Avet vs. Fathom?

Dexter Outdoors

BT3Steve

Throwin in the towel
Jul 13, 2017
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Steve
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Been out of the game for awhile and looking into buying some new rigs. I'm set on my heavier gear, but need to restock my 20-50# gear. Narrowed it down to Avet (SX-LX) and Penn Fathom (15-40). I have a JX (MC) and a 40N. Just fished the Ridge for YT and used both extensively. Loved em both. The fathoms are cheaper, but the Avets offer MC. looking for 20, 30, 40 and 50# rigs. Avet or Fathom?
 
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Bill W

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  • Jan 12, 2006
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    The Avet with exception of improved drags on the Raptor and the MC you mentioned is essentially the original design reel that Avet has always made. When the Makaira reel came out from Okuma they brought new design ideas. They brought a thrust bearing and silent dog. The thrust bearing allowed a lighter frame and spool. Penn did not hesitate to incorporate these advance designs in their new reel line up. Yes the Fathom is a cheap reel, but with the right engineering behind it.
     
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    bob1825

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  • Apr 11, 2007
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    Anyone the fits my schedule
    I am not a fan of MC so my choice would be Fathoms. Having said that I have had a full like of Avets but now I only have an AVET HX Raptor (heavy yoyo) and EX 30 (trolling), which I really like. I personally haven't found one manufacture that I like for 20-150# set ups so I mix and match. Good luck with your decision!
     
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    BT3Steve

    Throwin in the towel
    Jul 13, 2017
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    The Avet with exception of improved drags on the Raptor and the MC you mentioned is essentially the original design reel that Avet has always made. When the Makaira reel came out from Okuma they brought new design ideas. They brought a thrust bearing and silent dog. The thrust bearing allowed a lighter frame and spool. Penn did not hesitate to incorporate these advance designs in their new reel line up. Yes the Fathom is a cheap reel, but with the right engineering behind it.

    Thanks Bill! By cheap reel, I meant dollars, not quality. I really like the Fathoms, but just completing a 6 day on the Intrepid, it seemed that 75% of the reels were Avet and maybe one other fathom besides mine. I like the Fathom gear ratios better and the smaller models actually have more drag pressure as well. Just wondering if I'm missing something. It almost seems blasphemous to say something negative about Avet or positive about Penn...
     
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    luckylogger6

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    If you value the Avet bling, they are a draw. If you are looking at pure function, the Fathom wins hands down. Never fished one but might want to check out the Metaloid as well.
     
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    RichG

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    Jan 20, 2007
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    Not to be anti either. I have not fished the new Penn reels. I know Cal Sheets does a lot of Penn work, and that Okuma used Cal in the new reels. I think the Intrepid as well as the Indy support Avet. Avet, as well as Accurate,are So Cal companies. Avet in Chatsworth and Accurate in Corona. This makes it easier to get them serviced for the So Cal community. Bill has the knowledge on the specifics.

    So that being said, I personally like my Avets. I think you need to go with your preference, they are both durable reels. You just need to figure out what you'll use them for, line capacity is Important.

    Good luck.
     
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    AKSalmon

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  • Jul 15, 2006
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    Bill Brown
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    Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
    Fathoms are great reels but have a problem: The frames are cast, not machined like Avets, so they are inherently weak. One consequence is that too many come in my shop with stripped side plate screws. Substantially longer side plate screws might solve this problem but would require a very different and larger frame. Still, it's hard to beat them for the price.
     
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    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Rich... the Okuma service center is in Ontario, Ca. And you can not beat the price for service. (free)
     
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    tunanorth

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    Dec 4, 2005
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    Not to be anti either. I have not fished the new Penn reels. I know Cal Sheets does a lot of Penn work, and that Okuma used Cal in the new reels. I think the Intrepid as well as the Indy support Avet. Avet, as well as Accurate,are So Cal companies. Avet in Chatsworth and Accurate in Corona. This makes it easier to get them serviced for the So Cal community. Bill has the knowledge on the specifics.

    So that being said, I personally like my Avets. I think you need to go with your preference, they are both durable reels. You just need to figure out what you'll use them for, line capacity is Important.

    Good luck.


    Just to clarify a couple of points, the Fathom series reels are not particularly new, they are tried and proven, now being on their fourth season on the market, of course including the phenomenal 2015 and 2016 seasons, which were substantially more difficult tests than a "normal" season.
    Among the SD boats that support Penn are the Shogun, Vagabond, Searcher, and Prowler.
    As far as I am aware, Cal Sheets does not work on Fathoms [or any small mid-price reels], though as noted he does work on older Penn Internationals.
    Regarding the new Penn International VI series, there is plenty of Cal Sheets input into the design and field-test work.
    Very true that if you live very nearby one of the factories, its convenient to drop by in person, but if you are shipping/mailing, there is not much difference..
     
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    ninjastar

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    Feb 10, 2010
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    I recently upgraded my tackle and went the Fathom route which Island Tackle recommended and man can I say it was worth it. I love them so much that I got everything but the 15 will get it when money allows.
     
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    caveman

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    charles boyd
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    I've been primarily an Avet guy for years. They have been stone reliable, priced right, and easy to repair yourself. Most problems I have heard of concerning Avets comes from using them at drag settings beyond what they were designed for. ( lack of a thrust bearing ) Alan Tani has pictorials on how to rebuild them online, and you can find used ones online at good prices if you go that way. I use my JX's about 60 percent of the time on 8 day trips. Having said that, Okuma Metaloids are very nice as well, but I have not worked on mine yet. We are spoiled of late, there are LOTS of good reels now at any price point. Personal preference and entended use will help you most. Good luck, hope you get to wear out the drags on whatever you buy.
     
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    RichG

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    Jan 20, 2007
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    Drag setting and the thrust bearing. I understand the concept and that a thrust bearing decrease the wear on the other bearing.

    But how much drag is too much?

    If you look at the Avet LX, 2 speed specs.

    The LX is 15 at strike and 20 Max.

    The LX G2 is 21 at strike and 28 max.

    The LX Raptor is 30 at strike and 40 max.

    If you multiple the strike setting X4 for line, the LX is 60 pound test, G2 80 pound test and the Raptor would be 120 pound test.

    I have fish 50 pound on my LX 6/3 and 80 on my Raptor. I really doubt I would go any heavier on these reels. So how would a thrust bearing come into play, if you don't go beyond the factory recommendations?

    I am not comparing the Penn reels here, just wondering about the thrust bearing.
     
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    DMcD

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    Nov 21, 2011
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    I have 4 avets (MXL, LX, HX, HXW raptor) that I've been using for years that have performed flawlessly with only general maintenance after trips. However, before my last trip I purchased a fathom40NLD2 (even though I needed another reel like I need a hole in my head) and was very happy with the reel. I had it loaded with 65# with 50# topshot, and granted, only used it for yo-yo fishing for yt, but I was very impressed with its smoothness, drag, weight and size, and simplicity in changing gears...just felt like a very solid piece of machinery. IMHO, I think they're the best "bang for your buck." I plan on getting another, and maybe trying out some of the other fathom models.

    DMcD
     
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    Fincutter

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    For whatever it's worth, my recent experience with Penn products is mixed; three trips back to Penn for two reels (Fathom 25N star and a Spinfisher 6500). Penn was awesome on customer service and replaced with new reels even though more than a year had gone by. In all cases, I got an extra spool out of the deal. Both reels seem good now but I wonder if there's an issue with quality control. (To be clear that's three returns total, one for the 25N and two for the Spinfisher.)
     
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    DMcD

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    For whatever it's worth, my recent experience with Penn products is mixed; three trips back to Penn for two reels (Fathom 25N star and a Spinfisher 6500). Penn was awesome on customer service and replaced with new reels even though more than a year had gone by. In all cases, I got an extra spool out of the deal. Both reels seem good now but I wonder if there's an issue with quality control. (To be clear that's three returns total, one for the 25N and two for the Spinfisher.)

    Greg: can you give us a little more info on the specific problems you were having with these reels? Good on Penn for coming through in the customer service aspect.

    DMcD
     
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    Fincutter

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    Greg: can you give us a little more info on the specific problems you were having with these reels? Good on Penn for coming through in the customer service aspect.

    DMcD
    Sure. My Spinfisher has a secondary drag, similar to the old Shimano bait runners. I like it because I can fish with the bail closed, feed line by pulling the light secondary drag, and trip the main drag by turning the handle. This system was the source of both of my returns on that reel. The secondary drag would not adjust properly in one case, and I can't remember the exact problem in the second case. The problem with the 25N was worse. I had it on my 30# jig stick and sometimes when I'd start my throw, the spool would lock, making me look like even more of a klutz than I am. After a while, I discovered that I could solve the problem by backing the spool up with my thumb before each cast (but I would forget sometimes, with ugly results). As I mentioned, Penn was great about it all. And the guy who sold me the reel (Billy at Mahi Tackle) said that mine is the only one he's heard of with that problem after selling lots of 'em. So it's probably just bad luck that I got a couple of reels from Penn that had problems.
     
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    18parker

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    Jun 22, 2008
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    I fished Avets for a lot of years and they did great but I recently replaced them all with fathoms and Torques .... the penn reels are way smoother in my opinion and for the price of the fathoms you can not beat them!!
     
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    tunanorth

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    Dec 4, 2005
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    Don't forget that Fathoms come in single-speed lever drag, 2-speed lever drag, regular star drag, and "Level-Wind" star drag models, each slightly different.
     
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    King Halibut

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    Sep 11, 2008
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    I am an Avet fan, have at least ten of them all the way from the SX to the 50.
    I absolutely love them and have never had a problem with their performance!
    Year before last I was at Alejios Rocks on the Excel and hooked and landed a 71 lb. Wahoo on an MX loaded with 40 lb.
    Put the wood to him! I've caught Yellowfin up to 60lb. with the same reel.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    KH
     
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    HoleSnipe

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    Sep 21, 2015
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    I found the Fathom for 206 to the door, good price?
    Im a avet fan but going to grab a couple 40x2 for grandson
     
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    wetdreams

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    I have had a lot of Avets, but had the chance to fish the Fathom at Gaudalupe last December on the Shogun. Very impressed... Landed a 110# YFT on a Fathom 30 with 65/50 flouro. Reel was very smooth and had a lot of torque on the up and down. When I found out how much they cost I couldn't believe it. I am currently purchasing a Fathom 40 to fish as a 50lb outfit.
     
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    kml

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    I've owned the MX, JX, LX & HX ( All regular 2 speed models )

    For me I was only getting 7-8# of drag on the Mx before it affected freespool therefore making it a 30# reel based on 25% of line weight.

    Sim with the Jx / Lx about 11# drag, making for a 40# reel

    Loved the way the spin, great colors to choose from for sure..... I even recommended them to friends in the market for reels a couple years back. Solid product

    That said

    I presently own NONE of them, and now own the fathoms.... ALOT more drag pressure for sim size reels, solid built, good free-spool, hoping it gets a little better with some Speed -X oil or sim.... Are they pretty ?? No, but they are more than enuf to get the job done.

    I even sold a 12 yr old Accurate 665 & bought 2 NEW Fathoms with the funds.

    Less pricey gear frees up more $$ for more trips

    Your mileage may vary. Good luck !!
     
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