Some lucky fishing enthusiast first purchased the Zebco 33 that we all know and love in 1954. Many of us grew up with that iconic reel, and loved it, mainly because the thing never failed. Over the years Zebco has always kicked out reliable, affordable rods and reels for recreational fishing, and that’s good because fishing is on the rise. Every year I see more and more folks around the lake firing up the grill, tossing a frisbee, and yes – many of them throwing a line in the water. Fishing is evolving, and it makes me happy. People are starting to realize that 1) It’s easier than they think, and 2) it’s something that fits in perfectly with a day of volleyball and swimming at the beach. Zebco has been expanding their line of over the last few years for this new crowd, and I want to tell you about two rod/reel combos that you should toss in your car next time you head out for an adventure.
The Zebco ROAM Spincast Combo is a modern looking reel that I liked immediately. It’s a sharp looking setup, and the rubberized handle was a smart move. It makes it easy to cast and would be my first choice for people who want to get out for the first time. The retrieve is smooth because it uses the same internal components as the Zebco 33, so it’s going to work all day flawlessly, regardless of your skill level. It comes with a six-foot medium power rod and 10 lb line – ideal for a wide range of species. The soft touch handle knobs make it comfortable in hand, and after a few casts, you feel like you’ve been fishing for years. A friend texted me last week and wanted to know what reel I’d recommend for her and her seven-year-old daughter, and it was a no-brainer: Zebco ROAM Spincast Combo. You can pick one up for $40, and it will probably outlast you.
The Zebco Spyn Spinning Combo is new in 2019 and is an excellent choice for someone with a little more experience. Spinning reels require a bit more practice because you have to flip the bail and hold the line with your finger. It’s a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you can comfortably fish a broader range of styles, like casting spinnerbaits and spoons. The ROAM works fine for this, but if it’s your primary style of fishing, you’ll want something with a faster retrieval ratio like the Spyn. You can cover more water in a shorter period of time, and you’ll catch more fish. The Zebco Spyn Spinning Combo has a cork handle and comes in several different configurations. My favorite setup is the medium-light rod with 8lb line because I can cast for everything from panfish to northern pike without worrying about the line breaking. I also get great action from the medium-light rod. For $30 it’s hard to beat.