Jump to content

Justifying Money Spent, Rods And Reels


Recommended Posts

I know this topic has been talked about a few times

Interested in the Raiders knowledge in fishing with such gear

I can justify top price gear $2000 plus for the big fish tuna ,Kingies etc

Now what about the bread and butter fishing that most people do and enjoy

Can you still justify spending $1000 on a reel

Yes you get precision cut gears and more bearing are great and yes i have a Shimano Stella 2000 given to me by my uncle and agree they are better quality and feel nice but your unlikely to catch any more fish because of them, They may even last 10 years but its highly unlikely any one will still be using them in 10 years most people update there gear pretty regularly, I have had top notch diawa bait caster thats about 10years old and it feels very ordinary when compared to a cheap $100 reel these days. I find it hard to justify to myself at least, spending $600 to $1000 dollars on a reel that in the end wont really be out preformed by a $200 to $300 reel.

Rods i know nothing about only the action, fast or slow taper able to lift and wind without breaking it

and good guides,again does all this come into say bream fishing

These are questions a novice rod builder would look for and not just for looks

Is sensitivity the key factor? feeling for bites

What kind of blank do you look for?


Long or short?

Do guides make a difference?

Is titanium any better than ceramic or stainless or plastic in guides?

Does bindings make a difference

Does a blank's taper make a difference?

Does a blanks spline mean anything to you?

How can you tell if a rod has power in it?

Carbon fibre or fibreglass

So if you had to buy one or the other what would it be

Rod or reel?

Many thanks looking forward to any comments


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rod to reel, reel to rod, plastic or titanium. carbon fibre or fibre glass etc, etc. It really depends on the individual fishing person.

I know my 2 (hubby and son) match their rods and reels depending on what type of fish they are going to target with that paeticular weapon. I think this is something that you can only decide depending on the type of fishing you wish to do and the types of fish you wish to target.

You of course would not use a smaller rod if you were to target the larger fish, but having said that, I have seen reports and photos of very large fish caught on smaller gear.

It is very much up to the individual as to what sort of rods, reels, guides, etc that they choose, but that is not to say that someone who specialises in a particular species may recommend a particular rod, reel combo to use.

Trust your instinct.

I have spent anything from $100 to $1000 on a rod/reel combo, but I always buy these to suit the type of fishing that the boys are going to do. I have even bought a custom made rod to target a particular species.

Trust your instincts, read replies, and then let the choice be yours and yours alone. No two fisher persons fish the same, so no two rod/reel combos feel the same.

You do not have to spend a fortune to get an excellent or very decent rod/reel combo. Sometimes cheaper can be better.

Hope I havent confused you, and maybe this will help you.


Mrs Flightmanager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i am with you i cant justify paying lots on a smaller reel

but when landing a kingie or somthing large you dont want your tackle to let you down

if i was fishing for smaller fish because they have smaller bites graphite rods will help it be more noticible along with braid it will make it even better

slow taper is when it bends all the way from the butt like in alvey rods which allows to toss a heavy weight

fast taper is when it bends away at the tip not at the butt

i would get a decent reel seat because they can jam on your reel and you cant get it off

i have got to say i still like good old fashioned fibre glass rods

hope it helps


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There comes a point where you can try to be too rational about it. Everyone has a different relationship with fishing. Does it for different reasons. Enjoys different aspects of it.

For some, top end gear is all about performance. Nearly all if they were honest would be happy to admit though it's also emotional. Using good gear is a great pleasure. Knowing you are fishing with the best you can afford is an even greater pleasure. Tinkering, buying, collecting, using... it all provides a great deal of enjoyment to many in its own right.

The best gear does perform better but remember people were catching bream and yellowfin tuna at the turn of the century without Stellas. There are 1 or 2 fishos I know who I can guarantee would catch far more fish with an old spaghetti noodle rod and cheapo reel that many others will catch with the very best gear. Yet you won't see those same people using cheapo gear.

If you've ever watched Dead Poets Society... for some fishos thinking about tackle in some sort of analytical way where you somehow measure return per dollar is like trying to use a formula to judge the quality of poetry.

For others its a much more practical thing.

There is no right or wrong... Each to their own... go with your heart on how much you want to spend on what gear and be it a $30 or $3000 outfit, if you're happy, you've made the right choice.

Cheers, Slinky

sorry all... its late, and I must be feeling philosophical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a favorite subject of mine. Most of my fishing gear is low-mid priced gear primarily consisting of

Shimano Symetre, stradics, TLD's and Abu reels, Rods are mostly Shimano raiders-T curves and a couple of live fibres and Ugly sticks. Not the bottom of the pecking order by a long shot but there are a lot better and dearer on the market.

Price justification is a very personal thing and whilst I would love to own an arsenal of Stella/Steez/Certate reels and equivalent rods however my wife would probably get a little annoyed at having to live on toast and baked beans indefinitely as unimportant things like the mortgage, kids schooling and eating have to take precedence.

I have been very lucky in the past though to have fished with others who own the top end gear though and I have to say that the quality, the overall feel and the confidence that using "nice" gear brings is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Does this gear help you catch fish? That really depends on the person using the gear, but when hooked up the control and the feel that a Loomis and up gives when combined with a well built precision reel is beautiful.

Finally, yes there is still a chance that the guy 100 metres away with a $40.00 combo will catch a bigger fish!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bloody interesting topic mate. I can't offer you any insight into rod building or its components (try sending Cephalapod a PM mate), I do have an opinion on fishing budgets. I reckon Slinky and Squiz have pretty much nailed it. Until recently, I didn't own a rod dearer than $110, and my most expensive reel was a Penn Applause (x3). I have been lucky enough to catch the odd fish, and some of them have been pretty good. That said, I wouldn't call any of them 'tackle testing'.

My tackle range is very similar to Squiz; Rack Raiders, Strudwicks, and the like, matched to Applause, Stradics and Symetres. I now also own SOL and TCurve Rods matched to SOL reels. The 'feel' of this gear gives me a lot of confidence in tackling anything in my waterway, and it is a pleasure to use. Try swapping between a Rack Raider/Symetre and a TCurve/SOL on the same day and the difference is stark.

BUT .... tackle is only one of many variables in catching fish. Weather and water conditions, lure/bait selection, line weight, tides, knot reliability, lunar phase, etc etc, are all important factors in determining your hookup/capture rate. Will the expensive gear help you catch more fish? Not necessarily, but will it give you the confidence you need when you're into a 'tackle-testing' kingy, red or jewie? More than likely.

Whether its fighting a big flattie in the open, or trying to bullock a good cod out of the timber, my first thought is never for my equipment, but whether or not I have the skill to land it. At the end of the day mate, spend only what your budget will allow .... and enjoy your time on the water!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

being new to fishing all my gear is pretty much bottom of the market stuff. you guys would laugh at my set ups. but needless to say I have bought myself a nice reel and decent rod recently and the feel and handling is awesome. In saying this the combo only costed $150 and i have not managed to catch anymore fis with it. But I love heading out evey weekend and being on the water - its just awesome and that is what fishing is all about Relaxing. well for me anyway.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Hawkesbury Buoy -

Just my two bobs worth on your last question spend money on " So if you had to buy one or the other what would it be Rod or Reel?"

My belief is that the situation changes to some extent based on the type of fishing being done.

I think that if you are chasing Bream or Flatties on lures you are OK with a mid priced reel and perhaps a more exy rod that gives you better (than average) casting & sensitivity etc.

As you say, things become a little more justifiable as you go up in fish size or fish fight (if I can use that term) where you may need both a good quality rod, say for casting poppers or jigging etc and a reel with a reliable drag that can sustain the pressure of constant drag conditions without fade or jerkiness. If thats what you are into.

I am making some inference here that quality = dollars (which is not allways the case and depends on selection of tackle)

So I think there can be some rationale supporting big spend on gear based on purpose and of course, as mentioned in other posts, some guys just get enjoyment from using high end tackle.

Fishing can be hard enough sometimes, if you feel that good gear works for you and makes you a more confident angler, you will probably enjoy your fishing more but may not necessarily catch more fish.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Hawksbury Bouy,

My 2 cents worth is as follows, If you want a good small reel then look on xxxx for some second hand or cheap (but good) new reels (like stradic etc). My small reels are all excelent quality but have been purchased 2nd hand or chealpy on xxxx (Or Raider swap and sell now it is back up and running, Yay)

Rods however are a diffent prospect and should be matched to your style of fishing and as such tha price will vary.

I think all too often people ignore the most important part, which is the connection between the fish and the rod and reel. The line. I think I would rather have a cheap reel and rod and expensive line than expensive rod and reel and cheap line.

Anyway as everyone suggest it is a personal choice and as such if it feels like you are paying too much then you probably are....

Cheers Sunnyboy1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Hawksbury Bouy,

My 2 cents worth is as follows, If you want a good small reel then look on xxxx for some second hand or cheap (but good) new reels (like stradic etc). My small reels are all excelent quality but have been purchased 2nd hand or chealpy on xxxx (Or Raider swap and sell now it is back up and running, Yay)

Rods however are a diffent prospect and should be matched to your style of fishing and as such tha price will vary.

I think all too often people ignore the most important part, which is the connection between the fish and the rod and reel. The line. I think I would rather have a cheap reel and rod and expensive line than expensive rod and reel and cheap line.

Anyway as everyone suggest it is a personal choice and as such if it feels like you are paying too much then you probably are....

Cheers Sunnyboy1

Hey sunnyboy1

No i dont need to get a good reel as mentioned i have a stella reel, : :yahoo: just trying to justify

if i should keep it or not as i have two other good reels Daiwa Freams, Biomaster 4000

and no decent rods except for my old trust ugly beach rod :thumbup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting topic, it has made me think.

When I first started out, which was only a couple of years back, I started off with a $100 okuma, silstar rod combo. At the time I though, wow who needs to spend $2000 on a combo as this one caught me plenty of fish offshore for the first year. As I became more and more obsessed with fishing I thought, what do these more expensive rods and reels offer. Being an engineer I researched into the construction of both rod and reels to try and work it out.

Now this is my view on this point and I may be wrong.

By using a more expensive rod, I have been able to push the boundaries of the rod and whilst doing so I have found the fight more sporting, and have the confidence that I will be able to land this fish. Currently I have two custom fishing rods which I use for offshore work. These rods are lighter and have a better action than rods which are rated at 1/3 of these rods rated line weight. I have pushed and caught fish well above the rated line weight of these rods and they have responded beautifully. This is down to build quality and the components of these rods, and I strongly believe that my trusty old okuma combo would be able to handle it, but it is just not as sporting or fun.

It is true that people have been catching kings big reds and tuna for a long time as pointed out, but from what I have seen of their old gear, (my opinion) their rods are like broom sticks, and I have seen structural support beams on bridges which have more action. The benefit I see as you go up the price range is a lighter rod which provides a more sporting fight, but still classified in the same line class as a cheaper rod.

When fishing, you must set the drag to the appropriate setting in order to match the line and rod class. If this is done correctly you will catch fish on any price range of reel and rod combo. But I want to feel the rod bending over itself whilst still feeling in control and still have the power. You will achieve this more often when you use more expensive gear.

I buy reels on their line capacity, smoothness and drag capacity. I own a full range of reels from the okuma which I talked about earlier to my new addition Stella 20000SW (tuna time). Line capacity can be achieved on reels at all price ranges and all you need to do is to match the amount of line you need to the type of fishing you are doing. Drag capacity to a certain extent can be achieved on all price ranges; the quality of the drag is the problem. Now this only becomes a problem when you are fishing very aggressive fish. The fish I am talking off are the ones that can take large amounts of line off, in a short space of time. The drag system works on resistance, and in return to friction, heat is produced, the higher quality reels will deal with this better. This is not to say that the low end of the market won’t. It is just that the stress caused by the production of this heat will cause less of a problem in the long run on a more expensive reel. Now smoothness I feel is achieved better at the higher end of the market. Is it necessary to catching big fish or just fish, NO, but it is a luxury. the okuma which I first bought was very smooth for about 5 weeks, after that it was still working fine, I just did not think it was as smooth as what it was when I first bought it.

You do not need the most expensive gear to catch fish, you just need to match the gear to the type of fishing you want to do. I would take a PENN 950s reel over a Stella 2500 any day that I am going fishing for tuna, and this because it is better suited for that fish than what a Stella 2500 is. This saying better gear sometimes produces a more sporting fight and it will last the distance, and this is why I will take my Stella 20000 when I go tuna fishing

Please understand that this just only my opinion


Edited by Mark's
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've often been struck with the same question, is it really worth spending that extra $100, $200 or more for a reel or rod. When I first started trying out a bit of fly fishing years ago I had this crappy jarvis walker beginners combo that was a pain to cast, heavy and generally felt like rubbish. But, I caught fish on it, and lots of them too. Thinking this was a great way to fish I upgraded to a loomis gl2 and it took me over a year before I managed to pull one in with it! Since then I've changed to a sage xp (which thankfully I have a little more luck with..), the thing cost a heap but the difference between it and the loomis in castability is amazing, and I'd never go back.

I guess the moral of this long winded story is that while the top of the line gear is definitely better, and you can notice the difference between it and the cheaper stuff, it doesn't mean that you'll catch fish with it. Just remember, it's not the rod or the reel that catches the fish, but the fool hanging onto it :biggrin2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my experience is that for small table fish bream etc trev whiting

i fish on a kayak so lots of salt water.

reel doesn't really matter as long as its not the bottem end

for table fish to me it does not need to go to the top end, i've had a stradic never had problems and lost it when i capsized.. lol

bought a slades and the drag clicker broke 5 times , it also seized on me when i brang a rat king to the surface, , even though it was abit rusty.

i have a sedona now and plan to service it every 4months due to kayak fishing, the clicker seems much better with more bearings.

rods to me is another story

i've had a diawa zero, a raider which i've both lost, fished with a catana for ages,

now i have a fuger braem tournament and the difference is huge between it

i believe for table fish its important to have a good rod for the sensitivity as it is high modulus.

of course the action is important

but to me sensitivity takes the cake

i was able to strike much better in high winds then my friend with my catana

and this is a constant thing

my 50c


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I was talking to a bloke I work with the other day who is a golf fanatic

He was saying how even though he's not a fantastic player he likes to buy the

best possible equipment he can afford and he justified it by saying its like

owning a new mercedes and wanting to go for a drive in it on a sunday instead

of having an old corolla which will just get you from A to B but your never just gonna

go out for a drive in it.

For me tackle is the same, I don't own top of the range stuff but like a lot of guys

use stradics, sols and raiders. I could've bought much cheaper stuff and caught the

same amount of fish no doubt but I prefer using gear that I have confidence in and

can enjoy using.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a little different.

My grandfather taught me to fish when I was about 7 years old. He bought me a little 6ft bamboo rod with a bakelite Alvey sidecast reel and 12 lb line.

Although I haven't been a super keen out-every-weekend fisher, I have always enjoyed it and I have used that rod and reel for 50 years. I always seemed to catch as many fish as my mates with more modern gear. I have even caught bigger things than they have some days when we were only fishing for bream and flatties.

But when the guides finally gave out, my son bought me a new 7kg graphite rod and spinning reel and I love it. The drag is not the heel of my hand on the reel any more and the shock absorbing qualities and control are fantastic with larger fish on the end. But it is not an expensive setup either.

I am just out there to have fun, but now that I have bought my own boat and the family are interested, I am getting a little more interested and may start doing serious stuff like berleying.

I taught my boys to fish and they love it. I must now teach them to find the time to do it. Fun is the name of the game for me. As they say, a bad day's fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

there is an old saying which i hate..."if u need to look at the price tag, u probably cant afford it"... the other one is "the more you earn the more you spend....its all relative".....personally middle of the range is the go....something your not too worried if it gets the odd scratch but will still manage 99.9% of the fish and will last an age as well....something thats not so precious that your afraid to use it! would be nothing worse than spending all that money only to have it stolen or accidently broken on the boat etc.... but then again if ur cashed up why not go top end. my wishlist is endless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...