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The best bang for your buck is a Shimano TLD 2O, West Marine usually has the best price in Canada around $150.

Easy to buy one even cheaper on the EBay, Tackledirect, or the like.

Don't go for an off label junk brand like Okuma or the Chinese made Penn reels.


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ended up buying a brand new Penn 345GTi on eBay for $99.99, compared to $259 at Army Navy and $159 or so in the US. I loaded it with 500 yards of 150lb braided line, which I was told will do the trick. I'll give it a shot off the Island in the spring and early summer, which I hear is the time to start looking for them.
 

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150# is overkill and you'll have more trouble getting down than I will with 80#, especially in heavier currents.

It's a good idea now that you have time to take that reel apart and see that everything is lubed as it should be because Chinese made Penns (and that's almost certainly what you have there) are famous for being sloppily put together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Penn is stamped "Made in the US", so I'm not worried about that. The 150lb braided line is actually very thin, expecially compared to mono. I don't think that will be a problem, but will certainly keep a close eye on things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just talked to the dealer I purchased my Penn 345GT from. He tells me that what I bought was never used, still in the box, but several years old and made in the US. He also said that ALL current Penn reals except the Internationals are in fact now made in China. I hope they a do a better job with fishing gear than they have with toothpaste, toys, seafood and just about everything else.
 

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Just for your information I just talk to both West Marine location here in town and they have discontinued the sale of the Shimano TLD reels. But they will order them in but you have to pay the shipping and handling charges on top of the $250.00 price tag
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Follow-up question: I was told that 150lb and even 80lb line might mean that if I get fouled on the bottom I might break the rod before the line. If so, can anybody recommend whether or not some sort of "shock leader" is prudent? If so, what test & how long?
 

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bill said:
Just for your information I just talk to both West Marine location here in town and they have discontinued the sale of the Shimano TLD reels. But they will order them in but you have to pay the shipping and handling charges on top of the $250.00 price tag
You must mean the two speed, the TLD 20 single is in the West Marine catalogue for $159.99, Anglerscenter.com has it for the same price they are usually cheaper to deal with and will ship USPS.

As Dave says cheaper deals on the net all the times especially Ebay.

I couldn't care less about buying locally both wholesalers and retailers here charge far too much.

CaptainDave said:
Follow-up question: I was told that 150lb and even 80lb line might mean that if I get fouled on the bottom I might break the rod before the line. If so, can anybody recommend whether or not some sort of "shock leader" is prudent? If so, what test & how long?
My jigs are all on 18" of 80& mono but since I have 80# tufline things can get dodgy/expensive quite quickly. :wallbash:

One way to deal with snags is to use something like a gaff handle or fish bonker and take several wraps around that to pull hard you'll find hooks often straighten before the line breaks, I mean using a length of line taken from the tip of the rod.

Don't wrap the line around the reel and pull straight back under power that will work with lighter tests but with the cable you've got the graphite reel frame might bust out of the metal feet under pressure.
 

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Penns make great bottom fishing reels in general, they work well regardless where they are made in. Some western politicians want u to think that Chinese made products are cheap but crappy so buy locals. I had my chinese made penns reel for 5 years now and with regular maintenance (like all other reels), it worked wonderfully. Okuma is not recommended ......
 

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Sinaran said:
Penns make great bottom fishing reels in general, they work well regardless where they are made in. Some western politicians want u to think that Chinese made products are cheap but crappy so buy locals. I had my chinese made penns reel for 5 years now and with regular maintenance (like all other reels), it worked wonderfully. Okuma is not recommended ......
It's not politicians that recommend not buying poorly made reels-it's fishermen themselves, as a quick web search shows.

Type 'chinese made penns' into Google.ca and see how many enthusiastic guys rave about them. ::)

It's nice your reels have worked for you, how many hours a month do you use them on average and under what conditions?
 
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