The Zebco 33 has been a favorite spincast reel since 1953. The easy push-button, one hand operation and quick line release make it the number one choice for anglers of all ages and experiences. When spooled with the correct line, the Zebco 33 is the perfect reel for freshwater fishing.
Spincast Reel Characteristics
Spincast reels are excellent for beginning anglers because of their simplicity. Unlike open faced reels that can drop line too quickly and create huge nests of tangled line, the spincast reel has a covered spool that allows the line to release evenly with just the push of a button. Easy of use and quick line release guarantee successful casting, even among novice anglers.
Spincast reels have their downfalls, though. Because spincast reels enclose the spool in a small housing, line capacity is more limited than on open faced spinning reels. Using a lighter line can help increase the capacity, but also limits the type of fishing you can do.
A minor issue with spincast reels is knots or tangles forming inside the cover. This usually happens when you overfill the spool or use the wrong type of line. Winding the spool with a recommended monofilament will eliminate the problem.
Zebco 33 line choice: Mono, fluoro or braid?
What is the Best Line Type for Spincast Reels?
Spincast reels perform best with monofilament line. It is the most forgiving in terms of memory, stretch, and strength.
Monofilament is great for teaching youngsters to attach jigs or lures because it is easy to tie. The slight stretch of monofilament allows some forgiveness when the fish pulls, keeping the line from breaking or the hook from ripping out.
Braided line is popular among anglers with baitcaster reels. It has a smaller diameter and practically no stretch, making it super sensitive, but easily tangled. While monofilament can be untangled fairly easily, braided line snarls right off the spool, causing a gigantic mess.
Braided line also has super strength and is quite abrasive. Trying to pull it free from a snag could damage your rod and reel.
A third type of line is fluorocarbon. While not new, it is less used by hobby anglers because of its price and its temperamental characteristics. Fluorocarbon line is stiff and retains the coiled shape, making it difficult to use with a spinning reel. Fluorocarbon is also hard to tie securely and hard to cast smoothly.
What Line Size for Spincast reels?
Spincast reels like the Zebco 33 are designed for light pan fishing or sportfishing for bass, walleye, and stripers. A 4-8 pound test should be sufficient for any of these applications. Keep in mind a lighter line will allow more spool capacity, but will limit the size of the fish you can land.
Best Line for Zebco 33 and Other Spincast Reels
Berkley Trilene is the number one recommended line for spincast reels. This nylon single strand line is smooth and strong. It allows for long, accurate casts and resists tangling and backlash. Available in a range of weights from 2 pound to 30 pound break strength, Berkley Trilene is the most versatile line for beginners and seasoned anglers. Berkley has manufactured Trilene for decades and has received thousands of positive reviews. Anglers love its strength and suppleness in and out of the water. It is inexpensive and available through most retailers.
- Smooth and flexible for long, accurate casts.
- Absorbs water and relaxes when wet
- Reliable knot tying ability
Designed for freshwater and saltwater fishers, Maxima monofilament fishing line is another well like line. A variety of colors allows anglers to present to different species in different bodies of water. Low memory helps keep knots at bay. Maxima seems to be a favorite among saltwater anglers. Freshwater anglers gave it mostly positive reviews when discussing the lighter weight lines. It is a popular choice for making leaders.
- Weights from 2 pound test to 130 pound test
- Variety of colors
- Low memory retention
Stren High Impact is a heavy duty, high tensile strength monofilament designed for landing the big fish. With low memory and moderate knot tying ease, Stren’s High Impact line is an excellent choice for bass and walleye anglers. It lacks the sensitivity to be a good pan fishing line. It is available in 10 pound to 30 pound test. This line received mixed reviews among anglers. Some like the abrasion resistant strength, but others found the line thick and cumbersome.
- Exceptionally strong
- Resistant to abrasion
- Designed for big fish
KastKing’s monofilament line is available in weights from 4 pound to 30 pound test and a wide range of colors. The single strand monofilament is strong and resists abrasion. The company uses a parallel winding method to decrease tangles, but the line is still stiff and curly off the spool. Reviews are positive among anglers with bait caster reels, but mixed among those with spinning reels. Common complaints are stiffness and tangling.
- Comes in a wide range of colors
- Line has smaller diameter compared to others of the same weight
- Inexpensive and readily available
Final Thoughts on Line Choice for Zebco Reels
The Zebco 33 is the perfect spincast reel for any angler. Combined with the best monofilament available, it creates a perfect fishing combination. Among the top brands we reviewed, Berkley Trilene XL has the most outstanding features that make it the best choice for the Zebco 33 reel. Lightweight test like 4 or 6 pound provides enough sensitivity to feel the fish take the bait, and enough stretch and flexibility to make landing it lots of fun. Exceptional knot retention guarantees you won’t lose your prize catch or your favorite lure. Monofilament line is inexpensive, easy to manage, and resistant to tangling. This makes it our choice for use with any spincast reel.