I have the 6500 and the 4500. Very smooth. The 65 is a monster reel. Quite large also. I definately get more fish with it but I also lose more too. The baitrunner feature keeps you in the game even when your not paying attention. It picks up the subtlest of hits. I do like to use it when dead sticking on the beach or with a sand spike lodged between rocks. I like it better than the Penn 9500. (The 9500 is not a baitrunner) The size and weight are fairly comparable. The 4500 is nice and light and can be used to plug with.
Hey Colin you helped me out with the Cabo or Stratic choice, I have the 6500 baitrunner it is a quality reel but it does not pair up with my tica surf rod. it is too heavy but great for other types of fishing, boat, piers etc.
as striperjim said a monster reel , smooth & very reliable. great for live lining. I have not had any issues with the Shimano reels.
On the baitrunners. I asked the guys at surfland in Plum Island what reel they see the most for repair and hands down each guy (and gal) said it was the Shimano baitrunner. Not because of part failure but because of neglect from its owners. It needs to be cleaned and cared for at the end of each season and at least rinse it out in freshwater after a salt and sand bath. Open it up and clean under the spool, clean as much sand and grease as you can before you soak it.
Whats needed for a complete cleaning.
Can of compressed air
Tooth brush or solder flux brush
set of small screwdrivers
I swear by the shimano bairunners. the originals, the second series "b" and the Tunnus. All awesome reels. Sure they flex, need cleaning (especially the bolt in rear drag), are a little less ballanced and not the smoothest thing in the world (but then again neither are the VanStaal). I have caught Tarpon, Wahoo and Sail and have never been let down. I used to buy Penn but have not owned one in several years. I am not a fan (except for the GTIs). From a dock or dead boat nothing will out perform a baitrunner IMHO cool_blue.gif
good question Suds, I was looking at them, and comparing parts, they seem to simular to justify the additonal cost... I guess it depends on what you plan to use them for, some people use one combo for everything, while others like us have a set up (or two or three) for everything we do...
Is the Thunnus worth the price? The reel is a helluva a lot heavier and does not have nearly the line capacity but... It is so much more rigid, there is no flex. When you have a big fish you feel like you have more control becuase the reel and crank respond so fast. Also, the rear drag on my baitrunners can change over time (ie, even on the lowest setting it can still take a good bit of force to pull line) that has never happend with the Thunnus. That being said, many of my baitrunners are 10 years old and they are great, my favorite reels. I used the 4500's with P-line and like the "B" model even more.
The Thunnus is great and you can get a deal on them sometimes as I dont think they ever were a big seller. I know dolphin charter boats use them for live lining.
Suds, if I see you out you are welcome to play with it a bit. I am only catching skates at this point anyway....
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