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Inline reel reviews

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Had a cheap frabill and ditched it.  What do you have and like?  Eagle claw, fiblink, clam, frabill,?

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Which no13s?  See they have a couple.  Anyone tried the inlines that sportsman direct offers?

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I have a couple 13 6061 Black Betty's and like them a lot. Also have a couple Frabill 371's, they are ok but the drag can get "sticky". Pretty much use them for panfish only. And then I have a couple Okuma SLV 2/3 fly reels that are great in shallow water.

Edited by castmaster

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I have had good luck with the eagle claw inline reel and love the freespool option. I have 3 of them and they all work great.

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I've been using the Eagle Claw inline for 4 seasons now and it's always been a good cheaper option.  Never had a real problem with it.  For all the drag issues I hear about it, it didn't let me down at all when I hooked into a 27" lake trout while fishing for rainbows last season.  On that note, I was able to try 13's 6061 reel for a bit last season and that sucker is so freaking smooth that I'm going to get one this season.  If don't want to spend $80 on a top-of-the-line inline like 13 Fishing, the Eagle Claw works just fine at $30.

Edited by Scott O.

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The more i research there seems to be a consensus that there is not a reasonably priced inline reel on the market worth the price tag.  Along those lines i dont recall too many of the guys making a living in the industry using them, even though a few promote them.  Think mr genz, he has his name on an inline but i dont recall any youtube footage of him using one.  

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They work great on a super limp rod in 10 ft or so for tiny jigs on panfish, eliminating spin. Worthless after that. For this purpose expensive ones are a waste. 

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I will say having the freespool feature when your on top of a school a perch moving through has put more fish in the bucket for me. Way quicker than hand lining a spinning reel. Once you get the freespool dialed in and running smooth,  you  can get your bait right back in front of the fish effortlessly. It makes a world of difference when your in a hurry.

I run and gun on the ice and most lakes and sloughs here in SD are not that deep so works great for me.

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1 hour ago, rundrave said:

I will say having the freespool feature when your on top of a school a perch moving through has put more fish in the bucket for me. Way quicker than hand lining a spinning reel. Once you get the freespool dialed in and running smooth,  you  can get your bait right back in front of the fish effortlessly. It makes a world of difference when your in a hurry.

I run and gun on the ice and most lakes and sloughs here in SD are not that deep so works great for me.

I agree. They also work well in deep water. I can get back down noticeably faster with the 6061 black betty than my best spinning reels.

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I like my Eagle Claw. My only gripe is that because there is no hole for the line to go through it will come over the OD of the main spool and get wrapped around the release button. Then I end up having to loosen the button until it comes off. The line will then be free and then have to put the button back on and re-tighten it. I like the composit material because it is not cold to the touch when using bare hands. I also use my finger as a drag to control the free spooling. Sometimes it will spin too fast let out too much line.

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third season coming up for my #8's.  Once in a great while I might wrap on the button but very rare. My pointer finger keeps the line in place. Free spool??  I aint got time for that, LOL. 

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Been there done that . I have 2 CGI s and 1 Wright Mcgill Tony Roach ( Eagle Claw) . When I set them up outside the wind would spool the line off and of course get snagged in the nut holding the spool in place. I made a brass rod about 3 in with a loop on the end and fastened to the reel. I run the line through the loop. It helps quite a bit. The drag is another matter.

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I see 13 has a new snitch descent combo, cant figure out if the reel is new or an existing one.

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I've used them all.  last year was my first year back to spinning reels and i couldnt' be happier.   i started with okuma fly reels, clam spoolers, eagle claws, black betty's, 6061's, cgi's, and last year i played with a freefall for about 2 days.  

the freefall was definitely the best of the bunch but at 100+ a clip it better be.  that said, it wasn't THAT much better.  i still have to peel off line with small tungsten in deeper water, and the drag was still a dog. 

all of them, the drags (the ones that had drag) were generally subpar, and most of them you had to strip line off. 

all i have left is a eagle claw.  Its one 1 springbobber rod that is a JIC rod.   an i'll only use it in shallow water if i had to.   the most fun reel to use of all of them was the okuma.  using your palm as a drag, 1:1 retrieve fighting big bull gills in shallow water was really really fun.

the main argument for these is lure spin.   however, over the past 5 years or so i'd been using inlines, my fishing partner stuck with spinning and rarely did we every outfish each other in some amazingly difficult fishing conditions.  So while i'm sure lure spin is an issue on occasions, its not enough occasion for me to deal with all the other headaches of inline reels you have to deal with. 

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interesting. pulled many many fish up the hole the last 2 seasons with the cgi,s and no drag problems. zero headahes :).20 inch bass, 20 inch northern hitting that little gill jig by mistake and drag was still fine. 3 pound test. we all gotta use what we like I guess. eyes rods get the spinning reels yet but I love these for gills and crappies. Deep crappies I will use spinning since I will be jigging a bigger jig most of the time. cant comment on any other inline cuz never have used another. 

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there are times where they worked, but i've certainly lost fish for what i attribute to not very good drag systems in these inlines.  back to spinning reels and its far less.  user error? possible but i doubt it.  i'm not the only one who's complained about this. 

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I agree with Surface Tension, and I quit using whatever kind I was using. I have a few of those old small baitcasters like “Southbend” “ “Pfluger”, etc. which I pickup at garage sales, flea markets. As long as they freely spool, they operate the same as an in-line at a fraction of the cost. Now for my lake trout rod I use a small bait caster with a line counter that I feel is essential for deep water so I know where I am at, especially when they are chasing.

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just pan fish for my inlines.   not sure why a drag problem. I started with a genz model and no drag so returned it, went to the cgi and love the drag.  would be interesting to see how a baitcaster would work.  never have owned a modern one. had the ones that clicked when I was a kid and have a couple in the basement on old steel rods. @hnd  which inline had the bad drag? 

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I have the Black Betty fly reel, the No. 8 Fly reel, a cheap frabill straight line, an expensive frabill straight line,  2 Black Betty (black 6061), black Betty (6061 silver), and a 13 fishing descent. I had an eagle claw wright and McGill.....the drag was terrible and the reel wouldn't engage correctly a lot of the time so I returned it.

I found the fly type reels to work really well in 10 ft or less for blue gills. I always had a lot of line twist with the spinning reels. The black Betty reels all worked well for me and I've been happy with them, a little Lucas reel oil goes a lon way in making things smooth. The free fall just felt so cheaply made for $110 that I won't get one. If I was buying more I'd more then likely get the BB 6061 silver reel do to it being constructed of the best materials. 

I run them on panfish rods, perch rods, and walleye rods. No issues here.

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On 10/23/2017 at 4:40 PM, tinker said:

Been there done that . I have 2 CGI s and 1 Wright Mcgill Tony Roach ( Eagle Claw) . When I set them up outside the wind would spool the line off and of course get snagged in the nut holding the spool in place. I made a brass rod about 3 in with a loop on the end and fastened to the reel. I run the line through the loop. It helps quite a bit. The drag is another matter.

Got a picture of the loop?

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