I've been through 3 old Shakespeare and Zebco reels in the past couple of months. We finally sprang for a decent reel. I know, the green reel totally clashes with my blue rod, but when cost is a factor, you get what you get. This is my first experience with a baitcast reel, and there's definitely a learning curve. I created a birdnest of epic proportions this morning. It was such a mess, it took about 20 minutes for me to get it untangled. But, I'm learning and I'm casting it a little further each time. So... here fishy fishy!