Okay, so, here's the situation: I need a new reel with at least one spare spool for my 9' 6 wt. This rod is primarily used for smallmouth bass fishing, and (maybe 2 or 3 times per season) heaving giant streamers around for big browns. Therefore, the reel is primarily a line-holding device. Right now I have a floating line and a sink-tip streamer line. I'm thinking of adding an intermediate line as well, but I'm not married to the idea. The drag would be set just heavy enough to prevent line over-spooling 99% of the time. It wouldn't need to protect fine tippets, even in the unlikely event that a big fish took some line. It won't ever be used in salt water, nor will it be used in freezing cold temperatures. The reel does need to be reasonably durable, since this 6 wt. is my workhorse and sees more action than all but one of my other rods put together in a typical season. It also doesn't need to be pretty, just not butt-ugly. It also doesn't need to be super-light.
With that in mind, then...which of the following makes the most sense?
Option 1: Cabelas Prestige Plus -- currently on sale for $41.99. At that price, even though they don't make spare spools, I could just buy 2 (or even 3) of them, use one frame and the other spool(s), and lay the additional reel frames by to be pulled out in the event something happens to the first one. I'd have 2 or 3 complete reels for $80 - 120.
- Pros - good value (probably) for the money, versatility, having a brand-new reel instead of a used one.
- Cons - don't really know anything about these reels -- user reviews seem pretty good but have never used one myself--whereas Ross reels (particularly the Gunnison) have a long history of reliability and durabililty.
Option 2: Ross Gunnison G-2, post-1998 model, used but in good condition, basically just minor nicks and scratches in the finish. Reel with one spare spool for $165.
- Pros - history of reliability and durability in this particular reel; I've never owned a Gunnison before but have had several Cimarrons and they were pretty much bomb-proof.
- Cons - more expensive, no warranty, difficulty-to-impossible to find another spool for it if I wanted to add a third one down the line, don't know the provenance of this particular reel -- no way to "get the CarFax" so to speak.