View Full Version : Shimano Cardiff 400

09-17-2009, 10:00 AM
I am looking to get a new reel and have heard a lot of things about shimanos baitcasters. I am currently using Abus. what does everyone think about the cardiff 400 and would it be able to handle DCG's and other big blades?

09-17-2009, 10:25 AM
Also wondering if you can get a power handle on the reel?

09-17-2009, 11:37 AM
Ialso am using Abu's 5601 CB and 5501 C3 for cranks and everything else and dbl 10's. I also use a Pflueger 66L for the majority of my dble 10 and 13 fishing. With the Pflueger they really come in pretty easy and have not had any failures yet. Now I'm not engaging before it hits the water like some do, and that will jack any reel. I just start cranking as soon as it hits the water, if the the blades are not turning then I give a quick jerk, that usaully gets them spinning. I'm paying for school out of my pocket and have three kids, so money is tighter right now so Abu's are the ticket I've put some pretty good hours on these reels and not one failure yet. That being said, as I replace them I will have a new fleet of Revo Toro 60 lefty's. Take a look at ffo-tackle.com they have Plueger 66's for $74. I have several reels from there and have had great luck with them. I bought a 5600 BCX for right handers in the boat. They don't get much praise on here but my buddy got his first 39" er on it throwing a 10" Kick'n Minnow no problems at all. You can get those for $40 on ffo-tackle, for that price I can use them a year and pitch'em. The Curado 300 is a good choice but the Toro holds more line and will help you burn em faster.

Good Luck!

09-17-2009, 11:44 AM
I have a Cardiff 400. I use it (and love it) for crankbaits, topwaters, and gliders. For these applications it is great.

It is NOT suited for DCG's. Get yourself an Abu7000 with 4:1 gears.

09-17-2009, 11:52 AM
I was in the same boat as you a month ago. I looked at this reel for a back up rod. It seems like a better reel than the abu's to be quite honest. I too have been using Abu's and Pflueger reels. Pflueger seems to hold up pretty well. Better than my Abu's. That being said, i decided to upgrade. Ended up with 3 SC AC300's and a Calcutta 400b. I will say that you will notice a difference. I look at the cardiff the same as an abu, pflueger etc... When you move up to the nicer reels i will be the 100th person to tell you, it makes a difference. I have heard good and bad on the cardiff. some love them some destroy them quickly. I would say this is NOT a good reel for large blades etc... NOT many reels are, even the good ones. But the goods will last longer and provide a lot less effort when fishing all day. That i noticed day one. The difference is only about $100.

09-17-2009, 12:46 PM
Those were the 2 choices I was thinking of (abu 7000 and cardiff). I cant afford more than 150 for a reel...just out of school and looking for a job :(

Im not a huge fan of the button for casting with big reels(7000)...Ive been using the abu records lately and like em but not for big blades.

Wish I could afford a calcutta, but it aint in the cards.

09-17-2009, 01:03 PM
Im begining to be talked into a Calcutta and i dont like it...:P

What makes it so much better than the Cariff?

09-17-2009, 01:31 PM
its just a more solid reel. Smoother, built better. For the same price i would look at the st croix AC300. It's a diawa luna which is $30 more. Another fantastic reel for under $230. The handles alone are great and it's the first thing you will notice when moving up.

could also look at the okuma reels as well. they are in your price range.

09-17-2009, 01:39 PM
The 7000 is a real winch, and can easily crank in the big baits. But, as an all around reel it is a little heavy and bulky, and your outfits won't be quite as balanced. Good medicine for the big resistant bucktails and cranks though. If you are looking to keep the cost down and go for something more all around, you'll probably like the Cardiff and do well with it, except for the big resistant bucktails. The Shimanos deffinitely feel more powerfull then the Abus. The one peice frames are more rigid and the reel is solid.Why not go for the Cardiff 300 though? The only difference is the width of the spool, and on the 300 you'll still have more line capacity then you need, plus it will be lighter, balance better, and cast further then the 400.


09-17-2009, 01:56 PM
What Okuma reel is good? the Akena or Isis?

Its hard to find st.croix reels anywhere....any suggestions?

09-17-2009, 01:59 PM
I liked that it had a clicker...never really use them but nice if sucker fishing or catfishing:9 lol

09-17-2009, 02:13 PM
depending on how fast you need it, rollie and helens sells them, smokeys sells them and so does st croix. In wisc they are not hard to find. Most musky shops carry the SC reels. Everyone sells the calcutta on the internet.

the red isis is the real i would say. i have a friend that uses that reel. it's a workhorse for him. The other two reels are too new to comment on.

09-17-2009, 02:55 PM
I like the looks of the red isis, power handle too! many people use that reel?

Man o'man the more i try and figure out what i want the more confused i get.

Shimano cardiff?
okuma red isis?
st croix avid?

09-17-2009, 03:58 PM
You really can't mix different price range reels together. I have a Cardiff and I love it for almost any lure except dbl 10's. For that you need a Calcutta or Calcutta TE if you want a Shimano, the St. Croix Avid or ABU 7000. Just to make it more confusing, my freinds and I all settled on the Daiwa Luna for dbl 10's.

09-17-2009, 08:27 PM

I currently own a few 400 series cardiffs and both have alot of time on them, for the money its tough to beat them . As stated, they wont hold up to dbl 10s for any amount of time but everything else they work great for. Easy to tear down and clean and lube also. I own calcuttas also and they are great great great reels, twice the money though. I have the calcutta powerhandles on the cardiffs so they are interchangable, i find it tough now to fish without them now that i've used them for awhile.

09-17-2009, 09:05 PM
So basically what everyone is telling me is I need a calcutta or luna to handle 10s? Was hoping for a cheaper option...its not like I throw DCGs all day every day but I do like big blades. Is the calcutta b any good or just the TE?

09-18-2009, 06:14 AM
I don't throw double 10's all day either but do on occasion. i find that the AC300 is slightly better with big blades than the 400b. This doesn't take anything away from the 400b, but the cranks on the AC300 seem a little bigger. Either will do fine however. The TE is about $375 which is out the price range for alot of people. i have found that the 400b is great reel and so is the AC300 (LUNA clone). Just take care of them and they will last longer

09-18-2009, 08:16 AM
Checkout page2 of the archives. Scroll down to about the middle. Read the post "Favorite reel?" Steve Herbeck talks asbout what has worked and lasted for them at Andy Myer's Lodge. This may also help with your decision!

09-18-2009, 09:42 AM
OK so I have been convinced to spend a little more money on a quality reel...guess it makes since rather than buring up a couple cheaper ones. but not 300+

so im inbetween on 2 reels about the same price...100 over what i wanted to spend..oh well :)

Calcutta 400B
Luna 300 (AC300)

Now what One?

Thanks for everyones help by the way...

read a few articles about the Okuma isis problems....did like the sounds of that reel for $160.

09-18-2009, 10:49 AM
From my experience go with the Calcutta 400B over the Luna. Less issues especially with the anti-reverse going out.

Travis Kopke

09-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Ordered a Calcutta 400b....

Thanks for everyones help. I hope I like it and it handles the big blades...