Re: cheap junkie reel?
I was just going to reply to your note to tell you to get a Pfluger Medalist (1492 or 1494) but several have beat me too it. THe design of this reel is an American classic, unfortunately like everything else, they aren't built here any more.
Although this is just an educated guess, I think there have been more fish landed on the medalist model of reel than any other reel ever made. Any other contender come to mind?