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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393223 01/05/20 04:16 AM
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Are we the only ones popping reel seats off the reels when reeling in fish on the 6500’s? After about 20 or so failing while customers reel in fish, I got rid of all my abu’s and went to Shimano’s.

Shimano Tekotas in the 500 & 600 models. I’m in the 3rd season with them and have had no failures and lots of customers who have fished with both the Abus and Shimanos now and prefer the feel of the Shimano.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393268 01/05/20 04:44 AM
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I mostly use older (80's) model Abu 7000 reels Made in Sweden, (new 7000's are made in Taiwan). They are bigger than the 6500's but definitely durable. The only things I have ever had to replace was worm gear and pawl on the older 7k reels. I started several years ago upgrading to the newer ceramic pawls when it was time to replace the worm gear, this seems to have stopped the wear on both worm gear and pawl (just seems to be cleaner). You can remove 2 or all (4) of the centrifugal brake blocks in the reel, they will flat out cast if you have them clean and use light oil.

I picked up a Shimano Tekota HGA 600 last year, it is a super nice reel, the massive (too big) power handle definitely turns it into a winch. I like the higher gear ratio for reeling in long lines after drifting, but I have noticed it does not compete with my Abu 7k's for casting distance, not even close. I may need to take the reel apart and remove all the heavy grease and replace with lighter grease or light oil and see if it gets better.

If you can get on the boat with a couple people who run different equipment, it will make your choosing a lot easier. It's easy to feel the difference in all the different reels, even if you are new to the heavier catfishing equipment.

There are lots of brands out there, and almost all of them have some sort of following. Catfishing can be tough on equipment, I would only recommend that you buy something that replacement parts are readily available and reasonably priced. If you fish hard and abuse them a bit, any reel will fail and need repair.

Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: Capt. Michael Littlejohn] #13393296 01/05/20 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Capt. Michael Littlejohn
Are we the only ones popping reel seats off the reels when reeling in fish on the 6500’s? After about 20 or so failing while customers reel in fish, I got rid of all my abu’s and went to Shimano’s.

Shimano Tekotas in the 500 & 600 models. I’m in the 3rd season with them and have had no failures and lots of customers who have fished with both the Abus and Shimanos now and prefer the feel of the Shimano.


Same reason we switched to Tekota. I figured it was added stress from pulling planer boards. The HGA models are incredible reels and easily my favorite for planer boarding trophy cats.


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393299 01/05/20 07:52 AM
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Okay, let me break it down and show what I mean: Again, my thought process in traditional rod-and-reel fishing is I use light line and prefer fly rods. By light line I mean up to about 20 lbs line most often less than that.

A good 10-12wt fly rod blank is great. People catch 100lbs tarpon on a 10 wt fly rod. I said rod blank because I build my own rods. Because I'm not fly casting. That's the wrong line management system. Abus and other such reels the reel is on the wrong side of the rod making for an unstable rod to start with. You'll always fight gravity in the process. As such I chunk the fly rod reel seat and put a big spinning rod reel seat on.

However the ability to strip off line like a fly rod is a big plus as I drift and drag a lot. As such I use baitfeeder reels that have the secondary drag. That way I can peel off line without messing with the main drag. This works well for float fishing as well.

Also since I'm playing the fish with the drag, the power handle is not of much use. Since I fish mostly open clear water free of brush piles, I don't need heavy line to turn the fish or pull him out from brush piles. If he is caught in the rocks, it won't matter how heavy the line is, it will cut lose on the rocks.

And that's all assuming I'm not running lead core line. In which case the fly reel goes on and they can hold a lot of leadcore, and I'd bump it to 27 lbs leadcore. In high current, a belly full of leadcore line works way better for me than heavy weight. Now I have a rod system that allows me to use two types of reel: baitfeeder and fly reel. Baitfeeder for 85% of the time, fly reel for 15%.

Notice how nothing I mentioned is catfish specific. In fact it's a system that borrows heavily from saltwater fly fishing, salmon fishing and even walleye fishing. None of it is catfish specific, yet it catches catfish when I use that method. It's about the thought process, not the gear.

That's not to mention cane pole drifting for catfish. What catfish specific cane poles have you ever seen? See once you say catfish specific, you close off a whole world of possibility and only allow for what has come before. Once you think through the process, you have a whole world of possibilities that no one else has thought of. That's my point.

Last edited by WillieRip; 01/05/20 08:03 AM.

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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393317 01/05/20 11:30 AM
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Again the guy said he was looking for a good catfish specific reel and was targeting bigger fish. I also enjoy your posts Damon but your not making much sense when it comes to what the guy is asking for and your really not helping the guy. I would pay good money to see you drifting Twok or Texoma with cane poles and fly rods Willy. Better yet I want to see how you manage 6-8 cane poles or hand lines while your hooked up with a couple of angry 50 lb toads at the same time. I respect you Damon and the way you do things as well as the artisanal way you fish but your targeting much smaller fish with your hand lines, fly rods, Cuban Yo Yos, etc. And one last thing, just because the guy wants a catfish specific reel doesn’t mean it has to have a catfish stamp or sticker on it. It just means he plans on using the reel “specifically” for catfish.

Last edited by 🌊El Gato Azul🌊; 01/05/20 11:57 AM.

There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393331 01/05/20 12:07 PM
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I’m bout to go hook up the boat. I will post my trip report later today after I get done...


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393335 01/05/20 12:22 PM
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Understood. I apologize.

Drifting 8 cane poles? It's a mess. I don't even have rod holders.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393336 01/05/20 12:23 PM
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Check out shimano tekota 500. I have abu Garcia 6500 and shimano tekota and I think the shimano is the superior product. I’ve heard of the abus breaking off the reel seat portion of the reel under heavy stress such as if you get hung up or have heavy use. I have not had that happen but have generally been suspended fishing for hybrids with them but now starting to do catfishing and drifting with them.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393388 01/05/20 02:03 PM
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Look at the Tekota, I don't own one, but have used them a few times on a friends boat, I like them a lot. The 6500 ABU's are decent, I have a dozen or more of them. I use them for Stripers 98% of the time, but they cross over well the 2-3 times a year I go after big cats. They have never broken on me, but they get used 1/5 of the times a guide uses his. I also have two Penn Fathom reels that are great as well. I personally really like the feel and dimensions of the 6500 the most, possibly from the many years of using them.

Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393394 01/05/20 02:13 PM
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Just looking at the design, the Shinamo seems to be way stronger.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393924 01/05/20 11:56 PM
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The Abu is tack welded at the reel seats and that is where mine broke. [Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The Tekotas seats are one piece and the reel seat is incorporated into the frame.
The Tekotas are superior in every category really. They cost a little more but you definitely get what you pay for...couple of Abu pawl gear or ball bearing repairs at southwest parts and you could have owned the tekota. I’ve run Abus for a long time like a lot of guys but I switched to Tekotas and like them a lot better...


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: 🌊El Gato Azul🌊] #13394940 01/06/20 10:23 PM
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Looks like the Shimano Tekota 500 and 600 are so popular they are sold out every where with a quick search online. I don't know if that is because of great holiday sales or is it now discontinued and a new model replaces it?
Always been an Abu customer and no problem with several 5500 ans 6500's over the years, but it never hurts to try something new. I'll do some more looking.

Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13394959 01/06/20 10:34 PM
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Shimano released an upgraded Tekota HGA that has a higher gear ratio and I like them a lot more than my older Tekotas. Catfish Connection has em for cheapest I’ve seen.

Last edited by 🌊El Gato Azul🌊; 01/07/20 12:12 AM.

There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13395344 01/07/20 05:27 AM
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They sure look good too food


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13395349 01/07/20 07:20 AM
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I like my Abu Garcia and my Penn Fierce II. I bought all my Abu 6500 off eBay didn't pay more then 35-40 each. and the pens can be less then 60new all on pro angler rods and a few whooping sticks.

the most important thing is your budget. how much are you willing to spend.

Last edited by nombon; 01/07/20 07:23 AM.
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