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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Saltwater reels Questions??? #13683529 08/28/20 04:01 PM
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milton1allen Offline OP
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I have never fished in saltwater but want to try for flounder reds and trout around the Jettys or Texas City Dike. I use baitcast reels in East Texas freshwater along with a few little Zebcos 404 and 808. My question is can I use these reels in Saltwater? Will the salt ruin the internals of the reel? Do I need to buy specific reels for saltwater? What reels would you recommend that aren't over about $30.00? Thanks in advance for any pointer and answers to these questions.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13683825 08/28/20 08:51 PM
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Unless you are going to garage sales, I doubt that there are salt worthy reels anywhere near 30 dollars. I use my ambassador reels for both fresh and saltwater fishing. They are thoroughly cleaned after the saltwater adventures. Using any Zebco is asking for it to get torn up.

Hopefully someone will have some ideas for you.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13683856 08/28/20 09:25 PM
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Pat Goff Online Content
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Freshwater rinse, lube after use. As long as you don’t dunk it they’ll live fine.


Pat Goff
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Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13684616 08/29/20 08:11 PM
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My wife likes to fish 888 Zebco reels at the coast. The 888 have a star drag while the 808 has a wheel drag on top. You can fish with them at the coast, but neither reel has a good drag and she has been spooled at the jetty. She was using the Zebco 888 at a close oil rig and hooked a 46” cobia. The fish took out all of the line and she fought the cobia for about 15 minutes with the knot tied on the spool. She finally got line back and landed the fish. So, they will work but are not ideal. An Abu 6500 is an ideal reel for inshore at the coast, but even on EBay you won’t find one for $30. The Zebco 404 is not big enough for redfish, but you should be able to use it for small trout. Spray the reels with WD40 or similar before you go and rinse them in freshwater every evening when you come in.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13686356 08/31/20 04:24 PM
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milton1allen Offline OP
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Thanks for all the advise. I appreciate all of them. I may buy an inexpensive baitcaster and keep it rinsed and oiled to see how long it will last. Probably fish only a few times before the end of the year. I live in Northeast Texas so I can't get there very much.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13686368 08/31/20 04:28 PM
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Just keep to out of the water and rinse it afterwards.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13686673 08/31/20 08:21 PM
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The H2O Mettle's are nice for the price at Academy. I have never had any problems with them. Around $50-60 . It's been slow going on fishing reports here (near G-town). Jetties are OK for Reds and pan fish. Night fishing or very early morning fishing has been the norm lately. Water is hot...fish go deep. Shrimp has been in short supplies at times (live). Call Boyd's One Stop Bait and Tackle at the base of the Dike for bait situations. You may think about bringing a MH rod with an appropriate reel for the bigger stuff. Fresh dead bait for bottom fishing....mullet, shad, croaker, etc.
I believe the fee per carload at the Dike on weekends and holiday's is $10. Good luck & stay safe


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Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: V-Bottom] #13693269 09/07/20 12:26 PM
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I’ve been guiding over 20 years and I have found that rinsing reels after each use does more harm than good. Unless the reel gets dunked in saltwater, rinsing especially with soapy water will remove the oil from the internals. Just my 2 cents.

Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: Redfishcharterco] #13693418 09/07/20 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Redfishcharterco
I’ve been guiding over 20 years and I have found that rinsing reels after each use does more harm than good. Unless the reel gets dunked in saltwater, rinsing especially with soapy water will remove the oil from the internals. Just my 2 cents.


No argument, if you don't lube after the rinse, you've not done it any favors.


Pat Goff
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Re: Saltwater reels Questions??? [Re: milton1allen] #13695441 09/09/20 04:22 PM
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If you stay out of the water your reels will be fine. If you go surf fishing the reel will get wet and will need to be gently rinsed with fresh water right after use. If you drop the reel in the sand just bury it there.

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