Bought a shimano 6500 today, boat rod and reel combo 299.99. (Rod is a one piece 7.5foot shimano)
The latest 6500 reels are very similar to the first models, only difference: better ball bearings (non-corosive type) and its now water proof, no water can get in under the spool.
Other than not being the best for surfcasting distance it will be suited to rock, boat fishing and a 10 year gurantee you cant go wrong!!