Most helpful critical review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Functional Reel at a Modest Price
on October 14, 2013
I bought this reel so I could use multiple lines on my 6-weight rod without having to unspool and re-spool every time I wanted to switch. My other reel is a little more high-end, with a drag system that is wonderful, but I didn't want to have to spend that much again. I have used both reels dozens of times in both still and flowing-water environments.
This reel is fairly lightweight, holds a long (100') 6-weight line with a full 100 yards of backing, and has an adjustable drag that goes from no drag to tippet-snapping. The spool pops off easily if you want to replace it with another spool of line without changing reels. The reel is designed so that retreival has virtually no resistance. This is good for reeling line in, but can mean that line is inadvertently put back on the reel while doing other things, because the reel will spin in the retrieve direction with the slightest bump, but will not go the other way because of the drag setting.
Speaking of drag, that is my number one complaint about this reel. Although the range of drag settings is great, the hyper-sensitivity is not so much. Because I don't want to damage the drag mechanism, I always unload the drag after fishing. When it's time to fish the next time, I have to find the narrow sweet spot again. This usually involves cranking down the drag 3 or 4 revolutions, and then the sweet spot is only 1/8 of a turn or less. Too loose, and the spool will overshoot when stripping line off for a cast, causing a bird's nest on the reel. Too tight, and stripping line off the reel is nearly impossible. Becuase of the design of the drag mechanism, the tension is not obvious by the feel of the drag knob, so adjusting the drag is a combination of turning the drag, then pulling out some line to test the tension, repeated several times until the desired drag is achieved. The drag must be turned in very small increments to find the right tension. Once it's dialed in, the performance is great, so I can't complain too much. I WOULD NOT recommend adjusting this drag while playing a fish; if you tighten it, you will likely overtighten and loose the fish to a broken tippet.
For comparison, my higher-end reel has enough friction when the drag is off that overshooting of the spool is unlikely, and the reel does not turn on it's own to retrieve line just because the handle was bumped while fishing or casting.