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Keith Benning

Reel for a newb, narrowed down to 3 choices

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I have been researching all the previous threads for days and have narrowed the list of reels down to three. I know for a lot of guys it is all personal preference, but I want to get a reel that won't be a constant birds nest for the first 100 casts because it's too fast for me, but at the same time I can grow into as I get more proficient. I will be pitching 4oz lead and 1 to 2oz of bait. I am relatively new to conventionals and this will be my first one on a surf rod. The rod is a St.Croix 11.6 MH with a 2 to 6oz bait rating. I want to buy a new off the shelf one, and the reel choices are as follows:

 

Penn 525 MAG

 

Avet SX 5.3 MC

 

ABU 7000i C3 CT MAG HS

 

The fishing will be mostly Florida beach and jetties. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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  Three great choices. The Penn 525 was replaced by the Squall a couple years ago but you may find one. At 18oz its in the middle of the 3, but has the faster gear ratio at 6:1. The mag control works very well, and its easy to work on. I cant speak on the lightweight Avet, but know its the most expensive, and was too fast before the mc models came out. For bait fishing its a non issue, but the14 oz Avet on a 11'6" could be a tip heavy combo for plugging. The Abu is a workhorse, easy to take apart, the heaviest of the three,in the middle price wise, and very cast friendly. A left over Penn, made in the USA (if possible), would be the least expensive. They are proven, long lasting, powerful reels with great anti- reverses. I keep reading the 525 clicker (line out alarm) isnt loud enough, but its plenty good for me. And extra magnets can be added to the carrier if its too fast. Casting and line leveling a non level wind reel is best learned with heavier mono, and heavier weights until things fall into place.


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My choice would be either the Penn 525 (the new version, the Penn Squall 15) or the Avet SX MC. I have both and am very happy with both, although for surf casting I find myself picking up the Squall more often

than not. If you were after pure winching power to lift a fish up to a jetty the Avet would be the one to go for.

Both these reels cast well and have excellent drags and more mag braking available than you could ever use.

 

 

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What Storm Boy said. I love the 525 (old version).

 

X2

 

I'd consider the 525 Mag an intermediate level reel because even with the mags full on and the bearings well cleaned and lubed with something relatively "hot", you can still get your self in trouble if you don't pace yourself. I love both of these reels and would consider the 5.3 SX MC a better first conventional, one you will enjoy as both an novice as well as an experienced caster; they are both incredibly hot reels when cleaned and lubed properly and an absolute pleasure to cast!

 

Tim

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I am leaning towards the Penn reels now. The Abu is a little big, and the Avet is a little small. What if you had to pick between the Penn Squall, Fathom, or 525?

 

I'd go with the Squall. The Squall is basically the updated 525 Mag with a much better mag cast control with the added benefit of availability in two sizes. If you like the the Fathom, then consider going with the larger Squall model. The Fathom, due to its larger size and weight would probably be a better boat reel for my purposes since it lacks the better mag cast control built into the Squall.

 

I'd still strongly encourage trying/handling these reels. In my opinion, all three reels are extraordinary for specific uses.

 

Put all three in a hat, reach in and keep the one you pull out. You'll enjoy whatever you pull out.

 

Good luck with your decision!

 

Tim

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I have been researching all the previous threads for days and have narrowed the list of reels down to three. I know for a lot of guys it is all personal preference, but I want to get a reel that won't be a constant birds nest for the first 100 casts because it's too fast for me, but at the same time I can grow into as I get more proficient. I will be pitching 4oz lead and 1 to 2oz of bait. I am relatively new to conventionals and this will be my first one on a surf rod. The rod is a St.Croix 11.6 MH with a 2 to 6oz bait rating. I want to buy a new off the shelf one, and the reel choices are as follows:

Penn 525 MAG

Avet SX 5.3 MC

ABU 7000i C3 CT MAG HS

The fishing will be mostly Florida beach and jetties. Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

My .002;

 

If there is a choice between a 525 or Squall 12 or 15, pick the 525. Even a lightly used 525 is better quality that the Squalls. Paint flaking off and handles bending within days of first use, by knowledgeable anglers who take very good care of their gear, troubles me.

 

The Avet has one design issue that plagues new conventional & old school casters. It is very east to bump it into freespool in the heat of battle. I have done it with mine several times, with the backlash resulting.

 

I don't know anyone using the Abu where I fish.

 

With spool tension type tuning alone, the 525 is the better first choice. Add in adjustable magnets, & the infinite choices of oils the reel can be tuned for most every casting style out there.

 

When casting a revolving spool become second nature, the Avet is a great second purchase.

 

I don't know enough about the Abu to comment. It did make me sad when Abu went from push button freespool and handle crank engagement, to lever actuation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I heard the new Penns are made in china, were the old 525's made there also? I pretty much boycott china, which can become difficult sometimes, but I would rather buy a reel that was not made there.

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Take your rod into the tackle shop and see how your choices balance. The 525 mag is USA made. I would choose the Abu in a 6500 size.

 

Kieth.... I gotta agree here with ja2808. For me starting out was much easier to gain confidence with a 6500 series abu. I can say this because my first beach casting reel was the 525 mag...It is a very good reel, but it's pretty hot as far as the mags go. It can be pretty touchy. Most guys who use them a lot added additional mags to them. Its too bad the new squal is made in China because from what I understand the mag breaking is better on the new reel. For you starting out, the any one of the CT abus would be my choice as they are easier to handle and just as capable distance wise. Btw, I think all the 6500s are still made in Sweden, its just the larger ones made in China now I think... One of the new Akios might be good option for you also. A lot of guys here know way more than me, but just wanted to share w/ you my experience. Best of luck!

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One thing to bear in mind also is what type of fishing you are doing. I have Abu 5500s and 6500s and they do cast very well, in fact I use them on the field. However, if you are doing heavier fishing, using large sinkers or fishing where there is a lot of weed, one of the Penn's would be a better choice. Their drag is more capable and their gearing is a lot larger than the Abu's 5500/6500. The slider type mag on the Abus is very easy to bump out of position, whereas the Squall's are practically impossible to bump. The Abus are very good reel and I love them, but the Penns IMHO are a heavier duty reel.

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It would mainly be for florida beach and jetty fishing, throwing about 5oz total weight. I was leaning towards the Penn reels until I found out about the China thing. It just seems like they never build anything well over there. The few products I do buy from there when I can't find an alternative made either in the USA or another country, are crap. There doesn't seem to be much for quality control. I will have to take another look at the Abu's. Thanks for all the help guys.

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Ultimately, I think it will come down to picking the best of the worst and still stand by my call to encourage the selection favoring the 525 Mag. At least handle one for your own interest.

 

I'll even make you a deal, you decide you don't enjoy using it for some reason other than outright malfunction (return to place of purchase) and I'll buy it off of you for the price you paid for it (save your receipt plz), pure and simple. You'll love it so I'm not expecting to see it anytime soon ... Heck, you'll probably buy another as a backup or for use with another technique. Yes, I'm that confident, and they're that good and considerably better than the ABU's (I have 5 of them collecting dust).

 

It's a win, win. Try it, you'll like it ...

 

Tim

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