Entries by Rod Reel

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Affordable Fish Finders | Fish finders for boats and kayaks

I always considered Fish Finders cheating or way too expensive an investment for my tackle bag.

They were always a piece of kit you would see front and centre on a charter boat or high end fishing boat.

I never though it would be something I would invest in but I did and have never looked back...​

Have enough days without fish and you start to wonder what all the fuss is about.

Check out the prices of some of the more reasonable finders out there and I guarantee you will end up with one...

Quick search: Affordable Fish Finders | Best Kayak Fishfinder​


​When it comes to selecting the perfect fish finder there is a huge selection with a million different options available. There isn't a one size fits all best fish finder. Like every good invention there are plenty of competitors in the market and innovation is always producing new models with all the latest features.

To this end we wanted to put this guide on fish finders together and capture as much valuable information in one place so you can make an informed decision on which model will suit your fishing needs - today and well into 2017 and beyond.​


Best Affordable Fish Finder

Lets face it, money doesn't grow on trees ​so if you have a tight budget but still want to get yourself an affordable fish finder then any of the following models will get the job done.


Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200 XDCR

119 Reviews


Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200 XDCR

  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320 x 240 resolution that's easy to see in full sunlight & from wide viewing angles
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish targets, bottom contour, structure detail, bottom hardness, thermoclines & more
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need to manually adjust settings to see fish, structure & bottom detail more clearly
  • Dual-frequency 83 or 200kHz operation helps maximize view beneath boat
  • 83kHz sonar operation provides up to 60deg of conical coverage ideal for displaying largest fish arches & searching large areas

The Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar has great graphics (320 x 240 resolution) that are easy to understand and see from wide viewing angles and in full sunlight. This sonar easily detects the details of a shallow lake or similar fishing spot and gives data on the bottom hardness, thermoclines, structure detail, contour, and fish targets.

Plus, the built-in advanced signal processing (ASP) improves on the gathered detail and limits the need to make manual adjustments to see the bottom and structure detail, as well as the fish.

Features You’ll Value

For the active fisherman, the Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook is a useful and feature-rich product that is certain to make detecting the best fishing spots so much easier. Here are a few of the most appealing features:

Color display

The 3-inch LED-backlit color display has a screen that is clear and easy to view (320 x 240 resolution) from most viewing angles while also being easy to see the data in bright sunlight.

Broadband sounder

The Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar is built to detect all that is going on underneath the surface of the lake or pond, including the structure details, thermoclines, bottom contour and hardness, as well as the fish targets. Plus, the Dual-frequency 200 or 83 kHz is great for maximizing the views under the surface.

Multiple features

The Lowrance 000-12635-001 is packed with useful features to help with identifying the fish targets, such as the ability to zoom (4x) in and focus on a particular fishing area, as well as alarm and track options. For improved viewing quality, the device has an option to adjust the display to match the time or day or night to compliment the fishing situation, and the patented skimmer transducer can continue to track the bottom surface when travelling at speeds of up to 75 MPH.

Pros

Cons

  • Great dual beam for versatile performance
  • Simple and quick set up
  • Easily powered and minimal battery use
  • Very affordable
  • Useful color display with great graphics
  • The display is easy to see in bright sunlight
  • Easy to understand
  • Super easy to mount in a boat or on a kayak
  • Great in deep reservoirs to shallow ponds
  • Gives false readings in the murky waters
  • Usable speed is closer to 10 MPH (compared to manufacturer’s info)

Conclusion

Great device at a great price, the Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar is a useful little fish finder that works in shallow and deep water. A great aspect is the clear display that is easy to see in virtually all environments, including bright sunlight, and great at reading temperature and depth. Plus, the sonar comes equipped with everything needed to get set up and working in moments, such as the mounting kit and instructions. The included kit makes it really easy to mount to a kayak or boat.

The Sounder helps you find the fish and their preferred habitats by scanning the contours of the surrounding beds and also lets you avoid nasty snags that are lurking in the deep, far beyond your field of vision. You can adjust the frequency of the unit to best find your fish in all water conditions.

This may be a basic unit but it has all the features you will need to get started and from a price point it is the best budget fish finder for the money in our opinion.​

Setting up your fishfinder

​Here is a great video showing you how to setup your fishfinder in a kayak and get straight on to the fish.

Other affordable fish finders worth looking at

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Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display

Detects and displays water depth, approximate fish location, short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on seabed. Backlight mode enables you to use the fish fish finder at night.

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Venterior Portable Fish Finder, Water Depth & Temperature Fishfinder with Wired Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display

Detect and display water depth & temperature, approximate fish location, short & tall weeds, sand, and rocks on seabed. Apply to lake, river, sea and other fishing environment. Depth range from 1M to 100m.NOTE: The depth is measured from the sonar sensor, not the float.

Venterior Portable Fish Finder Rechargeable & Wireless Sonar Sensor Fishfinder Depth Locator with Fish Size, Water Temperature, Dot Matrix 40m Range, 80m Distance

Wireless and rechargeable: No more long&heavy cable for transducer. The body and the sensor both are rechargeable. Not need to buy battery.

Lucky FFW-718 Wireless Portable Sonar Fish Finder with Dot Matrix 40m Range

Depth Range: 135 feet (45meter) ; Wireless Operational Range: 394 feet (120meter); Frequency: 433 MHz (Wireless); 125 kHz (Sonar)

Erchang Portable Fish Finder, Underwater Depth Locator with Fish Size,Temperature/Shallow Water Alarm Fishfinder Video Camera Combo with Wired Sonar Sensor Transducer and 3 Inch LCD Display

CHRISTMAS DAY's HOT, Detect and display water depth & temperature, approximate fish location, detect fish size, short& tall weeds, sand, and rocks on seabed; super depth detection apply to the pond, river, sea, ice, etc

HawkEye FishTrax 1X Portable Dot Matrix Fish Finder

FishTrax intelligent sonar uses SONAR sound waves to detect depth, locate fish, and define bottom contour, composition, and structure

Best Kayak Fish Finder​

Kayak fishing has become hugely popular over the past number of years and nowadays it is not uncommon to kit your kayak out with a fish finder.

Gone are the days when this type of technology was for expensive fishing boats. There was never a simple way to fix your fish finder to your kayak or small portable until companies copped on to the fact that smaller units could be adapted or purpose built to suit. Now you can hook yourself up with a portable unit and fix it to your kayak and off you go.

Our favorite model is the ​Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fish Finder.

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Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer

850 Reviews


Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer

  • CLEAR VÜ SCANNING SONAR Shows you more of what is in the water around your boat; This high frequency sonar gives near photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish
  • THE POWER OF SIMPLE Offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons; The device is easy to use and easy to install; Available in 3.5 , 5 and 7 inch display sizes; Water rating IPX7
  • WAYPOINT MAP Use the way point map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks; Maximum depth 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater; Current draw at 12Volt : 0.23 Ampere
  • CHIRP SONAR CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information; CHIRP sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation
  • BUILT IN FLASHER View your sonar data in the classic flasher format; ideal for ice fishing or vertical jigging.Display size: 1.9 x 2.9 inches (4.9 x 7.3 centimeter); 3.5 inches diagonal (8.7 centimeter)

The Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Fishfinder is designed to be easy to use and packed with a variety of useful features (time, tracking, speed, etc.). A really practical feature of the Striker 4 is the ability to easily mark and return to a favorite fishing spot; this is certain to save plenty of time on future fishing trips to the same river or lake.

Features You’ll Value

Great value and feature rich, the Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Fishfinder is feature-rich and a practical piece of kit for installing on kayaks and small boats. Here are a few of the most appealing features:

ClearVu scanning sonar

This Garmin Fishfinder is built with the latest ClearVu technology to make it possible to get a clear view of what is happening in the surrounding water. The high-frequency sonar is built to give virtually photographic quality images that detail the local fish, structures and other objects.

Ease of use

The Striker 4 is built with a simple to use keyed interface with multiple buttons to complete the desired command. This makes the fishfinder easy to use and relatively easy to install with its 3.5-inch display size.

CHIRP sonar

The CHIRP sonar is designed to send a constant sweep of frequencies to give the most reliable information. This sonar technology is useful for creating the crisp fish arches while also achieving better target separation.

Waypoint map

The built-in waypoint map simplifies the process of viewing, marking or navigating to a specific location like a dock, stumps, or brush piles.

Built-in flasher

The view display makes it possible to see the information in a classic flasher format which is preferable for vertical jigging or ice fishing.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Great affordable price
  • Simple to use
  • Useful for shallow or deep water
  • Easy to read display (even in bright sunlight)
  • Gives great accuracy
  • GPS technology is helpful for marking the dock (useful if out after dark or in heavy fog) and hot spots
  • Includes plenty of features such as time, tracking, speed, etc

Cons

  • Does not have any charts (or make it possible to buy a module)
  • Mount appears decent quality, but is 100% plastic.

Conclusion

Great design and function, the Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 is one of the best budget fish finders on the market. It is very accurate in both shallow and deep waters and the GPS technology comes in really handy when it comes to marking a hot spot of fish or even the dock area used to enter the water to avoid getting lost on the way back. Whether you plan to use the Striker 4 on a kayak or pontoon boat, this GPS/fish finder is very hi-tech and intuitive with a nice display that is easily seen even in bright sunlight.

This unit really is exceptional for the money and can be installed straight into your kayak. It doesn't come with map info or chats but you can store plenty of points along the way or mark off your hot spots and return at a later date to catch even more fish.

The CHIRP SONAR is great for mapping out the structures around you. This continuos stream of info​ plots out everything in super detail. Great for spotting snags and other structures that will definitely be holding fish.

​Deeper Smart Sonar PRO portable fish finder

The Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is a small, high-capacity echo-sounder perfect for adventurous kayak fishing.


Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing

488 Reviews


Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing

  • HIGHEST SPEC CASTABLE SONAR: casts further, scans deeper, more features than any other. Syncs with iOS/Android devices. Use for shore, boat, ice fishing
  • INBUILT GPS: enables you to create bathymetric maps from the shore, Enjoy free access to Lake book, Deeper' s bathymetric management platform where you can save, review and analyze all of your maps on any device from the comfort of home
  • ROCK SOLID CONNECTIVITY: Syncs to phone/tablet using WiFi (like a hotspot). NO INTERNET IS NEEDED. Turn OFF Cellular data for uninterrupted connection
  • INCREDIBLE DATA: Scans down 260ft, 0.5" target separation, dual beam (broad/narrow), 15 scans per sec. Map depth, find structure, vegetation and fish
  • BOAT FISHING: Install in secs, no cables or batteries, smooth trolling. ICE FISHING: 3.5oz, no cables, flasher display + zoom, 0.5" target separation

This is a very cool device that lets you bring your fish finder everywhere with you. It runs it's own wireless access point so you can connect it straight to your smartphone or Tablet. Download the App, get the two talking to each other and away you go. It really is that simple.

The App itself operates in online and offline modes and provides a multitude of great features like: Solunar Forecast Calendar, Fishing Notes, Offline Maps, Weather Forecast, Camera, Day/Night Screen and Color Mode.  You can even share your info on Social Media if you really wanted to give away your hot spots to friends or clubs in the area.

You can get the Flexible Arm Mount to fix this straight to the side of your kayak and keep all of the equipment outside your boat and leave you more room for fishing - not that it takes up much room anyway as it's a complete unit in itself.

The Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is built with a highly accurate internal GPS receiver and uses a Wi-Fi connection to create the bathymetric maps to make fish-finding that much easier and more productive.

This cast able echo-sounder is designed to work with Android or iOS tablets or smart phones, while the Wi-Fi connection helps to extend the search distance with this Deeper sonar equipped to detect depth ranges up to 80 meters/260 feet.

Features You’ll Value

Really easy to use, the Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ has a variety of useful features to make it virtually as good as the high-end echo sounders on boats. Here are a few of the most appealing features:

Castable GPS

The offline mapping and built in GPS receiver makes it really easy to pinpoint the potential catch. The high accuracy GPS receiver has the ability to map the fishing spots, contours and features by using bathymetric maps. This process even works when planning to fish on shore. By creating the bathymetric map it is possible to examine the underwater conditions and determine the best fishing spots.

Bathymetric Mapping

Even though the bathymetric maps are created in real time, there is also the option to store and archive this data for future. Also, this means it is relatively easy to create a personal collection of accurate maps to improve the ability to find the most productive fishing locations.

Plus, the Smart Sonar PRO+ is adjustable with the option to adjust the sonar sensitivity to take into account image distractions. By refining the setting it is more readily possible to get a view of the smallest underwater action.

Color Mode

The screen color mode is a useful feature to make it easier to see the display screen and match the brightness to the time of day. It is practical for reducing noise and increasing target separation.

Compact size

The diminutive Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is practical for use with standard rods and lines and measures 65 millimeter / 2.5 inches in diameter and weighs approx 100 grams / 3.5 ounces.

Pros

  • Easy to use with great tutorials
  • Quick to pair up with a tablet or smartphone
  • Gives very accurate data; it definitely finds the fish
  • Solid and well built
  • Can be set or cast anywhere

Cons

  • Choppy waters can distort the Wi-Fi signal which slows the ability to scan
  • Needs a heavy line to use

Conclusion

Easy castable sonar, the Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is an awesome product for the money. If you want to easily see the structure and depth of the water or simply want to catch more fish, you should really buy this. It is fun and it works, while also being highly useful for all fishermen no matter the favorite fishing spot. It is certainly useful for fishing on shore and gives access to the performance of an echo sounder that was previously available only to boat owners.

FishHunter PRO, The World’s Fastest Wireless Portable Fish Finder


FishHunter PRO, The World’s Fastest Wireless Portable Fish Finder

192 Reviews


FishHunter PRO, The World’s Fastest Wireless Portable Fish Finder

  • Wi-Fi Casting range of more than 150ft – 4x faster than Bluetooth
  • Depth up to 150ft (50m) with Ice Fishing depth and jig tracking up to 100ft (30m)
  • Can be trolled up to 2.5MPH, cast from boat or shore
  • Tri-Frequency wireless fish finder, providing super high resolution information for fast and precise sonar information to find fish and analyze the bottom structure
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery with a battery life of up to 10 hours

The FishHunter PRO is a precise sonar that is cast able and easily analyzes the bottom structure of a river or lake and finds fish at a depth of up to 150-ft. It is a versatile piece of kit and is easily placed in an ice hole, trolled behind a boat, or can be cast when on shore. Plus, it easily pairs with a smart phone or tablet to clearly see the underwater structures and features.

Features You’ll Value

A great time-saving device, the FishHunter PRO portable fish finder is packed with useful features to make identifying the best fishing spots so much easier. Here are a few of the most appealing qualities:

Wi-Fi Casting

The FishHunter PRO is built with the latest Wi-Fi Casting to make it fast and responsive and gives a range of up to 160 feet or 50 meters. Wi-Fi wireless connection is so much more efficient than comparable technologies, and nearly 4 times faster than Bluetooth.

Tracking depth

This sonar is built to work at a depth of up to 150 feet or 45 meters while using the FishHunter PRO, while for jig tracking this can decrease slightly to 100 feet or 30 meters.

Multiple uses

Use the FishHunter PRO in several different ways, such as casting from shore or on board a boat or even trolled up to a speed of 2.5 MPH.

Transducer tri-frequency

The Transducer tri-frequency makes it possible to create the super-high resolution image to make it easier to analyze the bottom structure and find the fish.

Rechargeable battery

The FishHunter PRO is powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that has the potential to last for a period of up to 10 hours.

Pros

  • Easy to read app interface
  • Floats upright very well and really attractive unit
  • The top flashing light makes it easy to see when in use
  • Compact size for easy transport and storage
  • Gives accurate and reliable data
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • While the FishHunter PRO is compact in size, it is still quite heavy at 5.5 oz
  • Can make quite a splash if casted for the greater distance
  • May experience intermittent issues with connection drops

Conclusion

Works great, the FishHunter PRO is a pretty cool item that works as a reliable fish locator and depth finder. The app is quite versatile and goes far beyond the ability to see the structure, features and fish under the water – it is also possible to share or add pictures to let others see the fish caught.

It can take a little time to learn how to adjust the sensitivity and turn on certain functions, but with some patience, it is possible to set up the FishHunter PRO portable fish finder to match the specific needs. For the anglers that enjoying ice fishing or fishing in small ponds, then this is certain to make a great invention. Picks up fish without hesitation and the battery life is more than excellent.

​MadBite FX3000 Fish Finder

The MadBite FX3000 Fish Finder is a versatile piece of fishing electronics for ice fishing, onshore fishing, kayak fishing or bass fishing. Its built-in wireless technology is designed to locate fish and detect other information from up to 400-feet or 120 meters away.

The casting sonar sensor is easily sent into the water from a boat or shore and quickly checks water temperature, surveys the bottom structure and finds fishing holes. Plus, for ease of use, the display screen is in full color, giving the option to read in bright sunlight or low-light conditions.

Features You’ll Value

Works well and great technology, the MadBite FX3000 Fish Finder is packed with useful features to make a must-have piece of kit to find fish accurately and faster. Here are some of the most appealing features:

Screen display

The MadBite FX3000 is built with an LCD screen with 512-color and 2.8-inch width for complete ease in viewing the on-screen data in light or dark environments. The clear screen makes is possible to quickly detect the water temperature, depth, structure and bottom contour.

Detection range

The detection range is in the region of 2 to 150-feet. Also, the unit is designed to easily adjust using the 1-ft micro-tuned setting to concentrate on fish in a specific area. With the ability to send a sonar signal 15 times per second it is possible to get real time information on what is taking place beneath the waves.

Audible fish alarm

This portable sonar sensor is useful in both freshwater and saltwater and includes a built-in alarm that gives an alert on finding fish. Additional alerts at given for depth and low battery.

Water Resistant

The MadBite FX3000 is portable, floats and water resistant so there is no need to be concerned about dropping it overboard. Plus, it does not rely on Bluetooth / Wi-Fi, a tablet, or smartphone to operate. It runs on a rechargeable Lithium battery that has the potential to keep the unit running for up to 20 hours.

Pros

Cons

  • Very easy to read and accurate
  • High contrast LCD for complete ease in seeing in all environments (even in bright sunlight)
  • Useful battery life (more than enough for a single trip)
  • Clear display of the bottom structure
  • Great Wi-Fi range of 650 feet
  • Good depth range at 2 to 150 feet
  • Light and compact design
  • Needs calibrating on depth to get the accurate results

Conclusion

A very cool little fish finder, the MadBite FX3000 with wireless sonar sensor is built with options and feature of the expensive brands, but comes at the very reasonable price.

It has a very clear display and easy to use and certain to not let you down when fishing from shore, a kayak, or a boat. The rechargeable battery is great and lasts for a lot longer than needed for one trip.

Plus, the floating and waterproof design is a practical and safe feature for using in rough waters.

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Best Fishing Reels 2017– The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Are you into fly fishing, baitcasting, lure fishing or deep sea fishing?

Whichever your chosen path, you are going to need a reel.

And a solid reliable one at that...


penn battle II spinning reel

Technology in general changes at a massive pace. Fishing technology is no different. Looking back my first few reels were very basic. No multiple sets of ball bearings, no advanced drag system and a bait runner setup were never heard of - unless you hooked a huge fish and it whipped your rod and reel into the water and you had to go running after it...

Can you still fish effectively with old technology - absolutely - but why not give yourself the best fighting chance by utilising some more modern tech ​to give you a helping hand. You still have to understand the fundamentals of fishing and have a solid technique to hook and land you catch but why make it hard on yourself.

Best Fishing Reels​

The aim of this review is to provide you with a guide to the best in class in each of the fishing methods to save you time trawling through hundreds or even thousands of reviews. We fish all the time. We fish every different method and we love our gear. Take the guesswork out of your next choice of fishing reel with this review. You will be glad of the time saved because you will be out fishing instead of researching - we did it for you...

This review is broken down into reel type and a top three in each of the categories with a budget, mid-range and high-end best in class fishing reel. Let us do the research you get out there and catch some fish.

If you are just here to find the best fishing reel and haven't the time to read our in-depth reviews then we have highlighted our top choice reel in each category below. If you click on the reel name you will jump to that review or just hit the check price button and you will go straight to the best deal we could find at the time of writing this review.

Best Spinning Reels

KastKing Sharky II Fishing Reel - Smooth Spinning Reel - 48.5 Lb Carbon Fiber Max Drag - 10+1 Superior Ball Bearings-Brass Gears at an Affordable Price!

FEATURE LOADED SPINNING REEL – Zero-Flex aluminum body, rotor & frame spinning reel, triple-disc carbon fiber drag delivers up to 39.5 lbs of max drag, powerful 5.2:1 gear ratio, 10+1 double shielded stainless ball bearings, braid ready aluminum spool, aluminum direct drive handle.

Penn 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish

Best BAITCASTING Reels

Piscifun Torrent Left Handed 6.3:1 13+1 Shielded Bearings Baitcasting Reel Low Profile Baitcaster Tuned Magnetic Brake System Baitcast Reel

POWERFUL- Advanced, 4-washer, gives the low profile baitcasting reel physically powerful 18LB carbon fiber drag to handle the big fish you are after

Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel, High Speed, Right Hand

Ultra-lightweight design with X2-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon side plate--25% lighter than the previous generation

​Shimano Spinning Reel - Best Budget Spinning Reel

Put simply the Shimano spin clam reel is the best budget spinning reel money can buy.

The reel can handle braid line as well and the model we looked at IX-2000 is perfect for normal fishing.

Strong enough to handle decent sized fish but light enough to not tear your arm out.

The gearing system is smooth as it the overall reel action.

The handle is reversible so you can fish either right or left-handed no problem.​

This is a great beginner spinning reel but would let you down as a seasoned angler.​


shimano spinning reel clam

While not the best spinning reel out there it certainly stands up to the best of them - especially at this price. Would I buy one? Have one in my tackle bag. Would I recommend one? For sure. Even if it's not your everyday or go-to reel you should definitely stock up with one as this is the best value spinning reel out there.

​A great added feature of this reel is the quick cast system. Simply press the button on the side of the bail arm and it auto-magically opens the bailer ready for your next cast. This is especially handy if you are lure fishing or spinning and are constantly casting and retrieving at a rapid pace.

    • A quick twist of the handle and the bailer snaps shut. If you are into kayak fishing this is a great feature as you can do a lot of your fishing with one hand...​

Pros

Cons

  • Price - Unbeatable reel for this price
  • Action - Very smooth reel
  • Quality. Shimano makes great reels
  • Nothing to report

Kastking Sharky II - Best Mid Range Spinning Reel

Next, we take a look at the awesome Kastking Sharky II spinning reel. A bit more expensive than the Shimano but it comes with a host of great features and represents super value for money.

So why does this reel feature on this review? Let's break down some of the main features first to give you an idea of why.

Reel come complete with a massive 10 +1 shielded stainless steel bearings giving it a super smooth action

It has a triple carbon fibre drag system which will probably outlast us all.

The high capacity machined aluminium spool is ultra light but very strong. ​


kastking sharky spinning reel

The Sharky is a great all rounder reel. Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater if you are looking for value then this is the reel for you. Strong enough to haul in very large fish but light enough to fish with all day.

What size reel should you go for?

  • The Sharky II 1500 will hold up to 165Yds of 6lb, 110Yds of 8lb line and ​75Yds of 10lb line.
  • The Sharky II ​2000 will hold up to 155Yds of 10lb, 140Yds of 12lb line and 75Yds of 14lb line.
  • The Sharky II ​3000 will hold up to 160Yds of 12lb, 140Yds of 14lb line and 80Yds of 16lb line.
  • The Sharky II ​4000 will hold up to 185Yds of 14lb, 165Yds of 16lb line and 125Yds of 20lb line.
  • The Sharky II ​5000 will hold up to 210Yds of 16lb, 185Yds of 18lb line and 165Yds of 20lb line.
  • The Sharky II ​6000 will hold up to 215Yds of 22lb, 180Yds of 25lb line and 160Yds of 30lb line.

Pros

Cons

  • Price - Superb value for money
  • Action - Very smooth reel
  • Options - Range cover every type of fishing
  • Reports of bail arm snapping shut unexpectedly at times causing lost tackle during casts.

Penn Battle II - Editors Choice Best Spinning Reel

When it comes to our choice for the best spinning reel we have to pick the Penn Battle II.

This super smooth reel has a great drag system and is a very solid unit.

From it's fast retrieval ​to it's smooth action it is very hard to beat.

Spool this up with some braided fishing line and pair it with an Ugly Stik and you have a rod and reel combo that is going to be very hard to beat.​


penn battle II spinning reel

The reel sports an instant anti-reverse system and doesn't suffer from any back creep whatsoever.

The Penn Battle is a bit heavier than most in it's class but all is forgiven because of the quality of this reel. Yep, it costs a small bit more than the rest of the reels mentioned above but in my eye's it's worth every dollar. If you are serious about your gear then you should get yourself a Battle II before you head out again...​

Pros

Cons

  • Quality - As good as any high-end reel
  • Action - Very smooth reel
  • Instant anti-reverse system
  • Superior drag system
  • Some chatter about the weight of this reel but hey it's a Penn. Well built and made to last.

Piscifun Tuned Low Profile Baitcaster

The Piscifun Baitcaster Reel gives you a great low profile design.

Made from CNC machined high-grade aluminium this reel is very light but also very strong.

Featuring a 6.3:1 gear ratio system that gives you a very smooth and exceptional baitcasting action.

As a brand that was relatively unknown to us, this really is a great baitcasting reel for the money.


best baitcasting reel

If you are looking for a cheap but durable baitcasting reel then the Piscifun baitcaster is perfect for you. Utilising 1 roller bearing and a whopping 13 stainless steel ball bearings this reel delivers a long smooth action cast every single time.

The magnetic brake system allows you to fine tune your cast based on your lure weight. Set it up when you first tie on and fish away all day without having to tinker with anything - This is a great feature in my eyes because anything that allows me to fish for longer wins...

It has a sleek and cool looking low profile design and comes with a low noise gear ​structure so you ain't going to be spooking the fish while you grind away...

Pros

Cons

  • Quality - As good as any high-end reel
  • Action - Very smooth reel
  • Superb Magnetic Brake System
  • Strong & Durable
  • As good as any high-end reel
  • Nada, nothing

​Kastking Stealth Baitcasting Reel - All Carbon Design

The Kastking Stealth weights only 6 ounces so if you are looking for something ultra light - look no further.

A great reel for all types of fishing -  frogging, flipping, pitching, punching, Alabama rigs.

Pair the reel up with some 8lb braid and away you go.

​If you are looking for distance casting the first thing you will notice about the Kastking is exactly that. The line literally flies off the spool.


​Kastking Stealth Baitcasting Reel

One thing to watch out for with this reel is the speed at which the spool spins when casting. It can be prone to backlashes if not adjusted properly. Once you get the setup right though you are in for a treat. How they can make a reel of this quality for the price is beyond me.

The stealth has a 16.5 lbs drag system coupled with 4 carbon disks and hardened aluminium washers that give this reel unbelievable drag power.

The action is smooth as silk with the 11 ball bearing system. The one way clutch system delivers lightning fast hook sets every time and helps ​deliver the smooth reel performance.

The reel itself is 100% corrosion resistant and because its made of carbon fibre it only weighs 6 ounces.​

Pros

Cons

  • Weight - 6 ounces
  • Action - super smooth and fast
  • Anti-corrosion carbon fibre makeup
  • Not really an issue but make sure you setup drag properly before you go whipping lures into the water.

​Abu Garcia Revo SX- Editor's choice Baitcaster

Now here is a baitcasting reel you can rely on. Easy to use, great build quality and superb action.​



The Revo SX has to be the best reel on the market in this price bracket. Hands down the best you could fish with actually.

It is very easy to use and can be tuned in a matter of seconds to suits you lure or fishing style.

Comes with a hefty 20 lbs of drag so make sure it's dialled in or you will break off your line before this gives in.

Wonderful smooth action and overall our top choice baitcasting reel to date. 


Abu Garcia Revo SX Baitcasting Reel

The new Infini II spool design improves casting performance over previous models and the  Carbon Matrix ensures smooth, consistent drag pressure when hooked into the hardest fighting fish. By adjusting the MagTrax braking system you can ensure consistent drag pressure from start to finish.

As mentioned in previous posts we prefer to fish with braided line and by setting this reel up with some high quality braid you are equipping yourself with a reel combo that is hard matched by much more expensive models.


Abu Garcia RevoSX Review
  • Made using the highest quality components
  • Professional grade fishing equipment
  • Tested for durability and quality
  • 9 High-Performance Corrosion Resistant bearings plus 1 roller bearing provides increased         corrosion protection
  • C6 carbon body provides significant weight reduction without sacrificing strength and durability
  • D2 Gear Design provides a more efficient gear system while improving gear durability
  • Compact bent handle and star provide a more ergonomic design
  • Ti coated line guide reduces friction and improves durability

Designed for ease of use and comfort this low profile baitcasting reel is one for your tackle bag. We had no intention of reviewing very high-end expensive reels as part of this review because this reel has you covered - without the hefty price tag.

Pros

Cons

  • Price - Nothing can touch this reel.
  • Action - Comfortable, sturdy and smooth
  • Quality - Perfect high end reel from Abu
  • Nope

So that's our review of the best fishing reels so far. We will be adding in Fly reels and some other models over the coming weeks so stay tuned for more.

Tight lines folks.

Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Review and Top 3

If you are chasing fish that spook easily or fishing very clear water then you are going to need to fish with fluorocarbon line - at least as your leader anyway.

The near invisibility of this line in the water is what makes or breaks your fishing trip. Yes, sure you may be using a heavy duty or even braided fishing line as your main line but you are definitely going to want to top it off with fluorocarbon line to the hook and bait.

We fish with braided line most of the time and we would never even consider attaching our lures directly to this because you will absolutely spook the fish. Instead we attach a length of fluorocarbon line - at least a rods length to the braid and then attack our lures to the other end.

Yes the are a plenty of options when it comes to fluro line and each serves a purpose but today we want to concentrate on the best fluorocarbon line on the market and why it should be your next purchase before you cast another lure into the water.

You are trying to present your bait to the fish in the most natural way possible and because the line almost disappears in the water the bait or lure looks as if it is swimming freely.

best fluorocarbon fishing line

In this review we want to focus on the best fluorocarbon line available and will give you our top three lines to invest in. We also go into the knots used to tie fluorocarbon line to braid, how to tie on your lures and how to look after you line…

What is the Best Fluorocarbon Line - Our Top 3.

As mentioned earlier there are any number of options when it comes to fluorocarbon line so we did our homework, plenty of research, testing and some expert reviews to bring you what we feel are the top three options available today.

Seaguar InvizX - Editors Choice Best Fluorocarbon Line

When it comes to high quality fluorocarbon line the best of the best is Seaguar Line

Quality and reliability are hugely important to us when it comes to our fishing gear. Think about it - you invest heavily in a decent rod and reel and the last thing you want to let you down is your line. This quick seaguar fishing line review should give you enough info on this awesome quality fluorocarbon line. 

Nothing to worry about here...

100% fluorocarbon line that can be used for both leader material or full spool line.

40% softer line so you don't have to be worried about spool memory and nasty tangles

Super strong abrasion resistant line - hard wearing and tough enough for any type of fish

As close to invisible in the water as you can get for any type of fishing line

Easy to tie your favorite knots and no need to worry about slippage.

best fluorocarbon line

While you may be paying a bit more for this line it is definitely worth the investment. This 100% fluorocarbon line by Seaguar is superbly strong but soft enough so you don't have to worry about spool memory messing up your fishing trip. It is by far our top choice when it comes to the best fluorocarbon line on the market.

Pros

Cons

  • Quality - Best line on the market
  • Reliability - Super strong and smooth line
  • 100% fluorocarbon suitable for leaders and can be used straight through as your main line
  • Best line for tying lures and baits to
  • A bit more expensive than the rest but worth the additional expense if you are serious about your fishing

In our opinion this is the best rated fluorocarbon line on the market.


Kastking FluoroKote - Best value fluorocarbon line

Kastking hit the market by storm a few years ago and their products offer superb value for money. Their fluorokote fishing line is no exception. While not technically 100% fluorocarbon line it is as close as it gets and has to be the best value  line for the money.

Low stretch, super strength with superior abrasion resistance.

​High density and greatly reduced visibility in the water

Very sensitive to even the smallest of bites.

Line produces really strong knot strength

Great alternative to high cost fluorocarbon lines

best value fluorocarbon line

If you are looking for a cheaper option for your fluorocarbon line then you need to take a look at Kastling Fluourkote. This super strong, abrasion resistant line offers great value for money. It's not technically full fluorocarbon line but the makeup of Copolymer Fishing Line with a high-tech 100% fluorocarbon coating makes this a solid option.

Pros

Cons

  • Price - Unbeatable line for this price
  • Quality - High quality product from Kastking
  • Durability - Super strong, doesn't stretch too much, abrasion resistant and invisible in the water
  • Nothing to report

Here is a great overview video by Kastking giving you the inside track on their super line.


What is Fluorocarbon line anyway?

Essentially it is a plastic compound that is extruded into a very thin strong and abrasion resistant line used for fishing. Some may say it's really only any good for using as leader line. That may have been the case in the past but like everything things have moved on and the quality of modern fluorocarbon fishing line gives you plenty of options when on the water.

​Some of benefits of using fluorocarbon line are that it has exceptional abrasion resistance. This is great if you are fishing in rough patches with rocks etc or have a fish on with a nasty set of knashers in it's mouth. 

It's low stretch so you can feel the more sensitive bites - pair this up with a braided mainline and nothing will go unnoticed. With this straight through power setting a hook is much easier that using line that stretches and gives way to any sort of force.

If you are fishing in very clear water then you are going to love the fact that fluorocarbon line is almost invisible underwater​. It is also more dense than other line types so will sink faster after you cast it. This is great for getting you bait or lures down into the swim but not if you are trying to delicately land a dry fly on the surface film of the water when trout fishing...

It is also chemical resistant. If like me you are a favorite meal for any bugs flying about on a warm day you will have lathered yourself with repellant. ​Some traditional lines would absorb these and deteriorate rapidly. No such worry with fluoro.

What is Fluorocarbon line used for?

As mentioned above, traditionally fluorocarbon line would have been used for leader lines but now with the high quality lines out there you can use it straight through from reel to bait. Make sure you are using the correct line test on your reel though as due to line memory etc.. you may end up with a mess on your reel.

We mainly use this type of line for leaders. It's near invisibility in the water is great when chasing nervous fish or when you are flipping lures into a very clear stream or lake. ​Because the line is completely water resistant (unlike monofilament line) it never looses it's strength in the water. Also the fact that it is 100% UV resistant you wont suffer any degrading in line strength on a warm sunny day.

Best knots for Fluorocarbon line

One thing to make sure you always do when using fluorocarbon line is to moisten you line when tying knots. If you want a super snug and tight knot then always wet the knot first.

For tying fluorocarbon line to a swivel you should definitely use the improved clinch knot. This super strong knot will never let you down.

If you are trying to join a fluorocarbon leader to your main line then you could use a double uni knot. Again a super strong knot that will last all day if tied correctly.

The best knot for tying your fluoro to a lure or hook is the 'Kreh Loop Knot'. This particular knot won the best knot category on the Saltstrong website.

Some people (I used to be one of the) often wonder why you would use a loop knot to tie you hook to your leader and not a standard uni knot. Well the best answer I can give you is that this type of knot gives you bait more freedom to float about unrestricted and can have a huge impact on strike rate when fishing. Check out the video below to find out how to tie this knot and give it a go next time you are out.


We could spend all day looking at multiple option but to be honest we'd rather be out fishing. Top choice is Seageur InvizX followed by PLine which is the softest fluorocarbon line. Kastking takes out the best value fluorocarbon line even though it's technically not 100% fluorocarbon.


That's it for this review of the best fluorocarbon line. Have you a line that you fish with all the time?

Let us know in the comments you line of choice and we may take a look.

Tight lines...