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Buying New Reels?

I only have the opportunity to fish saltwater a few days or perhaps a few weeks each year and I've always used the mid range Shimano reels that I use for freshwater. I primarily use 2500 up to 4000 series reels for casting 1/4 to 3/8 jigs with soft plastics.

The Shimano reels work fine for a few days but then begin to tighten up on the retrieve when reeling. When this happens I take the reel apart, clean and lube it, and I'm back in business. It isn't a lot of work but is just a PIA.

Up until now, I've just accepted this as the cost of fishing in the salt, realizing this is only a few times per year but I'm considering buying a couple of saltwater oriented reels.

I see several folks here recommend the Penn Battle II reels but I've never used them. One thing I like about the Shimano is their light weight for all day casting and the Battle reels are considerably heavier. I also checked out the Penn Spinfisher but they are even heavier still.

A few questions: For those of you who use the Penn Battle II reels, is it still necessary to take them down from time to time to clean and lube them and if so, how often?

Is taking our reels apart to clean and lube them just an unavoidable and necessary part of saltwater fishing?

Other than the Penn Battle reels, are there other options in a mid priced reel that is still reasonably lightweight and holds up to saltwater use?

Lastly, any thoughts, ideas, or tips you folks may share are tremendously appreciated.



  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 617 Officer
    I hate the battles, they seemed to corrode within a few days of saltwater use, all 3 of mine broke within a few weeks. Try the new shimano nasci 2016, has many of the features in shimanos high end reels and still very affordable. All I use are shimano reels for inshore, everything from ci4+s to big baitrunners. They all last years of daily saltwater use. Just spray off with freshwater after every use and do not dunk your reel.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 549 Officer
    Thanks NS. This isn't what I was expecting to hear but perhaps is what I "NEED" to hear. My reels may be suffering from "OE" and I simply need to change either the way I clean and lube them, or perhaps change the way I hose them off after each use.

    I'll do some research on servicing my Shimano reels for saltwater use and see if I can get better longevity out of them. Some quick internet searches showed other anglers getting good service from their reels so perhaps it's me.

    Again thanks
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 617 Officer
    No problem, I've found that you just have to baby your reels as much as possible in saltwater, especially fishing the beaches down here. The sand is SUPER fine compared to what I was used to up in NY and it literally will blow in the air into your reels, same with salt from spray. Don't let your reel anywhere near sand, not on a towel etc. And rinse down well with a light mist after every use. I fish daily and my reels will last on average 3 years before they need some service, and I have some (not expensive models, baitrunner, one $15 shimano) that just never break, my baitrunner is 8 years old now and has never been serviced, and I beat the crap out of that thing. When they do break, as long as I didn't drop the reel in sand, it's always the roller bearing that goes. Do some research on this part and care for it well, this stupid $5 part will make the whole reel sound full of sand and make retrieval rough, took me years to figure out the reels weren't trashed, it was just that bearing not spinning anymore.
  • silentquestsilentquest Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    I've used only shimano here in florida. Not because I think they are better than others but because I know all the shops know and service them and have parts if I need. Which I rarely do. I don't wash them with water very often and only if I feel they got an especially high amount of salt or sand on them. I only fish salt. I do spray them with Rem Oil (yes gun oil) use the same oil to lube various external parts on the reel. My reels stay perfectly smooth with no issues at all. I believe the same routine would work on any of the brands.
    I spoke with a guy who ran a reel repair shop and he said never to spray down the reels with water as that drives the sand and salt further into the reel. His advice was to spray with pledge. haha. I did this for years too and I know it sounds quacky but I never had trouble with my reels when I did this. I now use the Rem Oil on the advice of a Mosquito Lagoon guide named Dave Cavanaugh. He has youtube vids describing his process. Works great for me. I think all these reels are built well now. Shimano, Penn, whatever. It's all in the upkeep.
  • FLATS BROKEFLATS BROKE Posts: 2,060 Captain
    If money isn't an issue always buy Shimano
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Had a Penn Battle, killed it at an Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament (worth it!).
    Had a Penn BattleII, but sold it before I really put it through its paces.
    Had a Penn SSV, My dad dunked it and it flooded so those seals are false advertising. Few months back a friend dropped it over the side of the yak and didn't have a leash... as long as he remembers to pay me back I'm not missing the reel too much.
    Have a Penn Conflict which does a third of my inshore duty (others are Shimano: Stradic and Curado) and I love it.

    You can tell I'm a sucker for Penn's entry-mid-level pricing. Now I'm dying to try out the new Penn Slammer III, which is a bit more up in $value. It is supposed to be sealed, or at least better sealed than the SSV was. Seems like a good decision for kayak fishing.

    EDIT: Yes, learning how to service your own reels is a BIG help since we put our gear through much more abuse than boaters.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 549 Officer
    Thanks so much for the tips. It appears I've been my own worst enemy.

    I was instructed when I first saltwater fished to hose the reel off after each use. No more but like the Rem Oil idea and will put it to the test.

    Now to figure out how to spend 4 months each year in South Florida.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Basstar wrote: »
    I was instructed when I first saltwater fished to hose the reel off after each use. No more but like the Rem Oil idea and will put it to the test.

    My dad and I have been doing this all our lives without killing reels, but I think the point is: are you simply rinsing off the salt or are you power washing the salt and sand right back into the sensitive parts? Sometimes all I do is take the rods&reels to the freshwater shower at the beach and that is sufficient. I also oil them every couple of months. I've never done anything as drastic as dumping a reel into a bucket of freshwater... that just seems like a dumb idea.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    As Above = The difference is are you 'rinsing' them w/light pressure (like the rainfall setting) or 'pressure washing' them w/the most force the nozzle can generate... I always 'low pressure' rinse my reels after use & let them air dry... Rarely if ever have problems & my reels generally last for years... I have had much better results w/Shimano & Daiwa than any other Spinning Reel brands (but Penn has been great about standing behind their product w/good customer support)
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • 904NATE904NATE Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Ive never had a problem with my penn battles . One has been fully submerged in the ocean and still works flawlessly. They are good reels , just like cars everyone will have a different opinion . Im a quantom guy myself but my Penns have held up and are still good reels .
  • palmbeachpetepalmbeachpete Posts: 2,624 Captain
    I have used Penn Battle II for years and had no problem with them. I do clean and oil them each year. Hooked some nice fish on them and had no problem with corrosion on the reels. I find them to be a good reel for the money.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 549 Officer
    Thanks so much EVERYONE! I'm going to try using my Shimano reels without the hard rinsing I've been doing with hopes that I've been causing my own issues. If that works it will save me hundreds of dollars since I have several Shimano reels from my tournament bass days.

    If I'm still having issues I'm going to try the Battles.

    I may try couple anyway just for S & G! :)

    Pete, I've watched you use them on your videos and if they work for you as much as you fish with them, that is enough of an endorsement for me.

    Again to everyone who assisted me here.....THANKS and Merry Christmas.
  • quatinquatin Posts: 600 Officer
    You need to service any reel that is not fully sealed. IE Van Staals and Stellas

    I have a Battle 1 for light duty and you still need to maintain it. How often depends on how paranoid you are. I used to do it every year and anytime it gets dunked. One trick I found is to slather silicon reel grease on everything inside the gear box. The downside is it feels like reeling through molasses, but grease doesn't wash away like oil does. I open up my reels every other year to check and it lasts several years until the grease starts drying out.
  • Austins26Austins26 Posts: 1,921 Captain
    the new Daiwa BG
    The Original HOTD poster
    680k views 360 plus posts Deleted by a so called Mod over a little cleavage

    member since Oct 1998 long before most of You
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Austins26 wrote: »
    the new Daiwa BG

    Nice reel for the price but from what I read on Alan Tani's site, its a bit lacking in the water proofing department.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • PottymouthPottymouth Posts: 1,547 Captain
    Accurate Fury for over a year dunked and constantly sprayed with salt water. All I do is rinse after every use. No problems. What u want is good customer service. I put my gear through the ringer. I'm on the water up to 4 days a week.
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