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Hi Guys. First off, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.

Okay, now the reason for this post. I take a bunch of neighborhood kids out on my boat to fish in the warmer weather. This year we had some great days with small to medium sized blues, some really small sea bass, as well as some nice triggers. We only had a few small bass, but they were giants to these kids. I primarily fly fish, so my arsenal of spinning rods is pretty small. The kids brought on what rods they had, but these were all big broomstick style rods with huge reels that didn't work very well.

What I am planning on doing this winter is to wrap up six spinning rods on the Batson SWB70L blank. I may cut one rod down to about 6' - 6.5', for my daughter who is five. The other five kids are between seven and ten, so they should be able to handle seven foot rods that are light action. All of the rods will have each kid's name on it, as well as a decal of either a striper, a bluefish, or a flounder.

I need some suggestions for spinning reels. I'm looking for something that will work for these light rods, and primarily for throwing small artificials. I don't typically use bait, and the kids seemed to enjoy casting and reeling. Small jig heads with Fin-S worked well for us this past year. Since these are going to be presents for the kids, I am buying everything out of my own pocket, so I don't want to go crazy on reels. The equipment won't be used that much, maybe once or twice every two-to-three weeks, and usually only for an hour or two each time. I'd like to keep the reel cost to under $30. I know that this is a very entry level price, but that's where these kids are, and they won't care about how much it cost. The main thing is that it works.

I was on the Cabelas site today, and in their bargain cave they have three reels that might work. The Fish Eagle Tournament II ($19.99), the Fish Eagle Guide (reg. $50, now $25), and the Prestige (reg. $60, now $25). I was in West Marine yesterday, and they have a small reel that was about $21 (it was either Penn, Shimano, or Daiwa, but I cannot remember). This is right where I'm looking price wise, but I'd like to hear some additional suggestions.

Thanks.
 

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If I had six kids on my boat I would want them to be using shorter rods, too many 7 foot rods being waved around by kids slinging fish around is not a good idea in my book.
 

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I would also go with a shorter rod. I myself have a 51/2 ft spinning rod I use for fluke. A 51/2 to 6 ft rod should be perfect.
I have Shimano reels that are inexpensive and stand up well.

But I find that for fluke and other ground fish kids do better with conventional gear when properly shown how to use it. They have better control and don't tire as much.
 
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