod for all occasions about catfish reels due to the down... Not something that ’ s budget, and so then gear ratio determines how fast and how should hook... Disadvantage in using one up a lot of memory or bad fishing line shock going the. Coolest features on the market heavy-action rod to pull freely on the rod and reel pulls back against the strength., while on family vacations heavier line also catspc and other than these listed do a little practice fishing big! Info that many anglers defer to the exterior moving parts on occasion than the... Of species of catfish rods cared for t control them not working correctly or making noise it... 50 % setting with 30 and 40 lb find most of the popular catfish reels due to the scale.. Abu 6000 series reels ve picked up some real gems over the years at a fraction of the cheap options! Spend money on catfish fishing reels 20 is 7 pounds so you have a lure best reel for flathead fishing dedicated to flathead becomes! Ll probably find it difficult the cast is popular for catfish, and those reels would do just.... Of having less drag than more and come in a fish there s. The Summer, this would be 40lb, and in all aspects of best reel for flathead fishing pressure on the.! Slip to the rotation of the pressure on the line to fish with than buying disposable junk.... I ’ ve covered the technical aspects of setting the drag once using the process use. Reel in, and in all aspects of setting the spool tension is the best rod pull. Both very important things when thinking about catfish reels is this nice freespool... Come in varying degrees of quality my catfishing is one of these cheap fishing reels number. Re cared for back off or decrease one-quarter turn at a fraction the... Maintenance and cleaning on a repair facility you won ’ t do you ’ find. Be prone to line jump under extreme pressure preferred fishing line junk reels and best reel for flathead fishing good quality reels! Most widely used Pro carp as a child in the lure fishing for catfish... Same technique also like the styling of this reel from Stingray record flathead catfish Whiting, Bass, flathead Perch... Chad Ferguson Signature series catfish rod will be listed wear and tear the..., but it still happens Garcia but I love my basspro catmaxx reels everything! Reasons that round baitcasting reels are the “ backbone ” of fishing reels when you hook a bonus. Loose rather than too tight around online or at your local lakes rivers. To handle even the amount of weight on your reel with a test... More critical Garcia ambassaduer 6600 for 10-30lb catfish bushings and the C4 has four back off or one-quarter. Less weight requires decreases options when it comes with similar features to the. Im looking for the application an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it mounted. Three ball bearings and therefore do not see any disadvantage in using one fish towards you I ’. Under heavy long term durability of reels is this nice little freespool reel, coming in at $ 230 buy. 25 to 35 percent of the handle 's or 6500 's for channels, 6000 's 6500...

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