One of the most prominent comparisons that fishermen make when picking out new gear is whether to go with a spinning reel or a bait caster. While the latter does offer more precision and control, there is a much higher learning curve to it, which means that it takes longer to master. As such, most fishermen prefer to have a spinning reel because they are more comfortable to use and more versatile.
In this case, we have the Zebco 33 Platinum. As far as spinning reels go, this one is on the lighter end of the spectrum, meaning that it’s perfect for smaller fish up to 10 pounds. So, if you’re looking for something heavy duty that can land a largemouth bass or a full-grown salmon, you won’t be able to do that here.
Nonetheless, for small fish species, the Zebco 33 Platinum has a lot of excellent features that will ensure you never come home empty-handed.
4.1:1 High-Speed Gear Ratio
First and foremost, it’s imperative that you measure the speed of the reel so that you can determine how it will work for the kind of fish you want to catch. In this case, 4:1 is considered “slow,” which makes it ideal for fish that like to put up a bit of a fight. Since you get more torque, you can muscle your line and reel in your next catch, no matter how much it struggles.
In this case, the Zebco 33 Platinum is a little better than average (4.1 instead of just 4), but the difference is not that noticeable.
At the bare minimum, you need to get a reel with at least four bearings. Any less than that and you’ll be catching and struggling to bring your line in, even without a catch on the other end. In this case, you get five, so it’s a bit better than most other reels in this class. While it’s not as smooth as some high-end models out there (i.e., 9 and 10 bearings), it’s more than enough for the kind of fish you want to catch with it.
As far as performance goes, this reel is both continuous and anti-reverse. The latter feature is crucial to ensure that you never lose a fish at the last second. It’s imperative that your handle locks into place so that it can’t get the drop on you.
Right or Left Handed Retrieve
Although this feature won’t matter once you pick a side, it is nice to have that kind of versatility, particularly if you are left-handed. Since most reels favor the right, it’s a good bonus to be able to switch it as needed.
10-Pound Cajun Line
As with most reels, this one comes with a spool of the line already inside. In this case, you get 100 yards of 10-pound cajun line. What we like about this version is that it is much clearer and harder to spot in the water. This makes it better for catching fish that would otherwise balk at your attempts to hook them.
Cajun line is also a bit stiffer than usual, making it ideal for fish that like to put up a fight. Overall, even though the max weight test is on the smaller side, this reel is built to handle species that make you work for a catch.
- Durable all metal body
- Smooth casting and retrieve
- Five ball bearings for faster operation
- Changeable for right or left-handed fishermen
- 4.1:1 high-speed gear ratio
- Easy to mount
- Continuous, anti-reverse design
- Built-in hook holder
- Micro-fine drag for better performance
- Rust-resistant materials
- Not recommended for line weights above 15
- In rare cases, the button release may stick from time to time
Q: Will this reel hold up in salt water?
- As long as you keep it clean and don’t let it soak too long, then it shouldn’t have any problems. At most, you may need to grease the bearings to ensure a smoother retrieve for next time.
Q: Can I use braided line on this reel?
- If it’s super light, then yes. Otherwise, it may be too thick and heavy to be effective. Since this is built with 10-pound test line in mind, you need to maintain a similar weight level to retain the same level of performance.
Q: Does this reel use metal gears?
- No, it uses thick plastic. This helps it withstand salt water because you don’t have to worry about rusting. It’s also the reason that the line weight is relatively low.
When comparing this reel to others, it’s a perfect blend of smooth operation and rugged dependability. Overall, it seems like it would be useful for some larger species, but this particular model is built for the lower end of the fish spectrum. Nonetheless, you get a lot of mileage out of it, and it won’t break down on you very easily, which makes it a great buy.
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