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Old 05-11-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
ReelGoodMan
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Default Best Salmon Reel?

I'm looking for the end all be all of salmon reels for drifting. The best money can buy. I own Shimano Calais DC's and have looked into the Calcutta TE DC, but don't know if the line capacity would be enough. I'm thinking a 301 series would be better for salmon.

Any ideas? Thoughts? Comments?

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Ambassadeur Toro 50/51...200 yards of 15# line, 22 pounds of drag...both significantly better than any comparable Shimano.

Fish on...

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Ambassadeur Toro 50/51...200 yards of 15# line, 22 pounds of drag...both significantly better than any comparable Shimano.

Fish on...

Todd
I own one of these as well for my salmon float rod, and while the specs are great, I just can't help but think there are reels out there that will cast better. It's probably just me, and I just need to practice my casting with it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

A Japanese market version of the Calcutta (Conquest) or Daiwa Luna would probably be it, if you're prepared to shell out $600+ for the reel. You can find 'em on Ebay and a few other places.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelGoodMan View Post
.......the Calcutta TE DC, but don't know if the line capacity would be enough........
I use a TN12 for albacore and schoolie YFT and a TN30 for wahoo, they have far more line capacity than needed for salmon.
I would suggest #1 TN16DC or #2 TN20DC if you are willing to spend that much $. Fill it with 50lb or 65lb Spectra with a 100yd topshot of whatever mono you prefer and you will not have problems with being spooled. The Trinidad reels are high sped reels (6.2:1) but the large gears and handle make it east to reel in even with a load. Last weekend I was fishing bottom fish in almost 200' of water with a TN12 with out worrying about line capacity and didn't have problems reeling up a 16oz jig.

TN16DC
Mono
16/450, 20/320 (lb test/yards)
Spectra
50/530,65/330,80/250

TN20DC
Mono
20/420, 25/300
Spectra
50/710,65/375,80/310

TN30DC
Mono
25/420, 30/350
Spectra
50/1015,65/515,80/415
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

You mentioned you are looking for a reel "for drifting" - assuming drift fishing? If so, I strongly recommend the Curado series in either the D or the E flavor. 200 size if you are running up to 12 lb or braid, 300 size if you are running 15 lb or higher. Abu's are nice, but have had better luck with Shimano and who needs 22 pounds of drag anyway!?!?
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor Cal Drifter View Post
....and who needs 22 pounds of drag anyway!?!?
Some of us do but not for salmon.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Some of us do but not for salmon.
Keta - are you talking tuna? If I torqued down 22 lbs of drag on any of my Salmon or Steelie rods they would explode on the first run...
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

they dont make a good long lasting reel any more give me an ambassadeur 7000 that is made in sweeden any day that reel could stop a freight train
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by Nor Cal Drifter View Post
Keta - are you talking tuna? If I torqued down 22 lbs of drag on any of my Salmon or Steelie rods they would explode on the first run...
I use my TN30 for wahoo and small/mid YFT. A TN12 is a better size for salmon but overkill still.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

If you're going to be bank fishing or making a lot of casts from a drift boat the curado 300 is the way to go. That's what I use on my 17 lb salmon rod (coho, springers, bank salmon above tidewater). If you're not going to be casting all day and weight isn't an issue the 300 and 400 calcuttas are great reels.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

I was reading Keta's posts. If you want to go the overkill route and money and reel weight aren't an object you may want to take a look at the new talica reels. I was playing around with one about a month ago and they are unbelievably smooth reels. You definitely wouldn't want to be casting one all day on the side of the river but if you wanted the nicest salmon trolling reel around that would easily handle tuna as well it would be worth looking at.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

6500 works for me. Not Gold plated though.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

I personally prefer low profile for drift fishing. My choice would be the Curado 300.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Shimano Conquest is a really nice choice. It really depends on what you mean by drifting.?
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

OKUMA all the way
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Baitcaster for salmon drift fishing.

I would want something light, low profile, decent line capacity and a disengaging levelwind.

Light, so I can flog for hours if necessary.
Low profile because that design gets my thumb at a more comfortable angle than a round reel.
Line capacity.....self explanatory.
Disengaging levelwind for easier casting and longer range if needed.

The two I would look at would be Curado 300E and Revo Inshore.

The Revo Toro is like a low pro Ambassadeur with a non-disengaging levelwind and the advertised 22 lbs of drag has been proven false by Alan Tani's testing of these reels.
I believe that he recorded 8 lbs of drag out of the box and was able to tweak the drag stack to produce around 15 lbs. His opinion was that any more drag than that would tear up this reel. The report is here in Tech Tips and Keepers.

I wouldn't be happy driftfishing with a reel such as Toro, that does not disengage its levelwind mechanism when in freespool. I prefer this type of reel for boat techniques such as backbouncing, running plugs, trolling, etc.

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Old 05-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Penn International 965.

For trolling, the 975LD.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectDrive View Post
Baitcaster for salmon drift fishing.

I would want something light, low profile, decent line capacity and a disengaging levelwind.
...
Disengaging levelwind for easier casting and longer range if needed.
i'd have to completely disagree with you on the disengaging levelwind unless you don't mind being REQUIRED to make an extra long cast every so often to get your line evened out again. also, i've never seen a properly maintained and lubed reel, with a full time levelwind, make any appreciable difference in normal conditions as far as distance is concerned. if a reel with a disengaging levelwind has the line guide stop at either side of the spool, it WILL drastically affect the distance of the cast...

as for the BEST salmon reel? i'd say personal preference would play a huge role in the final answer. some guys don't like round reels, so that would kinda make them a poor choice for the individual don't you think?

all that being said,personally, i'd probably choose a curado 301 (with the drag washers upgraded to carbon fiber) for drift/spinner/spoon fishing. an abu record 60/61 hc for bobber. both choices are more than adequate. i don't need a status symbol, just a good reliable tool. haven't used the revos or several other reels so can't include them in my choices.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by crobarr View Post
i'd have to completely disagree with you on the disengaging levelwind unless you don't mind being REQUIRED to make an extra long cast every so often to get your line evened out again. also, i've never seen a properly maintained and lubed reel, with a full time levelwind, make any appreciable difference in normal conditions as far as distance is concerned. if a reel with a disengaging levelwind has the line guide stop at either side of the spool, it WILL drastically affect the distance of the cast...

as for the BEST salmon reel? i'd say personal preference would play a huge role in the final answer. some guys don't like round reels, so that would kinda make them a poor choice for the individual don't you think?

all that being said,personally, i'd probably choose a curado 301 (with the drag washers upgraded to carbon fiber) for drift/spinner/spoon fishing. an abu record 60/61 hc for bobber. both choices are more than adequate. i don't need a status symbol, just a good reliable tool. haven't used the revos or several other reels so can't include them in my choices.
I like to use the icon to indicate personal preference.
You may be fishing smaller rivers where short casts are the norm.
Come to the Deschutes, bring your full-time levelwind and don't forget your betting jing

Edit:
A 301 may be a poor choice for those individuals who prefer right cranks, don't you think ?
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

yep, all just our opinions. not trying to pick on you, just telling it how i see things.

your right. the biggest river i fish on a regular basis would be the wilson. guess my opinions and experience show the fact i do mostly fish small water.

the 301 would be a poor choice for people reeling with the wrong hand, but i was just saying what my own choice would be. LOL

Last edited by crobarr; 05-11-2010 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

To answer a few questions:

The reel will be used for drift fishing. It will be seated on a Lami TI2000 TBC 86 H. I'll be fishing quite a few different rivers... Sandy, Clack, Wilson, Wynoochee, Deschutes, JD, etc... Cost isn't a factor, I want the best of the best and yes, in this case, the reel will be a status symbol.

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:13 AM   #23
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

A Shamano TR DC won't be a good choice. If you are set on Shamano and money isn't an issue a Calcutta TE would be good.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:01 AM   #24
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelGoodMan View Post
To answer a few questions:

The reel will be used for drift fishing. It will be seated on a Lami TI2000 TBC 86 H. I'll be fishing quite a few different rivers... Sandy, Clack, Wilson, Wynoochee, Deschutes, JD, etc... Cost isn't a factor, I want the best of the best and yes, in this case, the reel will be a status symbol.

Thanks!
Answered your own question, buy by price.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:52 AM   #25
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A Shamano TR DC won't be a good choice. If you are set on Shamano and money isn't an issue a Calcutta TE would be good.
Not set on Shimano, they just seem to have the best reviews for their higher end products.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:53 AM   #26
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Answered your own question, buy by price.
Thanks for your insight...

But if I was to buy by the highest price, I'd be buying a Calais DC, which in my opinion, wouldn't be a good reel for Salmon. Or would it?

But thanks anyway.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:05 AM   #27
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Not set on Shimano, they just seem to have the best reviews for their higher end products.
A Calcutta TE will not disappoint you. I have a CTE 401 that I use for salmon, albacore and small YFT and it works well. For your use and "price" a CTE200DC or a CTE250DC would be what I'd suggest.

I'd also suggest filling the reels with 40lb hollow Spectra "backing" w/100yds of mono for a topshot. I use Jerry Brown hollow Spectra but the new Power Pro 40lb hollow looks good. I also like to replace my Shamano drag washers with Smooth Drag "Carbontex" washers when the reel in new.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:12 AM   #28
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A Calcutta TE will not disappoint you. I have a CTE 401 that I use for salmon, albacore and small YFT and it works well. For your use and "price" a CTE200DC or a CTE250DC would be what I'd suggest.

I'd also suggest filling the reels with 40lb hollow Spectra "backing" w/100yds of mono for a topshot. I use Jerry Brown hollow Spectra but the new Power Pro 40lb hollow looks good. I also like to replace my Shamano drag washers with Smooth Drag "Carbontex" washers when the reel in new.
Thanks for the advice!

But I have a question... Why spectra backing with the mono topshot?

I was planning on running either a copolymer line, like Maxima Treazure or P-Line CXX Xtra Strong or a 30# braid for sensitivity.

Just curious on the benefits for spooling the reel like you recomended.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #29
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Just curious on the benefits for spooling the reel like you recomended.
Spectra is small diameter and you can put lots of it on a small reel, it has almost no stretch so sensitivity is very good, Spectra does not deteriorate fast and I change my "mono" * often, it's better to change out 5'-100' of "mono" than a few hundred yards. I don't like leaving Spectra in the enviroment so I run topshots that break before the Spectra, 100lb Spectra/80lb mono, 65lb Spectra/50lb-40lb mono, 40lb Spectra/20lb-30lb mono, 30lb Spectra/12lb-20lb mono. My topshots are from 5' to 100' depending on the application, 5'-10' for live bait (ocean) side drifting or bottom fishing (rockfish and halibut), 25'-50' for kokanee, mackinaw and salmon trolling and 100' for tuna/pelagic trolling.

*Mono can be Flurocarbon, Copoloymer or nylon.



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Old 05-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #30
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No offense to Keta (like stated above these are all personal opinions) but if you put a Calcutta TE on that setup you are going to kill the sensitivity of that Lami Ti rod and be fatigued at the end of the day. I'm fishing a very similar rod (IMX 1025c) and I have a Curado 200 E on there. Amazing setup for drift fishing...small/easy to palm, light as a feather, and the high speed retrieve and high efficiancy gearing make casting and retrieving all day long a breeze. I'm fishing either 12 lb mono or 20-30 lb braid and I get plenty of line on there. Anything above 100 yds when you're drift fishing is just backing anyway. You could step up to the new Chronarch, but I don't think they're that much better. Calais is nice, but the drag on the Curado is going to be beefier and no high speed retrieve avail on the Calais. Anyway...my .
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:20 AM   #31
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No offense to Keta (like stated above these are all personal opinions) but if you put a Calcutta TE on that setup you are going to kill the sensitivity of that Lami Ti rod and be fatigued at the end of the day. I'm fishing a very similar rod (IMX 1025c) and I have a Curado 200 E on there. Amazing setup for drift fishing...small/easy to palm, light as a feather, and the high speed retrieve and high efficiancy gearing make casting and retrieving all day long a breeze. I'm fishing either 12 lb mono or 20-30 lb braid and I get plenty of line on there. Anything above 100 yds when you're drift fishing is just backing anyway. You could step up to the new Chronarch, but I don't think they're that much better. Calais is nice, but the drag on the Curado is going to be beefier and no high speed retrieve avail on the Calais. Anyway...my .
The more I think about it, I think I might just get another Calais DC. The Calais DC has a 7.0:1 gear ratio, that seems high speed to me. The drag may be on the weak side, but I don't want to crank it down too much with that rod anyway.
I'm just worried about the lack of line cap... According to Shimano.com, I can get 150 Yards of 30# Power Pro. I wonder how much of 20# PP I can get on it? Or a small diameter copolymer.
The Calcutta TE DC's gear ratio is pretty low, and the weight is slightly higher than the Calais, with similar line caps....
All signs are pointing to a Calais DC.

Thanks guys!
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:01 PM   #32
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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The more I think about it, I think I might just get another Calais DC. The Calais DC has a 7.0:1 gear ratio, that seems high speed to me. The drag may be on the weak side, but I don't want to crank it down too much with that rod anyway.
I'm just worried about the lack of line cap... According to Shimano.com, I can get 150 Yards of 30# Power Pro. I wonder how much of 20# PP I can get on it? Or a small diameter copolymer.
The Calcutta TE DC's gear ratio is pretty low, and the weight is slightly higher than the Calais, with similar line caps....
All signs are pointing to a Calais DC.

Thanks guys!
You're right...the DC does come in a 7:1 gear ratio. That is the same as the Curado E and it is definitely "high speed." Don't think you"ll be disappointed as long as you don't mind the lighter drag (and the high price tag - ouch!). Enjoy. NCD.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:28 PM   #33
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

I had a cousin who is in love with his Daiwa Luna's cast a revo winch the other day, and his next reel will be a WInch.. We were casting a little half oz eye bolt an easy 80 yds on a range finder... ANd I am going to have to say that if they tested a Toro to have only 8lbs of drag force in it then he either had a bad one reel, or a bad scale.. JUst got a 20+ lb springer at Drano and it had one of the best drags in it I have ever fished.. THe drag was at 10lbs and was barely turned.....
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by Nor Cal Drifter View Post
No offense to Keta (like stated above these are all personal opinions) but if you put a Calcutta TE on that setup you are going to kill the sensitivity of that Lami Ti rod and be fatigued at the end of the day. .
The Calcutta CTE200DC is 9.9 oz Gear Ratio 5.0:1, Max Drag 10lbs the Calais CL200DC is 9.5 oz, Gear Ratio 7.0:1, Max Drag 12lbs. You don't need the high gear for salmon.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #35
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelGoodMan View Post
The more I think about it, I think I might just get another Calais DC. The Calais DC has a 7.0:1 gear ratio, that seems high speed to me. The drag may be on the weak side, but I don't want to crank it down too much with that rod anyway.
I'm just worried about the lack of line cap... According to Shimano.com, I can get 150 Yards of 30# Power Pro. I wonder how much of 20# PP I can get on it? Or a small diameter copolymer.
The Calcutta TE DC's gear ratio is pretty low, and the weight is slightly higher than the Calais, with similar line caps....
All signs are pointing to a Calais DC.

Thanks guys!
Please don't forget about spool width and diameter in this equation. A smaller spool with a 7.0:1 (Calais 200) ratio may still take up less line per crank than a larger spool with a 5.3:1 or 6.3:1 ratio (Ambassadeur's for example). Also, the wider the spool the more line must travel out before the effective arbor size decreases; therefore keeping the inches-per-crank more consistent when more line is out. The Abu C4 has one of the fastest pickups out there for these reasons.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #36
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Please don't forget about spool width and diameter in this equation. A smaller spool with a 7.0:1 (Calais 200) ratio may still take up less line per crank than a larger spool with a 5.3:1 or 6.3:1 ratio (Ambassadeur's for example). Also, the wider the spool the more line must travel out before the effective arbor size decreases; therefore keeping the inches-per-crank more consistent when more line is out. The Abu C4 has one of the fastest pickups out there for these reasons.
These are very good points.
We have a couple of C4's (6.3) and I do not like them for snot-nose fish fighting with heavy fish.
I much prefer a 4.7 or 5.3 in that frame for a genuine, Chinook slug fest.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:16 PM   #37
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by ReelGoodMan View Post
Thanks for your insight...

But if I was to buy by the highest price, I'd be buying a Calais DC, which in my opinion, wouldn't be a good reel for Salmon. Or would it?

But thanks anyway.
Sorry, it just seems like you're looking for validation. you seem to have a clue as to what constitutes a "Good" reel, so go buy one or three.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:09 PM   #38
Nor Cal Drifter
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by Keta View Post
You don't need the high gear for salmon.
Don't need it but it sure is nice!

Calcutta is too bulky for drift fishing - that is more what I was referring to. Gotta go low pro for drift fishing. Oh...and the Curado 200e weighs 7oz.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:13 PM   #39
Nor Cal Drifter
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Default Re: Best Salmon Reel?

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Originally Posted by hooksetter1 View Post
Please don't forget about spool width and diameter in this equation. A smaller spool with a 7.0:1 (Calais 200) ratio may still take up less line per crank than a larger spool with a 5.3:1 or 6.3:1 ratio (Ambassadeur's for example). Also, the wider the spool the more line must travel out before the effective arbor size decreases; therefore keeping the inches-per-crank more consistent when more line is out. The Abu C4 has one of the fastest pickups out there for these reasons.
All good points Hooksetter. You obviously know more of the physics than I do. All I can say is I have never felt more connected to the fish during the fight - always right there with them and never struggling to catch up on line- as I do with the Curado 200 7:1 gear ratio.
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