Let’s talk spinning reels for a bit. My favorite is an old Alcedo Micron, one of the best ultralight reels ever made for which I scrimped and saved about 40 bucks to buy back in about 1959. These are no longer made unfortunately, but there are some newer standards.
For the past 10 years or so, Shimano Stradics [below] have been kind of the default “quality” spinning reel for those wanting a higher-end product at a price that wasn’t too outrageous. These used to retail at a little more than $100. New model changes and price increases have the 2009 Stradic models selling at about $160 for a 3000-size series, meaning a typical freshwater reel. Still a good reel, but I have to wince at the newer pricing.
Another long-term standard is Daiwa’s Black Gold series [below], a good moderately priced reel that seems to keep on trucking no matter how hard I beat on mine. A BG15 model, which is a medium-heavy freshwater size, now sells for around $70. The design is getting somewhat dated, but it is still a good value.
So I’m shopping a little and can’t decide. Maybe I’ll shoot for the moon and buy one of the new Shimano Stellas. At $650, my wife would kill me. Shimano also makes an IX model spinner that sells for 10 bucks at my local Wal-Mart, but I think I want a better reel than that.