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Conventional or baitcaster

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Is it still considered a Conventional reel if it has a levelwind? Or does the addition of a LW relegate it to baitcaster status? Classic example-the Abu 6500 Ct and Cs reels.

Tis better to remain silent and thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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Don't see why not.


I believe it's just terms that came up to differentiate sizes here. Easier to separate a large or a small reel.


Everywhere else they call it overhead or multiplier.


I simply say casting reels in general if other party is a reel nut. but do use all 3 terms to make conversations easier with many.

i use 2/3 rule for trading. join date, posts, or vouch. whoever has less goes first.

(*member formerly known as 'ooeric')

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Many conventionals came with a levelwind, still many do today. Many years ago when I used to fish bait I would throw either a magged Squidder or an Abu 7000 C3 with a levelwind. Might lose a few yards distance in a fishing scenario but the convenience of the levelwind in the dark while trying to land a good fish outweighed any negatives...for me anyway.

I consider a baitcaster to be a small conventional with levelwind made for repetitive plug casting. A 6500 Abu I'd call it a conventional not a baitcaster.

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Honestly, depends on who I am chatting with!

If I’m chatting with the boys overseas, or possibly a tournament or grass caster!

Most of the time, I’ll use the terms such as multiplier(conventional)and fixed spool(spinning)

and if I’m talking to somebody that I’m not sure how much knowledge they have, then I usually just say conventional or spinning.

So, in my mind, to me, when you use the term conventional. I automatically think of heavy duty boat, pier or deep sea reel, not originally meant for regular plug or lure casting, irregardless of the l/w in fresh or salt waters!

Then, when you say casting reel, my first thoughts are all the other, say mid-sized round reels. And lastly, I consider/call all the smaller/light type reels, bait casting reels!

They almost always have a level wind and are used for throwing very light baits, or lures with light lines! 
I’m sure others will differ with their thoughts and that’s just how I classify them, in my opinion!

And times have changed as well. You now have, tiny little bait casting reels, landing omega sized fish, so curious to see what others think as well!





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One term, ‘Revolving spool’ covers them all. I can’t consider my Lexa 400 a ‘conventional reel’, Lo pros to me are ‘baitcasters’.

Tis better to remain silent and thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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Years ago, folks used spinning reels and conventional reels. That's what there was. 

On a boat one never ever came on board with a spinning reel. You just didn't. 

It was strictly conventional, non level wind reels. It time, Penn had the 350 and the xx9 reels, all L/W. Made it easy for some. Then there was the round L/W bait casters, been around for years and years, Southbend etc., freshwater stuff. Even Abu's in the beginning were sweet water reels. Today those round L/W reels can be used in salt because of popularity. Even Abu made 'em big, all the way up to a 10,000. :howdy:

AKN-2 USS Sagittarius


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Cheech as stated above Its a design difference, bait-casters have a thumb bar clutch but I would say its a type of conventional reel. I call my round lever thrown reels conventional and low profile thumb bar reels are bait casters. Abus kinda the conventional that eventually became todays bait-caster. 

Edited by nfnDrum
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