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Iophon

Yak reels

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Another thread got me thinking about reel choice for kayak fishing. I don’t need a lot of line capacity, I do want the potential for tight drag, light weight, easy to maintain and cheep since I dunk, drop and abuse my reels on a semi regular basis. So far my best in all these requirements is a shimano Sedona 3000. The 2000 has too light a max drag, the 3000 fits well with all my 6.5-7’ rods and it’s lasted ,so far, 3 seasons. I rinse after a trip only and losen the drag. That’s it. Once a month or so I’ll clean it, oil it and reapply grease. $70

 

Another is the Okuma Stratus. I tried that last year and so far same results. Less line capacity but also lighter. Recently picked up two more as backup for $30 each.

 

I fish primarily in the river/lagoon system here in SE Florida. Snook, redfish, trout, jacks, black drum occasionally, Tarpon. The only time I’ve been spooled was when I hooked a 30-40lb Jack behind me and couldn’t turn to follow before all my line went. One 6’ Tarpon took line but of course I could chase it, took 30 mins or so to land that one. A big 35-40” snook will test your drag heading into the mangroves so anything under, say, 15 lbs max drag can get you in trouble, the Sedona works great for that.

 

Actually a few days ago I hooked a monster that made it deep in the mangroves, almost too much fish to handle as these have incredible initial power. They don’t have the endurance of reds or jacks however. This one I hooked well but even max drag I couldn’t keep it away from the mangroves. Once in I couldn’t get it unwrapped from the roots but it had tired, so I cut the line, tied it off, put all my rods etc horizontal and went back it and hand pulled it out!

 

So what other sub $100 reels are you happy with?

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I have been using the Tsunami Shield and been very satisfied. I fish from a kayak as well. This winter while in Florida I landed bone fish, snook, jacks, and a variety of other fish. I just rinse after use and its good to go. Just one other note have hooked a number of sharks while in the kayak unintentionally and the drag handled them well. It gets dunked on a regular bases and so far has held up fine. I have been using it over my Penn Spinfisher. I think it cost around $100.00

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I have a shield. Good for boat/kayak. Not so good for surf casting. Both my 3000 and 4000 caused an incredible amount of wind knots. Haven’t experienced this in other reels, the occasional in windy conditions, but never to the extent I had with those reels. 15 and 20lb powerpro. YMMV of course 

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I have a couple of Spinfisher 4500s, and a couple of Shields, 2000 & 3000. All serve pretty well and are reasonably priced for sealed water resistant, but not waterPROOF reels. One of the Spinfishers is a Liveliner, which gives a lot of bait and trolling options you don't get with a regular spinner.

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