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Help me pick out a Lew's casting reel...

Going to be used with 65lb 832 braided line for Top Water Froggin.

Going to also pick up a Heavy or Med-Heavy fast action tip rod to go with it.

I have never owned one before, but now consider Lew's the best bang for the buck from numerous reviews, and youtube videos I have now seen.

I am ready to take the plunge!

Looking on Cabelas, there is quite an assortment of Lew's casting reels.

NEW! Lew's® Team Lew's® Pro Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel $299.99

NEW! Lew's Team Lew's® Gold Speed Spool® Baitcasting Reel $249.99

NEW! Lew's® Speed Spool Tournament Pro Baitcasting Reel $199.99

Lew's® SuperDuty Speed Spool® Baitcasting Reel $179.99

Lew's® BB1 Speed Spool® Casting Reel $159.99

NEW! Lew's® Speed Spool Tournament Baitcasting Reel $149.99

Lew's® Tournament MG Casting Reel $129.99

NEW! Lew's® Speed Spool® Baitcasting Reels $99.99

Lew's® Laser® MG Speed Spool® Casting Reel $79.99


I will spend what I need to, but don't want to waste money either.
It's tough knowing where to draw the line on cost, and don't really know if the $299.99 is way better than the $159.99 model.

Where do you draw the line on cost of a single reel for a non-professional?

Which one would you probably select, if it was going to come out of your pocket? :D

Thanks for any opinions! :)
 

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Pushin' Tin
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To be honest, the tournament MG and up have the same drag rating, which will be one of the most critical aspects of a frogging reel. You'll need to able to lock it down to be able to really horse a fish out of cover. Second, you'll want the fastest retrieve speed you can get. A hot fish tail walking out of cover isn't easy to keep up with. The ability to gain line fast is paramount. After that, weight, fit in your hand (I believe all of the lews low profile reels are pretty universal here) and style will be choices you'll have to make. I own 3 lews reels. 2 speed spools and a tournament MG. All three are the smoothest, longest casting reels I've ever owned. And for 2 seasons, they've been absolutely solid as a rock and feel as tight and fresh as they did the first trip out.... and I was a die hard Quantum guy...

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Do yourself a favor and buy one of the new shimano chronarchs. For $269 you will get a reel that's twice the reel of the lews. The chronarchs are still made in Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To be honest, the tournament MG and up have the same drag rating, which will be one of the most critical aspects of a frogging reel. You'll need to able to lock it down to be able to really horse a fish out of cover. Second, you'll want the fastest retrieve speed you can get. A hot fish tail walking out of cover isn't easy to keep up with. The ability to gain line fast is paramount. After that, weight, fit in your hand (I believe all of the lews low profile reels are pretty universal here) and style will be choices you'll have to make. I own 3 lews reels. 2 speed spools and a tournament MG. All three are the smoothest, longest casting reels I've ever owned. And for 2 seasons, they've been absolutely solid as a rock and feel as tight and fresh as they did the first trip out.... and I was a die hard Quantum guy...

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Thanks for the input. I will look for a 7 to 1 reel (Left hand retrieve).

Do yourself a favor and buy one of the new shimano chronarchs. For $269 you will get a reel that's twice the reel of the lews. The chronarchs are still made in Japan.
Wow really?? I thought the Lew's were generally considered better than the chronarchs.

I will give the chronarchs a second look.
 

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i would go with the chronarch if you have the $$
nothing better in that price range

lews are really good products for the price as well
 

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This is a chevy ford conversation
I think the tourney pro is the way to go only because I have the most confidence in them as bait casters. For what ever reason I did not buy Shimano although respect them as I would respect a ford owner just get a little more snicker when I out fish them LOL

Hop on the bass resource site for some great conversations on the topic if you still have doubts about your options
 

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I've never used a Lew's reel so I can't and won't comment on them. I am a Shimano guy. I've tried out a Quantum reel or two in the past, and didn't like them. I didn't use them very much, but they didn't compare to the Curado's I was used to using.

As far as the Shimano Chronarch goes, there are two different models. A standard model that retails for $199.99 and is an awesome reel. Shimano just came out with another model Chronarch .... its the 150 CI4+, and retails for $269.99. I haven't been lucky enough to try one of those yet. But if it is anything like the standard Chornarch it will be an awesome reel. If it's better than the standard Chronarch, then I'd buy that puppy in a heart beat !!!

The only problem with the 150 CI4+ that I can see are the line capacities. They're kind of small. I'd still buy one, but I would have to tailor it more to the type of bait I was using, as well as the diameter of the line I was using. Long casts and small line capacity reels can present a problem with retrieve speed at the end of a long cast. The 150 CI4+ does come in a 7.6:1 ratio version, so that would make up for the smaller spool diameter that would result from a long cast. I'd really love to see Shimano come out with the CI4+ in a 200 size. If they do, that would definitely be the reel I would buy. You really can't go wrong with any Shimano reel IMO. If you want to check out the Shimano standard Chronarch as well as the Chronarch 150 CI4+, just go to Tackle Wareshouse's web site. They have great prices and awesome shipping. They're the best in the business IMO.

As far as the Ford v Chevy debate. I learned long ago to never get in a pissing match with a Chevy owner, because they're more full of it than us Ford owners. :p ;)
 

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I own a tournament pro and it is by far my favorite baitcaster! Also, when it comes to the chronarch ci4, it just feels awkward in my hands and I really did not like it much when I was handling it. Shimano is my favorite spinning reel brand but to me, brands like lews and Abu Garcia blow their baitcasters out of the water. Shimano took a hit on quality on their baitcasters to lower their prices a couple years ago.


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LOl that is too funny Honestly, I have drag raced GM for years and beat by plenty of fords both faster cars and faster reactors. I drive a chevy truck because it was the best of the bunch for the money I had that week on the lot. lol

I feel the same about not liking quatum and agree with the post right above about not feeling comfortable with the shimano (just did not like the feel not anything against how it worked) I know lots of guys who love them and only use that brand period

I love the shimano spinning reels and rarely will you see me out without them

what ever brand or model make sure you like both the capacity of the reel and how it feels in your hand in addition to being the speed you want and the ability to lock it down to horse out lillypad hawgs :)

for 150-250 you are going to get a decent long lasting reel with the ability to repair it if need be

Not mentioned here but I also like the bass pro Johnnie Morris: I have not owned one but read some decent reviews and its slightly cheaper
 

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I own a tournament pro and it is by far my favorite baitcaster! Also, when it comes to the chronarch ci4, it just feels awkward in my hands and I really did not like it much when I was handling it. Shimano is my favorite spinning reel brand but to me, brands like lews and Abu Garcia blow their baitcasters out of the water. Shimano took a hit on quality on their baitcasters to lower their prices a couple years ago.


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Your right they did cheapen them and started making them in Malaysia but I think they have learned from that because the new chronarchs are made in Japan again. There is no was any Lews or Abu will blow a higher end Shimano out of the water. I have 3 of the old green Curados from the 1990s that still work great today. Tell me 10 years from now how well your Lews is working.
 

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I own a tournament pro and it is by far my favorite baitcaster! Also, when it comes to the chronarch ci4, it just feels awkward in my hands and I really did not like it much when I was handling it. Shimano is my favorite spinning reel brand but to me, brands like lews and Abu Garcia blow their baitcasters out of the water. Shimano took a hit on quality on their baitcasters to lower their prices a couple years ago.


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Sorry..... there is no bait casting reel manufacturer that blows a comparable class Shimano bait casting reel out of the water. To say so is just ridiculous.

If you want to count feel of the reel in your hand (and you should) in overall performance, that's cool. But lets not get crazy here. If and I emphasize the word IF...... IF Shimano's bait caster quality has taken a hit, then maybe Abu Garcia and Daiwa are on par with them now. It surely wasn't the case in the past. I have seen many many Daiwa and Abu Garcia reels fall to the wayside and break down, while the Shimanos I bought 10 and 15 years ago are still going as strong as the day I bought them.
 

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This is from a different site about the same Shimano/Japan topic...

I know everyone thinks Malaysia is junk but you would be surprised. The facotry there is actually the most advanced factory for Shimano. They have the latest machines and is staffed by several workers from Shimano Japan. The QC team, engineers and leads are all from Japan. We built the factory and it is not an "outsource" for us.

Shimano Japan decided to move some production over there because they simply cannot keep up with the demand. Plus with the yen to dollar exchange rate the products would be more expensive. For example if the new Curado G was made in Japan the MSRP would be around $250 instead of $160. There is also the ever increasing costs of materials.

The high end reels will still be made in Japan. Stella, Chronarch, Core, Calais, Calcutta, Trinidad, Talica and Tiagra. Several parts are made in Japan that go to Malaysia such as the gears. Some parts are made in Malaysia and sent to Japan for production reels. Car companies do this. Look at the "foreign parts content" label on the vehicle sticker for a Ford or GM. There are parts from Mexico, China, Taiwan, Korea, etc; Does this mean the quality is any less because of it?

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Pushin' Tin
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But I will comment, I've owned 1 Shimano baitcaster (curado E7) and traded it for a quantum energy PT. The reel performed o.k., but I just didn't like the feel, and it didn't feel as solid/powerful on a hook set with a flipping rod as I felt it should have. As far as quantum goes, it's definitely a "love it or hate it" brand. It's what I started with, and what I'm used to. I've never had any major issues with their higher end reels, but their lower end "Dick's specials" are pretty rough and weak. I have an Abu Garcia Revo Premiere, and though it's nice, smooth and light, it's not $300 worth of nice....

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I am still at it...

I have recorded all left hand retrieve bait casters made by Lew's and Shimano, that have a 7.1:1 ratio, that is under $300.00 bucks.

I have noticed the Lew's give you more drag than Shimano, 14lbs -vs- 12lbs.
Not sure if the extra 2lbs of drag will matter.

Model - Retrieve - Gear Ratio - Weight - Bearings - Line Capacity (Test/Yd.) - Price

Lew's Laser MG Speed Spool Casting Reel - $79.99
LS1SHLMG -Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 7.2 --- 7SS + 1RB ---- 12/120 -------------- $79.99

Lew's Tournament MG Speed Spool Casting Reel - $129.95
TS1SHLMG -Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 7.9 --- 9BB + 1RB ---- 12/150 ------------- $129.95

Lew's BB-1 Speed Spool Casting Reel - $159.99
BB1SHZL - Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 7.2 --- 9SS + 1RB ---- 12/160 ------------- $159.99

Lew's BB-1 Pro Series Speed Spool Casting Reel - $199.99
PS1SHZL - Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 6.5 --- 9SS + 1RB ---- 12/160 ------------- $199.99

Lew's Tournament Pro Speed Spool Casting Reel - $168.88 to $199.99
TP1SHL -- Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 6.7 --- 10BB + 1RB --- 12/120 ------------- $199.99

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Shimano Curado 200 G Series Casting Reels - $159.99
CU201G7 -- Left --- 7.0:1 ------ 7.2 --- 4SS + 1RB ------ 10/155, 14/110 --- $159.99

Shimano Chronarch 200E Series Casting Reels - $199.99
CH201E7 -- Left --- 7.0:1 ------ 7.6 --- 5SS,1SA-RB + 1A-RB - 10/155, 14/110 $199.99

Shimano Chronarch 150 CI4+ Series Casting Reels - $269.99
CH151CI4HG Left --- 7.6:1 ------ 6.5 --- 7S A-RB + 1S A-RB - 12/110, 14/90 - $269.99


So right now I am thinking:

Lew's Tournament Pro Speed Spool Casting Reel - $168.88 to $199.99
TP1SHL -- Left ---- 7.1:1 ------ 6.7 --- 10BB + 1RB --- 12/120 ------------- $199.99

or

Shimano Chronarch 150 CI4+ Series Casting Reels - $269.99
CH151CI4HG Left --- 7.6:1 ------ 6.5 - 7S A-RB + 1S A-RB - 12/110, 14/90 - $269.99

They are my current top two!
Guess I need to get these puppies in my hand for the final decision. :D
That may be mission impossible, as Cabelas does not have them in stock. They are probably the best bet in Columbus for reels.
Might have to just order blind...
 

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Pushin' Tin
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Ha ha! Good job, and good luck!

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