Science and engineering continue to modify reels to achieve better performance in the field. Here are some examples.
By Keith Sutton
Word is getting around: 2006's new batch of fishing reels includes some of the finest fish-catching equipment ever available to American anglers. No matter what you enjoy most, whether it's fishing fresh water for bass, panfish and other species or plying the salt water for tuna and other blue-water fish, you'll find a new reel that allows you to tailor your equipment to your distinctive fishing requirements.
One of the most stunning new reels for 2006 is Abu Garcia's Ambassadeur Record, a rock-solid beauty manufactured of stainless steel and brass components. The Swedish-built Record features a Sensi-Brake Spool Bearing that provides smoothness and sensitivity during the retrieve. The mechanical brakes only engage on the cast, so no resistance is felt during the retrieve. Record reels also are equipped with a Carbon Matrix Drag for better control. High-performance gearing and an adjustable six-pin centrifugal brake provide a broad adjustment range for any situation while lengthening casting distances and decreasing the chance for backlash. Three models are available, each with a different line capacity.
Abu Garcia also has redesigned its popular Ambassadeur C3 and C4 series of baitcasting reels. The series now features the Carbon Matrix Drag and an improved Chemical Nickel Coated Level Wind system, a corrosion-resistant Six-Pin Centrifugal Brake Spool Control System to maximize casting distance and minimize backlash, plus a larger star wheel for increased drag leverage. (www.abu-garcia.com)
Daiwa's new TD Viento (Spanish for wind) introduces their revolutionary Twitchin' Bar feature that helps keep line under control with just one hand. Located on top of the reel, the small bar is in handy reach of your thumb, there when you need it but out of the way when you don't. Press it slowly to pull in up to four inches of line. Press it quickly and it lightly spins the spool to pick up even more slack line. In cold-water conditions or other times when fish are inactive, the Twitchin' Bar also can be used for stitching a bait slowly along. It's also perfect for popping jigs along the bottom in short, consistent hops.
Other key features of the Viento include a Free-Floating Spool; six stainless-steel ball bearings, plus roller bearing; Magforce magnetic anti-backlash control; Infinite Anti-Reverse; micro-click, precision drag adjustment; and Titanium Nitrided line guide aperture. (www.daiwa.com)
The "Colorado," the first reel in Eagle Claw's new River Series, has an all-aluminum body, making it more rigid than graphite designs for smoother performance. This spinning reel also has four stainless-steel ball bearings, plus a one-way clutch for solid hooksets. It comes with two aluminum gold-lipped anodized spools and a quick-fold, machined-alloy handle with soft-rubber knob. It's available in three sizes (20, 30 and 40).
Also part of the River Series is the new Gunnison spinning reel, offered in sizes 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50. It features an aluminum spool plus a spare graphite spool and balanced rotor. Seven ball bearings and a one-way clutch allow effortless retrieves. The brass gears will provide years of service. The high-performance oil-impregnated felt drag washers create a noticeably smoother drag. (www.eagleclaw.com)
Available last year in Europe only, the Mitchell Avocet Pro spinning reel now is available to American anglers. The Avocet Pro has the same classic styling as the Mitchell 300 but features instant anti-reverse and is built around classic aluminum hardware, giving it the appearance of a much more expensive reel. With a wooden handle knob, 10 bearings and aluminum quick-change spool, it also performs like an expensive reel. It is available in three models, each with a different line capacity and a 5.1:1 gear ratio. (www.fishmitchell.com)