Best big reels for pike and big carp fishing, tested by DUNCAN CHARMAN
Grey body with a silver spool, this ten ball bearing reel equals the fastest retrieve of all the reels tested with a gear ratio of 5.5:1. The spool lacks the capacity of others capable of taking 180 m of 0.35 mm line, yet the line lay is good. Supplied with a single-handle, a spare spool and an adequate line clip. The smoothness of the front drag and its adjustability are both good. The free-spool is adjustable from the rear and has a full range from locked-up to very light. Not the best balanced reel, it weighs in at a manageable 440 gr.
A no frills matt black and silver reel offering eight ball and one roller bearing along with a fast 5.5:1 gear ratio. The spool takes 240 m of 0.35 mm line, yet the line lay could be better. Supplied with a spare spool and a double-handle as well as a line clip, the latter did feel loose. The front drag has a full range of settings and is responsive through just three turns and the free-spool can be set very loose. However, it’s still looser than I would prefer, at its tightest setting. A compact reel weighing in at 500 gr.
A stylish looking reel with a graphite body and spool, offering eight ball bearings and a gear ratio of 5.5:1. The spool comes complete with a reducer and has a capacity when not fitted of 304 m of
0.39 mm line with good line lay. There’s a choice of single or double-handle, a spare spool is provided, the line clip was loose though. The clutch is very smooth, adjusted at the front through three and a half turns. The free-spool can be slackened right off using the small dial at the rear. A chunky solid feeling reel, not the smoothest and weighing 575 gr with the double-handle.
Finished in gold and black, this ten ball bearing reel has a gear ratio of 4.8:1. The long cast spool has a capacity to take 220 m of 0.40 mm line with good line lay noted. Comes with a double-handle, yet no spare spool. The line clip is excellent. The clutch is smooth and is adjusted at the front through three and a half turns of the dial. The free-spool has a good range and can be adjusted to a very light setting using the small dial at the rear. Quite a big reel, yet balanced, weighing 550 gr with the double- handle.
No thrills matt black body, this three ball bearing reel is a great starter reel offering a gear ratio of 5.2:1. The spool takes approximately 190 m of
0.40 mm and actually comes loaded with 12 lb line, with acceptable line lay. Supplied with a spare spool and double-handle as well as a line clip, however the latter was loose. The front drag, although OK when slackened, did have some interference when tightened. The free-spool is adjusted at the rear and can be set relatively lightly. A good affordable pike reel weighing approximately 450 gr.
A good-looking reel with a combination aluminium and graphite body, offering ten ball bearings and a gear ratio of 4.5:1. The spool is capable of taking 200 m of 0.40 mm line with an excellent line lay. Supplied with just a single-handle and no spare spool, the line clip is excellent. The smoothness of the clutch is again excellent and is adjustable at the front. The free-spool is adjusted at the rear and can be set very loose, yet it’s still relatively light at its tightest setting. Not too big, very smooth and weighs 471 gr.
Matt black body with silver spool, this reel offers one ball bearing and one roller bearing along with a gear ratio of 4.6:1. The spool has a capacity of 250 m of 0.40 mm line and offers a good line lay when loaded. Supplied with a double-handle, yet no spare spool. The line clip is exceptionally good. Excellent smooth responsive rear drag. The Baitrunner has a good range and is adjustable using a rear-mounted dial. Built to last, solid and smooth weighing in at 540 gr.
A striking reel set in graphite grey and silver with six ball bearings and a gear ratio of 4.9:1. The spool lacks the capacity of other reels yet still takes 190 m of 0.35 mm line and offers an extremely good line lay when loaded. Comes with just a single-handle, this reel is supplied with a spare spool and the line clip is excellent. The clutch is adjustable and responsive through just two turns at the front and is exceptionally smooth. The free-spool is easily adjusted at the rear and can be slackened right off. Compact, balanced and weighing just 480 gr.
NOTE: All products tested November 2012. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.
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