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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have grown to love throwing Squarebill Crankbaits in the stumps. That said I'm looking for a better Crankbait reel. In research I'm finding that I need a reel with a 5:1 ratio or smaller. The reel will be used exclusively in saltwater. Any suggestions? Prefer to stay in the $150 range.

I'm currently using a Curado 200G6. That is a 6:1 ratio and I can tell the reel doesn't like it.
 

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Red X Angler
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I fish cranks a good bit. IMO the rod is more critical than the reel.
Reel Thoughts: I understand the slower speeds for a slower presentation part but it would also be more of a benefit to have the slower retrieve in order to have more power on the reds. Second and most important to me would be the reel construction. Not wanting to start any arguments about peoples reel of choice I have found that my Shimano Curado shows no signs of the effects of salt water after three or four days of use at Bay River. The metal in my Quantums (which are my favorite in fresh water) will start turning green even with rinsing at the end of the day, and storage in a bucket of water when I get home until I can get them thoroughly cleaned. In fact last trip I carried one of my old retired BPS reels and an Academy Mettle along with the Curado.

Rod: For a crankbait rod I have found 6'6" or 7' Med action med tip to be my preferred rods, Fiberglass makes sense for cranks but my old glass rods are heavy and I am not sure that the guides would stand up to braid.

Line: I use braid on everything now, but mono to me works well with crankbaits if you are disciplined to give a really hard hook set. The extra stretch of the mono may even keep head shaking fish hooked better than the braid. although the med action rod helps with that.

my .02
Darrell

p.s. I have recently come up with a Lew's reel that has impressed me greatly but I have not tried it in salt. probably won't anytime soon.
 

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Red X Angler
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If you come up with one that strikes your fancy there is a Salvage Sporting goods in Hickory that always has a changing inventory. I will ride over and check out what he has anytime. He doesn't keep high end stuff long but what he has is usually 1/2 price of retail. Most are store returns and with baitcasters they are returned more often than not because the purchaser tried it, threw 2 backlashes and took it back for a refund. Anyhow it may be worth checking.

Darrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your input Darrell. I agree with you on the rod being important. I am a Shimano guy about 99 percent but my favorite Crankbait rod is a Falcon Coastal Medium action. It feels great and works even better. Best of all, it's priced to afford at $70. I do prefer braid over mono, with drum being my target species I'm not concerned with them shaking off. It just doesn't happen.

The higher speed reel just doesn't have the power for the drag created by the Squarebill cranks. It could also be that it is the G series Curado that's my problem. A lot of negative reviews. I wish I still had my old B series Curado's from
When I was bass fishing. I do have an E5 which is the 5:1 ratio. It has served as my sheepshead rod for a few years and doesn't cast all that well anymore. It needs a new worm gear and new bearings. I think I'll clean it up good and replace those parts and try it out before I buy another reel. Of course, the new I series Curado's are calling my name.
 

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I love my AG Revo Winch (5.4:1) reel for crankbaits. I've used it in salt -- it has AG's high-grade HPCR ball bearings even though it's not advertised as a SW grade reel. my only concern would be long-term -- I'd like to know I could replace the bearings myself, but replacing the AR bearing in the sideplate would take special tools and/or expertise.

But it's a sweet reel. Casts a mile, smooth retrieve even with DT20's, and holds up to a lot of punishment. I got a factory refurbished unit off eBay for $50 or more less than retail (which is now $199, i think).

FYI -- joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good news....I took my Curado E5 apart and washed cleaned everything really good with some isopropyl alcohol and then applied a VERY thin amount of Ardent Reel oil to the bearings as well as to the Mag Brakes. Put it back together and it was a lot smoother on the retrieve and a little better on the cast but still rough. I then pulled off all of the line and reeled it back in. That did the trick. She's smooth as new now. I'm guessing the line was buried in itself, likely from having a locked drag and wrestling with big sheepshead. The braid must've dug into itself. Took it out on the water to test it out and what a difference between the E5 and the G6 Curado's. Can't wait to test it on a big feisty drum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Whenever I dis assemble a baitcaster it stays dis assembled.
They are really easy. Easier than a spinning reel imo. When this thing first started acting up it got a good cleaning and that didn't fix it. I'm assuming now it was the braid dug into the spool. Not sure but am glad it's fixed now.
 

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For most crankbait applications I like a 5:1. However with a squarebill I perfer a 6:1 as I usually use a fast retrieve to keep the bait coming through the cover and it is a reaction bite. Cant find a finer reel than a Curado IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For most crankbait applications I like a 5:1. However with a squarebill I perfer a 6:1 as I usually use a fast retrieve to keep the bait coming through the cover and it is a reaction bite. Cant find a finer reel than a Curado IMO.
It very well could just be the G6 that I'm not liking. I bought it brand new off a guy for $80 and hadn't used it until a couple of weeks ago when I started throwing the squarebills for drum. That reel feels like it's going to brake on the retrieve. Fighting a fish it is ok and a normal retrieve with another style of bait it's fine. It just didn't like the drag of the crank. The G series and E series are no comparison though. Honestly the G series feels like it should be a $99 reel where the E series feels like a really good reel for $150.

Has anyone tried the I series yet? They are supposed to be awesome
 

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Red X Angler
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I may have been expecting too much from it. Everything works as it should, but it just doesn't fit or feel like the Quantums. But I don't particularly like the feel of a 1911, either Colt or Clone, so maybe I have odd hands.

Darrell
 
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