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Have a trip to Canada for big pike on memorial weekend. I would like to get a casting reel and I am a shimano guy. I have two curado's 200 but would like a 300? Do you think it is necessary to have a 300? Does anybody else have any recommendations?

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It's certainly not "necessary". I do a week-long Manitoba pike trip every spring and mostly use spinning rigs. For big baits I use an Abu Garcia Black Max casting reel. I've caught lots of 40"+ fish on both rigs, I think my biggest at 47-1/2 was on a spinning rig. But if you need an excuse to justify a new rig, go for it.

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You won't hook more fish with a curado 300 vs the 200. Match the tackle to the lure/bait smile As long as you have braided mainline and proper drag settings, you'll have more than enough muscle to go after any esox around.

I actually do most of my June fishing with medium power spinning gear, as I'm trolling jointed shad rap 9s quite a bit (I don't use big lures much at all in the early open water season). 20-30lb braided line lets me put 5-10lbs of drag on any fish, which is more than enough stopping power for any size esox. I probably even start out with 3 or 4lbs of drag. A true monster is a great fight, but lets face it these aren't tuna. Your 200's max drag should be in the 15lbs area for a full spool, that'll muscle in a 4 footer with ease if you have line and terminal tackle to match.

The baitcasting reels and big lures come out later in the year for me.

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I'll echo back to the tackle. For muskies I use a curado 300e for jerkbaits, topwater, small bucktails (#6 blades and lower). It won't handle the hard pulling baits, but it's a good reel.

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