Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Nice fishing pole and reel with some problems.
on December 23, 2011
I have used Zebco reels for a decade now. I am lucky to live by a lake that has all types of bass (large, small and striper) lots of crappie and some nice size catfish.
My sister has been using this combo for over a year now. We all fish on a regular basis (at least 2 times per month, more likely we will fish at least 2 times per week), we get our money out of this equipment.
The bite alert is kinda weird, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but it works nearly all the time when a large catfish hits the line. Like yesterday morning, I was fishing with the bait alert while I was reading a book. The bait alert went off when a nice 19 pound blue catfish took the bait. I was also able to reel in a 12 pounder and one under 10 pounds.
I have now ordered a total of 3 of these combos and will be getting 2 more as time goes by.
Like another reviewer, the battery in the bait alert arrived dead. And it is easy to leave the bait alert on so carry some extra batteries with your tackle if you are planning to rely on the bait alert option.
Also , the bait alert did not work on a small 2 pound cat that was on my line. I barely noticed the fish was there when I was reeling in to change my bait.
Depending on where and how deep you are fishing, you will need at least a 1.5 ounce weight to keep enough tension on the line for any hope of the bait alert working, and a nice 45 degree angle is better for the bait alert that fishing with the pole straight in the air. The pole and the fishing line should be as close as a straight line as possible too. That makes the bait alert a little more challenging in the dark.
The best part about this combo is the price. At the thrirty-five dollars that I paid for the Zebco Hawk Seeker combo, you do not have to worry much about it breaking. My current new Zebco products have been in heavy use for the last 2 years and no problems. I have caught hundreds of crappie, dozens of bass and dozens of catfish, all with little to no maintenance on any of the reels, and with the catfish that I have alread been able to catch, it has been well worth the money.
Update a few days later...
I got all my reels in and I was having problems with the line tangling inside the reel. All three pole had the problem, all three reels had dead batteries. I called Zebco to see what was going on. I was told the this combo had been discontinued a few years ago and the batteries are dead because of the age since they had been sitting on a self for 2 years or more.
I was advised to removed 5 to 10 yards of fishing line and that should solve the problem, and the problem was solved, but it was a real pain trying to fix the brand new equipment. When I say new, the reel would cast once, for the first time, and then it would need untangled and repaired.
I may return all three poles.
Update May 2012
The casting problem has been mostly resolved, except for when I land a fish of 6 pounds or more.
The line binds up inside the reel so to solve the problem, After I land the fish, I have to cast out my line, which binds, pull more line out until the binding stops, reel in the line, bait the hook and the cast out for fish.
I do not use the bite alert system, but I put bells on the tip of the rod. The bite alert does not always work correctly, unless you get a large fish on the line.