Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
If it wasn't a decent reel, I'd have given it 1 star.
on May 30, 2012
After seeing the Model 33 Bite Alert reel online, I decided I would like to purchase one and did so at my local Wal-Mart. Upon getting it home and testing it, I found that it was not working properly, so I suspected a dead battery. While the battery was indeed nearly dead, after spending an additional $3.50 for a new one, the problems persisted. It seemed like a problem with the switch, as about one time in 20 of switching it on, it would work once, but seemed to lose contact and stop working. I returned the unit to my local Wal-Mart, hoping for an exchange, but they had no more units, and I forgot to remove the new battery, so time and money lost.
I decided to give the product another chance and this time ordered a new unit on Ebay from a retailer. The unit arrived promptly and well-packed, and the package was pristine. I was a little disappointed that it was not the one with the red filament line, but I was willing to deal with that later. However, upon removing the green pin and turning on the switch, this battery was also completely dead. So having another battery left from the two-pack purchased for the fist defective reel, I changed the battery, only to find that this unit was defective as well! What is going on at Zebco? I cycled the switch about 20 times, and the unit came on once, and then stopped working. I cycled it several more times, and found that if I pressed really hard on the switch in the on position, the unit would work. But after turning the unit off, it would not come back on. This cannot be coincidence, as the problem is similar across two units from different sources, and seems to indicate a serious deficiency in component quality, or quality control.
I sent an email to Zebco giving them a chance to provide some kind of remedy before posting this, and after more than a week, not so much as a reply. I like the concept, and when I can get it working, it seems to do what it says. But the quality of the device is junk, and if I wasn't concerned about the Bite Alert feature, I would have put the money toward a better reel. My recommendation is that others do just that. If it doesn't work, and the quality is so poor that they are non-functional from two different sources, straight out of the packaging, how long will it last in use? Very disappointed, not only in the product, but also in the company I loved a as kid.