Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: My 2019 fishing gear review & 2020 initial thoughts

  1. #1
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600

    Lightbulb My 2019 fishing gear review & 2020 initial thoughts

    2019 was an interesting year for me as I caught the bass bug after never really caring for freshwater fishing. In ?18 I used shimano citicas and did not like them so I switched to Lews for 2019 and put them through the ringer of inshore and bass fishing. Also scooped up a KastKing reel to try during a flash sale they had. So here is the gear that I abused in 2019 and how I think it faired:

    Lews Speed Spool Super Duty



    Fishing from a kayak a lot really puts your reels to the test and my 2 Lews reels saw south la marsh from Hopedale to Grand Isle and freshwater from rivers to the Rez. Caught a bunch of fish and they perform today just like they did out of the box. They MSRP either $179 or $199 but I got them for $99 a piece in an end of the year sale in 2018.

    The good- built like a tank. This reel feels bullet proof. I just cleaned them for the first time and there was not a performance issue to lead to the cleaning. Smooth reel all the way around. Cast well and smooth retrieve. Ain?t no plastic on this reel so you don?t have to worry about a gear failure for a bruiser red or bass. After a year with Lews I can say I really like their braking system. Also love the pin that holds the side plate on. I hate detachable side plates.

    The bad- Bad is probably a strong word because there isn?t anything truly bad but it?s a touch heavy but I knew that going in. It?s a beefy reel. If you?re casting and winding all day sometimes I?d gravitate to other setups. It?s not going to be the best at any specific task but it?s good at everything. I don?t love the knobs. A dang near $200 price point reel should have better than cheap rubber knobs. They slightly improved them on the newer model but don?t love those either.

    Overall- A high quality reel I?d have no qualms recommending. I think I?d select this reel for specific power fishing applications.

    KastKing Spartacus





    The good- Had been wanting to try one after a few influencers I follow started using them and they even have a tour pro or 2 now. They had a sale where the Spartacus was half off so I got like $39. Dirt cheap. It?s their heavy drag reel (20lbs maybe) so I got it thinking I?ll give it a run with the reds. It ended up on by frog/heavy rod despite being a little slow and I caught a ton of bass in heavy cover. I feel like the drag is as advertised. Never had an issue turning a fish. This reel is sexy as hell. It?s really light. I love the oversized eva grips. Feels really good in your hand. The spool break is the one that works well.

    The bad- when you pick up a sub $100 reel and a $200+ reel, they just don?t feel the same. This reel feels like a $79 reel. The thumb bar button isn?t tight enough. I?ve accidentally pressed the bottom with my hand handling the reel. That?s irritating. Now the breaking system. This is partially my fault for being an idiot and not reading directions but I slapped line on it and started fishing only using the dial on the outside like my Lews and abu Garcia. I?d have more than normal amount of backlash issues. I?d also have the breaks squeel on long cast. Well then I popped it open and notice the internal spool break. Duh. Well that?s the one. I don?t think the external magnetic breaks do much of anything. So it?s not a bad breaking system per se but it?s all about the spool breaks. And those are under a detachable side plate which I hate.

    Overall- As a price point reel you won?t find a better one cosmetically. There are certainly small things that remind you this is a cheap reel. If you find them for what I paid, I?d jump all over it. It?s probably still a solid value at the regular msrp.

    Falcon HD rods:



    I bought a 6?6 medium and a 6?6 medium heavy to go with the super duties. They were $69 a piece and are the price point rod on the falcon lineup. At time of purchase a was thinking more for inshore but ended up using a bunch for bass too.

    The good- Really solid rod for the money. I like an exposed blank under the rod seat where my ring finger keeps in contact with the blank. The MH specifically landed a handful of reds over a few trips and it handled the bruts just fine. This was a good for me but it may not be for others but the rod wasn?t perfectly balanced if you held it at the seat. It?s weighted forward. So with it being shorter and feeling like the weight was front loaded I felt like I made more accurate cast. The reel seat is all plastic but it stayed on right. I never had the issues on constant tightening.

    The bad- I prefer eva split grip but can deal with cork for a value. I fresh water rinse my rods and reels after every trip and after a year you can see the wear on the cork. It?s fine now and probably will be for another year or so but expect the cork to starts chipping and whatnot after heavy use. The cork cap on the butt of the rod fell off on a trip. I guess the epoxy job wasn?t stellar on that one. I super glued it back on and no problems since. I feel like the handle could be a little longer but I did buy a 6?6 so that?s on me.

    Overall- It?s really not a bad little price point rod. I?ve put the 7? in my hands and I like it better than the 6?6s I bought. I?m happy enough with them but truth be told I probably wouldn?t buy again. Id wait for a sale price on a little better rod to hit $70.

    Abu Garcia Ultra Max combo

    The good- no pics but I bought this combo for $79 as a cheap beater combo. It cast better than the Lews by a little and it put my old citicas to shame. I totally abused it in salt and fresh for 2 years and never cleaned it. Figured when it broke down just get another. Actually got my best bass of 19 on it. After 2 years of abuse I gave the whole combo to my bil and after cleaning it?s still going strong.

    The bad- it feels like a cheap reel in your hands. It?s plasticy.

    Overall- I really just can?t say anything bad about the cheap Abu Garcia reels. I?m sure it?s 1 little plastic piece away from a failure but that little setup has caught reds and a bunch of bass and it still works fine. Defies logic at $79 for the rod and reel.
    Last edited by BeastMan; 01-30-2020 at 07:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SpeckleDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Coast
    Posts
    1,076
    vCash
    600
    Good stuff Beast. I've seen a lot more chatter about the Lews reels in recent years, but have never snagged one.
    I'm more of a fan of the Falcon rods than you seem to be, but I also much prefer the cork handles (probably just used to it from way back). The HD has been solid and I really like the Coastal spinning 7' I got last year.
    Agree on the cheap feel of the lower end Abus, but if it works, it works.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeckleDawg View Post
    Good stuff Beast. I've seen a lot more chatter about the Lews reels in recent years, but have never snagged one.
    I'm more of a fan of the Falcon rods than you seem to be, but I also much prefer the cork handles (probably just used to it from way back). The HD has been solid and I really like the Coastal spinning 7' I got last year.
    Agree on the cheap feel of the lower end Abus, but if it works, it works.
    I really don’t have any issue with the Falcons HDs. But when I post the 2020 gear early thoughts you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’ve gotten in to buying gear at the new year because you’ll find some heavy heavy discounts. I bought 4 new rods none over $69 and some retailed $130. The Omen rods are fine. I’m gonna make another post today.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    Now for the 2020 stuff. I’ve thrown everything here around so this is more an out of the box thoughts then actual review. Everyone knows durability is key and I can’t speak to that yet. You’ll a lot of 13 Fishing stuff. I got a cpl of their spinning reels 2 years ago and they were great for the money so after doing a bunch of research snob talking to a lot of people, I invested further for a real trial by fire. Here we go

    13 Fishing Concept Z on a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1 M



    I’ve wanted a Z since they dropped and was able to score one for $99 (regular $199) and the omen black for $55 (regular $100). I like throwing topwater a a medium action so that’s my go to plan for this one. I’ll use medium for other apps too but that’s where I start here. Since the Z has no stainless steel bearings, instead carbon bearings, it’s light as a feather. 13 does a good job with the little stuff like the line hole on the spool and the badass hookeep on the rod. Great details. The Z throws a mile with suffix elite 12lb mono and reels really smooth. Has the side plate that stays connected if you adjust breaks. No dial on the outside. If you picked up all my new setups blindfolded, this is the one you’d pick. Feels incredible. The omen black is a 30 ton graphite so it’s a step up from the standard 24 ton graphite on cheap and budget models. You can feel how it’s lighter immediately. They have a mostly plastic blank, maybe all plastic, but it feels sturdy. Also the exposed blank in front of the trigger for my finger. You can’t see on the pic but there are tiny ridges going all the way to the tip that are some kind of Kevlar wrap technology with the graphite that improves durability (supposedly). Also, 13 rods have an extra guide. Don’t really have an opinion one way or not.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    Shimano Curado X 7:1 on a 13 Fishing Fate Black 7’3 MH



    The Curado on sale for $99 (reg $179) and the Fate for $69 (reg $99). Are we seeing the huge discount trend? Dec-Feb is a great time to get your shopping done. The Shimano cast well and feels really sturdy. It feels the most well put together of all my reels including the Lews Super Duties. Very low profile so they feel really good in you hand. Smooth smooth reel. Small spool but I love braid so no biggie. Here’s what I don’t like about Shimano. While the rest of the industry makes cool little details they stay in 1986 with detachable side plates on almost $200 reels. Come on man. And while I don’t have any complaints about the performance of the drag, the plastic clip system just feels antiquated. It’s hard to tell if they’re clicked on or off unless you remember. I will say this this plastic clip system is an upgrade from the Citicas I had a cpl years ago that had these weird plastic tabs you slid up and down and could actually pop off. The Fate Black rod is 24 ton graphite but it feels pretty good. Love the split handle. The color is bright. One thing I hate is why cork the blank above the trigger when it could be exposed? I don’t understand why you do that. One thing I really like about this rid compared to the same power/length on the omen series is this one has a lot more tip. I’m gonna have some versatility with this one.
    Last edited by BeastMan; 01-29-2020 at 03:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    Shimano XG 8:1 on a H20 Xpress Ethos 7’3 Heavy



    This is my frog setup. Actually got the rod mid summer but it made the cut to 2020. Although my best bass this summer was on a mh rod, my percentage went waaaaay up with this rod. It’s a value price point probably $70ish bucks. I’d highly recommend it if you have need for another cheap heavy stick in the arsenal. Love the split grip and exposed blank but since most of the time I’m froggin with this the exposed blank doesn’t matter. Maybe if I do some pitchin with it.... See all above praise and complaints on Shimano Curado X series but this one is the high speed picks up some damn line. My froggin equipment got a huge upgrade for 2020. I’m pumped about this setup.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    13 Fishing Concept A on a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1 M




    You’ve already heard about this exact rod so I won’t say much more other than it’s a tad heavier than some other brands medium so with the braid on this one I’m going to get to throw pretty much my 3 favorite 3/8-1/4 presentations: under spin jigs, swim jigs, and chatter baits. I chunked around the lazyman hook with a paddle tail a lot the other day just because it was fun to throw. The Concept A is a sexy ass reel with the matte black finish and the cork grips. The side plate stays connected and the breaks are the same as the Z. I’m really curious to test the durability of the A vs the Z. It’s a battle of more industry standard tech vs new tech.
    Last edited by BeastMan; 01-29-2020 at 05:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    13 Fishing Origin TX on a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’3 MH




    Last is the Origin TX. The Origin series is a notch down from Concept. This one is $100 msrp so about half the price on all the concepts (or more). The 7’3 omen is lighter than the fate black and it has the exposed blank above the trigger but it doesn’t have as much tip. Just interesting. I wonder if 13 made a trade off with the 30 ton graphite being more sensitive so they gave it more backbone than they same length/power fate. Something to test... The Origin TX is the saltwater specific model on the origin line so I bought this setup to be my redfish combo. If I’m going to the marsh, this one is coming. I’m going to put that saltwater designation to the test. One thing I noticed is it feels more sturdy than the other origins. If you go to academy and feel an origin chrome and then pick up the origin TX, you’ll think the chrome feels like plastic junk. Not saying it is just how different the TX feels. I threw a 3/8 TX rig to give this one a test and man, I was impressed. Cast a mile and smooth as you could ever want for a c-note. Really like the soft rubber grips. They’re a little smaller than the concepts but like them a lot. The side plate is detachable but I can live with that at the price. Can’t have everything for nothing. That said, 13 does cool features like the composite insert hook keep on the reels since that’s where we put them a lot of times anyway. Drag is the same as the Concepts as far as how it sets up. Really pumped to get some reds on the end of this one.
    Last edited by BeastMan; 01-29-2020 at 06:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2,479
    vCash
    1223
    Great write-up/review Beastman. I've been wanting badly to try the newer Lew's reels but just haven't pulled the trigger due to the excess number I already own. I have quite a few older models. They are pretty popular with a lot of the touring pros the last several years.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BeardoMSU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    11,484
    vCash
    50600
    Good stuff, Beast!

    Speaking of fishing gear, I finally organized my sticks with a ceiling rack. Didn't leave myself much room for expansion, but if I need to, I can always mirror this set up on the other side of the garage.


  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana
    Posts
    994
    vCash
    3476089
    I also use the garage roof racks to store most of my rods & reels, I have 48 from Bass to offshore Penn's with 80# line, Too lazy to take a picture.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana
    Posts
    994
    vCash
    3476089
    Hey Beast, with all that Braid you turned those into winches.LOL

  13. #13
    TheDynastyIsDead TUSK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In your head.
    Posts
    12,199
    vCash
    1173562
    I'm not nearly the fishin' pros you cats are, but I really dig this (for the money):

    https://www.lews.com/americanheroseries/americanheroc

    Although it's not as effective as this:



    And this is my next method I'm tryin' to master:



    *
    "It is not courage to resist TUSK; It is courage to accept TUSK."

    No.


    Easy there buddy. Tusk is...well Tusk is Tusk. Tireddawg 12.20.17

  14. #14
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7,409
    vCash
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Dawg View Post
    Hey Beast, with all that Braid you turned those into winches.LOL
    I throw a lot of braid lol. If application calls for it I use a flouro leader. I keep a finesse rod w/10lb flouro, my Concept Z has 12lb suffix elite mono, and I have 12lb suffix elite mono on 3 other setups.

    On Wednesday I threw that Z a lot and damn son I’m buying the hype. That reel cast like a dream. That and the Curados are really making me rethink my prior experience with lesser Shimano baitcasters. Incredibly impressed with both of those reels.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana
    Posts
    994
    vCash
    3476089
    My worm rods are braid to the weight and swivel then Fluro to the hook on a Carolina set up. With floating worms.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Disclaimer: Elitedawgs is a privately owned and operated forum that is managed by alumni of Mississippi State University. This website is in no way affiliated with the Mississippi State University, The Southeastern Conference (SEC) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The views and opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the post author and may not reflect the views of other members of this forum or elitedawgs.com. The interactive nature of the elitedawgs.com forums makes it impossible for elitedawgs.com to assume responsibility for any of the content posted at this site. Ideas, thoughts, suggestion, comments, opinions, advice and observations made by participants at elitedawgs.com are not endorsed by elitedawgs.com
Elitedawgs: A Mississippi State Fan Forum, Mississippi State Football, Mississippi State Basketball, Mississippi State Baseball, Mississippi State Athletics. Mississippi State message board.