gbass54, I would not suggest you buy one until you tested one. When you go fishing, look for someone who got a conventional outfit and ask how that person likes it.
Ask if you try it out. Sometimes you will be surprised how nice some people are. Sometimes you need to suck up to them. Before I bought my conventional I did that. I cast okay the first few times. Conventional reels are known to have birdnest problems once and a while.
The Penn Squidder is cheaper but the Penn 525 is better but cost more.
There is also the Penn 200 Surfmaster.
What kind of fishing are you going to use it for? Certain kind of fishing dont need these reels like if you want to cast lures in the surf. The suggested reels are better for bait fishing.
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