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Cheap Fishing Reels

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Anglers search the web everyday under the term “Cheap Fishing Reels”. When folks say “cheap fishing reels”, they could mean relatively low in cost, inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.

Lets start with the later comparatively inexpensive. Here’s an example Shimano has been making the Bait runner spinning reel series since they introduced it in 1986, it was not considered a cheap fishing reel but it was (I believe) the first duel drag spinning reel, while Shimano remains in the forefront on duel drag systems, many followers such as Ryobi in the 90’s and Okuma even Cabela’s make their own versions today.

okuma Epix Epixor EB Baitrunner System, Cheap fishing reels

The Shimano bait runners start in the price range of 160.00 -200 and over
Cabela’s Salt Striker™ Baitfeeder Spinning Reels 54.00 – 74.00


Okuma makes several models  ranging from 39.00 – 99.00 and over





My personal favorite Spinning Reel manufacturer happens to be Shimano, I feel they are reasonably priced and very high quality.

The Cabela’s Sea Striker and the Okuma Epix Series would be comparatively inexpensive choices.

They may even be considered “cheap fishing reels”.

The Okuma advenger series  starting in price at 39.00 would most definitely  be considered cheap fishing reels, when I reviewed them on line however I was quite surprised to see  many 5 star ratings on such a cheap fishing reel with so many features!

No surprise about the Okuma company they have been making quality  cheap fishing reels since 1987.

When your shopping for cheap fishing reels but  your looking for long lasting quality be sure to look for reels with stain less steel ball bearings  as opposed to roller bearings, generally the more ball bearings the smother the reel will operate.

Most important when shopping for cheap fishing reels would be the reels drag system, no matter if its a spinning reel or bait casting reel a smooth drag is a must for fighting lunker fish.

Also check the line capacity for the pound test you will be using.

I do a lot of ice fishing and jigging is a very productive way to catch fish through the ice, in fact  many more fish are caught  by jigging then any other line fishing  method. I need several rod and reel setups for jigging much like a bass fisherman needs in his boat.

Time is a big factor and if you can just grab another jigging setup when needed you will have much better success.

Since ice fishing is seasonal I want cheap fishing reels on my jigging rods and Frabill makes some awesome cheap fishing reels some are under 20 dollars!

This is a Frabill jigging combo for  19.95!

Frabill reels are made for cold weather fishing and make great cheap fishing reels!


Thanks for reading

The “Hitman”



Comments (1)


“Free fishing tackle! Lures for free! Free Fishing Tackle give-a ways and contests! Free Fishing Equipment!”

Sound familiar?

“Fishing Tackle testers wanted. Receive Free lures!! Free fishing tackle samples! Free fishing tackle and gear!”

picture of free fishing tackle

Free Fishing Tackle!

Surely you’ve seen ads like this before.

I was always intrigued by these ads for free fishing tackle. I first discovered free fishing tackle ads as a youngster always browsing through the back pages of fishing magazines, dreaming over fly-in fishing trips and all the other cool stuff fish mags had to offer. I wanted to be a fishing tackle tester and receive free fishing tackle to review!

What fisherman in his right mind would turn down an opportunity to receive free fishing tackle give-a ways!
I spent quite a bit of time researching free fishing tackle ads on the internet over the summer to see if I could get any fishing tackle for free!

Let me tell ya, I got skunked!!!!
In my opinion free fishing tackle ads are bait to entice fisherman to purchase fishing tackle with real money.

When you do an internet search for free fishing tackle, you will find internet contests where some lucky angler “wins” free fishing tackle.

For a fun test, type in Google: “How to get fishing tackle for free?”  Lol, they tell you to look for free fishing tackle at low tide!!!! Or go to boat and fishing shows because many booths have free fishing tackle samples to give away!

You can also get free fishing tackle from Bass Pro Shops!!!! All you have to do is spend a lot of money at places like Bass Pro and you can use your reward coupons towards free fishing tackle!

Don’t be a “Sucker”!  These “Scrods” are not in the the free fishing tackle give away business!!

They use the Free Fishing tackle ads as a lure to get you the fisherman, hooked!

Over all the best method of receiving free fishing tackle i found would be to look for it at low tide! Free rusty fishing tackle!

The only legit way to get good fishing tackle free is to become an outdoor writer, tournament fisherman to or get involved in the industry in some way that you get sponsors that will use you to promote their products and  give away free fishing tackle to test!

Al the Hitman

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Comments (51)

I’ve got to rant about customer service! First let me say that there is still great even awesome customer service to be had, take Starbucks for instance, I have never had anything but a great customer experience at their store, however I prefer Dunkin Donuts for my coffee and have had a few instances of bad service with them but I like their Java so I put up with lower class service.

In my own cleaning and restoration company we provide awesome customer service, we go way beyond what a franchise or your typical restoration company offers, I get compliments from thrilled customers all the time! Here is a link to my company cleaning for the famous Robert Irvine!

Now lets get down to business here, I’m pissed at the quality of service I have received lately, like every where I go some “scrod” is behind the counter.

Being a former owner of 2 tackle stores and 2 video stores, I want to do business with the “Mom and Pop stores” and I do as much as possible but the fact is you can’t always get what you need when you need it and you have to rely on the franchise stores for some items.

Last night I walk into Advanced Auto in Colchester, I wanted to go to “Marks Auto Parts” for steller service but I know the paint and floor mats I want right now are not on the shelf at “Marks”.

I’m the type who tries to find what I need with out asking a clerk until I can’t find the Item, so this time I locate some of the things I wanted but could not find the paint for plastic bumpers.

I’m sure I looked like a guy who couldn’t find something to the “scrod” leaning behind the counter 30 feet away but he maintained his comfy position . I walk up and ask him where the bumper paint is?

The answer I got from him is the same answer I got from a “scrod” at Cabela’s just last week!  He said, “It should be back there!”

I know that, but I couldn’t find it, he kinda unwillingly strolls up to the paint and points at it and did this laugh shrug thing that made me feel like I must be blind to have not found it myself.

As he was walking away I ask for a blade for scraping “over spray” off of glass, he shows my a utility knife for cutting  sheet rock. I tell him that is a for a different purpose than I want, I need more of a flat blade to scrape the glass??

He say’s that’s all we have! Now that he has me in the right section I see some flat razor blades and also a handle you could purchase to hold the blade.

So I schooled him on the scrapper then asked If he knew if the GM pure white paint had come in? I was told it should be in yesterday.  He said “I sold 2 cans of white paint today but don’t know if it was GM! ” that’s it done, that was his answer to my question?  Whew, damn I’m glad my employee’s aren’t like that!

Now lets talk specifically about the service in  the Fishing Industry. O.K. tackle shop owners listen up! I’ve been in your shoes, you can’t compete with the giants in price but you can crush them with outstanding customer service, product knowledge and niche  marketing! “Think outside the tackle box!”

I know how it feels to have a customer come in your tackle shop with a Cabelas’s flier comparing your prices to theirs! Some people come in to pick your brain and then go make their purchase at Wal-Mart or Dicks or one of the other giants.

Other folks like my self are willing to pay higher prices for great service! We know you have to charge more for certain things! That’s where your superior service and knowledge and niche marketing comes in the giants can’t provide the bait and custom items that you can offer.

I recently had 3 terrible experiences at local tackle shops, 2 of those I will never set foot in again! I won’t mention them at this point but I will be reviewing  local tackle stores and give them a rating to help anglers find the service we need!

These 4 Tackle shops have top notch service!

Rivers End Bait and Tackle


141 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, 06475
Call 860-388-2283

Hillyer’s Tackle Shop
374 Rope Ferry Road
Waterford, Connecticut 06385
Phone (860) 443-7615


512 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Fax 860-571-9266


Wolf Jackson's Tackle Shop

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Call Us


Our Address

617 Lantern Hill Road,
North Stonington, Connecticut

act us by email:


Wolf Jackson is a friend of mine and his shop is located in an area with many awesome lakes to fish and explore! His Store sits on Long Pond!  Want a 10lb. Bass? Go see my buddy Wolf Jackson, tell him Al sent ya.


Don’t forget about the fabulous ice fishing at Long Pond this winter!~

Tight Lines!





Comments (3)

I started fishing with the Zebco 202, it was a fool proof set up and cast a country mile! But It wasn’t a spinning reel like  my brother, dad and the famous Gadabout Gaddis fished with. I longed for a spinning reel but according to dad I wasn’t ready for one yet and he was probably right. One day dad gave me his old spinning reel a Mitchell 300 he had just purchased another new Mitchell for himself.
The 300 Mitchell was made for a right handed person and I was left handed but that didn’t bother me one bit, I learned to cast with my left hand, then switch hands to fish. By the time I was 10 dad had me set up with the Mitchell 301 left handed spinning reel.

I would set up the hoops from our family jart game and practice casting in the yard. Over the next 8 years I was a diehard Mitchell man, when they came out with an ultra lite reel, the  Michell 308, In was the first in line.

They don’t make them like they used too! Read my review of the Mitchell XGE Series Fishing Reel.

In my quest to find a great mid priced spinning reel to promote here on I ventured to Cabelas to do some testing. The new Mitchell line of reels caught my eye! I snacthed up a 300 XGeGold and the smaller ultra lite 310XGE Gold.
Spooled them up with line and headed out onto the lake to test the 59.00 dollar mid priced Mitchells. The first several uses they seemed fine,
I used the larger 300 model most of the time.
I take pride and extremely good care of my equipment, If it doesn’t look good, I don’t even want to use it.

I fish every day so once a week I spray my fishing reels with Blakemore Real Magic, it helps with casting and reel corrosion and I have used it for years with no problems, only benefits. Until I sprayed the shiny new Mitchell’s and the finish came off. I was upset but fished the 300 for another week and felt that it was becoming harder to turn the reel. I brought them to back to Cabelas showed a manager what happened and he immediately refunded my money. The picture below is a brand new Mitchell 300 XGE used for one week!

New Michell 300 XGe series, hard to reel and losing finish after 1week!



This is a picture of the last Mitchell 300 that I purchased in Michigan around 1972 and used for 7 years! It still looks and works like new!
The picture shows my reel the spare spool and extra bail spring.

My last Mitchell 301 purchased in 1972 used for 7 years! Still works and looks like new!

Before I pushed the button on this blog post about mitchell fishing reels, I fowarded it to Mitchell and got this stock mail in return.

Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Pure Fishing concerning your
We are always eager to hear from interested anglers concerning
quality and performance of our products and we value your comments

It is our desire to provide our anglers with a
quality product that they
can use with confidence.  Because of this we
suggest you send your reels
into our qualified technicians for evaluation.
To help us best service
your reel please include a note explaining the
problem you are
experiencing with the reel, along with your name, daytime
phone number
and a physical address for return delivery.

Sorry to say but I would run far and fast from the New Mitchell Series   Rating :Thumbs Down!


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Comments (3)