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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into a reel for 8 to 12 lb test. This would be used for casting to Albies, small Bluefish and creek Stripers for release (16 in fish ). I am looking for the best product, light and easily casting is a requirement. I will be matching this with a 7 Ft custom Rod.

Also what kind of blank and response should I as of Altenkirk ( all of my rods he does ) when he builds this rod?

I currently have Amabassador 6500 17lb/ and 7000 20lb/ reels with 20 lb with Altenkirk Rods. These are not such great casting reels, although they do work fine for heavy offshore casting such as Mahi Mahi, and larger school blues, and the Fall run for Huge topwater Stripers chasing Herring.
 

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Shimano Calcutta 250.

I think the 6500 Ambassadeurs are fine casting reels. I'm wondering whether you find they're too hard to control or whether you don't think they cast far enough. That would help a bit if you specified. However----the Calcutta is usually easier to control and smoother casting than comparable sized Abu reels. But the Abus tend to cast for a bit more distance.

The right sized Ambassadeur for 8-12 pound test is the 5500.
 

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the Calcutta is a good selection. It is very light and has a narrow spool. I was just looking at one today at the show.

However, I went with the Penn 955. I got a great price on one from the show today. The Penn is a heavier reel and I beleive it has a better drag. I am also putting it on a 7 foot rod with 10 pound test.
 

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Calcutta 400/700 = BOAT ONLY

Abu 6500/7000/7500 = BOAT or SURF

Newell 220/229 = BOAT or SURF

My pick is still the Abu for distance. I know Alberto will disagree with me on this.

You should know that competition distance casters use modified 6500 reels (with magnetic brakes of course) to get distances of 700, 800, and even 900 feet! [Latest update is nine hundred twenty-seven feet, two inches with a 125 gram weight by a caster in the U.K.] No other reel can do that.

If you find that the Abus are not casting as well as you'd like, they need to be cleaned and relubricated. This is something you can do yourself.

Remove spool (unscrew the right side three big plate screws) and ball bearings (unscrew endcaps, for the left side you will need to pull out the retaining spring before you can pop the bearing out). Give the body a soapy freshwater rinse.

Soak both ball bearings in WD-40 or Starter Fluid (be careful with the latter, the fumes are toxic and explosively flammable). Take a blow dryer, put on heat setting, and blow dry bearings for a minute (helps if you have a thin piece of wire to hold the bearings).

Repeat flushing with WD-40 or Starter Fluid. Repeat blow dry to get the last of the old grease out.

Put a few drops of 20 weight 3 in 1 oil in the bearings.

Get lens cleaning paper, clean the ends of the spool spindles with the lint-free paper. A drop of 3 in 1 oil on each spindle.

Re-assemble reel, adjust the spool tension on the left side (back it all the way off, set the reel on free spool, start turning the knob clockwise until you just see the spool start to turn, this is your "zero") and you should be good to go.

I do this after every trip or casting session. Once you do it a few times it takes 15 minutes to do.

Same methodology goes for the Calcutta (slightly more difficult to extract the bearing from the left side) and the Newells (same difficulty as Calcutta).

This message was edited by bassturd666 on 2-18-02 @ 7:37 AM
 

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How much do you want to spend, and how much time do you want put in on care and feeding? Every thing is relative. I use a penn 955 spooled with 15 lb fireline for fluke, weaks, and stripers from the boat. I've had numerous fish in the twenties with this set up and it handles them nicely. I use this reel with an 8 ft salmon rod for casting small plugs and jigs early in the season when fishing the back bays and canals.
I flush it and give it a shot of CRC after each use and twice a year I take it apart and degrease it and relube it. im sure there are better reels out there but Im happy with the performance of my 955s. Their not that pricy (around $180) and they cast well and are reliable.
 

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Rooster Wrote:
I am looking into a reel for 8 to 12 lb test. This would be used for casting to Albies, small Bluefish and creek Stripers for release (16 in fish ). I am looking for the best product, light and easily casting is a requirement. I will be matching this with a 7 Ft custom Rod.
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Hello Rooster,

I have to agree with Spygull?s comment about every thing is relative and it depends on the amount of care / $$$ you are willing to spend on a reel.

Given all that scenarios and your demand (light, easy to cast, match 7ft rod)...

I have to agree with Mike P (Shimano Cal. 250) because the Calcutta reels are much easier to control and it's very smooth!

"Crazy" Alberto
[email protected]
 

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If price is no object, check out the Daiwa Millionaire CVZ-253(260 yds/12#); 6 BB and jewel-like precision with magnetic cast control.

For around $170, the Shimano Calcutta 250 is also a great reel just not as immaculate as the Daiwa. A great design that's passed the test of time. Smooth casting and I can't remember the last time I had a backlash with this reel.

In the bargain sleeper category, the Shimano Corsair 200A is a real winner (these are the gold-colored Corsairs, NOT the original silver ones). Nearly the same internals as the Calcutta. Doesn't have the same solidity since it's a 3-piece frame, but it's such a narrow reel, I don't think it matters that much. Yours for $69.

For any of these reels, just lightly spray (DON'T DUNK) with fresh water. Once a season oil your bearings and remove any excess grime or salt; regular maintenance. I also like to use CorrsionX for my bearings and shaft as a lube and protectant. Great stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of the great advice. I am going to go with the Shimano series, even letting my Ambassador Big Game reels to be replaced with the Shimano Cacultta series. I dont like different reel familys on my boat. Not only that, I sent in my reels 7000/7500/6500 * three reels,to be restored (factory repair ) , after a year old.
I am not a pro at taking apart and re-lube, next time around I am going to learn how to take apart and re-lube. Got a bill for $167.00 and still waiting for them to be returned..a month now.

Bought, two of each CT50/ CT250/ and CT700. Shimano was a bit more expensive, you pay for quality. Thanks for the great advice!!!
 

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Got an Ambassaduer 6500 CS Mag recently. This is only my second conventional reel and there is a black plastic slide on the left hand side that covers a decal with numbers 0-8. Does anyone know what this does or is for? Nothing in the manual that describes it. would realy appreciate any info anyone has. Could also use some casting tips if anyone is familiar with this model.
Thanks
 
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