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17 reviews | 3.5 out of 5
I have used these ever since they hit the market, great for light to medium freshwater fishing. They are great for beginners and are good little reels for a day's fishing at the pond or lake. I use them all year long pan fishing. They are easy to use and smooth to wind and have a good drag for a spin-caster. They will last several years with care and maintenance. Zebco quality has slipped over the past few years, but the 33 is still a good reel for the money.
one of very few reels that could be used to catch everything from panfish to 10lb bass
falls apart while casting far cry from the 33 of years past zebco has lost a customer
Having owned a Zebco 33 reel as a kid, I purchased two for my sons in April. One reel has already been disassembled and repaired. The other is now useless. The line becomes entangled in the gear mechanism and there is no easy way to untangle. Lasted four trips. Also, the gears are very cheaply manufactured and strip if you catch a fish of any size. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!
I've had several Zebco 33 reels...all of which performed flawlessly.
I own two of these newer 33's. They've both been very reliable, smooth operating, and
I have several older 33's, and think these are close to being on par with their quality.
Some asthetic issues I don't personally care for compared to the older ones, but I do like
the ease of changing to left hand retrieve since I'm a lefty.
Time will tell if they can make it several decades,lol.
I will add this.
I never cared for pre-spooled reels. I know that should save you money, but regardless who's
brand line it is, it has always caused me problems. I prefer to re-spool all my reels with fresh.
If you really want to use the factory line, do this:
1)Remove the spool, and soak in a bowl of hot tap water, until the water cools.
That will help re-set/limp the the factory "coily" line. Make it less likely to knot up.
2)Remove several arms lengths of line. Both new ones I purchased were clearly over lined, which leads to wrap-ups. Something I learned as a kid.
3)Apply new oil to the mechs.
4) Dont exceed 12lb test line, or .014(just personal experience).
Also, buy a decent rod! A good 6+ft medium action with a fast tip.
Something you can work with!
Same old reliable reel as when I was A kid
This is the best reel for the price far casting and smooth brought in a 10lb channel cat with this reel. Some reviews talk about lines braking tangling one thing I learned years ago never use the line that comes with the reel there cheap. I would have gave 5 star if it did not have that red pull apart line in it. Just buy a small spool of fishing line. I myself like spiderwire it don't cost to much and works very well. any will do and you will see just how great this reel is have used it many times with no issues.
most of the problems with this reel is the red cast line. zebco cajun line comes in red cast, lightning, and advantage. i only use lightning, and advantage. advantage is a copolymer and is there best line. you can buy all of these in a clear version. zebco say's the red line is hard for fish to see under 3 feet of water, but i am not sold on them yet. there is alot of good fishing line out there, trilene, suffix, stren, spider wire just a few, my problem with these new reels is how easy the covers can come off. if the line is not broken then the front cover is okay, but if the back comes off and falls in water, then it's lost. the older reels had a lock screw to prevent this. to day every thing is about money, and now zebco has a new 2014 33 reel so , is it better. i can only say time will tell. i still have 3, 33 reels that i have had for 45 years and i still use them, they have USA on them. go to zebco.com to see the new 2014 33's you may want to wait. one trick i used was silacon sealent to glue the back covers on between servicing. this does not glue them permanently.
Terrible value for money. I bought this thinking it would be as good as the Zebco 33 reels from decades past. The action on this reel is so bad it won't cast at all if you have less than several hundred feet of like installed. At that volume, the line tangles up inside the reel. Complete garbage.
Zebco use to be a name one could trust but the reels today DO NOT have the same quality as of old.I bought two 33 reels.On one the line was very poor quality,the line would break just when casting,the other reel when i would try to cast the line would always catch on something inside the cap.Ended up taken them both back and buying 2 reels by another make. Zebco what has happen to your products over the years, very disappointed.
This is the thrid Zebco 33 I've bought. The first was purchased in 1968, and I still use it.
The next one I gave as a present to my nephew in 1972 (still in use).
If anything, this most recent reel is the smoothest so far.
I also like that it is pre-spooled with good quality line.
Ordered through ship to store. Arrived at store crushed. Good thing is Walmart called me right away told me reel was crushed and they had credited my card. Great service from Walmart, saved me a trip to store. I have another reel like this one and it is great. This one was for another rod.
My mom is mid 70s, fishes ALL the time and this is her reel of choice. BUT she DOESN'T like that it now comes with the CAJUN LINE. That's the problem, not the reel itself. The cajun line tangles inside the reel and breaks easily.
I have looked everywhere for a Zebco 33 without the cajun line and cannot find one!
I love Zebco reels - own quite a few. This one, however, did not live up to the Zebco name. Failed after 10 casts - line didn't tangle on the spool, but under the internal oscillating cover. Couldn't get to the line to untangle it. Reel is locked and won't cast or retrieve. Returning the reel in the morning.