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Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Big ORCA Fan
Joined: 5/28/15
Posts: 18
Son and grandson are intent on hunting Muskys next year.
I am assembling rigs for them and need reels for the following:

Left to Right: Shakespeare 700 Big Water, 7.5' - Sage Hi-Mod-Glass B-569-1, 6.5' - St.Croix 5500-6, 6' - True Temper (wood handle), 5.5'.
Recommendations and leads are very welcome. Thanks in advance,
Charley Braum

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Big ORCA Fan
Joined: 2/17/10
Posts: 14
Location: Wisconsin
Are you looking for modern Musky reels? There are number of great ones out there, but the best ones are darn pricey. I fish antique for Muskies with a Shakespeare Style B on a Horton Bristol steel Muscalonge rod from the early 1900's.

Good old Ambassadeur 6000's are great Musky reels for a cheap price. You could probably pick up a Calcutta 400 or St. Croix Avid used for 100-200, both excellent Musky reels and not too high for used ones for modern reels. I picked up Diawa Symetre 4000 heavy spinning reel for my son to use for Muskies, works great and only 100 bucks for a brand new one and super high quality.

OR, you could go high end, get a Tranx or Revo - 250-500 range reels, but ultra high quality reels.

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Joined: 10/21/17
Posts: 9
If you want to use an older reel, you might want to try one of the Pflueger Rockets. They have a star drag, level-wind, and anti-reverse. They are knuckle busters- no free spool- although the 1375 may have free spool- I don't remember. They are made for heavy freshwater and light saltwater use, and are well built, solid, strong reels that should hold up. They're available on ebay for about $20.
For a new reel, the Ambassadeur 7000, or maybe a 6500 should do the trick. New 7000's run for about $80 on ebay.

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Joined: 4/01/17
Posts: 61
I've done my share of Muskie fishing and a large portion of your reel decision will depend on whether you are going to be casting or trolling.

If casting you don't need a huge (wide spool) line capacity reel for Muskie and will be better served to get a standard width spool casting reel like that of an ABU 5000 or 5500. I use both standard sized ABU's, LEWS or Calcutta 200 or 250 for casting and am very pleased with the casting performance, limited backlash and good drag performance. Remember Muskies typically don't make long runs and once you have one hooked the rod and drag control become your best friends for controlling the very powerful but generally short bursts. I tried using wider and larger capacity spooled reels for casting and it was a disaster with both casting distance and backlash and I gave them up for these reasons.

I personally gave up on using spinning gear for Muskie for the simple reason that the casting reel will get the lure out there without the lure tangling up. Spinning is fine if your throwing jigs, spoons or in-line spinners but will causes big frustration with multi-treble hooked Muskie sized plugs because those lures tend to not fly true during a cast with a spinning rod. Just too many lures pin wheeling and hooks catching on the main line due to the lack of straight-line control that a casting reel provides during a cast.

The wider spool reels with larger line capacity shine when used for trolling because you may have a lot of line out when the fish actually hits so you might need the extra line capacity. For this application the ABU 6000/7000 series are fine along with a whole bunch of other reels of similar dimensions and drag capability.

tx, Low Profile

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Location: NW Lower Michigan
Clay wrote:although the 1375 may have free spool- I don't remember.

FYI-I just checked the 1375 that I have and it does not have free spool.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:20 am 
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Big ORCA Fan
Joined: 5/28/15
Posts: 18
Thanks to all for the replies and leads. I'm on my way to following many of your suggestions and really appreciate the information. Best regards,

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:47 am 
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Joined: 4/29/04
Posts: 2913
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I am huge Lew's fan (reels still fishing after 35 years), but just bought a Tica Caiman for a good price. 12 ball bearings. Tica was selling the 200 size on Amazon for a really good price - $95 - it's back up to $150 now (and still a good buy in comparison).
I have two Tica spinning reels that have held up really well in the salt, including a diminutive XUL Cetus (5 years) that has landed two big sight-fished specs, 22+23" on 4-lb test, and been a pretty amazing little workhorse for schoolies. Also the larger inshore size Libra SX spinning reel, which is the smoothest reel I have ever fished.

I just spooled this 150 with 220 yds of my inshore 12-lb fluoro. The 150 I bought is essentially the same size as Abu 5000, and the 200 size compares to a 6000. The Caiman 200 holds 200yds 15-lb, and 165yds 20 lb.
And Low Profile is correct that narrow baitcasters will cast farther than wide ones, because the flyer is not moving as far during the cast. (What makes Lew's cast so far is the spool is narrow enough that the flyer is completely disengaged during the cast.)
Here's a review of the older CA-series of the same reel
Editing to add I got in some lawn-casting with 1/4-oz and a 7' rod, which is shorter than I'm going to use from a kayak on the bay. Great distance and a really smooth cast. When I had it apart to lube, the casting brake has both opposed centrifugal sliders and a 4-footed wire spring. A neat feature, the spool has an old-fashioned clicker, which you can engage with the drive disengaged as a bait alarm.

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