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Review: Cabela's CSR Reels

2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 53
For the first time, I'm a bit disappointed with Cabela's gear. I'll spare you the "I'm broke" song and dance, as I've given it in every gear thread I've ever made...

I bought a CSR for my 9 weight before I headed up for the salmon run. I spooled it with 150 or so yards of backing and a 9 wt WF 10' sink tip line, also purchased on the cheap at Cabela's. The line is wonderful, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap line that will get the job done. The reel, on the other hand, is kind of lame. It started out great. The reel looked decent, had a nice large arbor, and a pretty exact drag system. The first king I caught smoked me in to the backing multiple times and the reel handled it well. By day two, the drag started to let line out in short bursts. This SUCKS when you're fishing with 6lb tippet for 25lb fish. I don't think it ended up costing me any fish, but if it were any worse, it would have.

I bought this reel to last me for less than 5 trips per year, but I think I'll be replacing it before I take another one. For $89, it'll serve as a decent emergency backup after I give the drag system a little TLC.

Oh, and it started to bind before I dunked it. It got a little worse after the dunking.

I give it a thumbs down for larger fish. I'm sure it's servicable for smaller trout/bass fishing, but I'd go with the prestige plus for that.

Posted on: 2007/10/16 11:11

Re: Review: Cabela's CSR Reels

2006/10/2 10:08
From Greensburg, Westmoreland Co.
Posts: 284

I have a Cabelas CSR on my 4 weight for trout. It hasn't caused me any trouble in that application, but I can't say I "like it" either. For less money than a Cabelas CSR you can get an Okuma SLV Okuma SLV at Troutlet. I have two of this reel (the 4/5 on my 5 weight and the 5/6 on my 6 weight). I love this reel. It is lightweight but strong, and it has a nice drag mechanism. I think it would make a nice salmon reel for you.

Posted on: 2007/10/16 11:44
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Only one constant in the universe, all men are equal in the eyes of the fish.
-GulfGreyhound paraphrasing Herbert Hoover

Re: Review: Cabela's CSR Reels

2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 0
I bought a Okuma with several extra spools. Had to take it appart to change it to left hand retrive. The collet that holds the ratchet gear is plastic and was broken. I looked at the other spools and all had the same problem. The mold seam is too thin. The design is junk. I strongly recommend buying another brand.

Posted on: 2007/10/16 13:27

Re: Review: Cabela's CSR Reels

2006/9/12 21:16
From Suburban Pittsburgh
Posts: 9
I have experienced a similar problem with a Cabelas reel, which is esentially the Sierra model by Okuma. I have a Sierra in a 4/5 and it's a backup for trout and that works just fine. My Cabelas reel was part of the Prestige rod/reel combo that I got for Steelies. I was on a trip and the reel failed in a similar fashion. I upgraded to an Okuma Integrity and that's worked out pretty well so far. I don't go for steelhead much anymore though, so I'm glad I didn't spend a ton of money on a reel for them.

The best reel I've had in my limited experience is my Battenkil Mid Arbor. There is absolutely NO maintenance in cleaning it at all. It's been dropped in the water in freestoners with plenty of sand and it's NEVER failed me. It's a reel that I will have for a very long time. I've got a MA II on my 5 weight and also fish it with a 4 wt and it works out very well.

I purposely went smaller to pair it with the rods I use it on at the guidance of a local fly shop and I've been extremely pleased. It's a bit pricy, but at least I have peace of mind knowing that it's not going to fail me. I'm sure there are other suggestions as to the "best bang for the buck" but I can tell you that this one is solid and worth looking at if you can or want to spend that much on a reel.

I would think that you could return that reel if it's failed you and maybe get some credit and pick up something else from Cabelas. Let us know what you end up going with and how this turns out. Good luck.

Posted on: 2007/10/16 13:50

Re: Review: Cabela's CSR Reels

2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 0
I bought the Okumas at Cabelas and found the problem while in the parking lot. I took all the Okumas back in and returned them. Then bought the Ross reels that I should have bought in the first place. I actually have a number of Ross Flywaters but they dropped the design last year and came out with a new one that is mid-arbor. At least the new Flywater has the same, reliable, ratchet as the old design but the new one seems to have a poorer drag.

Posted on: 2007/10/16 15:54

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