We put the newest rods and reels through a drag-testing, line-flipping, rod-bending casting contest. Here are the results.
Cabela’s Fish Eagle Tournament II TFD 1000
Best For: Medium fresh water
Weight: 9.5 oz.
Drive: 4 ball bearings, 1 roller bearing
Line Capacity: **8/145 yards
**Gear Ratio: **5.3:1
**Materials: One-piece aluminum body, aluminum spool, die-cast rotor, titanium-coated spool lip
This is an upgrade of a model that scored highly in our test last year. The news is that the reel’s graphite rotor was replaced with a stronger die-cast aluminum rotor-there’s little chance of torque-caused misalignment. The reel spool and line roller are coated with titanium to reduce friction. We found that the reel cast easily and that it has smooth line retrieval. The bail was a bit stiff at times, and the reel’s workmanship was a trifle rough, but overall, it was a solid performer.
Best For: Medium to light fresh water
Weight: **11.6 oz.
**Drive: **5 ball bearings
**Line Capacity: 8/240 yards
Gear Ratio: 6:1
**Materials: **Graphite body, aluminum handle and spool
The old classic Mitchell spinning reel has been modernized (more than 25 million Mitchell spinning reels have been sold since its introduction in the early 1950s). The 300X is still a bit retro in appearance (its sleek handle, for instance), but its look is blended with great new features like a fast rate of retrieve, five ball bearings and more precise line spooling.
Pinnacle Alyssa AL35CR
Best For: Medium to heavy fresh water
Weight: 9.6 oz.
Drive: 8 stainless-steel ball bearings
Line Capacity: **12/100 yards
**Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
**Materials: **Chrome-nitride-reinforced graphite body, vented aluminum spool with titanium-coated lip, ClickLock FatWire bail system
“When you have your photo taken with a fish, you want this reel in the picture, too,” declared one of our testers. The Alyssa AL35CR is a beautiful reel, if you like them flashy. It’s also a great choice for all finesse presentations. For a reel with such a big price tag, though, there was a little too much “slop” in the handle, and one of our team members would have preferred a flat-sided knob to its slippery round metallic handle.
**Pflueger Trion 4740 **(OL Editor’s Choice, Great Buy)****
Best For: Medium fresh water
Weight: 13.6 oz.
Drive: **6 stainless-steel bearings
**Line Capacity: 10/180 yards
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
Materials: Fiberglass-filled nylon frame and body, aluminum spool, rosewood handle
This reel has a six-disk stainless-steel drag and a classy rosewood handle. Our testers felt that the Trion 4740 was a rugged model that could be used for freshwater or nearshore saltwater fishing. You pay for that in a little extra weight, however. Overall, this reel received our highest rating. Because of its excellent Price/Value rating, it was also named a “Great Buy.”
[XLINK 234534 “Spinning Reels”] | [XLINK 234537 “Bait-Cast”] | [XLINK 234539 “Spin-Cast Reels”] | [XLINK 234664 “Casting Rods”] | [XLINK 234666 “Spinning Rods”] | [XLINK 234525 “Tackle Test Index”]