Shimano Sahara FE Series Spinning Reel
Good except in Moist environments
Love this reel when it stays dry but any sort of high humidity or spray causes it to operate like there is sand in the gears. It's very frustrating and i've never seen anything like it. I'll grease it up in the garage and it's super smooth and fishes great most of the time but tried fishing in saltwater last week in a kayak and it would almost get stuck sometimes and after a while will operate fine and then it's grinding again. Works well in freshwater. A bit of internet research revealed that Shimanos have a reputation for performing this way (something about a poor bushing design). Most are probably fine but no more Shimanos for me.
June 3, 2014
cheep non stainless bearings!
Beware, had this real for the last year. Loved it until this weekend it started making a noise that I tracked down to a rusty line guide bearing. They are supposed to be stainless steel bearings. Stainless should not rust. The other issue I have with this real is that it only uses a ball bearing on one side of the drive gear and a cheep plastic bushing on the other side. It also uses a plastic bushing on one end of the pinion gear. I have ordered bearing to replace all the plastic parts as well as the bearings from BocaBearing that I know are stainless steel but this should not happen with what is supposed to be a trusted manufacturer
October 15, 2014
I had a couple of BP Pro Qualifier reels, and was only moderately happy with them. Fine reels and all, esp. on sale at $50, but they just lacked something. I took them back, and BP, being the awesome outfit they are, took them back, no questions, no receipt. I was going to buy the Daiwa Aird reel, but the clerk showed my the Sahara, and I was really amazed at the quality, smoothness, SIZE (the PQ's are really way too big), and fit and finish. The Sahara just looks and feels like a reel costing twice as much. Almost paid a little extra for the Symetre, but the Sahara was indistinguishable from it; I thought same quality, just a hair larger and heavier. I'm the kind of person that always looks at the next nicest thing I could have purchased, but these Saharas will be with me for a very long time. Extremely happy with my purchase.
February 24, 2013
Same as TC 770
Great reel, casts a mile, handles big fish ... and then it hangs up. I take good care of my gear. It is the first thing cleaned when I get in. Bought two of them this year and didn't go a month before they jammed me up. I cleaned them and went back - a few weeks later, here we go again ... I am on the 5th or 6th cleaning in about 8 months and these are headed for the recycle store. No more Shimanos for me and that is a shame but this cannot possibly be unknown to the company. They are still selling them at a high price to be full of plastic.
December 5, 2014