Centre pin for a beginner

steve2

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This is aimed at anyone who might be thinking of buying their first.

What centre pin reel would you advise for a beginner to centre pin fishing?
Not for me by the way I already have more than enough.
With centre pins costing a few pounds to hundreds of pounds what is the difference?
I know some run on bearings and some don’t but to someone buying their first what would you recommend they look out for.
Also on Ebay there are reels more or less the same in appearance as those costing £100’s of pounds more are they just cheap copies or are the others overpriced?
 

John Keane

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The TFG Classic is cheap, (£59.99) has an optional extra lineguard (£15.00) and rotates freely and smoothly. I’ve had one a couple of years ago and I know they’ll do the job well.

I’ve also had a vintage JW Young Rapidex and a Trudex and the Trudex is the better pin.

I’ve had the modern-ish Lewtham Leeds (no line guard) and the modern Okuma Aventa, A vintage Mordex Merlin, and a vintage Strike Right Ultraflow.

I’ve always aspired to own an Allcocks Match Aerial but never have.

My current pin is a JW Young Purist 2 and I think the search for the Holy Grail is finally over!
 

john step

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I think the cheaper ones lack a refinement or two in the effort to keep the price down. I like the Trudex/Rapidex thumb screw where the tension can be altered. Useful for non trotting stillwater applications.
 

sam vimes

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Based on my own experiences, which included an abortive first try that almost put me off completely, I'd recommend starting with something south of £100. If that means second hand, so be it, but be sure of what you are buying if you go that way. A bad, or inappropriate, choice early on might kill any enthusiasm in short order. A removable line guard is not necessarily a bad idea, at least to start with. The exact reel choice will depend on a few factors including the intended method and usual venue. Some reels are better suited to stillwater fishing, others for trotting.

The next recommendation I'd make would be to find a competent pin user to learn from. Just watching someone is a decent start, even if it's on youtube. However, as a shortcut, especially with regards to casting, nothing beats one to one explanation. It'll still take a lot of practice to become proficient, but it's a definite head start.

If your initial foray into centrepin use doesn't kill your enthusiasm stone dead, you are very likely to develop your own reel preferences. These may not match anyone else's preferences, but it simply does not matter. You may also find that your preferences will change with time and experience. There's a reason why many regular centrepin users end up with multiple reels. It's not always because they become collectors/hoarders. As yet, I've not found my perfect centrepin. It isn't currently, or hasn't ever been, made. If I want the combination of features I believe to be perfect, I suspect that I may have to go down the custom route. However, I also know that my current idea of what constitutes perfection could well change. Even if I got my perfect reel, plenty of centrepin fans would hate it.
 

Philip

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When I first took the plunge with a pin I got myself one of those Marco Cortesi reels as it had some good reviews. It cost be £30 and its been brilliant and I still use it now. I even went out a got a second one as they seemed to be about to discontinue it.

Both have been great although I managed to submerge one in the sea and had to change the bearing, its never been quite the same since but thats hardly the reels fault.

As an entry level reel for anyone wanting to try out pin fishing for the first time without spending allot I dont think you can go too far wrong with it...assuming you can still get them.
 

whitty

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I've heard that the Marco Cortesi reels can be a bit of a lottery Philip,a bit like the TFG reels,there are some that don't work properly,you and I have been fortunate,I've a TFG and it's been brilliant,especially for the money,I enjoy using it as much as my okuma Sheffield...and more than my match aerial...
 

nottskev

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I once bought a budget centrepin discounted down to £15, but it proved not worth the money. I thought the Matt Hayes Limited Edition would be ok for margin fishing, but the gap between drum and backplate sucked the line in behind, where it tangled irremediably around the complicated linkages of its twin ratchet mechanisms. I used it once and threw it away, literally. Cheers, Matt.

There's one on ebay - buy it now for only £49.99.
 

mikench

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I don't think anyone can go far wrong with an Okuma Sheffield. They are well made and can be bought second hand for a sensible price and one that will retain its value if looked after. I'm happy with mine.

I agree with Sam about being given guidance and I've been fortunate to have had Tigger to show me how. I have been a frustrating pupil however as I'm not very good except on a calm day and when I do not need to cast a float far. Tigger is an absolute master and his casting is pin point accurate and with great distance. I have improved using my Sheffield whilst legering. My cast is a mixture of the Wallis and the Robinson ( the Heath variety) and I often get it wrong. I bought a Hardy Conquest because I just liked its looks and still do. I alternate between the two. Many are a silly price but one should have at least one.

How did your Trent Trotter turn out Kev?
 
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nottskev

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How did your Trent Trotter turn out Kev?
Are you thinking of the Fred Crouch Truepin Trotter - the little black reel? Not found a use for it so far. It's a good bit heavier than the Bewick, so I prefer that for stillwater and light fishing. And for barbel on heavy gear on the river I prefer, notwithstanding the clattering ratchet with its awkward button, the Adcock Stanton 5" which makes lighter work of retrieving and playing big fish. A prime example of buying something then trying to work out what to do with it!
 

seth49

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As others have mentioned a Young’s Trudex would be a good start, it was my first pin and I still use it occasionally, another Young’s reel I bought brand new was a aerodex I used that a lot for trotting, before I treated myself to a Young’s purist 2 when I retired.

A speedia would be ok to, I have one of these plus others I’ve bought a few years ago of eBay, I had a spell of buying them before I retired, if I’d had a good month of overtime I’d buy one.

I’ve got one of the Matt Hayes limited edition pins, number 613 from memory, which I use for margin fishing for carp, it’s fine with 12 lb bs line, never had a problem with it, landed me a lot of carp this year, and it’s real hit and hold fishing, it’s certainly stood up to it well, had lots of carp to low doubles, which fight really hard here as well.
 

s63

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You may have seen in another centrepin thread currently running that I’ve recently acquired a Speedia reel, bought it for £33 off a Facebook page. I’m a bit of a romantic and liked the idea of using a well engineered piece made in England, this one close to home coming from Shepherds Bush!

Plenty of recommendations on the web for the Speedia as a good beginners reel, needs a bit of searching, they can attract good money from collectors but they turn up at boot sales, FB and I just missed a wide drum version on the bay that sold for just over £30. A true pin and even with a bit of wobble perform well and at just under 200grams is a very light reel.

I’ve modified mine with a plastic arbour to make the spool shallower and also made a lineguard from a length of piano wire.

 

nottskev

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I’ve got one of the Matt Hayes limited edition pins, number 613 from memory, which I use for margin fishing for carp, it’s fine with 12 lb bs line, never had a problem with it, landed me a lot of carp this year, and it’s real hit and hold fishing, it’s certainly stood up to it well, had lots of carp to low doubles, which fight really hard here as well.
Fair enough - perhaps some were better made than others? It was certainly robust-looking - but there was no doubting - or avoiding - the line (10lb) behind the drum issue.
 

John Keane

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I think the cheaper ones lack a refinement or two in the effort to keep the price down. I like the Trudex/Rapidex thumb screw where the tension can be altered. Useful for non trotting stillwater applications.
Advances in bearings, alloys and machining mean that a £60 budget pin can be technically superior, weigh less and turn better than an old JW Young. A new £25 carbon Shakespeare rod will be a better fishing rod than a 1950’s built cane rod. Tackle evolution exists for a purpose.
 

bullet

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In response to the OP, not a deal breaker, but one with a quick release spool, this can make it easier to sort out any tangles.
 

nottskev

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In response to the OP, not a deal breaker, but one with a quick release spool, this can make it easier to sort out any tangles.
Good point; with the reel I was criticising, you needed circlip pliers to take the spool off.....
 

seth49

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This is the Matt Hayes pin that I use, I think I know the one you mean Kev, and your right there rubbish, this one is a Young’s copy looking at it, I paid fifty pounds for it brand new, a good few years ago.
 

Keith M

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Most of the time I use my pins for trotting on small steams and rivers after Barbel, Chub, Roach and Dace; with the very occasional day spent trotting on a slightly larger river; and for this I find that my Okuma Sheffield Centrepin is excellent not only because of its smooth and easy line release but also because you can buy spare spools for it quite easily.

NB: you can also buy different types of bearings including ceramic ones if you really wanted to.

The Okuma Adventa Pro is also a great trotting reel like the Sheffield, and can be bought for a lot less.

I also have a ‘Black Cat’ Centrepin and also a prototype version of this same reel that I occasionally use on stillwaters when I’m fishing for Tench using the lift method plus when I’m after a few Carp fishing close in.
NB: The prototype version was from when was trying to develop a more balanced centre drag control for the BlackCat reel a few years after it came out for someone who had bought the dyes.

I also have an Arial Centrepin which I used to use quite a bit when bouncing a bait after Barbel on the river Kennet a few years ago, but I rarely use this centrepin nowerdays as my Sheffield is a lot better for doing this.

Non of my pins have line guards and I’ve never really missed having a line guard either, although I can see why some find them useful; however if I ever did buy a pin fitted with one then it would have to be a removable line guard and not a fixed one as even the anglers that like them don’t always need them; especially if they want to increase their retrieve speed by batting.

Keith
 
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whitty

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This is the Matt Hayes pin that I use, I think I know the one you mean Kev, and your right there rubbish, this one is a Young’s copy looking at it, I paid fifty pounds for it brand new, a good few years ago.
That's the reel I have,I've had barbel to double figures,chub to six,on 5/6lb line,never had an issue of line getting behind the drum,don't need to,on my day I can tangle for England Wallis casting,other days I don't get one tangle.Going back to the original post,I don't think there is 'a reel' for the beginner,a beginner normally makes an entire hash of casting,so an awful lot of determination to succeed is required....
 

John Keane

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That's the reel I have,I've had barbel to double figures,chub to six,on 5/6lb line,never had an issue of line getting behind the drum,don't need to,on my day I can tangle for England Wallis casting,other days I don't get one tangle.Going back to the original post,I don't think there is 'a reel' for the beginner,a beginner normally makes an entire hash of casting,so an awful lot of determination to succeed is required....
Wouldn’t hold up Wallis casting as the be all and end all for a beginner to master. I used a centrepin from the age of 5 to around 18 and never learned the Wallis Cast. Just pulling loops from 3 or 4 rings always did me. Nowadays, being geared up for salmon fishing, I just wade deep enough to utilise the same cast.
 
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