Product Reviews Articles
The Penn Levelwind series is another Penn work horse. These reels are built to perform like all Penn conventional reels and have been available for years with few design changes made during that time. The levelwind feature relieves the angler of the task of leveling the line across the spool with their thumb during line retrieval. These reels are available in three different sizes, the 9M, 209M and the 309M. The 209 is also available with a Line Counter or a left hand retrieve option. Known for their durability, reliability and affordable price tag, these reels are often seen used on party boats and charter boats. These reels are used not only in the salt but are also popular for salmon and trout trolling on the Great Lakes. Even big river cat fishermen have been known to use the Levelwind series to land big blue and flathead cats on the river banks.
The Daiwa Luna series is Daiwa’s highly refined and traditionally designed round baitcasting reel that is built for both freshwater and saltwater use. The Luna was introduced a few years back to replace the older Millionaire series, a reel that had already earned a reputation for solid performance. The Luna puts Daiwa in direct competition with the Shimano Calcutta round baitcasting series of reels, being positioned in a similar price range.
The Daiwa Emblem Pro is a large capacity reel that is designed for long distance casting like you’d find in the surf casting environment. This is a fairly large spinning reel that is available in two sizes. These reels feature a large, tapered spool for maximum casting ability and high line capacity. They also come equipped with a no-fail, manual bail system to eliminate accidental bail closings.
With a recent redesign in aesthetics, Okuma introduces the Epixor-B Series. Building off of a tried and true 10 ball bearing drive system, the Epixor-B brings the angler the same great value oriented price point that fishermen have come to expect from Okuma while delivering a great looking reel that has been pleasing the public for many years. Okuma has come a long way in recent years, gaining a reputation for great products at fair prices.
Daiwa has been a forerunner in the market when it comes to line counter reels. Line counters are essential tools when dialing in and reproducing a trolling bite. Accurate presentations while trolling will make the difference between just a day on the water and a day of fish catching memories.
The Daiwa Tierra is a small profile spinning reel built for both freshwater and saltwater applications. The sizes range from a 1500 to a 4000 model, so they are somewhat restricted to inshore species in the saltwater realm. One of the few blue bodied spinning reels on the market, the Tierra is a handsome little reel with a rugged appearance. It has gained some recent popularity in both the bass tournament world and the redfish tournament arena.
Here is another of Penn’s best selling reels, the Spinfisher SSM series. The SSM is built in all larger sizes, geared towards saltwater fishing with the smallest size being the 650SSM. The series features full metal bodies and side plates for perfect gear alignment and top notch corrosion resistance.
Penn fishing reels have always been built with longevity in mind. The Slammer series is another one of those reels created upon that same philosophy. Continuing with tradition, the Slammer is dressed in the same black and gold uniform that make Penn reels so recognizable.
Okuma has come a long way over the years in developing new reel designs at very reasonable price points. Here we have the Okuma Salina Series. For our field testing purposes we chose the SA45 which is a perfect size for inshore and near shore fishing. The Salina is built with saltwater exposure in mind as well as showing off some of Okuma’s revolutionary spinning reel features.
The Shimano Stradic fishing reel has recently gone through some very big changes. No longer does it bear the tell-tale white paint job that has made these reels so popular throughout the years. Say, “So Long!” to the wooden dowel reel handle knob that has made the series so recognizable. But, change is always imminent and we just hope that the new design lives up to its predecessors.