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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 .$65 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 .

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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.

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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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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