Angler's Mail tackle editor Richard Howard selected the best products that caught his eye during 2016. Here's his lowdown on the E-S-P Onyx Big Pit Reel ...

THIS was ESP’s first step into the reel market and an impressive one in my view.

Looking at other big pit reel designs many originating from sea fishing, the plan was to iron out any ‘negatives’.

This reel comes with bespoke machined alloy spools – so you don’t need any backing line. This helps prevent any bedding in, improving your distance casting.

With the Shallow spool taking 300 m of 15 lb (0.37 mm) and the Ultra Shallow spool 300 m of 12 lb (0.33 mm) line you can fill three reels from a 1000 m spool – handy.

The reels also come with two handy, interchangeable ‘front’ drag adjusters – FD for Fine Drag adjustment and RL for Rapid Lockdown. The latter adjusting from ‘free running to locked down’ in half a turn.

Add to that a slow oscillation feature to ensure smooth line lay, a quick-fold handle and damage free clipping up thanks to a friendly stainless steel line clip and you know these reels will attract a lot of attention. They retrieve approximately a metre of line per rotation of the reel handle. They’re good value.

Price: £139.