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KastKing Sharky 111 3000 Baitfeeder Reel - Long term test

A relative new comer to the fishing tackle scene is the KastKing range of fishing reels , rods and terminal tackle . A New York based company formed by 3 friends who were unsatisfied with the reels available to them . They formed KastKing and went about designing some very innovative reels . Their company motto is " Affordable Innovation " .

Three months ago I purchased 2 Sharky 111 Baitfeeder Reels . They cost me $120 for the two of them .$60 each . I had looked at another very well known brand who makes baitfeeder reels and it would have cost me nearly $500 for a pair of them .

KastKing sell direct to the public online so this no doubt keeps the price down .

What you get in the box : A reel , a good quality bag to keep it in ,a spare spool , a set of spare drag washers , a take down maintenance part sheet and some KastKing stickers and some assorted warranty information . The reels are made in Hong Kong . Don’t let that put you off .I owned a couple of Fin Nor Ahab Spinning reels .( Some anglers regard them as the finest Spinning reel ever made ) One produced in the USA and one in Hong Kong . The finish and general machining was better in the Hong Kong reel . Was very impressed . I have heard KastKing come out of the same factory .

Using : I fish nearly everyday weather permitting . I’ve used these reels heavily since lock down finished last year in Victoria .They are both 3000 size . They are spooled with Platypus Super 100 line ( A great Aussie product ) .

Been hitting the "mud marlins " European Carp hard lately in my local lakes and creeks . Fish taken range in size from 500g to 4+Kg . Drag has worked perfectly and the baitfeeder function is very smooth and intuitive to use .

I have a few niggles regarding the reels . Nothing is perfect . Lead time after ordering was 6 weeks from Hong Kong . Pandemic may have caused the delay as I purchased some KastKing mono line pre pandemic and took about 2 weeks .

Retrieve ratio is 5.2 to 1 . With reels available with retrieve rates of nearly 7to 1 this is regarded as rather slow now . For my style of fishing and the paravane rigs I use the retrieve speed is not an issue . Some lure casting anglers may find the retrieve a tad slow .

Would I recommend these reels . A big yes .

Any problems I encounter with the reels will immediately be posted in this topic thread . I am in no way connected with KastKIng or sponsored by them as some of the reports on YouTube are . I will give a "warts and all " opinion of them .

Reel Specs

Reel Body : Composite Graphite . Reel handle : CNC Aluminium

Retrieve Ratio: 5.2 to 1

Bearings : 10 shielded ball plus 1 anti reverse .

Spool : 2 CNC Aluminium .One braid ready and the spare mono only . A layer of mono and then join the line to the braid with an "Allbrite " knot should allow the spare spool to take braid .

Maximum Drag setting : 26.5 lb

Available from : Amazon Australia and Ebay . I used Ebay . Much cheaper .

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Mike, just wondering about the impact of the lock down on the fish population?

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Gaby we are catching a lot of smaller fish . The season pre pandemic we were averaging over 2KG per fish . Anything under a Kilo was unusual . Under a Kilo has been the norm this year with the Euro Carp . I think lack of fishing during the pandemic lock down and a very mild summer leading to a late spawn by the fish has lead to a larger population of small fish .

The big ones are there it is just a matter of getting a bait to them . The smaller fish are getting the bait first .

Incidentally the reason I fish for Euro Carp is a) They are available within 5 minutes of where I live .b ) Between 1 - 3 KG they are probably the best fighters of any species I have fished for . They are rated , surprisingly , the number 1 sport fish in the world . In the UK they pay 15 pound a day to fish for them . :flushed:

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The lack of fishing may mean more fish in the water…more competition for food and therefore smaller fish as a result.

Did they seem to run more (more bites and caught fish) than usual?

What do you do with the carp…they can be eaten and can be quite tasty depending on how they are cooked. In China when we lived there they are often cleaned and washed well, steamed with a lot of ginger, garlic and shallots, with some local sauces (such as soy, Chinkiang vinegar, oyster sauce etc). But eating dozens may be a bit of a chore…

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The small fish we are getting are all in prime condition Peter . I give them away to Asian , Middle eastern and Slavic friends who eat them . Our goal is to fish the lake heavily whilst we can and reduce the number of smaller fish . I caught a 4.8 KG Carp last week and it was in poor condition . Like wise a 2.8 Kg the following night did not seem to have the condition of fish caught in previous years . By taking out the smaller fish we are trying to get a sustainable fishery going as they seem to be taking the food from the larger fish .

Our council seems reticent about deepening the lake so native fish could be stocked . The average depth of the lake is 1.5 metres . Native fish have been released but have died due to the lack of deep holes and cooler water in the summer months . The lake is 3.5 km to walk around and we are hoping they , the council , realise what a great asset they have .Here’s hoping . One benefit of all the smaller fish is that they are stripping a lot of line off the reels on their initial run so it is proving to be a good testing ground for the KastKings . The 2.8KG fish was a fighter . Took 15 minutes to land on light line . The KastKing performed admirably .

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Not so simple in Queensland?

Legal requirements

  • Carp is a restricted noxious fish under the Biosecurity Act 2014 .
  • You must not keep, feed, give away, sell, or release carp into the environment without a permit.
  • If you catch these species, you must immediately humanely kill and dispose of them responsibly away from the waterbody.
  • By law, you have a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with restricted noxious fish under your control.

IE you can’t give away, self consume or feed the cat with the catch.

It can cost a little more than one might imagine if taken to task.

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I take that being living ones…you can’t feed them (e.g. throw bread into a river to feed them).

The restrictions are to prevent the movement from infested to uninfested streams.

Killing them humanely and then taking them away from the waterbody such as eating or giving them to others to cook should be okay and complies with the intent of the legislation. The factsheet is poorly worded though and could be clearer.

I have a good friend in Biosecurity Queensland and we have discussed this in the past. Many other cultures fish and eat carp which appears to be acceptable to Biosecurity Queensland, providing that the fish is killed where caught and is not disposed of in another waterway (for disease and potential egg transfer). The factsheet does say ‘Carp must not be returned to the water alive or dead. Using
carp for any reason, such as for eating or use as fertiliser is not permitted in Queensland.’ and it appears to be the discretion of the officer in question. It does seem an unreasonable requirement because if one follows the control guidelines for carp, allowing them to be eaten is a good way to create a demand and for anglers to catch them for personal use.

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In Victoria we are allowed to kill the Carp . Slit it open and throw it back into the water if no one is available that would eat it . This link explains it . I usually put my thumb in their mouth and snap their heads back breaking their neck. I then insert the knife in their vent and cut up towards the head .

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I think the tricky proposition with any discretion is in what ‘responsibly dispose of’ might be taken to mean.

It may be useful to others to know there is a fine line.
As illogical as the regulation may appear.

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10.15 PM 24 Feb 21 . Just arrived home from a couple of hours down the lake . Earlier on before I left I set both front drags on the reels to an 8 LB let off . I use 10 lb line so it gives me a safety margin of 2 lbs . All the fish , there were 12 of them , were runners .They took line . When I switched from the rear drag Bait runner to the front drag line was given out very smoothly .

When I arrived home I tested the drag again on the testing jig . It broke at 8.1 and 8.3 lbs respectively . For a $65 reel that is really excellent performance .

These are a seriously good reel . The more I use the more I like .

More to come .

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image

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28 Feb 21 Fished last night at local lake . 14 fish .All went for a run and peeled off plenty of line. 12 landed .

Reel Performance Drags front and back did not have to be adjusted . All fish under 1 KG .Usually we get from 3KG up at this spot . Reels had no hang ups during casting and performed brilliantly .

More to come .

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3rd and 4th March 21

Spent two afternoons at a local lake casting 25GM sinkers out to try and get an idea of the lake bottom . Basically you cast out and reel in slowly to get a feel if the bottom is sandy , reeds or rocks .

Gave me a good chance to test the reels for how they lay line back on the spool after a cast then retrieving .

Some cheap reels exhibit a tendency to what we call " bunching " the line . Basically this is when the line is wound back onto spool after casting it is uneven near the lip of the spool . Upon the next cast the line coming off behind the lip drags the uneven loops over the lip to cause a tangle .

I put in 2 solid sessions of casting with both reels and experienced no problems . They laid line back on the spool perfectly . I have had no " bunching " issues with either of the KastKIngs since buying them . I wish I could say the same about a well known name brand of reel in this regard .

For those interested the rod in the photo is a " Intruder Bait Feeder 3.9 metre Quiver tip "

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6th March 2021

A good test for the reels . 2 Euro Carp over 4kg . First 4.2 KG ( 9.25 lbs ) and second 4.8 KG (10.58 lbs ). No hang ups with the front drag . Took awhile to land the bigger fish . My main line is Platypus Super 100 8 lb and my leader is KastKing 6lb . Both lines are mono filament .I occasionally use braided line but very rarely .

So far I’m really satisfied with the reels . Still very smooth to wind and showing no sign of looseness in the main gears .

More to come

Sorry for the quality of the photos .I left my camera at home and had to use the phone .

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14 March 21

Headed down the lake at about 7.00 pm for a couple of hours fishing . Noticed fish were breaking the surface further out than usual . We had quite a bit of rain previously so this usually leads to this behaviour . The night called for much longer casts than I would usually do . Even though the reels are fitted with a more traditional spool rather than the extended specialist casting spools I had no trouble reaching the distances required to successfully have fish take the bait .

As I arrived a fellow angler was netting a 5.5 KG Carp . No such luck for me . 7 fish but all under 1 KG .

The reason I am mainly testing these reels on carp is 2 fold . Proximity of available fish .Secondly to quote the owner of the Tackle shop I patronise " If any fish is going to destroy a reel carp are the ones to do it . Even small under 1 kg have an initial run that always tests the drag on a reel ."

I must agree with him . Also the bigger fish , 5KG upwards , after the initial run seem to tire and it is like dragging in a bag of cement which really puts pressure on the reel’s gearing system .

So far the reels are performing well . Still very smooth to wind and the drag settings are holding their adjustments .

More later .

PS I have the flagship of the KastKing spinning reel line up on the way . It is called the Kodiak . I have heard good things about this reel . It is in the 2000 size range and it will be used mainly for lure casting in salt water . Will start a separate test thread when it arrives and I use it a few times .

Mick’s Fishing Tip

It’s the last metre of line that catches the fish

Think about it .

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It looks like @vax2000 has a quite a bit of work ahead of him.

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22 March 21

Headed down to the lake around 2.00 pm . Fish were more further out in the lake centre . A bit finicky on taking bait too . Good test of the reels ability to cast long distances . They did ok but a 4000 or 5000 size would naturally cast further .

Performance wise the reels held their drag settings and the bait feeder controls worked smoothly . Still very smooth to wind and the line lay on retrieve is twist free , they use an anti twist bail wire , and the line lay on the spools caused no problems such as loose coils …

Regarding line lay on the spools KastKing are one of the few manufacturers that supply a set of shims with their reels so the line lay can be adjusted between different lines . i.e Mono , braid or fluorocarbon . Nice touch for a reel at the under $75 price point .

Mick’s Fishing Tip

10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish

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24 March 21

Headed down the lake at 1.00PM for an afternoon session . Was blowing a gale from the south so I had a following wind . I use open ended finned bait feeder style rigs so the wind got hold and the cast was very long .

Not much action so I checked the watch it was about 2.30 PM and I decided to start packing up to beat the traffic from the schools getting out . Just then the reel I had cast out to the right started screaming . I could not stop the fishes initial run . The KastKing drag was really put to the test .I spool my reels with 50 metres of 20 LB Dacron fly backing as an under binding connected to about 150 metres of Platypus Super 100 10 LB mono . The knot I use to join the line is an Allbrite modified . Check YouKnow how to tie it .

The fish took me down to the Dacron backing before I turned it . I’m used of fishing with Alvey side casts with 500 metres plus of line .To cut a long story short I landed the fish at around 2.55 PM . Roughly 25 minutes .I got it near the net 3 times and it went for another run .

Eventually netted it . it was a 6.4 KG Euro Carp .

This was the biggest test yet for the reels . The front drag was smooth for most of the fight . I will pull out the drag washers tonight and see how they are . I usually smear them very lightly with teflon paste .

Just by the by . The reason I put dacron under backing on the spool is that it stops the rubber band effect of mono when it stretchers back on the spool . Think of when you wrap a rubber band around your finger the pressure it generates . I have seen quite a few reels in my time pop the drag cap and with over head reels blow out the side plates . The dacron helps prevent this . Even though I have the dacron under binding I still casted out the reel to relieve any pressure before I headed home

Just checked the front drag washers . No sign of over heating or wear .

Both reels are still smooth to wind .

Mick’s Fishing Tip

Fishing lures sometimes catch more fishermen than fish

One to think about .

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27 March 21

Headed down to the lake at 6.30 PM and fished till around 10.00 PM . I noticed the fish broaching the surface at around 80-100 metres . For a 3000 size reel they made the distance easily . If I get back to surf fishing I would certainly be interested in the 5000 size reels .

Fish were few and far between . Reels performed well . I’m gaining confidence in them the more I use them .

Thoughts so far on the reels . I have experienced no mechanical issues with them . They are very smooth to wind and exhibit no roughness or grinding which could mean premature gear wear . On a good reel the internal gears should wear in not out . The main gear is investment cast and reinforced with a stainless steel shaft driving a gun metal pinion gear . Very shortly I will have the reels disassembled for servicing and will show a detailed report that the serviceperson supplies . I will reprint it here in this thread .

Drag washers are still smooth and the bait feeder mechanism engages positively and the strike alarm is working as it should .

Mick’s Fishing Tip

Learn to tie the knots you are going to use with confidence .I use the uni knot for mono lines when tying hooks and swivels . The polamar knot for braid line . For joining line I use the Allbrite modified knot . They can be all found on tutorials on YouKnow

YouKnow = YouTube

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28 March 21

Went down the lake at around 7.00 Pm and stayed till 10 .00 PM . Very slow at first , not many fish showing . About 8.30 PM they came on the bite . Nothing big . Largest around 1.5 KG .

Reels performed well . Drag settings did not have to be altered . For their size , 3000 , I notice they cast very well . I think this due to the fact that they lay the line back on the spool after rewind very well .

One thing I am happy with is the retrieve rate . I originally thought that at 5.2 to 1 it could be a trifle slow . This has proved not to be the case . I think KastKing understate the retrieve as I have other 3000 size reels that state they have a higher retrieve ratio but in use they are no faster .

Reels still very smooth to use . The drag washers and the way they hold their settings is another plus . All in all very happy so far .

Mick’s Fishing Tip

Hook size is important . A smaller hook will catch fish of all sizes whereas a hook that is too large will limit your catch .

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