Alright well since this has turned into quite the debate and I am no where near a decision, I'll narrow it down for you all a little more. I've been inshore fishing my entire life so I won't be bsing around, I will be using this reel frequently targeting all the same fish I normally would target with typical inshore spinning tackle(Snook, Reds, Trout, Small Tarpon) mostly around South Florida. However, I frequently fish from Tampa Bay down to Boca Grande and From Indian River down through the keys. I need a just overall solid inshore reel. Unfortunately I'm a college student so I don't have much more then $250 to burn until I eventually buy a top of the line set-up when I feel it's necessary. Also the Ole Florida Flyshop isn't far from where I live so I'll be swinging by there soon.
Maybe just go to K-Mart or some other big discount store and buy a medalist reel for around $25-30 bucks...fish for a while, then buy your next reel based on what you didn't like with the first one? Just cause you have $250.00 saved up isn't any reason to blow it?...good luck to you
I would take a good look at either an Orvis or Lamson, nothing wrong with getting a used reel, so you couild save a few bucks. The Lamson Konic or Guru should fit your needs. And the drags are great!
I have no experience with the Orvis reels, but it seems that a lot of folks like them, and Nautilus reels are a good value, but may be out of your price range. Also, if you can find an Old Florida reel for sale, I would look at it, but they don't have sealed drags, so a little more care needs to be taken with them when maintaining them, like screwing down the drag when rinsing them out after fishing, and remembering to back the drag off when done, but that's minor.
As far as the suggestion Carl made, you can do that too! Nothing wrong with not dropping that amount of money when starting out, just not sure where you can find a Medalist reel anymore.
Snookin44, I hope that you got some information that you can use with the feedback you got, not sure how you feel about posting what you got once you have made your decision, I for one would like to know but on the other hand, I would understand your reluctance to post your decision as well. Whatever you decide enjoy it and I wish you the best of luck in using it.
I have no first-hand experiencce with the Orvis reels either, but the Battenkill mid arbors seem to have a loyal following.
I have several Lamsons (Velocities) and like them in fresh water, but in salt you can't remove the spool to soak them or it will ruin the drag. Then Lamson wants $20 to fix it. (Guess how I know both things.) So I've stuck with Ross reels in the salt. Free repair, lifetime warranty, plus, they're made here in Colorado.
Again, try EBay and other such sites for a good value in a used reel. Or rod or line. Dealers typically pay half of retail for everything, so that's about what a mint new one is bringing.