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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
The previous model (Mark 3 - with the blue detailing); 61 HS left-hand wind. Comes with 3 handles - the palm-size power knob (!!!) is best for this kind of boat fishing.
It casts lures OK too and has a mag brake. It balances better casting with a twin handle. It was probably originally conceived as a pike/muskie reel.
Be aware it doesn't have a synchromesh, so if you're going to baitcast with it, make sure the line spreader is fairly central on the spindle bar.
TranX is a slightly better reel IMO. Drag is smoother and it feels more durable. Various YouTube comparisons suggest that the Shimano is better made.
Still love them both though ... couple of the skippers I fished with this season hadn't seen a set-up like these (low-profile baitcaster on an inline rod) and had a wiggle, and said they were amazed at how light and comfortable they were.
For me it's the utter simplicity of the set up. Fight the fish with your dominant hand; wind with your left. No need to worry about the drag - once it's pre-set you don't need to touch it. No need to worry about line-lay as the reels have a levelwind. You won't get spooled, you won't get busted off, the rod won't go pop*. Just trust in your tackle, don't rush things and enjoy the fight.

*If you were to hook a bluefin tuna, this might not apply ...
Thank for this marktheshark. Really great explanation, as I already love baitcaster reels for the very reasons you mentioned this is the route I will be going. I do love my baitcaster as you say the control and simplicity when fishing with lures is perfect with baitcasters. I always feel like i have total control with the lure with a baitcaster. Just didnt really give them a thought for sea fishing so thank you for showing me they are.

Many thanks
Andy
 

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To add to the baitcaster cause, I use a Shimano Calcutta Conquest on a 6lb rod. Problem is it's built like a swiss watch and won't last long with the rough and tumble of boat fishing. It's LHW and LW, great drag, but almost too small, as I struggle to jam my thumb between spool and cage. I do like LHW boat reels and another reel I use is a Japan only ABU Oceanfield baitcaster: mag brakes, LW, big gears and powerhandle x 2. It's a bit bigger but very light due to all plastic casings. Used on a 12lb jigging rod it's very good, but doesn't have the smoothness in the retrieve or drag of the Calcutta. I shore fish a lot, and it's where my favourite comes from, the Penn fathom 12 (or 10 if you can find one anymore?). They're RHW and no LW, but small, solid, dependable and have a sublime drag system. You can even change the action of the HT100 drag through changing the drag washer order. If you fish deep water (we're in 50-150m) small baitcasters become a pa1n in the 4rse when retrieving, with low retrieve ratios and mini handles (eg ABU 5600), whereas the ABU and Penn have proper geartrains and decent size handles. With our boatfishing the fathoms have become standard tackle as they just don't go wrong, other than the levelwind (if you bother the reel is nearly twice as big) which sticks occasionally, needing a blast of solvent and then oil. The non-LW fathoms will take a year of abuse at a time, so long as they get a full service yearly. The old faithful should also get a shout, the 525mag1. I had no boat fishing kit when I first took it up, but a lot of shore kit, and the mag1s performed without fault fishing up to 20lb class. Great retrieve and drag system.
 

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Lines such as Whiplash Pro 8 and Spiderwire Stealth 8 are so thin that we use 30-40lb on the 12-20lb rods and 40lb+ on the 30's (purely for shark). A bulk spool (1500 to 2000m) of 34lb Spiderwire fills my heavy spinning, beach and boat reels at 0.17mm. Expensive, but needed only every other year. Done more for confidence than need, the stuff seems to be indestructible!
 
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