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View Full Version : level-wind VS Open faced conventional reel



Skinpower
08-26-2006, 11:49 AM
Hello.
After a couple of years of using spining reels, I think I should give a try on conventional reels.
Since I have no idea about conventional reels, I would appreciate your help.

Yet, I don't even know what kind of reel i should use. For saltwater fishing (both on pier and surf) with bait, which one is better for a newbie?
1) Level-wind reels
2) Open faced reels
what are the advantages and disadvantages of those? (please consider for someone who haven't even touched a conventional reel).

Kwesi W.
08-26-2006, 12:04 PM
I started with a Daiwa sl20sh ($105), after lots of research. Most everyone loved the Daiwa. ME being new to convential I took there word for it. I'm happy with my reel even though I'm still not totally comfortable with it. Later a purchased a Penn 525mag ($150), WOW! The mag feature makes all the difference. If your budget will allow it I would reccomend the Penn 525mag. Start at level ten and slowly work down. I'm a level 5, and I still have lots to learn. In my opinion you want open face conventals. If you throw heavy weights you will need a shock leader, and level wind+ shock leaders= problems..

shaggy
08-26-2006, 12:50 PM
Me, figure, unless throwing metal, non-levekl wind. Some say some casting distance lost with level wind, knots can catch on the level wind, me don't know whether fact or fiction.

Have Jeep will travel :D

Teddy
08-26-2006, 06:26 PM
Shaggy you are on the right track with the knots and losing the distance When I first tried conventionals I had to level wind reels and tried it a couple times with heavy weights and shock leader forget about it! Just my 2 cents which i will put in the pennyjar at my local beer store thank yu over and about..........;) Ted

kingfisherman23
08-26-2006, 06:34 PM
I reccomend open-face for several reasons. I'm by no means an expert, but have learned from those who are.

1) When casting, the rotation of the spool is what causes the levelwind to trac back and forth. This creates extra drag on the spool and restricts casting distance.

2) Shock leader knots can and do snag in levelwinds, causing massive blowups because the spool is at its peak speed when the knot hangs.

3) Levelwinds place line in close coils on the reel, making a jam more likely. Without a levelwind, you are free to wind on the line in sweeping coils which can increase casting distance (more line off the spool per rotation) and prevent the line jamming.

4) When you are guiding line on to an openface reel with your fingers, you can easily detect nicks or frays in the line, something most people forget about when using a levelwind.

5) Levelwind reels have more moving parts than openface reels, making repair harder and giving salt water more places to cause problems.

NTKG
08-26-2006, 08:42 PM
I reccomend open-face for several reasons. I'm by no means an expert, but have learned from those who are.

1) When casting, the rotation of the spool is what causes the levelwind to trac back and forth. This creates extra drag on the spool and restricts casting distance.

2) Shock leader knots can and do snag in levelwinds, causing massive blowups because the spool is at its peak speed when the knot hangs.

3) Levelwinds place line in close coils on the reel, making a jam more likely. Without a levelwind, you are free to wind on the line in sweeping coils which can increase casting distance (more line off the spool per rotation) and prevent the line jamming.

4) When you are guiding line on to an openface reel with your fingers, you can easily detect nicks or frays in the line, something most people forget about when using a levelwind.

5) Levelwind reels have more moving parts than openface reels, making repair harder and giving salt water more places to cause problems.


covers everything you need to know right there. excellent post

Skinpower
08-26-2006, 09:09 PM
Great!
Thanks everybody for their posting.
Open faced reels would be the choice over level wind ones for me. I will research more on this.
Just wondering, what's the advantages of level wind reels over non-level wind reels?

ishootback
08-27-2006, 11:20 AM
Great!
Thanks everybody for their posting.
Open faced reels would be the choice over level wind ones for me. I will research more on this.
Just wondering, what's the advantages of level wind reels over non-level wind reels?

I am not an old salt, nor had the luxury of a tutor to teach me the in's and outs of conventional reels. I have been salt water fishing for only a few years, and have a lot to learn.

My first conventional was a low dollar Okuma level wind. I got the hang of thumbing and casting. With a few hours of practice, I could cast it roughly 40 to 50 maybe 60 yards.

A year later I bought a SL30SH (slosh) from Randy at the Bait Shack when he had them on sale.

The first cast with the slosh nearly burned off my thumbprint :D and left me with a bird nest for the record books.

Second cast easily went nearly 1/3 further than any conventional cast I had ever made.

Level wind is easier to reel in because you do not have to spool the line with your finger or thumb.

Glad I started with the level wind and moved up. Buy quality and stay away from cheep junk.

My. $.02

Let us know how it turns out for you.

Tight lines.

RoryGoggin
08-27-2006, 12:12 PM
JMHO (Just My Humble Opinion) but, level winds and openface (and even spinning) reels each have their "niche". If you need to use shock leader, you should use either open face or spinning. If you expect to catch big fish - use open face. If you're casting short distances, level wind or spinning reels. If you want casting accuracy, levelwind only.

Redhorse
08-28-2006, 10:21 AM
If the intended purpose for that particular reel is to cast and retrieve artificial baits...you would find the levelwind MUCH more convenient! Soaking bait is one thing, casting lures is another. It really does depend on what your going to use it for ;) .

A levelwind reel spooled with high test braid can eliminate the need for a shock leader depending on the oz/#test your casting. This negates the "knot" problem. Power Pro makes 65# test, that is the diameter of 16 lb mono. Very nice to cast, and you can throw up to 5-6 oz without worrying about a shock leader.

You can make one rod/reel combo double duty by spooling a levelwind with 65# PP. It's good for casting lures, but can soak bait also. It's a little more expensive than mono if you get spooled though...:D .

Skinpower
08-28-2006, 10:51 AM
I understand that a level-wind reel is not designed for casting. So I am just wondering, how many yards can you guys cast with a level-wind reel?

notso
08-28-2006, 05:43 PM
I understand that a level-wind reel is not designed for casting. So I am just wondering, how many yards can you guys cast with a level-wind reel?

I can break 100 w/ my 6500 abu & a stingsilver. Also I have run shockleader on it alot & only ever had the knot catch once. I bought some tapered shock leader made by a company called Varias (I think). The leaders are 17lb at the narrow end & 70 lb at the big end, this lets you make a nice small knot that will go thru the levelwind w/o much trouble. I guess I've casted mine w/ the shocker on it between 500 & 1000 times & the knot only caught once. But that one time wasn't a pleasant experience:--|

fishguts
08-30-2006, 10:43 PM
My new Fleabay 5600 c4 mag well over 100 yds. w/ a glass minnow.

Shooter
08-31-2006, 09:52 PM
I aint no expert by one of them long shots and don't claim to be no long tosser but a Abu 6500 C4 on the right rod will sling 100+ yards all day long. Now saying that I will tell ya you better find a good knot and I am still working on a SLIM BEAUTY cause if I can get that down it might be the ticket. I wouldn't go usen that reel for Big Drum or Monster Striper but I have caught some decent size striper and some Big Chopper Blues with it and tons of fun but now I am looking into stepping up a size and seeing what happens. :rolleyes:

DERFM
08-31-2006, 10:11 PM
... I am still working on a SLIM BEAUTY cause if I can get that down it might be the ticket....
slim beauty using a figure 8 knot .....
i've been using it on deb's conventionals ...no problems at all with the levelwind ... 17 lb to 50 shocker :)

Digger
09-01-2006, 12:35 AM
Shooter the next time you see me(provided I have my bag) I will show you the answer for the levelwind.

Skinpower
09-01-2006, 09:59 AM
Wow...100+ yd with level wind?
man..you guys are good!

Lipyourown
09-01-2006, 10:23 AM
In regards to using a heaver and open face conventional:

3) Levelwinds place line in close coils on the reel, making a jam more likely. Without a levelwind, you are free to wind on the line in sweeping coils which can increase casting distance (more line off the spool per rotation) and prevent the line jamming.

Do close coils increase or decrease distance? I thought they would increase distance by coming off smoother and you can get more line on the reel. I'm not worried about brid nests/jams.

MONSTER
09-01-2006, 10:30 AM
rorygoggin put out some good info.as for what you will be trying to do(distance-like how far/and fish type) and your ability will pick what you need more than any.Then again so does budget.there are some level winds that will really throw some stuff-like a calcutta700te and the 7oob both are level wind and they can let it go with the best non leveler, but,they are costly.ive only un loaded on one 525 it cast ok and i own a slosh 30 it is not magged and it will cast really well and smooth.Remember rods have a big say so in the distance equation also.So when budgets play havoc try to get the best in both.if you have any specific questions as for out fits ask all us will be glad to help with the pros and cons.

chris storrs
09-02-2006, 06:57 PM
levelwinds can still cast a very long way...ive thrown a 6500cs pro rocket over 500' ...ive seen my friend danville throw a levelwind 6500 abu over 600'

sinker man
09-03-2006, 02:09 AM
My advice is to not limit yourself to just one thing. The 6500cs pro rocket and a penn mag 525 or diawa sl30shv would cover slinging metal or fishing bait for pompano, trout, flounder, blues schoolie stripers,etc,etc.and bigger fish such as big drum, big stripersand whatever else large you might catch from the surf. Myself, I started with 2 spinning outfits and 2 conventionals. It wasn't long before I had it covered from abu 5500,s to a 12/0 penn. be careful or you too might find yourself getting a little carried away. AL

curtisb
09-07-2006, 04:43 PM
As for distance with a levelwind reel there was a couple of guys who could hit over 700' on the tourney trail a few years back. These where Abu 6500 reels that where souped up but still used levelwinds.

CB

MONSTER
09-08-2006, 08:13 AM
better than 120 with my callcutta 700te

StormCaster
09-08-2006, 11:09 PM
Never had a shock leader bind in the levelwind during casting unless the knot is massive. Who checks the line on an open face reel during the crank? Never done that and I don't know anyone that checks the line with their fingers. Guide it with your thumb. When does a levelwind reel jam during casting because the line is placed perfectly? Never heard that one before or anyone placing the line on an open face reel in a sweeping manner.

flathead
09-12-2006, 08:21 PM
I use 7000s and SLX30SHVs.Never had a knot catch in a 7000 level wind,using back to back uni and/or a modified Slim Beauty(no double involved),using 17# Suffix Tri Plus to 50# BBG or 50# Suffix.

ishootback
09-12-2006, 08:41 PM
What is a slim beauty knot?



I aint no expert by one of them long shots and don't claim to be no long tosser but a Abu 6500 C4 on the right rod will sling 100+ yards all day long. Now saying that I will tell ya you better find a good knot and I am still working on a SLIM BEAUTY cause if I can get that down it might be the ticket. I wouldn't go usen that reel for Big Drum or Monster Striper but I have caught some decent size striper and some Big Chopper Blues with it and tons of fun but now I am looking into stepping up a size and seeing what happens. :rolleyes:

derekxec
09-12-2006, 11:08 PM
100 is easy you can do that with a shimano cardiff 401 and a 3 inch storm

i use a shimano TN30 is a open face and it has held up to 300+lb fish and casts a mile $420 but well worth it

DERFM
09-13-2006, 10:42 AM
here are some directions for the slim beauty ..
http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/knots/slim_beauty.aspx

just one version ....
i hope posting the link is ok ... i couldn't get the pics to post ..

MONSTER
09-13-2006, 11:15 AM
calcutta 700te and 700b level winds will put a long enough cast to wear you out reelin it back in. a good estimate will be beyond 140

surfchunker
09-15-2006, 08:20 PM
I was throwing an ole Penn 209 100 yds myself today ......

Level winds are also better for pier, bridge, boat fishing ....... more up and down than casting for distance

mantriumph
09-15-2006, 08:29 PM
Are you guys useing shock leaders with these levelwinds or are you useing braid only?

al bundy
09-16-2006, 01:53 AM
pick some thing you like in your price range.
i use reel that range fromunder a $100.00 to over$300.00.
when i started using the old round spool i got a calcutta 700s open face agenst the advice of good that owens a tackle shop.
he told me what i,ll tell you.
start out slow you would be better off with a leaver wind it puts the line on nice even / with braid theres less chance of getting cut if fish makes run and your thumb is on the line / and if your just starten your not gonna cast 300 yards anyway.
if i was starting all over agian i would go with 7000c3 cast great / good drags / plenty of line cop. / and you can find them on sale for around $100.00 or buy them all day long for the msrp of $129.99.
as far as fitting big fish i whipped the snott out of black drum (IN THE SURF) to over 40lbs.
3 1/2 to 5 foot brown sharks
and yellow fin tuna to 70lbs. on a 400 calutta with 30bl. fire line.
and would beleave my 7000c3 would handle them just as well.
you can always up grade later, make sure you like fishing the round spool befor you spend a load of cash!!!
do you have a rod yet??? that can make all the differance in the world.
i would pick a rod first then get a reel the fells good TO YOU your the one throughin it.
GOOD LUCK!!

NOW GO SPEND SOME MONEY.

Jeepster
09-16-2006, 03:14 AM
Uh.... I'm really debating on whether to spend what it takes to get a decent open face baitcaster . I've got an older Penn 750 ss on an older 12' Ugly Stick. Not exactly a high dollar setup, but the price was right. The reel is nicer than the rod. Using an OTG cast, with 6oz, I consistenly get 90, with an occasional 110 using 20lb stren with 50lb el cheapo shock. I would love to get into the 150 range using 6 to 8 oz and since I have to use a shock, I'm concerned about a level wind. I've got a cheap 12' small eye bait rod rod I'd like to learn on. (Beefstick)Is there a cheap starter conventional with at least 2 bearings that will get me going? Money is a big issue here, or I'd just pour $$$ into a nice Shimano. Goin to the south core banks in Oct for 3 days and want to get my stuff in order. Thx, Kevin

surfchunker
09-16-2006, 09:18 PM
if your getting that far with mono .... you could use a little heavier braid and use no leader ...... 100 yds in the right place could be a long cast ...... about getting farther with 6-8 then you'll cast a little shorter due to the helicoptering of the lead-bait ...... but If it's a vacation trip like me once maybe twice a year ...... give it a try this year and save up over the winter for a nicer reel if you love it .......

JAM
09-16-2006, 11:34 PM
Someone will get hurt or someones gonna loose a windshield .. Braid has no give ... Not a good Idea.. JAM :)

NCGMAN
10-08-2006, 03:07 PM
Am New To This Site, But Not New To Casting An Openface Reel. Started Using Them When I Was Around 8 Yrs Old, Now 57.
Back Then There Were No Free Spool Button. I've Read All The Feedback And Come To The Conclusion That You Cast What You Are Comfortable With. Me I Use The Abu 5500 With 10-15 Lb. Line With A 2-3 Oz. Sinker, Depending On Surf Conditions.
Have Caught 25-30 Lb. Fish With This. Tight Lines And Screaming Drags To All.

longcast
10-10-2006, 07:00 AM
One problem with winding back in with sweeping back & forth with the coils of line not running paralel with each other is, the spool will not hold as much line. I don't know about you, but I want as much line on my reel as I can get. It comes in handy some times.

There are 2 styles of levelwind guides used on surf casting reels. One is a wire frame with a small distance between the wires, and the top of the wire guide captured by a guide rod(Abu 6xxx,7xxx). The other is a hole in a post like the Penn 955,965, & 975. The wire frame will pass allmost all of the common shock knots when tied correctly. The post type has two problems, the hole in the post is small. The other is line comming off the spool fluffs a couple coils, when the post traverses it can & will snag over the post, that will bring the cast to a halt.

When getting started with conventional reels a levelwind makes getting the line back on the spool easier. When useing lures is where it shines. Also at night when useing a light, to see what you are doing, is frowned upon. After learning with the training wheels(levelwind) it can be taken off the reel and the holes plugged easly.

For me a perfect surf casting reel would have a wire frame levelwind & a lever-drag, that weights next to nothing, and has a 2 speed retrieve. Kinda like the Abu 7500 C3LD which is just a tad heavy. I'm getting lazy.
Jim