Best spinning reel

Salmonchaser

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Nov 8, 2018
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321
Location
Pendleton, Oregon
Over the last 20 years guiding fishermen out in Bristol Bay I've developed some strong and sometimes misguided opinions.
Yes, people do occasionally spray bear spray on themselves, intentionally.
Thoracic surgeons can't fillet a salmon to save their soul and they will cut themselves.
The very best spinning reel is a Penn Battle. I've used all the top end Shimono, Fluger, Okuma etc. it's easy to test them, every year we get 1/2 dozen or so given to us by manufacturers. They are all pretty good but all have failed after two seasons except the battles. On a very slow day a reel will be expected to handle 10 or so salmon. On a very good day you'll do three times that by lunch time. Once or twice a season a guy can push 100 fish in a day. Everything has to line up for that to happen. Point is, they get pounded. The Shimano and Flugers always gave some warning they were going south. The okumas I had, really liked them, the drag was great. In 48 hours at the start of their third season they all (6). Went down while fighting fish. Talk about a guide nightmare.
The Battles are a little heavy, but if you need a new real this year you they are worth looking at.
 

bob4

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Nov 10, 2012
Messages
545
Location
Naples Fl.
I've been a die hard Penn spinner fan for 25+ yrs. Over the last 5 + yrs or so I had to rethink. Had one Battle and wasn't impressed. I honestly cant remember why but I let her go. I want to say the drag wasn't up to par, but can't be sure. Never fished for Salmon but I do Snook, Red Fish and Tarpon here in Fla. I have a pair of Shimano C+14 on there 3rd season and doing well. Caught my fair share of Reds today. I'm not commercial by any means so I'm sure there's the difference. But hereing this from a commercial fisherman maybe I aught to ask around.
 

KyCarl

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May 10, 2017
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1,850
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Petersburg Kentucky 41080
I think letting a random bunch of people use your stuff has a lot to do with how long it lasts? I have a couple Shimano Stradic C14+ 2500FA spinning reels that I really like!
They might be the best drop shot reels I have used. But with only me using them and taking care of them no issues! NEVER in salt water!
 

Horse

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Feb 29, 2012
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53
Check out Accurate spinning reels. They’re machined from aluminum and are supposed to have great drag systems. I use bait casting reels myself, but I see a lot of guys using them for tuna.
 

Salmonchaser

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Nov 8, 2018
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321
Location
Pendleton, Oregon
I think letting a random bunch of people use your stuff has a lot to do with how long it lasts? I have a couple Shimano Stradic C14+ 2500FA spinning reels that I really like!
They might be the best drop shot reels I have used. But with only me using them and taking care of them no issues! NEVER in salt water!
Yes folks are pretty hard on gear. I do like the Shimano reels, in the 100.00 class, I've had better luck with the Penns.
When it comes to level winde reels the Shimano are hard to beat. I run Calcuttas for kings.
 

BountyHunter

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Jun 13, 2007
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Location
Wilmington NC
Very hard to beat th Penn battle 2s. Easily purchased for well under $100 on the internet, great drags and made specifically for braid. You can buy more expensive but not value wise
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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Northeast
For sheer durability, and performance under the worst of conditions, salt, rocks, with frequent submersion and rough use, my Van Staals have proven to be in a class of their own. Typical use is stripers to 40+ pounds and bluefish to 15 pounds. Yes, not cheap, but it’s the S&B/Nightforce of spinning reels....IMO.
 

Pmacc60

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Feb 8, 2013
Messages
230
I was forever a Penn SS fan and used them religiously but the Shamano Stratics and Sustains have made the Penns obsolete in my opinion . I have Stractics and Sustains that are 15 years old and still are as good as they were when I bought them. The Battles are really good also but as far as something all of us has easy access to purchase I’ll take the Shamano’s.
 

Pmacc60

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Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
230
For sheer durability, and performance under the worst of conditions, salt, rocks, with frequent submersion and rough use, my Van Staals have proven to be in a class of their own. Typical use is stripers to 40+ pounds and bluefish to 15 pounds. Yes, not cheap, but it’s the S&B/Nightforce of spinning reels....IMO.
Interesting , I never heard of these reals but I found the site for them . I will have to check them out.
 

bob4

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Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
545
Location
Naples Fl.
Glad this thread came up. Was thinking yesterday that I needed to thin my herd of rods and reels that just sit around and pick up a couple of nicer ones. ( I now have 5 or 6 up for sale on craigs list) Came across the Battle this morning. It spun smooth and the drag seemed fine. I'm gonna stick it on a pole and if nothing else I have a loner for the wife/friends.
Really liking my Shimanos and also have a Diawa Ballistic that's just as smooth.
I have found in my work and play that sometimes you need to give something a second look.
 
Last edited:

Salmonchaser

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Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
321
Location
Pendleton, Oregon
I ran Shimano for years, still have several at home. I like the folks I'm guiding to be able to run good equipment that probably won't fail, but I don't want to spend more than $100. I buy my gear from a boat shop north of Seattle. Good guys, outfit a large number of northwest guides. I typically go with what they are selling more of to the guides.
i don't have time to work on reels at night. They are an expendable throw away item if they quit. So far I haven't been able to make the battles quit. I may have to look into those Van Staals for my personal use.
 

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