Monday, February 13, 2017

RAH Tackle CL50 Classic Baitcaster

I grew up fishing those old Ambassadeur Baitcasters that were the best of the best many moons ago.  Remember back when they were made in Sweden and were they best quality reel being made.  Well maybe some of you don't remember back that far, but believe me they were the best.  Today like many other reels they aren't made in Sweden and well their quality is lacking in my opinion.  I still own some of those older reels and they still work today because they were well made.  I've also owned a couple of their newer reels, and a few of them don't work any more because they aren't made as well.  Heck when you look at the new ones in the store they just don't feel well made to me.  Now like most folks I prefer a smaller reel for bass fishing, but I still prefer those classic big round reels for other types of fishing, like catfish fishing.  So I've been on the look out for a new type or brand of reel for my catfish fishing and you know what I might have just found the ticket.  That happens to be a RAH Tackle CL50 Classic Round Baitcaster.

I was lucky enough to follow RAH Tackle on Twitter and saw their post for a deal on a CL50 plus 550 yards of braid for $59.99.  I liked how it looked like the ole Ambassadeur 6500 and decided to give it a try and boy am I glad I did!  The CL50 not only looks like the old 6500 but it feels a lot like those reels I grew to love many years ago.  Now this is a no thrills reel just like the Ambassadeurs of old.  There isn't any magnetic anti-backlash or other fancy add on items.  What the CL50 is is a tough well built reel.  Now I haven't put it through years of use yet but just the way it feels I can tell this isn't one of those cheaply made reels that don't hold up to tough fish and fishing.  I was very surprised when I opened the box when it arrived.  I really though for the price it wouldn't be up to my expectations but I was wrong.  Out of the box it feels like a well made reel.  The crank was smooth and everything worked as it was supposed to work.  Needless to say I was a bit excited and I quickly had it on a rod and spooled with the line provided.  I was then out in the yard casting to see how she felt and she passed that initial test with flying colors.  To tell you the truth I wanted to go fishing with it that very day, but as with life and tournament fishing I had to wait for 4 weeks to get the chance to take her to the water.

Now I'd love to show you a picture of a monster catfish I caught using the CL50 but the biggest I could get to bite on the first trip was a good eating size 2.5 pounder.  I did catch a few this size and my wife did break out the hot grease for them.  The CL50 performed as I would expect and I don't have one bad thing to say.  It casts very smooth, but remember you have to cast this reel there are no aids to help you.  I made some very long cast with a Slip Bobber setup into the wind without a backlash, but like I said I cut my eye teeth on reels like these.  The drag on the CL50 is extremely smooth and far better than I would have expected.  In fact the drag is far better than those original Ambassadeurs I loved so much.  The 5.2:1 retrieve ratio is perfect for catfish fishing and I'm sure it will be perfect for other types of fishing as well.  The CL50 will hold 190 yards of 20lb Mono so she will hold well over 200 of 60lb braid, meaning you should have plenty of line to fight even the biggest and meanest freshwater fish in the world.  Now I'm not going to guess on if the CL50 will hold up to use in Saltwater but I'm thinking with the proper care and cleaning after use it could be good for that as well.

In closing I'm going to give the RAH Tackle CL50 two thumbs up from my point of view and what I like in a reel for catfish fishing.  I will also say I can actually see this reel being used for Muskie or Northern Pike up north and doing very well, and likely a lot better than the other reels like it on the market today.  The $59.99 price tag that includes 550 yards of 60lb braid is well below that of like name brand reels making this a super deal in my opinion.

Until next time, Tight Lines and Take a Kid Fishing.

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