Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Browning Medallion GT Spinning Rod & Reel Review

My Browning Medallion GT spinning reel recently kicked the bucket so no better time than now to review the reel and matching rod. I purchased this combo in spring 2010 and it has been my go to rod ever since. I used this combo on nearly every trip for the past two years, which is probably somewhere around 200 days of fishing, so it has seen some very heavy use. I've caught nearly every species of local game fish on it including a 32lb carp. This year it started developing multiple problems and the reel finally become practically unusable although the rod is still in decent shape.

I'll start with the reel. Here are the stats on it.

Model: MD-25C (the medium sized model)
Gear Ratio: 5.5:1
Line Capacity: 8/140
Ball Bearings: 5+1
Max Drag: 11 Lbs.
Line Recovery: 28" Per Turn
Reel Weight: 8.7 oz.
Browning Medallion GT Spinning Reel (MD-25C)
For the first year and a half the reel performed great. It was smooth and I had no problems with it. The first problem that appeared was the crank handle started developing a wobble. Unfortunately there is no way to correct this as far as I can tell, no screws to tighten, just worn out joints. Thankfully the reel was still usable with this condition.  Next the problem that ultimately put the reel into retirement started occurring. On occasion, the reel would become difficult to reel or even completely lock up. I cleaned it several times before I figured out what exactly the problem was. One of the gears had developed enough play that it was grinding against the body of the reel. This problem slowly got worse and more common over time until I decided to retire the reel. Lastly towards the end of the reels life, the line roller started eating my line. The line would slip between the roller and the bail on occasion damaging my line. I was by no means easy on this reel, so I believe 2 years of performance was a good run.

Now on to the rod.

Model: MDN66MS
Length: 6'6"
Power: Medium
Action: Fast
Line Weight: 4-12 Lbs.
Lure Weight: 1/8 - 1/2 oz.
Pieces: 1
Browning Medallion GT Spinning Rod (MDN66MS)
The rod is still in working condition today and I plan to purchase a new reel to use with it. It isn't nearly the lightest rod or the heaviest rod I have used, somewhat in the middle of the road. I'd rate the sensitivity as somewhat average as well. The strength and durability of this rod has been the high point. The only problem I've had with the rod was the tip eye got chipped at one point which was an easy replacement.
Replaced Eye
Something important to note is the price of this combo has went up since I bought it. I found an old 2010 basspro master catalog and checked the price, $109.98 for the combo, $59.99 for the reel, and $79.99 for the rod. I believe I may have also got it on sale at the time. Compared to today's prices, $124.98 for the combo, $64.99 for the reel, and $79.99 for the rod. For the price I feel the combo is a solid choice even with the price increase. Durability is one of the biggest factors I look for when purchasing a rod and reel. I don't have many rods and reels to compare to but compared to what I do have this setup has been good considering the amount of use. I probably won't purchase another Medallion GT reel mainly because I want to explore other comparable reels. Of the other Browning products of owned they have always been top quality and that's what lead me to purchase this setup and It should definitely be a strong contender for someone looking for a mid price range spinning setup.

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