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I fish exclusively with spinning gear, but I'm interested in getting started with a baitcaster. Problem is, every combo I see available always has a bunch of reviews about how it's crap. Can anyone suggest a reasonably priced (preferably in the $30-$50 range, but would go a little higher) baitcaster setup I could buy to get started? Thanks!
 

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Go on ebay and search for used Abu 5500 reel made in Sweden, if you are not on Ebay you will need to sign up and have either a valid paypal account or a valid debit or credit card.

You are buying used so look carefully at the photos to make sure the reel is not scratched and dented too much in the price range you are interested in.

Check that the Seller has multiple positive reviews and buy the best looking reel in your price range.

Load it with 12 pound test mono and leave a 1/4" gap between the line and the edge of the spool. When you get practiced you can fill the reel to 1/16" of the edge of the spool.

Mount the reel on one of your spinning rods and practice being smooth and loading the rod.
 

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I agree with Garbo. Abus are great reels - very dependable, can be found cheap as they have been made forever and in the correct size can be used for anything from bass fishing to surf fishing. Most any shop that repairs reels can work on them. Do look for one of the ones made in Sweden.
 
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