Here is some of my experiences center-pinning. I have rated them out of 5 stars:****
4.5'' Okuma Aventa- excellent bearing reel for the price. I fished one for three years and the only complaint that I can think of is the limited line capacity. One nice feature was that you could remove the spool without any tools which made for easy cleaning on the river banks.*
*5'' Arrora Berrington- This was my first centerpin and was a Japanese made bearing reel, very heavy, and it surprisingly took ALOT of start up inertia to get it going for a bearing reel. I don't recommend this reel. *****
4.5'' Islander Steelheader- Excellent bearing reel. This was my favorite bearing reel to date. I think that as far as bearing reels go on the west coast, this is the reel that all reels are measured up against. No complaints other than it was stolen from me and I never did replace it.**
4.5'' Tournament Drifter- Bearing reel That will spin forever but always made a noise that I never did get used to. This was also a Heavy reel. The center pin screw used to back out on me on the flow and once even fell out while I was playing a fish and I lost it in the river. I had to lock-tite a new stainless screw in place to prevent it from hapening again. My opinion is that this reel looks nice in a reel case and not on a rod!*****
4'' Hardy Silex- This is a Bushing reel that with maintenance will perform flawlessly. This is a caged reel so some will find it hard to cast with birdsnest issues. Mine spins flawlessly and is silent, you cannot hear anything come from the reel while spinning. It casts a mile and is just a nice reel to look at. I would highly recommend this reel.****
5'' Campbell- This is my go to reel. It is a bushing reel and while the machining is a bit rough, It is what gives these reels thier character. It holds a tonne of line and backing, and I like how the handles are positioned which really allows you to peel the line in if need be.Maintenance Tips
For bearing reels with unsealed bearings, blast them out with brake kleen and then soak them in Dura Lube. Amazing!
For bushing reels, the best stuff that you can lube up your bushing with is called G96 Brand Complete Gun Treatment. I apply it to a cotton swab and apply it to the bushing with the swab. Let it soak in for 60 seconds and then polish it off with another dry cotton swab.
The pic of the reel is of my Campbell