KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel

Shimano Spin Reel Clam (4.1:1 8.6-Ounce 8/120)


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The name of Holden Illingworth, a textiles magnate, was first associated with the modern form of fixed-spool spinning reel. When casting the Illingworth reel, line was drawn off the leading edge of the spool, but was restrained and rewound by a line pickup, a device which orbits around the stationary spool. Because the line did not have to pull against a rotating spool, much lighter lures could be cast than with conventional reels.

In 1948, the Mitchell Reel Company of , France introduced the Mitchell 300, a spinning reel with a design that oriented the face of the fixed spool forward in a permanently fixed position below the fishing rod. The Mitchell reel was soon offered in a range of sizes for all fresh and saltwater fishing. A manual line pickup was used to retrieve the cast line, which eventually developed into a wire bail design that automatically recaptured the line upon cranking the retrieve handle. An anti-reverse lever prevented the crank handle from rotating while a fish was pulling line from the spool. With the use of light lines testing from two to six pounds, modern postwar spinning reels were capable of casting lures as light as ounce (3.5 g), and sometimes lighter.

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Williams also drifts baits for blue catfish, using the same spinning outfits he casts with, finding them superior to baitcasting equipment. Hoffman agrees, saying that drift-fishing is easier with a fixed spool reel. Whether Williams is casting or drifting, he uses a 7550X Pflueger Contender Saltwater Spinning Reel mounted on a 7-foot medium-action BWS 2200 Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger rod.

During the past decade, more reel manufacturers began producing saltwater spinning reels that fitted the needs of anglers like Williams. Hoffman finds that the bait-clicker system on most of these spinning reels is better than those on baitcasting reels. In addition to the Pflueger that Williams uses, Stange and Hoffman suggest that catfish anglers examine the reels produced by Penn, Quantum, Shimano, Daiwa, Shakespeare, Silstar, and Mitchell, among others.