I have been looking for a bomber trout reel in the 5/6 weight category and I found a high end reel with a mid range price tag. At $250 this is my vote for the best mid range reel on the market. I would also venture to say that this reel can hold it’s own against any high end trout reel on the market. It weighs 3.8 oz’s and holds 150 yards of 20lb backing. It’s a great looking reel and performs even better. So now I had a reason to go to the Missouri River and test it out. I filled it full of backing, lined her with a 7 weight line and stuck it on my trusty 9’6” 6 weight Z-Axis and drove for 4 hours to give you a reel review!
First impressions always last the longest and this reel has a bunch of good first impressions. The reel is very light weight and made my rod noticeably lighter than my old Galvin T-6. I loosened the drag all the way and stripped out a bunch of line with no back lash bird nest on the reel. The first fish on and I needed to take up some extra line, quick bang with the left pointer finger and line was going onto the spool. Two fish later I was trying to calm down a very unhappy rainbow that was making a run for it. I was impressed at how smooth the drag was and how easily the drag could be adjusted while fighting a fish. The handle is comfortable and easy to grab. The large arbor design picked up line quickly and with out much effort. I am very pleased with the fishability of this reel.
Now its time for the torture test! I love to try to break things and this pretty trout reel is no exception. Over the course of 5 days I dropped it in the dirt, drug it through sand, submersed it in water for about an hour and froze it solid for 2 days in a freezer.Thats right I froze it in my chest freezer for 2 days in a bucket of water. Now this is not a very scientific method of testing a reel but it seemed like a good toughness test, Lets see how this trout reel from Florida handles a good old Montana freeze cycle! Next fishing trip it performed flawlessly. I am continuing my torture test to this day and still have not found a reason to dislike this reel. I am going to say this is the bet mid range trout reel on the market and has a strong presence in higher range trout reels.