Penn Accurate ATD vs Makaira SEA vs Penn VSIX

Ksurg

Newbie
Jul 14, 2012
67
77
San Jose, CA
Name
KB
Boat
Outer Limits
After taking a 5 year hiatus, I'm looking to get back into SD LR fishing starting with a ridge trip this fall. My reels are in need of updating. I expect a gear dump of "Cal Sheeted" 16S, 30T2 speed conversion, and a 50SW Internationals. Will also sell Cal Sheeted and Tiburon framed TLD 20II and 30II. Oh I even a Duel 6-0 to part with. Beyond that I still have some usable gear including Accurate BX2 600N, Torque 40NLD2, Makaira 10II SEA, and ATD 30. The question is whether to replace the older reels with ATDs, Mak's, or VSIX's.
In trolling the forums it seems like the comparisons haven't been discussed for awhile. So other than brand loyalty, and now that there has been a few years more of real world experience, what are peoples thoughts, experiences, and recommendations?
 
Upvote 0

ripped

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Dec 5, 2007
    2,104
    1,950
    Santa Cruz
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    Vagabond
    Two are made here, and one is not. They're all good, to me it boils down to gearing for the application and how the reel feels in my hands.
     

    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    9,511
    7,922
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    I use Mak's but if you want to use one of the others, I won't be telling you that you made a bad choice. They're all good. Personally, I'd say go for Mak's or Penn.
     

    Yellowtail Dan

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Apr 10, 2006
    3,770
    4,352
    53
    Roseville Ca
    Name
    Dan
    Boat
    Excel, American Angler
    I have 7 Maks and love them but I don't think there is a bad choice here. The Penn's are just as bullet proof and are great reels. The ATD's are rock solid as well. I'm not sure what tackle shops in your area carry what but Fisherman's whse might have the Penns and Maks so you can at least hold them

    I would keep the Cal'd 16 and maybe sell the other two and the TLD's. The rest are a good start
     

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    Thanks for the feedback. I didn't want to list my biases but here's where I'm at:

    Accurate ATD:
    Pros: Oldest of the 3 and proven
    Arguably the best drag
    Made in USA
    Cons: Most expensive
    Highest service requirements
    Not the best 2 speed mechanism

    Makaira:
    Pros: Less expensive
    Also proven at this point
    Low service and quick when needed
    Cons: Reportedly less free spool
    Made in Taiwan

    Penn VSIX:
    Pros: Less expensive
    Excellent free spool
    Made in the USA by old reliable company
    Great 2 speed mechanism consistent and works seamlessly with Torque line
    Cons: Slightly less drag
    Less of a track record( at least with the VSIX)
    No thrust bearings( not sure if anyone still thinks that's an issue)

    For the record I'm not opposed to buying from outside the USA if something is truly a better product. But where things are close or the same I'll give the nod to "made in the USA".

    Lastly, the problem with all three Penn's I have now are:
    None are topless
    They're relatively heavy
    Even with mods it's hard to get the drag pressures needed for todays LR fishing styles without compromising spool and lever pressure
     

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,642
    5,483
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Penn VSIX:
    Pros: Less expensive
    Excellent free spool
    Made in the USA by old reliable company
    Great 2 speed mechanism consistent and works seamlessly with Torque line
    Cons: Slightly less drag
    Less of a track record( at least with the VSIX)
    No thrust bearings( not sure if anyone still thinks that's an issue)


    Lastly, the problem with all three Penn's I have now are:
    None are topless
    They're relatively heavy
    Even with mods it's hard to get the drag pressures needed for todays LR fishing styles without compromising spool and lever pressure



    To clarify a couple of points.
    The VISX series came out in 2017; hopefully more than ample time for proving in the field under a wide variety of conditions.
    All VISX's are topless.
    The Int'l models in your lineup are 25+ years old, and of course were not designed with current fishing styles in mind.
    One other item for consideration. the below pictured reel is International #1, circa 1967.
    It is retired and in a collector's case now, but I checked with the service manager, and he actually still has "wear parts" for it in stock, and could still service the reel.

    International #1.jpg
     

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    To clarify a couple of points.
    The VISX series came out in 2017; hopefully more than ample time for proving in the field under a wide variety of conditions.
    All VISX's are topless.
    The Int'l models in your lineup are 25+ years old, and of course were not designed with current fishing styles in mind.
    One other item for consideration. the below pictured reel is International #1, circa 1967.
    It is retired and in a collector's case now, but I checked with the service manager, and he actually still has "wear parts" for it in stock, and could still service the reel.

    View attachment 1268137
    Yep, I agree with your comments. My equipment has been on a lot of trips including several to Clarion back in the day. LR fishing has evolved since then. I don't want to even get started on changes with rods.

    I would point, however, out that ATDs are now 20 plus years old too. Some might argue that 3-4 years of service with the VSIX is not a long tract record. The warrantee on the Maks is 5 years...
     
    • Like
    Reactions: fishin_kid
    May 8, 2020
    435
    342
    Point Loma
    Name
    Troy
    Boat
    Fun Ones
    Yep, I agree with your comments. My equipment has been on a lot of trips including several to Clarion back in the day. LR fishing has evolved since then. I don't want to even get started on changes with rods.

    I would point, however, out that ATDs are now 20 plus years old too. Some might argue that 3-4 years of service with the VSIX is not a long tract record. The warrantee on the Maks is 5 years...
    You’re going to get the most with a VISX, in my personal experience. Frankly you are getting the best drags in class, how many time are you going to be fishing more then 50lbs on 130lb line? You have plenty of drag. If you drop by Kens Custom Reels, those guys swear by the VISX 20 as a defacto 130lb reel.

    Second thing is gearing. The VISX has an excellent balance between IPT on the low gear and the actual gear ratio. It turns it into a torque monster that’s considerably smoother then the ATD I think.

    Lastly... the VISX refuses to overheat like a Mak under its most extreme loads. Seriously it’s mind boggling how little the VISX 16s are heating up compared to similar sized reels. It’s quite remarkable. You never really see a reel pushed that hard, but it’s awesome to see a reel tank what ever is on the end of the line. The

    Cams are worked to the point where a thrust bearing isn’t as vital as a reel like a 40N, where it is vital due to a lower grade cam tolerance.
     
    Last edited:

    Cast Gold

    hss AHHHH...hss AHHHH....
    Jul 1, 2005
    2,769
    633
    Tustin
    Name
    Kris
    Boat
    Mike's
    I have the ATD30T and 2 Mak30s. The ATD is the 3rd string in that lineup due to the limited line capacity and casting inertia. The Penn has my favorite gear changing system of the three. They will all work well, but I'd try the Mak or Penn over my ATD30T.
     

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    Highly appreciate all the replies and insights. Haven’t committed yet but leaning towards a stable of Torques and VSIX’s. I have always had an eclectic mixture of reels. But I’m told there is some value to having a consistent group of reels. That way you don’t fumble with gear changes at a critical moment...

    Ok I don’t truly buy that but it makes sense not to have 1 or 2 of everything. Next is working on matching my reeks to the rods. I have a few UC composites and getting a few more made. I’ll post when I finally get my new reels.
     
    Upvote 0

    abj5150

    Service Manager, Advisor and Customer Support.
    Advertiser
  • Sep 18, 2012
    445
    274
    USA
    Name
    Al
    Boat
    Whatever I can get on
    After taking a 5 year hiatus, I'm looking to get back into SD LR fishing starting with a ridge trip this fall. My reels are in need of updating. I expect a gear dump of "Cal Sheeted" 16S, 30T2 speed conversion, and a 50SW Internationals. Will also sell Cal Sheeted and Tiburon framed TLD 20II and 30II. Oh I even a Duel 6-0 to part with. Beyond that I still have some usable gear including Accurate BX2 600N, Torque 40NLD2, Makaira 10II SEA, and ATD 30. The question is whether to replace the older reels with ATDs, Mak's, or VSIX's.
    In trolling the forums it seems like the comparisons haven't been discussed for awhile. So other than brand loyalty, and now that there has been a few years more of real world experience, what are peoples thoughts, experiences, and recommendations?
    Accurate ATD without question. Based on longevity, durability, quality and customer service
     
    • Like
    Reactions: gettingbentwithbo
    Upvote 0

    Dozer217

    Almost A Member
    Aug 12, 2010
    198
    140
    LBC
    All the landings have quality rental gear, maybe do that to see how you like it and also fish some of your "vintage" gear then jump in an purchase?
     
    Upvote 0

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    No that would be the smart and rational thing to do. Pretty sure I’ll be buying Torques and VSIXS’s at this point. I’ll post when I do. Great suggestion though...
     
    Upvote 0

    SSUfish

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Sep 14, 2006
    1,040
    534
    San Diego
    Name
    Eric
    Boat
    n/a
    I'd say keep what you have, talk to a local tackle shop and get a handful serviced so they're tip top (it's amazing how fresh bearings, grease and new drags will extend the life of a reel).

    Then whatever boat you book, ask if they or the landing have loaner gear so you can try before you buy. Save your money...
     
    Upvote 0

    IronMikeAC

    Member
    Aug 2, 2013
    951
    1,059
    torrance, ca
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Vagabond
    After taking a 5 year hiatus, I'm looking to get back into SD LR fishing starting with a ridge trip this fall. My reels are in need of updating. I expect a gear dump of "Cal Sheeted" 16S, 30T2 speed conversion, and a 50SW Internationals. Will also sell Cal Sheeted and Tiburon framed TLD 20II and 30II. Oh I even a Duel 6-0 to part with. Beyond that I still have some usable gear including Accurate BX2 600N, Torque 40NLD2, Makaira 10II SEA, and ATD 30. The question is whether to replace the older reels with ATDs, Mak's, or VSIX's.
    In trolling the forums it seems like the comparisons haven't been discussed for awhile. So other than brand loyalty, and now that there has been a few years more of real world experience, what are peoples thoughts, experiences, and recommendations?
    Interesting thing: if you read the Makaira site they say they are just like reel blueprinted by Cal Sheets. Your 50sw is perfectly fine for a heavy reel, as is your 30t. Your 16s is probably fine also as a 60lb reel,, but may not sure how much drag it gets.. Other issue is its hard to sell them for decent money. Your TLDs dont belong in this big BFT fishery though.
     
    Upvote 0

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    794688C4-B2D3-4A25-9F75-F21EB7DF5FC1.jpeg
    Decided to replenish with some new Penns. Will likely keep some of the old ones as well. Thought hard about going with Accurates. Besides the extra cost I don’t love the 2 speed buttons. That said I have nothing bad to say about Accurates or Makairas. All great reels limited more by their users than their design. Tight lines...
     
    Upvote 0

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    Very nice! I have a Mak 10SEA and ATD 30 too. In the past I’ve always had a hodgepodge of different reels. It was the result of getting one or two reels every few years. It was fun in some ways because I could buy whatever the new hot reel was.

    This time I wanted to try getting the reels by task/line weight but stay mostly with one brand for consistency. Never had the $$ to do that before. These days the time is the limiting factor.
     
    Upvote 0

    James Taylor

    Question Everything
    Jan 7, 2019
    655
    868
    28
    Cypress, Ca
    Name
    James Taylor
    Boat
    Sportboats
    Wow ! No messing around with your purchase.
    I went your route, but also did get the MAK15T for 60 and a MAK50 and VISX 16,20,& 30’s

    View attachment 1287070
    Very nice! I have a Mak 10SEA and ATD 30 too. In the past I’ve always had a hodgepodge of different reels. It was the result of getting one or two reels every few years. It was fun in some ways because I could buy whatever the new hot reel was.

    This time I wanted to try getting the reels by task/line weight but stay mostly with one brand for consistency. Never had the $$ to do that before. These days the time is the limiting factor.
    What do you guys spool the visx 16 with 80lb braid or 100?
     
    Upvote 0

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    I'm planning to fish the following terminal line weights and generally go with equal or heavier braid:
    VISX 12 60lb
    VISX 16 80lb
    VISX 20 100lb
    VISX 50 130lb
    VISW 50 130( kite and troll)

    But based on other posts there's room to go up or down depending on line capacity needs.
     
    Upvote 0

    pukahd

    I’m getting nibbles
    Oct 30, 2004
    918
    880
    Torrance
    Name
    Brian
    Boat
    Cabo 216
    What do you guys spool the visx 16 with 80lb braid or 100?

    I heard from shops that in fact 100# spectra is thinner than 80#. 80 is thicker with more strands.

    I googled this up from another site :
    “JB 100 lb is a little thinner than JB 80 lb as others said, but the breaking point of 80 lb is about 150 lb while the 100 lb breaking point is about 130 lb. And JB 80 lb is 16 stranded line while JB 100 lb is 12 stranded line. It is your choice. The line capacity between two are not substantial” Nov 28, 2011
     
    Upvote 0
    May 8, 2020
    435
    342
    Point Loma
    Name
    Troy
    Boat
    Fun Ones
    I heard from shops that in fact 100# spectra is thinner than 80#. 80 is thicker with more strands.

    I googled this up from another site :
    “JB 100 lb is a little thinner than JB 80 lb as others said, but the breaking point of 80 lb is about 150 lb while the 100 lb breaking point is about 130 lb. And JB 80 lb is 16 stranded line while JB 100 lb is 12 stranded line. It is your choice. The line capacity between two are not substantial” Nov 28, 2011
    Yeah but that’s JB. J braid or Pro Spec, MC all have thinner 80lbs then 100lbs that test at lower breaking strengths. If anything this is just JB being inconsistent with its line.
     
    Upvote 0

    Ksurg

    Newbie
    Jul 14, 2012
    67
    77
    San Jose, CA
    Name
    KB
    Boat
    Outer Limits
    Wow ! No messing around with your purchase.
    I went your route, but also did get the MAK15T for 60 and a MAK50 and VISX 16,20,& 30’s

    View attachment 1287070
    A little off topic but with all those great reels what do you use for a reel bag or case. I need a new one. Thinking about getting a pelican case but not sure of size or accessories. I want it to hold enough to cover ridge and cow trips.