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"Saltwater" Reels vs "Freshwater", Braid vs Mono

BasstarBasstar Posts: 519 Officer
I know I will receive varying opinions here and some Ford vs Chevy responses but that is exactly what I am wanting.

This is my second season of inshore saltwater fishing and it has really grabbed my attention and I am quickly developing a love for it.

My previous experience has been all freshwater and I am well geared up for that. However a few of the guys I've met fishing inshore are definitely using some different tackle than I now own.

My inshore fishing so far consists of casting jigs and plastics with 7' rods, 4000 series reels and I've used both mono as well as braid, both tipped with heavier fluoro leader for abrasion and cut offs.

Reels: I am now using some lower to mid range Shimano spinning reels. The reels have several years of use, just to be fair and to set the stage.

One reel totally seized up last year and went into the trash and one began to seize up yesterday. I was able to take it apart and clean it and it is now working fine. It has been suggested I switch to "saltwater" reels with sealed bearings if I intend to continue fishing the salt.

Is it worth the extra expense to switch to the more expensive reels or should I continue using my current style of reels and just plan on taking them apart and **** more maintenance?

If I were to buy new reels, I would probably buy reels in the 3000 to 4000 series as I like to cast artificial lures primarily while wading and fish with live bait very infrequently.

What are some good "Bang for the buck" reels that offer good reliability in the salt, cast and retrieve well, and are reasonably easy to take apart, clean, and maintain?

Mono vs Braid: I know this has been beaten to death and I searched for some threads but didn't see any that specifically gave the pros and cons of each.

I've used both braid and mono in the salt and both with good success. I like the inexpensive factor with mono and don't mind replacing line when needed. Using mono in the 10 pound range doesn't seem as abrasion resistant as the braid buy perhaps that assumption is wrong.

The braid gives much more feel but since I am not that proficient with braid I am still fighting the loops and wind knots a bit, and perhaps that gets better with more experience using the braid. Of course braid is much more expensive and it stings my wallet more when I do have to cut off braid and throw it away and/ or replace line.

I guess my question is this. Who has gone to or from braid and why and is it worth the extra expense, wind knots, etc. for the better feel for the style of fishing I'm currently learning?

In advance, thanks for your input and opinions. I've learned so much from this site and truly appreciate the members here,


  • sonnysonny Posts: 283 Officer
    I would check flea markets and pawn shops I have bought some nice rods and reels there for A fraction of the price of new I would look for A penn reel there hard to beat in saltwater as fare as line I would say to each as own mono or braid witch ever works for you I like mono.
  • GMD52GMD52 Posts: 48 Deckhand
    I've had excellent luck with my Okuma spin reels. i have them from the UL, to the 4000 series. I have also used Ande mono both in Fresh water here on Lake Champlain, to the inshore and flats in Islamorada. The combo's work for me.......Gary
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 519 Officer
    Thanks guys. Gary, one of the guys here uses an Okuma reel, I think an RTX. Ironically, I had looked at an Okuma SST Kokanee rod online but wasn't sure if it would have enough backbone for salt use.
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    The Penns (Battle and Fierce) and the Daiwa BG are solid reels, and I have heard good things recently about okuma too. Can't go wrong with any of them. As for braid vs mono, I prefer mono... More abrasion resistant, CHEAP, and simple to use with any reel. I admit braid has some distinct benefits(pound to diameter ratio) but for my kind of fishing at least, mono works better. The problem with braid is the cost and the wear on your gear. That is a personal choice tough, so use which ever one you feel gives you better results/more advantages...
  • Grey BeardGrey Beard Posts: 102 Deckhand
    I to am pretty new to salt water. Last winter one of my reels crumped so bought a couple of Shimano Socorro's that are for saltwater and will see how they hold up.

    I had some reels seize up and get sticky. I think the cause was too much water pressure when spraying to remove saltwater. I've been much more careful not to blast the reel and so far no more issues.

    I've exclusively used braid for many yrs, currently for here Suffix 832 10# on 4000 size reels. I've not found wear and tear to be much of an issue. I have cut the roller on a couple of Sedona's from pulling line out against the drag when vertically jigging.

    I think most wind knots come from leaving a strand of line over the top of the spool when closing the bail. I try to look after each cast to make sure the line is on the spool. So far this season 6 days of fishing and no wind knots. Before when not so careful way too often. I carry 2 safety pins with me to get them out. Way better than a hook because the barb always gets in the way.

    Grey Beard

    ps we may have corresponded last yr. I'm in Ft Myers this yr and if it's you we should try to hook up as I think you know Lover's Key area and I don't.
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    There aren't too many reels that are salt proof.... a lot of us have fish with freshwater reels in salt for yrs and they last...
    but you have to wash them and do your best not to dump in the saltwater... heck I know guys that fish out of yaks with
    shimano spheros and never had a problem... but they keep up on their gear.... and yes I love shimano reels and have use them
    for yrs and never had a problem..IMO its just a matter of keeping up with your gear... lube/oil/grease... and either
    learn to service them yourself of take them to somebody...

    If you want something in the middle> shimano FJ stradic 3000 would fill your needs... its a tough reel and after
    you up grade the drags it gets even better... you can find one for around $145 new... the new drag washer will
    run you about $8.00 and they are easy to put in...

    loaded with a good braid like Jerry brown or suffix ....30lb test...and put it on a med action 7 1/2 rod and you
    are good to go...heck you can even use this setup for freshwater...

    Braid> IMHO just has too many pros not to use... it will outlast mono.. you will be able to feel anything... also
    cast a lot better....and as far as abrasion resistant> that's why you have a leader... I had 30lb braid rub on
    rocks and not snap...Braid isn't as gentle as some people make it out to be... oh and don't believe all those
    youtube videos... I have never had a fish rub a line back and forth on me on the same
    spot on the line LOL...(mono or braid)

    Grey Beard > You hit it right on the money> you aren't suppose to spray your reels down with any
    pressure.. it should be a gentle flow of freshwater... this way it wont push stuff back into the reel.. :wink
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • REEL = shimano sedona 60 bucks
    ROD = ugly stik gx2 40 bucks
    LINE = original powerpro #20. 30 bucks
    TOTAL= 130 dollars for gear that will outlast 300+ dollars gear.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 519 Officer
    Too funny, LMA.

    Have this exact reel and this exact line. But, using a St. Croix Premier rod I used in my tournaments.

    I own six Ugly Sticks that I use for live bait striper fishing with level wind reels and they are excellent, but I do like the lighter, more sensitive rods for casting.

    Oh and as a side note, I ran across the Sedona on a clearance for $29 and would have bought 10 but there was only one left.
    REEL = shimano sedona 60 bucks
    ROD = ugly stik gx2 40 bucks
    LINE = original powerpro #20. 30 bucks
    TOTAL= 130 dollars for gear that will outlast 300+ dollars gear.
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