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Hey Guys, I'm sitting here at the firehouse with two feet of snow on the ground outside... we've been getting our buts kicked but I'm not complaining. Anyway, to kill the time... I've been checking out Ebay for a good deal on a nice baitcasting reel. Has anyone out there ever used a Penn International Baitcasting reel? For example, the Penn 965? I'm not a huge Penn fan anymore since they've taken most of their business overseas and their quality has suffered because of it. That being said, I'm pretty sure the Internationals are still made here in North Philly on Hunting Park Ave so they are probably still a safe bet. I was strictly a spinning reel guy for the longest time until last year when I forced myself to give the baitcasters a try. Although I'm not fully converted, I sometimes use a baitcaster when I'm flipping bucktails for flounder in the surf... but I still prefer a spinning reel. So, without continuing to ramble on... again my question is... what are your thoughts on the Penn International Baitcasters? Also, what about the Sargus? Please reply with any of your favorite baitcasters. I love the Shimano Calcutta but its a bit out of my price range. I also had a Shimano Corvalus that I liked but I left it on my truck bumper and drove away and who knows where its at now. How about the Quantum baitcasters like the Cabo... any thoughts on this reel? Ok then... look forward to reading your replies. Can't wait until spring! Until then... Stay Safe! ;)
Nicky
 

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SArgus spinning reels are awesome, i had a 4000 for my 8 foot surf rod and it was perfect.
 

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Can't go wrong with the Penn Internationals...I have a 975 that I use as an all around reel/rod....I don't "buy gear for specific specie" if that makes sense....The 975 with my rod can catch anything from a small tuna to a flounder...

That being said...I also have the corvalus that you had mentioned, love that little reel too.

I would check out Calcutta too from Shimano? But the 965 is a nice reel and can get pretty good deals on Ebay for them etc etc...
 

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Nicky

I love my Penn International baitcasters. I have a 965 and a 975LD. Yes they are still made in the USA. I do believe you can get a Calcutta for something close to the price of a 965. You will have alot of folks who have strong opinions about Penns,Shimanos etc . Quiite frankly the ones you mentioned are all good. I love the way the Quantum Cabo palms in my hand although I don't own one. Frankly even though I am a diehard Penn user ( I have about 65 Penn reels) one of my favorite baitcasters is the old Shakespeare Presidents (models#1984,1980 )when they were American made. But you can not go wrong with the others you mention but obviously from my experience and recommending to newbie who wants a quality first baitcaster...I would point to the Penn 965.
 

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Dont forget about Abu Garcia Ambassadeur in the larger sizes. For the dough its tough to beat and they last and last! When i upgrade/replace my stuff I almost always list it on Ebay. It's like trading your stuff in if you can manage it right. It never ceases to amaze me what people will pay for used fishing equipment...myself included! tight lines!
 

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I have a penn 965 it is great, cast great, holds a lot of braid.
The bigger abu like the ambassador 5600 is just as good as the 965 but cheaper.

They both hold alot of braid
Cast great
Can handle big fish
And last along time.
 

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There are 3 different ones I use.
I have a small Abu for backwater and it's super smooth.
I have a Shimano Catala that I can use for flounder out front and such.
The one I use the most and is the best one I have is the Tica LE. Awesome reel for any application up to false albacore. I love it.
 

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Dont forget about Abu Garcia Ambassadeur in the larger sizes. For the dough its tough to beat and they last and last! When i upgrade/replace my stuff I almost always list it on Ebay. It's like trading your stuff in if you can manage it right. It never ceases to amaze me what people will pay for used fishing equipment...myself included! tight lines!
I second the Abu Garcia- great quality great price
 

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I also have a 965 and have had for 10 years or so. I have caught a lot of different fish on it from flounder to albies to. big bluefish and stripers. Casts very well, great drag, and has held up well. Can't comment on the other reels listed except for the Avet, which is also an excellent reel.
 

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Nick L......

I prefer the Penn Internationals, as you pointed out they are still made in Philly (U.S.A.) and are quality built reels. I have two of them, the 955, and a 975. Did have a minor issue with the 975, sent it back to Penn this winter, and it's back working fine and no charge. The service dept is top notch....:thumbsup:
I was never a big fan of the Shimano's, Diawa's, or Garcia reels sticking mostly with either Penn or Fin~Nor.



BTW....I'm also a professional fireman, 25 years on the job in Ocean City (NJ)......;)
 

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Love my bro's 975LD, and would probably own one of the smaller star draggers if Penn decided to offer ANYTHING with a revolving spool as a lefty.

I had to scour the earth to find the 209 lefty I've got. I like my Corvalus as an all around back bay reel, and SX for heavier stuff.
 

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Tony Mig how old is that 955 i thought they stopped making those along time ago, yours looks brand new fresh out the box.
 

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The only complaints i have about penn is,
I broke from the first tip to the 2nd tip off the rod, dog was jumping up on me and i tripped over him and hit the rod on the ground.
So i sent it back with the $20 and they said they didn't make the International Inshore bait casting model anymore, so they sent me the spinning model. I know you can put a bait caster on a spinning rod but it just doesn't look right.
 
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