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charleswilbourn wrote:want to know which reel is best for saltwater fishing.

There's no best. It's what works for you. Also, are you looking for spinning or baitcasting reels? Is it safe to assume you are a beginner? Lower end reels will tend to be lower end performers, but as a beginner, you wouldn't throw down for a $250 reel right off the bat.

I am a Shimano guy. I can afford them and know how to service most of the ones that I have. But there are others that I have used and about which I have heard good things:
Baitcasters - Shimano, Lew's, Concept 13 & some of higher end Diawas and Abus
Spinning - Shimano, Penn, Diawa

There are plenty of others. As with most things, you get what you pay for. If you are just getting started, get a lower end model and do some internet searches as to how to keep them clean and well maintained (mainly, keep them out of saltwater and don't splash them with saltwater).
This is a difficult topic. If you are new to bait casting, then getting a cheap one may not be the best bet. The better quality reels cost more, but they are also easier to use. But then again, a cheap one is easier on the wallet if you decide against bait casters. I have used a Concept A from 13 Fishing and their Inception for about a year. The Inception's side plate keeps coming off for no direct reason. I will simply pick up the rod and the cap falls off. I have had to search for it in the water on two occasions. I guess you can get the hint that I would not buy an Inception again.

While I have enjoyed the Concept A, I have recently purchased the Shimano Curado K (similar price point). The Curado has been time tested I guess you can say over the years on the salt water. I like it as well. The added benefit is that my local tackle shop is a Shimano dealer, so they can fix, adjust, etc. the reel.

For spinning reels, I have only used the Shimano Sahara. It is reasonably priced and have done well when I used it.
for Casting reels i'm super happy with Lews. They have been listening to coastal fisherman and putting better materials and higher quality into them and they're casting great and holding up. Shimano Chrornarch is also a good one some of my long time friends have them and they are still going. I'd stick with those.

Super happy with my Diawa Ballistic spinner as well for light tackle red and trout action.
I use the cheap Shimano Syncopate spinning reel with minimal maintenance. Most of my fishing is for smaller fish like slot reds and trout, spanish mackerel and others caught from piers and shore. But a two inch over slot red last year did give it a workout before the red was landed and released. 20# braid is the line. Artificials is the bait. Usually get at least 15 years of hard service from the reel. Then buy another one. As you can see I am a bottom dollar guy for whatever works well.
I fish with both Lews and Shimano casting reels. Love them both, but if I had to pick one it'd be the Lews. For 99.00 bucks it's a tough reel to beat. Had it for 4 years now, and very little maintenance has been done. Now on my spinning set up I have a cheaper reel, and knock on wood that rascal has held up for 5 plus years. Go get a few different reels in your hand and see what you like. Just remember you don't have to break the bank to get a great reel.

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